TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

Local News

March 2, 2011

Army veteran victim of Internet scam

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By Michele Baker / Staff Writer

A disabled veteran living in Corbin had his identity stolen and used in an Internet scam.

James Hursey, 26, a former sergeant in the Army, discovered in early February his pictures had been used on Facebook by a man claiming to be a soldier. The man tried to befriend women and then scam them out of money, Hursey said.

Hursey was contacted by a television reporter from Orlando, Fla. who had been investigating the scam and at first didn’t believe it.

“I thought it was one of my Army buddies playing a joke on me, but then I started finding more about it and it turned out to be true.”

Hursey was told his military photos were used on a profile of a man calling himself “Sergeant Mark Johnson.” The man used the site to make friends with women and then ask them for money.

Hursey was disturbed by the identity theft.

“It’s bad that I fought for my country and someone is using my Army pictures to steal from women.”

Hursey’s wife Amber, 24, took the news of the theft hard.

“It’s upsetting because my husband did go to Iraq and got hurt and this guy is claiming it happened to him. He didn’t have to go through what we went through.”

Hursey was injured in Iraq and is now disabled. He had been stationed in Ft. Richardson, Alaska before leaving the service and moving to Kentucky. After living in Livingston for a year, Hursey, his wife and two children moved to Corbin a month ago.

Hursey said the scam didn’t affect him much personally, but he worried about the women it affected. He contacted one of the women befriended by “Sgt. Mark Johnson” and found out his internet address.

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