It’s a new twist on an old scam. The Army Times newspaper today details the growing trend of fraudsters stealing the identities of US Army soldiers from social network sites and then using that information to set up false profiles on Internet dating sites. The profiles are uses to dupe prospective dates out of their money. But there are other consequences too.
From the Army Times: “The unwitting soldiers are sometimes victims when their loved ones discover the online profiles and believe their soldiers are looking to cheat. [Master Sgt. C.J. Grisham, who uses his blog, “A Soldier’s Perspective,” to expose scammers using the soldier dating con] said the scam is a new twist on the so-called Nigerian 419 advance fee scam, and its popularity is growing, fueled by soldiers’ routine use of social networking sites and the Internet’s penetration into third-world havens for con men. ‘In the past year, the traffic on my site related to the scams I write about has tripled,’ Grisham said. ‘I’ll get 30 to 40 comments a day and 20 e-mails a day asking me to look into whether or not they’re being scammed.'”