WASHINGTON - A Navy veteran is raising attention to a scam that has taken over his inbox and left hundreds of women heartbroken and stripped of their cash.
Hundreds of women across the country think they are dating a man known as “Navy Jack.” He claims to be overseas fighting for our country looking some tender loving care – and eventually their money.
But Greg Browne, a veteran living in Northern Virginia, is the real Navy Jack. He is somewhat of an internet sensation – some of it by choice. He has nearly 150,000 followers on Instagram who track his workouts, his healthy eating and his past on the frontlines in the Middle East.
But his popularity has come at a cost. He is being catfished by scammers across the globe.
“Nigeria to Canada to Mexico,” he said. “Most recently was in Columbus, Georgia.”
Scammers are using his picture across the internet to swindle hundreds of women out their money.
“I would ask him, ‘Okay, we can go out for a drink. When are you coming back to the United States?’ and he wouldn’t answer,” said Keri, a Michigan woman who came into contact with the Navy Jack impersonator on the dating app Bumble.
She added, "I felt like some of his replies seemed kind of sketchy."
In just 24 hours of exchanged messages and emails, she saw the red flags.
“But if you have the time to go to the bank and get out thousands of dollars to give to a stranger, I would hope you check him out,” Keri said.
But other women have not been that savvy. After some research, one woman’s daughter contacted the real Navy Jack. Browne said her mother “had left her husband, she had sent them money and subsequently they were going into foreclosure because she was sending this person all this money and her mother would not believe her no matter what.”
At first, Browne said the emails and requests were flattering until he was confronted by a woman at a mall in California.
“She started yelling at me and she was hysterical and she was saying that she couldn’t believe that I’d stop talking to her, that we were dating for so long and she wanted her money back, and where did I go and what happened?” Browne described. “She was hysterical and it took me a few minutes to kind of understand I have no idea who you are, I have never seen you in my life – to realize what had happened.”
He worries law enforcement may be coming to his door to ask questions. Even more so, he worries for the well-being of these women who are heartbroken and swindled of their cash.
“They are easy targets to find, so that is the sad aspect of it,” said Browne. “There are people that fall for this and do form loving relationships with me just to get their heart broke. I usually end it with I’m gay and happily in a relationship and hopefully sometimes that is a closing deal for them and sometimes it is not. Sometimes they are even still persistent.”
Browne said he has reached out to Instagram, Facebook and multiple dating sites in an attempt to erase all of the fake accounts from their servers. But so far, his identity is still being used to catfish.
If you are wondering why he simply doesn't make his social media accounts private, he told us he makes money off of some of his posts and the damage is already done and his picture is already out there. He also said at least through his real accounts, the women being scammed can find him and find some closure.