Is a handsome young soldier currently professing his love to you on Facebook? He might be real! But probably, he's not. Especially if he's asking you to send him money. The AP reports that the fake-Facebook-soldier (or whatever the snappy conman name is) is "becoming an all-too-common ruse," in one case costing a victim $25,000. It is not a particularly sophisticated ruse, however:
The impersonator using [Army Sgt. James] Hursey's photos portrayed himself as a soldier named "Sergent (sic) Mark Johnson." The fake followed the same steps every time: Send a friend request, immediately express undying love and affection, and ask for money.
The fake's cover was blown, though: Janice Robinson, 53, of Orlando, Fla., knew something wasn't right when the man professed his love to her and signed every message with, "Johnson cares." She had begun talking to him thinking he was one of several people named Mark Johnson that she knew.
"Many scams originate in foreign countries," according to an Army spokesman, which explains the "Johnson cares" thing. But don't be lulled into a false sense of security just because your military beau speaks perfect English!