Facebook is not only a place where you can connect with family and friends, find events, and waste time, it’s now a place where you can be vulnerable to scams. And it’s not from friend requests or random people or strangers you’ve never heard of.
It’s from your “friends”… well, fake friends.
“You get a message from a Facebook friend or spot a post on someone’s wall. According to the post/message, the government is awarding ‘free grants’ to eligible citizens. If you meet the broad criteria, your application is guaranteed to be accepted, and you’ll never have to repay the money,” the Better Business Bureau’s websites explains.
Shellie Drummond didn’t think twice when she saw an old friend’s name pop up on Messenger.
“The person that I was corresponding with that I thought was my friend had vouched for this foundation, and I believed her,” said Drummond.
Drummond was told that all she had to do was to provide some personal information, send in $1,500 in fees and get up to $100,000 in grant money.
The delivery driver never showed up with her $100,000 in cash and when she tracked down her old friend’s phone number found out it wasn’t really her and she had been scammed.
“If you reply to the “friend,” he or she will point you to someone posing as an official government agent on Facebook. This scammer will congratulate you on your eligibility and good fortune,” the BBB writes.
“Sound too good to be true? That’s because it is. The scammer may ask you to wire money to cover a one-time grant “processing fee.” In other versions, the con artist claims to need your checking account information to deposit your grant directly into your account. Whatever the story, you will never see the grant money, and you’ve opened yourself up to a scam.”
The scammers also hacked Drummond’s account, locked her out of it, and posed as her to get her family and friends to send over their money.
She had to quickly warn everyone not fall for the scam. She still can’t get into the account to retrieve her family photos and other info in her account. A Middlefield, OH woman was reportedly scammed out of $70,000, according to FOX 8.
Source: CBS New
The BBB offered the following information to avoid scams, which cost Americans more than $50 billion each year.
Here are are a few of their tips:
- Government agencies will only communicate with you through the mail so avoid other notifications on social media, the internet, or email.
- If you have to pay for a “free” grant, it’s not free. Government agencies don’t ask you to pay processing fees when grants are awarded.
- Research government agencies and make sure they are legit and exist
- If you get a suspicious call, call that government agency to confirm its legitimacy
Written by D.G. Sciortino / D.G. is a contributing writer in Shareably. She’s based in Connecticut and can be reached at email@example.com.
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