Friend requests on social media could be from scammers

Reporter: Rich Kolko Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
romance scams
Credit: fbi

Getting a friend request these days is not at all unusual. What could be, is getting a friend request from a four-star general.

If you get one from a four-star general you may want to accept it to show your patriotism. But, if you get a request from General Austin Miller, it isn’t actually him.

Instead, it’s someone out to steal your money.

The message says that you are communicating with General Austin Scott Miller, Commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan.

Cyber criminals have created hundreds of social media accounts using General Miller’s photo and personal information. Their goal is to get your personal information and steal your money.

Howard Altman is the Managing Editor of the Military Times says messages from generals are rarely social or lighthearted.

“They are not reaching out to say hi. they are fairly busy individuals who have many more things to do than have Facebook conversations,” Altman said.

Oftentimes, these fake profiles are used in romance scams. This is when criminals take eon profiles of people in the military and get those looking for love to send them money.

Usually, it isn’t generals, however, definitely not General Miller. The Department of Defense says Miller doesn’t have any social media accounts.

To protect your follow these steps:

  • research profiles and photos
  • beware of romantic interests that seem “too perfect
  • if someone makes promise after promise to meet you and continually cancels, that’s a red flag
  • don’t send money to an online-only friend

Floridians lost more than $40 million in 2020 to romance scams. So, if General Miller or another unknown military member reaches out, report it to law enforcement and the FBI’s IC3.

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