Responsibilities Required From Social Media Regarding Romance Scamming and Identity Theft
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THE CAUSE: Romance Scammers are all over social media networks. These scammers primarily use pictures, names and valor's of men and women who are actively serving in our military, retired or are deceased. Other prime targets for the scamming are Celebrities, and other high profile names. The scammers are aware how highly Americans think and feel for their military and they use this to pull at the heart strings of vulnerable men and women. Working with a retired Colonel from the United States Army whose pictures, name and child have been used in the scammers story, I have come to realize just what an epidemic this is. Unfortunately, many of the victims are afraid, ashamed, and embarrassed to come forward. Many just want to forget about the scam and move on with their lives. That is why I bring this petition to you. Due to the overwhelming numbers of fraudulent accounts throughout social media and the unidentified number of victims, we need to be the voice. Social Media has a great amount of power, and with power comes an abundance of responsibility.
THE BATTLE: Because of the majority of military romance scammers residing in other countries, the United States has very little jurisdiction over these criminals, therefore we must work from where and what we know, and that is through the United States and our legislative system. We are looking to encourage social media sites to provide more public service announcements by way of television, movie theater ads, magazines, radio, etc. and provide additional man power to their fraudulent account tracking system as well as upgrading their security system to recognize these duplicated accounts that are recreated literally moments to hours after being deleted. Facial recognition does not solve all problems, especially when these scammers are using generic pictures (flowers, hearts etc.) on their profiles and cyber security is unable to recognize this discrepancy.
OUR PROPOSAL: We are working hard to find a Champion to take on our proposal to amend the 230 Communications Decency Act of 1996 with the focus on identity theft. When this law was put into place 20 years ago there was little to no thought of the extreme type of crimes that could and or would be posted onto the social media platforms. This law gives social media a "get out of jail free" card, in other words, they are not held responsible for anything posted to their site by their own consumers. These sites are used as breeding grounds, and the social media companies are fully aware. We are not people who promote regulation, however it is very obvious, in previous news stories and with our own investigation, that self regulation is not the answer to consumer safety and security. We are proposing routine technology upgrades, additional staff to match growing population and ongoing up to date education. Items that are not successfully being done under self regulation.
PERSONAL NOTE: I am a very proud daughter to a mother who served in our Navy, and brother and father who served in our Army. I also have multiple cousins, aunts and uncles who have served and the thought of our military being abused and disrespected is appalling! My mothers friend fell victim to a scammer using the pictures of the Colonel I am currently working with, thus being the reason I have become so involved. I, like many others, had no idea what an epidimic this has become and what little is being done. Social Media needs to take on more responsibility for this breeding ground than they already have, not just for the sake of the victims, but for the sake of our security, and Military whose job is to protect us. What security is social media providing them? Obviously, not the right kind. Scammers are the cancer to the social media world and it's time our companies and legislature took a stand and initiative to help prevent such illness within our military community and every day victims.
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