Minnesota National Guard faces social media identity scams

Published 7:37 am Wednesday, April 4, 2018

ST. PAUL  —  The Minnesota National Guard has assigned someone to monitor social media amid growing concern about scammers using soldiers’ identities on Facebook and other places.

Minnesota Public Radio reports that the U.S. Army receives hundreds of reports each month from people being victimized by criminals stealing a soldier’s identity.

Minnesota National Guard Master Sgt. Blair Heusdens patrols Facebook for fake profiles. He says the identity thefts are typically “romance scams,” where scammers try to gain someone’s trust before asking for money.

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Heusdens says the scammers are often located overseas, which makes holding them accountable difficult. He says that a fake profile might get taken down, but more go up in its place.

Facebook officials say they have a dedicated team and automated systems to help find and block identity scams.