Police warn of Facebook scam using military personnel to target victims

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(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

MARTINSVILLE, Va. — A new Facebook scam is using photos of military personnel to target victims, according to the Martinsville Police Department.

The scammers add a photo of real military servicemembers in uniform to prey on unsuspecting victims.

Authorities say the scammers talk the victim into adding them as a friend on Facebook before asking for money.

They start out by telling the victims a sad story about them being overseas and needing money to get home or needing money to help a family member in the U.S. who is having medical issues.

The Martinsville Police Department said if someone contacts you asking for money over the phone or on Facebook, it is highly likely that the caller is a scammer.

To avoid scams like this one, remember, a real service member: 

  • Will not ask you for money for any reason
  • Does not need your signature to take leave
  • Will not try to ship you a box with his or her personal belongings
  • Gets paid twice a month — If they can get to a computer, they can get to their pay
  • Does not need help with medical bills
  • Will not send you an email
  • Does not need you to pay for his ticket home
  • Gets all of his or her mail through an APO mailing address if he or she is located outside of the U.S.
  • Buy their own phones and calling cards