It’s hard enough to be deployed and away from home, it can be even harder when you return with the ghosts of war haunting you. But for Army Veteran Andrew Lovato, the situation become worse when he learned that someone had stolen his Facebook pictures and created a fake identity in order to lure women into giving him money while he was deployed. It’s called “catfishing.” And it’s very common.
Lovato, a combat medic, says that someone created fake profiles with his photos on dating sites and other social media. The person who stole his identity used his con game to steal money from unsuspecting women.
“Posing as the uniformed dad-of-three, the scammer approached women around the world, including in the US, Canada, India, Costa Rica and the Philippines.
He says the impersonator showered them with compliments, lured them into a long-distance relationship and wooed them with offers of marriage to win their hearts. Then, in chats over Facebook Messenger, the fraudster spun lies about being injured in combat and his children back home being sick and asked them to send him money.
“Catfishing” isn’t always about males, sometimes even females steal the identities of military women, as we reported previously. And they’re not shy about creating many different profiles with that identity.
For all military personnel, social media can be helpful or a disaster. Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, all have issues with fake military identities. If you spot one, do some research, find out the unit of the real person and notify them of the contact. You might save someone like Andrew Lovato from headaches they sincerely don’t need.
All photos screenshots via Fox News