A U.S. Army vet was shocked to come home from Afghanistan and learn that someone had used his Facebook photos to catfish at least 30 women online. Albert Lovato says the impersonator took his photos-of him in uniform- and conned women around the world out of money. Lovato says the man would shower these women with compliments and formed long distance relationships with them. After getting them to fall in love, he would claim that he’d been injured in combat or tell them his kids were sick at home and have them send him money.
Lovato’s wife, Jane Hamilton says she had no idea what was going on during her husband’s deployment until women started leaving messages on his Facebook page. They would claim to be in love with him or they would write angry messages to Lovato for breaking their heart. One even revealed she’d sent him a sum of money. Another claimed she sent him $300. Lovato was particularly upset considering all of this occurred after he just fought a battle with alcoholism and was also dealing with the death of a close friend.
“For someone to do this after everything I had been through – I was really angry,” Lovato says. “I served honorably in Iraq and Afghanistan and this dude swooped in and took my name and face. He used all I have done in my life honorably for dishonorable means.”
One of the women, Rita says she was in contact with the scammer who even sent her a real picture of himself. He claimed that he just needed money for food and school and that he’s not a scammer, but she and Albert couldn’t report him because he lives in Africa.
- Lovato notes that con artists have been targeting his military colleagues and he’s been speaking openly about his story in hopes of raising awareness. He wants to send the message to others in the military to be careful with their Army photos online.
Source: New York Post