• Jacksonville area woman targeted by online scammer posing as military member

    By: Danielle Avitable , Action News Jax

    Updated:

    A Jacksonville-area woman asked Action News Jax to put out a warning that there are people online posing as military members in order to steal your money.

    Bernadette Robinson said she was on Facebook when she got a friend request.

    “And he was in the service and everything, so I thought that would be a nice thing,” Robinson said. 

    She said that since he looked to be in the military, she didn’t mind messaging with him.

    “So I just went ahead and introduced myself. I didn’t tell him a lot of personal things,” Robinson said.

    After a couple of weeks of chatting, things escalated.

    “What he said was, 'I know you can help me with this transaction.' Well you know what? I don’t have a lot of money to play with,” Robinson said. 

    Shannon Nelson, with the Better Business Bureau, said that scammers try to reach out to people with a common background.

    In this case, Robinson said she has family from Syria, and he claimed he was stationed in Syria.

    “They groom you ingratiate themselves into your life and become friendly with you, and that’s when they go in for the sting,” Nelson said.

    If this happens, Nelson said to shut down all contact and block the person, then notify whatever social media platform you’re using.

    “I’m really disgusted that they dare to impersonate our service people,” Robinson said.

    Robinson said she did report this alleged scammer to Facebook and his account was taken offline, but now she just wants others to be aware.

    “If I may have been a little bit more gullible, I may have fallen for that,” Robinson said. 

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