Warning: Military Social Media Profiles May Not Be Who You Think
Recently a friend was contacted by a legitimate looking military person, a Lieutenant and Facebook friend, who asked him to help her get some items she needed by sending her some money. All of his “red flags” went off, as the military pays for those items for overseas deployed military.
After some searching, we learned that the real “Lieutenant” by that name was a decorated officer, and held a sensitive position in the Military. That’s when my “red flags” went off.
As we began to investigate, we learned that the so called “Lieutenant” who friended him was not the real person. The name was one letter off of the real person’s name. Further checking revealed that there were two Facebook profiles and two LinkedIn profiles with similar names. All had the same photo, and all knew where she had been deployed overseas.
They also knew what her job was… and clearly listed it in the profiles. That is a complete no-no for anyone in the military, especially someone with a sensitive job. A real military operative would have known that… so we contacted her duty station to see if she was okay and not in harm’s way or even dead at the hands of a terrorist.
Her response finally came in on March 29. She is fine, but those profiles are ALL fake. She does not have any social media footprint at this time. She immediately notified the Social Media in question that the profiles were not hers and got them removed.
Here is the warning for all Facebook users: just because someone says they are military does not make it so. And there is an inherent security risk if you happen to pick a wrong one – they can see your posts.
Personally, I get friend requests from all manner of people who have a picture with a military uniform. In my case, they are usually men who are looking for their “special someone.” I know where the delete key is now, after fielding numerous wackos.
If they have mutual friends, I always check to see who those mutual friends are – are they computer literate? Would that person recognize a fake?
Do your research – if the person says they are a military commander, for example, that can be easily checked. And if you’re a civilian, you can ask yourself – why in God’s green earth would this person be friending me?
For men, it’s awesome to have a beautiful Military woman want to be your Facebook “friend.” But watch out…that may not be who they really are.
If you still get snookered, just remember where the report/block area is on their profile. And use it as often as you have to.
But if it happens to be someone who has a sensitive military position, as we ran across… find the real person and tell somebody. Their lives could depend on it.