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Web impostors mimic JBLM Medal of Honor recipient, Petraeus

Post by Adam Ashton / The News Tribune on Sep. 27, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
September 27, 2011 2:18 pm

Here’s one drawback to receiving a Congressional Medal of Honor: Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Petry of Steilacoom is now one of a handful of soldiers who’ve become regular targets for web impersonators.

The Army Times reported this week that the Army’s Social Media Division has been seeking out fake Facebook profiles for well known soldiers such as Petry or fellow Medal of Honor recipient former Staff Sgt. Sal Giunta.

“Yesterday, I went looking for Sgt. 1st Class Petry, I found two and I took them down,” Staff Sgt. Dale Sweetnam, who leads the effort, told Army Times. “When I go looking for them, I usually find them.”

Sure, an imitation Sgt. 1st Class Petry sounds about as harmless as a fake Kanye West, but consider the damage wrought by a bogus Gen. David Petraeus. Someone impersonating the nation’s most famous general weaseled at least $30,000 out of a Taiwanese woman who believed the impostor when he said he planned to marry her.

Liu Shu-chen told the Taipei Times she wasn’t willing to give up on the false general.

“How could a scamming group have so much resources at its disposal?” she asked.

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