A North Carolina man pretending to be a U.S. Marine on online dating sites and allegedly threatened women who refused to send him nude or seductive pictures of themselves has pleaded guilty to cyberstalking and making threats, The Washington Post is reporting.
James M. Johnson, 29, pleaded guilty, according to a statement from the office of U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride. Johnson now faces up to five years for each count at a sentencing scheduled on Nov. 2.
Johnson admitted to setting up dating profiles using a fake name, personal information and photos of a Marine — often using the screen name “Cuddleman.” He contacted at least 11 women in the mid-Atlantic region, urging them to send him photos or pose in front of a Web cam. When the women refused, authorities say, Johnson threatened to sexually assault them, kill their children, and post altered photos of them on pornographic Web sites.
If you've met someone online and you're unsure if he or she's in the military, make sure to check archives.gov and stolenvalor.com for more direction. Fake military scams are rampant these days -- from college women to retirees, women (and men) of all ages are being swindled my fake military personnel (click here for more tips on what to look out for).
If you think you've been a victim of a fake military scam, your best bet is to contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-ID-THEFT.