Facebook users need to watch out for a shameful scam that appears to be becoming more widespread, military officials warn. Con artists have been using the photos and details of real soldiers to strike up romances with women on the social networking site, the AP reports. The phony soldiers declare their undying love—then ask for cash, saying they need special cell phones or special papers to come home on leave. One woman lost $25,000 to the scam.
"I think it's pathetic that someone is going to impersonate a soldier to try to get money from women," says one veteran who came home from Iraq and found a Facebook profile set up in his name, using some of his family photos. Military officials say they've seen the scam used hundreds of times, with some con artists even using the photos of soldiers killed in action. The fraudsters tend to operate from abroad and are hard to trace. Even if they were caught, the only state where online impersonation has been made a crime is California.