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There ought to have been a national registry of scammers like sex offenders

June 28, 2015

After seeing the story on Saturday’s Today Show called Stolen Valor. It had me wondering about a few things. How did these people sleep at night? The man in the story that got arrested for harassing the camera crew from the show wrote a letter of apology to the military, but had no words for the woman who fell in love with him. In fact, there was no feeling at all for her.

In 2012, something similar happened to me. Unlike the woman in the story above, there weren’t any money transfers. The man acted like he understood me but there were too many red flags popping up. Yes, this writer saw a lot of the horror stories where large amounts of money got wired to someone who claimed to have been in the military, had a son in West Africa, and outline what he wanted in a woman and a relationship. In the end, they either ended up bankrupt and whining or dead. The family was left wondering why.

For me, my resolve was a lot stronger. Instead of falling apart like the young girl in the story, calling my church friends and my family to thank them about their warnings only strengthened me. My not wanting to become a victim drove me to search for the name they used on line. It was illegal to impersonate someone in the military. My brother told me where to investigate this. The name never came up on any online records. There was no record of anyone with that name living in the city or state he mentioned either.

It was also a sin to falsely present oneself as someone they weren’t. The Bible said:

Exodus 20:15-16

15 “You shall not steal.” (NIV)
16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.” (NIV)

After further online research, it was discovered that this man was using one of three identities and the Gmail address came from California. All this was discovered after they were reported as a fraud on an online dating service By this time, they had established themselves on Facebook using the same profile name and picture and had three additional Facebook pages. Of course, it took no time telling the social media giant my story. They didn’t have a son ether! They did, however, change the duty station from Afghanistan to Kabul The information used by me in the report had disappeared sometime last year, so did the profile picture and pages. The email address and profile picture remained the same, but the profile name changed also. There were a lot of people using that name now on social media.

There should’ve been a national registry of scammers like there was of sex offenders. They should be split into one of three categories, online dating, e- mail and phone. Believe me, my being familiar with all three was no accident. This week was very busy for me reporting phone scams. At least four of the numbers seen by me were spoofs of people posing to be from real companies. In all fairness, these were a lot easier to catch then those on dating sites. All one needed was a complete number searched on the internet and the word complaints.

The first number was a computer tech, he only identified himself as that before being disconnected by me. They called two more times on my landline June 18 once with ‘out of area ‘ on my caller ID then with the original. On June 20 they called twice. When the landline was left unanswered, they called my cell phone. Since that wasn’t the number given by me, they were reported to the FTC and my local BBB

The second number was someone posing to be from the caller’s doctor’s office. It remained unanswered by me, but was Googled like the one before which revealed a prior complaint. The ironic thing was that it was a local number, but not in service upon redialing it. A week earlier, someone called wanting me to try free pain medication. All that was required was the name and number of my doctor’s office. Of course it wasn’t given out. The reports about this number went out that week to the above agencies also.

As for my inbox, the one on AOL got more spam from Nigeria than my primary mailbox. The local news station told viewers that one had to be in the country to receive the funds. They never wire from overseas. Sensitive information should never be sent at all. In all fairness, the above mentioned country was trying to put a stop to people who were fake This writer wished them luck. The most received from me in the last two months was a notice from my spam folder that told me to send my information to receive some of the money they had from a ring they busted. Lately, they were telling me of large amounts of money won from the UK by way of that country.

The national scam registry sounded like a great idea to me.


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