LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) – Fairly regularly, people in Nebraska and beyond will get a message on a social media site from someone who appears to be the Adjutant General of the Nebraska National Guard, asking them to build a relationship or seeking donations.
But it’s not really him, it’s a scam that staff at the National Guard are constantly looking out for.
“It’s a never-ending task,” Major Scott Ingalsbe, Public Affairs Officer for the Nebraska National Guard said.
Ingalsbe and his colleagues, like Staff Sergeant Lisa Crawford, monitor Facebook, Twitter and other websites for fake profiles from senior leaders, like Major General Daryl Bohac.
“He does have two real Facebook accounts,” Crawford said. “But, we’ll see others trying to impersonate him. They’ll change his name slightly, say he’s single, say he’s not from Nebraska and he’s a Marine, when he’s obviously in the Air Force.”
Crawford and Ingalsbe try to get the accounts taken down before damage is done, but when that doesn’t happen, they get messages and emails from victims of the scam, showing screenshots of messages that claim to be from Bohac, saying he’s on a dating site or in need of money to get home from a deployment, when in reality he’s in Nebraska and happily married.
“It would almost be funny at times, except the risk to others,” Bohac said. “That’s what I’m concerned about, that someone is using my name and image to solicit money or other things.”
Crawford said it’s not just Bohac’s account, they’ll see accounts pop up impersonating others in the Guard using different catfishing scenarios.
“It may be a long drawn-out process, but their end goal is to take advantage of vulnerable individuals and get money from them,” Crawford said.
The important message here is to know what to watch out for, like misspelled names or posts that would be odd for someone in the National Guard. Also, you should know what members of the National Guard will never do.
“We are never going to do that,” Bohac said. “We’re never going to be on social media asking for money or to donate or anything else.”
If someone gets a message from someone in the National Guard, they ask that you reach out to the Adjutant General’s official Facebook page, which has a verified blue check mark, to report it. You can also see this article from the U.S. Department of Defense for resources and more information: https://www.defense.gov/News/News-Stories/Article/Article/1921988/these-social-media-scams-affect-the-military/
Copyright 2022 KOLN. All rights reserved.