Scammers prey on patriotism in yet another Facebook ruse

I am furious.

My fury is not because I’ve been hacked three times on Facebook and some jackass is trying to exploit my friends. Most of them are a savvy lot and spot the fraud quickly. At least I hope so.

My rage is because scumbags are taking advantage of Americans’ patriotism and respect for people who serve in the military.

I am a woman of a certain age, so I must appear stupid. Suddenly, I am bombarded with friend requests on Facebook from handsome military men in uniform. From generals to sergeants, although one would-be friend spelled it “sagent,” which seemed rather odd for a serviceman.

The friend requests come out of the blue. They don’t know me. They are not friends of friends.

They are just looking for suckers.

I don’t friend them.

But other women do. Fewer men have been conned by women in military uniform.

My anger at this exploitation intensified because there was an increase around Memorial Day, the holiday when our military members who died while in the service were honored with respect and dignity.

I have grandparents buried in Arlington National Cemetery. In March, I visited their graves and saw the hundreds of thousands of other graves buried across 624 acres. In the distance, adjacent to the cemetery, the Air Force Memorial soared.

I can’t express how I would feel if my grandfather’s photo was abused to con lonely women out of their money.

Yet that’s exactly what’s happening on Facebook.

I didn’t fall for it, but enough people have fallen for it, that Facebook has a warning page and the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command issued its own warnings.

Even before I read their warnings for this column, there are certain obvious clues.

Often they say they “work at U.S. Military,” without identifying the service. And many attended “U.S. Military Academy” without naming which one, like Luisenrique Moquete.

Often, they are widowed. They tend to live in Kabul, Afghanistan.

I’ve received two requests from Winnie Ward Hemby, but they are different men. One is pictured with a child; the other is not.

Spelling is not their strong point.

Chapman D. Kim is a commander in “cheif” in the U.S. Army and lives in Syria.

I’ve heard from “Sagent” Donald Aderson, Shelby Broughton Eborn and a doctor who bucks the trend, he is not the dashing and handsome fellow who seeks my charms.

Not to mention my help, aka, my money.

The most offensive was “Chavez Pinion” who stole a photo of a real hero receiving his medal from President Barack Obama. The con man had nine friends. All women. Of course he was widowed. The picture looked real but I couldn’t find his name on the White House Facebook page. I suspect someone just ripped it off.

The Facebook page warns about military romance scams and provides tips.

It says “Real soldiers don’t need: A satellite phone, calling card, or permission to call; access to your bank account; money shipped by Western Union or MoneyGram; permission from a “fiance” to go on leave or retire; an “agent” to ship a box; anyone to pay for medical expenses (for themselves or their family), money for food, anyone to pay for a plane ticket to go home or on leave.

Some women are posting photos of scammers. I reviewed them but didn’t find my would-be scammers.

The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command put out its own warnings:

DO NOT SEND MONEY! Be extremely suspicious if you are asked for money for transportation costs, communication fees or marriage processing and medical fees.

If you do start an internet-based relationship with someone, check them out, research what they are telling you with someone who would know, such as a current or former service member.

Be very suspicious if you never get to actually speak with the person on the phone or are told you cannot write or receive letters in the mail. Servicemen and women serving overseas will often have an APO or FPO mailing address.

Be very suspicious if you are asked to send money or ship property to a third party or company.

Be very suspicious if the person you are corresponding with wants you to mail anything to an African country.

Be aware of common spelling, grammatical or language errors in the emails.

Be very suspicious of someone you have never met and who pledges their love at warp speed.

I can laugh at Nigerian princes, but exploiting our military men and women makes me want to rip someone’s face off.

Between the hacks and the scams, I’m seriously wondering if Facebook is worth the hassle.

Jane Ann Morrison’s column runs Thursdays. Leave messages for her at 702-383-0275 or email Find her on Twitter: @janeannmorrison

Educators dressed in red have taken to the streets to demand more for their students.
Educators dressed in red have taken to the streets to demand more for their students. Educators from around the State are bringing the Red for Ed movement to the steps of the Nevada Legislature in Carson City, NV, and to the Grant Sawyer Building in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Nature Conservancy Ranch
The Nature Conservancy just bought the 900-acre 7J Ranch at the headwaters of the Amargosa River, north of Beatty. The property could become a research station, though ranching will continue.
Swift water rescue at Durango Wash in Las Vegas
On Thursday, February 14, 2019, at approximately 8:42 a.m., the Clark County Fire Department responded to a report of a swift water incident where people were trapped in the Durango wash which is located near 8771 Halcon Ave. Personnel found one person who was trapped in the flood channel. The individual was transported to the hospital in stable condition. Video by Clark County Fire & Rescue.
Flooding at E Cheyenne in N. Las Vegas Blvd.
Quick Weather Around the Strip
Rain hits Las Vegas, but that doesn't stop people from heading out to the Strip. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Aaron Semas, professional bull rider, talks about his traumatic brain injuries
Aaron Semas, professional bull rider, talks about his traumatic brain injuries. The Cleveland Clinic will begin researching the brains of retired bull riders to understand the impact traumatic brain injuries have on cognition. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/ Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Matt Stutzman shoots arrows with his feet
Matt Stutzman who was born without arms shoots arrows with his feet and hits the bullseye with remarkable accuracy. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Secretary of Air Force Emphasizes the Importance of Nellis AFB
US Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson visited Nellis Air Force Base during Red Flag training and described how important the base is to the military.
Former Northwest Academy student speaks out
Tanner Reynolds, 13, with his mother Angela McDonald, speaks out on his experience as a former student of Northwest Academy in Amargosa Valley, which includes abuse by staff member Caleb Michael Hill. Hill, 29, was arrested Jan. 29 by the Nye County Sheriff’s Office on suspicion of child abuse.
Former Northwest Academy students speak out
Tristan Groom, 15, and his brother Jade Gaastra, 23, speak out on their experiences as former students of Northwest Academy in Amargosa Valley, which includes abuse by staff and excessive medication.
Disruption At Metro PD OIS Presser
A man claiming to be part of the press refused to leave a press conference at Metro police headquarters, Wednesday January 30, 2019. Officers were forced to physically remove the man. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Clients at Las Vegas’ Homeless Courtyard talk about their experience
Clients at Las Vegas’ Homeless Courtyard talk about their experience after the city began operating around the clock. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Las Vegas parts ways with operator of homeless courtyard
Jocelyn Bluitt-Fisher discusses the transition between operators of the homeless courtyard in Las Vegas, Thursday Jan. 24, 2019.(Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas police and Raiders partner with SafeNest
Las Vegas police and the Raiders partner with SafeNest on Project Safe 417 (the police code for domestic violence is 417). The program partners trained SafeNest volunteer advocates with Metropolitan Police Department officers dispatched to domestic violence calls, allowing advocates to provide immediate crisis advocacy to victims at the scene of those calls. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
North Las Vegas police chief discusses officer-involved shooting
North Las Vegas police chief Pamela Ojeda held a press conference Thursday, Jan. 24, regarding an officer-involved shooting that took place on Jan. 21. The incident resulted in the killing of suspect Horacio Ruiz-Rodriguez. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Volunteers gather for annual Clark County homeless count
Volunteers gather for the annual Southern Nevada Homeless Census, Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Who can understand hospital price lists?
Lists of costs for procedures, drugs and devices are now posted the websites of hospitals to comply with a new federal rule designed to provide additional consumer transparency. Good luck figuring out what they mean.
People in Mesquite deal with a massive power outage
People in Mesquite respond to a major power outage in the area on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Group helping stranded motorists during power outage
A group of Good Samaritans are offering free gas to people in need at the Glendale AM/PM, during a massive power outage near Mesquite on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen falls at Las Vegas parade
U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen of Nevada fell and injured her wrist at the Martin Luther King Day parade in Las Vegas on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. (Nathan Asselin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Local astronomers host super blood wolf moon viewing
The Las Vegas Astronomical Society paired with the College of Southern Nevada to host a lunar eclipse viewing Sunday night. Known as the super blood wolf moon, the astronomical event won't occur for another 18 years. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Tate Elementary shows academic progress after categorical funding
Students at Tate Elementary in Las Vegas has benefited from a program to boost education funding in targeted student populations, known as categorical funding. One program called Zoom helps students who have fallen below grade level in reading. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
The third annual Women’s March in Las Vegas
The third annual Women’s March in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @btesfaye
First former felon to work for Nevada Department of Corrections
After his father died, Michael Russell struggled for years with drug addiction. When he finally decided to change for good, he got sober and worked for years to help others. Now he is the first former felon to be hired by the Nevada Department of Corrections. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Three Square helps TSA workers
Three Square Food Bank donated over 400 care bags to TSA workers affected by the government shutdown Wednesday, filled with food, personal hygiene products and water.
Las Vegas furniture store donates to Clark County firehouses
Walker Furniture donated new mattresses to all 30 Clark County firehouses in the Las Vegas Valley, starting today with Station 22. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mount Charleston Gets Heavy Snow, Fog
Mount Charleston saw heavy snow today, and fog in lower elevations as a cold front swept across the Las Vegas Valley. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Krystal Whipple arrested in Arizona
Krystal Whipple, charged in the killing of a Las Vegas nail salon manager over a $35 manicure, is expected to return to Nevada to face a murder charge.
Holocaust survivor on acceptance
Holocaust survivor Celina Karp Biniaz, who was the youngest person on Schindler’s List, talks about the most important message for people to understand from her life and experiences.
Holocaust survivor speaks about telling her story
Holocaust survivor Celina Karp Biniaz, who was the youngest person on Schindler’s List, tells of opening up about her experiences during Sunday’s event at Temple Sinai.
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing