I learned something last night: There is an army–a veritable plethora, if you will–of Adam William Johnsons on Facebook. Portraits of men wearing uniforms from the various branches of the U.S. Military–Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines. The uniforms have the stars and stripes of generals and other officers, and the profile pictures are typical formal headshots, or, in the case of the friend request I received, a picture of a general testifying before a microphone as if before Congress.
But why would a four-star general send me a friend request? I’m just a regular person living an ordinary life. To be honest, my first thought was that he was an ex-military man who was out trying to drum up interest for the book he’d written. (Being an author in today’s world, that is a routine thing.) The personal information listed was sparse except to say that he worked at the U.S. Army and was widowed.
Wait. Widowed? He wanted to date me? EWWWWWWW! (I mean, why else would that be highlighted in such a fashion if he weren’t out trolling for women?)
I called Steve over to show him because of the random weirdness of the request. He began examining the man’s uniform to try to figure out why an Air Force officer would identify himself as serving in the Army. (Steve’s very good with the details.) Next, we googled the name Adam William Johnson and couldn’t find any listing of a general by that name. In any branch of the service.
“Let’s do a reverse image search,” Steve suggested (very cleverly). So we did, and we found out that the image is really that of General Mark A. Welsh III, Chief of Staff of the US Air Force. We then found a whole list of Adam William Johnsons on Facebook–at least fifty of them–many with pictures of different military men. Actual, real-life men like Lt. Gen. John D. Johnson, Commander of the 8th Army, being masqueraded as Adam William Johnson. All of the misappropriated military men had their status listed as widowed. All said things like “Works at: U.S. Army.” A lot of them are stationed in Syria. Most of the accounts were set up recently, since December, with many just a couple weeks ago on the same date in February.
Here is the Facebook link to the fake Adam William Johnsons.
My hunch is the bogus accounts are meant to scam women–to play on their romantic notions, their loneliness–and then separate them from large amounts of cash.
Fake Adam William Johnson: You suck. Friend request: Denied!