The scariest are those who want to meet up in person. All he can do is tell them to report the and contact the authorities.
But not everybody is vocal about it. Some lash out. Others have popped up on Instagram, TikTok and dating apps like Tinder.
Still, the people who reach out financially or emotionally devastated are the hardest to stomach. Many lead back to Nigeria.
The whole thing has been a lot to handle, Sency said. Petty Officer 1st Class Mike Sency is the victim of a long-running series of scams that steal photos of U. But Sency, a petty officer 1st class stationed in Virginia Beach, has never met or even communicated with any of these people before. Facebook has been pretty good about quickly shutting down the hoax s, he said.
Sometimes they solicit risque photographs and use them as blackmail. Then the scammer will strike up online conversations with women around the world, many of them older or vulnerable, and pretend to be in a hard spot. The year-old is the victim of a long-running series of scams that steal photos of service members and use them to swindle money out of people online.
Spurned victims have also come after his girlfriend online, accusing her of trying to steal their man. Some of his social media s are public, allowing people access to plenty of photos of him.
Get the latest in military news, entertainment and gear in your inbox daily. That fits into a pattern documented in a New York Times investigation last year.
It works like this: a scammer takes photos of someone like Sency, creates a fake social media and develops a new online persona — sometimes using the real name of the person in the photo. Sency said he knows others in the military who have been similarly affected, including soldiers at Fort Bragg and Marines at Camp Lejeune.
And these scammers know the right words to say. The U. In addition to being in the Navy, he co-hosts a popular military podcast called The Smoke Pit and maintains a sizable public presence for it online.