Advocating Against Romance Scammers
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Latest Update
FACEBOOK POLICY ADVISOR'S RESPONSE ON MEETING REQUEST FROM MARCH 11, 2019
Published on Sun Mar 17 10:39am
XXXXXX
Mar 15, 2019, 6:25 PM (2 days ago)
to me, Bryan
"Hi Kathy,
Thank you for reaching out and I hope you and Bryan are well.
None of these issues have easy fixes and we do a good deal of proactive screening outside of any requirements directed to us, but as you know, the bad actors are many and very persistent.
We work very closely with the Congressman and we are in constant conversations with him and his team about these issues and many others.
When you meet with his office, they will surely reach out to us with any follow-ups. In the mean time, we are still actively working to mitigate the occurrence of those activities on our platform.
On behalf of the broader team,
-XXX
Facebook Public Policy "
The above is the response we received from Facebook’s Policy Advisor on behalf of the letter we sent on March 11, 2019, requesting a sit-down meeting with Bryan, I and Representative Kinzinger’s legislative staff.
This reply was not a surprise to us, nor is it anything we didn’t already know. We are fully aware that the “bad actors” or a more appropriate definition, criminals, monopolize the platforms and are very determined.
As the Facebook Policy Advisor mentioned, “we do a good deal of proactive screening outside of any requirements directed to us”. This statement may be true, but it’s apparent their definition of “screening” is simply not enough, and allowing accounts to remain, after reporting, that provide “how to’s” of money laundering, and the selling of the following: personal identification, fake forms of identification (driver’s license, passports), Facebook accounts, victim information such as addresses and credit card numbers along with scripts that coincide with the stolen photos, show that these noted attempts have significantly failed. Time for change.
This letter of response was forwarded to Representative Kinzinger’s Legislative Director that we are currently in contact with regarding the proposed amendment.
Now, will Mark Zuckerberg or Sheryl Sandberg respond on behalf of the safety of their members? Where does the importance lie?
About Us - Advocating Against Romance Scams
Kathy Waters
Colonel Bryan Denny (Ret.)
We are Kathy Waters and Colonel Bryan Denny. I am Kathy, 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 I am Colonel Bryan Denny, A Retired U.S. Army Colonel. My pictures have been widely used by scammers on the social & dating sites for years. The thought of our military men & women being abused and disrespected is appalling!
"My mothers friend fell victim to a scammer using the military pictures of Colonel Bryan Denny (Ret.), thus being the reason I have become so involved. I, like many others, had no idea what an epidemic this has become and what little is being done" .... Kathy
"Someone was telling me, 'Don't worry, as you get older, they'll stop using your pictures.' But the thing is, the pictures never age. They don't go away. This can go on for freaking ever if we don't do something about it" .... Colonel Bryan Denny
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.
Our Cause
Sgt. Stuart James
Lt. Jeffrey Miller
Medic Sally Clarke
Sgt. Jason Jordan
Maj. Gordon Hannett
Scammers, especially Military Romance Scammers are all over social media networks. These scammers use pictures, names and valor's of men and women who are actively serving in our military, retired or are deceased. 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 & women.
Working with retired Colonel Bryan Denny from the United States Army whose pictures, name and children have been used in the scammers story, We 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 we bring this petition to you.
Due to the overwhelming numbers of fraudulent accounts throughout social media and the unidentified number of victims, we all need to be the voice. Social Media has a great amount of power, and with power comes an abundance of responsibility.
Our Battle
Nigeria
Ghana
Senegal
Malaysia
Egypt
Because of the majority of 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
230 Decency Act
Washington, D.C.
U.S. Congress
Letters to Congress
Public Outcry
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
Having over an estimated 3500 volunteer/advocate hours not including our in person and or teleconference meetings, along with travel, We have no plans to cease this fight, but every intention to follow through until identity theft victims and scam survivors feel vindicated. We feel it is an honor and a privilege to be a voice for so many
Comments - 7
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Sun Mar 03 07:44pm
Kevin
I believe the first stage af solving any issue is awareness and I’m so pleased that you are helping raise this issue. My pictures are being used in this fraud but I don’t consider myself a victim. The vulnerable people who are being scammed using my pictures are the ones who deserve to be protected and I’m happy to help in any capacity I can. Thank you for launching and supporting this forum. Kevin
Tue Feb 26 11:56pm
Alan Pietruszewski
I am also one of the veteran's who's pics have been used for ten years now. I will never understand how anyone sends money to someone they've never met or considers themselves in an "online relationship," but rather than judge I will offer this FOOL PROOF method to avoid these dating scams: 1 Request a "proof of self" picture. The one I ask for yes men get scammed by women too is a selfie holding up three fingers. Why? Have you ever seen anyone post selfies or pics on social media holding up three fingers? Me either. So if they can send that I will go the next step with that conversation. 2 VIDEO CHAT. Every phone has a camera in it now. Fact. 3 Ask for a picture holding up today's newspaper doesn't matter which one showing today's date. 4 DON'T send money to anyone you've never met before. Like what?? 5 If you don't know you don't know. If you are not 100 sure this person is real, just bounce the story off a friend or family member. They won't be blinded by whatever "feelings" you think you have developed for the dudes in Lago, Nigeria posing as me or the Colonel. 6 Trust that little voice in the back of your head.
Tue Feb 19 06:50am
Anthony
I hope this is successful, you and Bryan work so hard to get things done. Praying it goes in your favor and best of luck!
Tue Feb 19 06:50am
GiGi
Our thoughts are with you. Good luck!
Tue Feb 19 06:48am
Jamie Lynn
Thank you for your hard works to help the victims of romance scam
Tue Feb 19 06:35am
Debbie
I hope one day we can rid the world of these inhumane people that need to be dissolved from this planet,but as long as the sites keep allowing the scammers it will always be here.I am so sorry. God bless you, be safe
Tue Feb 19 07:19am
Kevin
The dating sites should do a better job of weeding out these criminals ...