New York Man Charged with Impersonating Deceased Soldier on Facebook

facebook_in_browser_2In December, it was discovered that an individual was posing as deceased Marine Matthew Pucino on both Facebook and a dating site. Police now believe that they have found the perpetrator behind the crime: 28-year-old New York man Brandon Ashraf.

Ashraf actually reached out to Pucino’s sisters to alert them to the fake page after it had already been revealed to them, though the sisters now believe he did it to cover his tracks.

“At first I thought he was the good guy, I thought he had done us a favor, until he started communicating,” said Lisa Haglof, Pucino’s sister. “Obviously for Brandon it was a lure, something he wished he could have done and he just can’t.”

After Ashraf contacted them, Pucino’s sisters began an investigation of their own and steadily connected the dots. They reported him to police, who charged Ashraf earlier this week with a misdemeanor count of criminal impersonation.

Unfortunately, situations like this one aren’t uncommon. To protect yourself or a loved one from this kind of online identity theft, it helps to lock down Facebook profile photos and adjust the site’s privacy settings so only friends can see it. You can also Google an individual’s name to find out if any fake profiles exist under their identity. However, as Pucino’s sister notes, nothing can take back the heartache incidents like this can cause.

“People don’t realize [the hurt],” Haglof said. “Every day, we wake up and think of Matthew. People who do things like this, don’t realize how much it hurts.”



Recommended Resources

PRIVATE WiFi® is a Personal VPN that encrypts everything you send and receive. Don’t access Facebook from a public WiFi hotspot without it.

IDrive® Secure, fast and simple online backup – 5G Free!

DoNotTrackMe® is a used by millions of people worldwide for free to block web tracking and spam email. Advanced Premium features ($5/mo.) allow you to protect more private information by creating one-time use, private credit cards when you shop online.

BitDefender Safego is a Facebook application you can install that will scan your News Feed and help keep you safe from scams on Facebook.

AVAST Virus Lab Discovers Previous post AVAST Virus Lab Discovers "Facebook Music Theme" Scam New Next post New "FakeOff" App Detects Fake Facebook Accounts