Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID) receives hundreds of reports a month from individuals who have fallen victim to a scam perpetrated by a person impersonating a U. Victims of these scams can lose tens of thousands of dollars and face a slim likelihood of recovering any of it. To perpetrate this scam, the scammers take on the online persona of a current or former U. Soldier, and then, using photographs of a Soldier from the internet, build a false identity to begin prowling the web for victims.
Twitter allows users to create parody, satire, newsfeed, commentary, and fan accounts that mimic organizations if they indicate that they are “unofficial” or “fan” accounts. Impostors are damaging not only to an individual’s reputation but also to the U. The individuals or groups establishing impostor accounts can be clever — using different usernames, similar spellings, personal photos, official photos, and even changing the nametape on Soldier’s uniforms. Once notified, Twitter marked the account as a “tribute” or “fan” account.
Most social media platforms have a reporting system that allows users to report an individual who is pretending to be someone else.
If you suspect you have identified an impostor account, you should confirm the account is not registered on the U. Soldiers, especially leaders, are prime targets for identity thieves who will use images posted online to create the fake accounts.
It is good practice to search sites regularly for impostors.