“Sounds like a scam:” Facebook phonies pose as family members, friends; offer fake grants

MILWAUKEE — You wouldn't expect a family member or an old high school friend to scam you, but thanks to technology, it's possible. Scammers are you using your Facebook connections against you.

For many people, Facebook is their safe haven filled with pictures and updates from family and friends — not scammers.

Facebook

"The people, basically, portrayed as if they was my auntie and they made me think I was talkin' with my aunt," explained Erica Gibson about a recent Facebook message she received.

Diane Wakeland got a Facebook message from a person claiming to be an acquaintance from high school.

Erica Gibson

Erica Gibson

"He says, 'Did you hear about the federal grants?' I said, 'No.' He said, 'Yeah, they're giving them away for starting a small business, paying your bills, retired, just all types of things.' And I said, 'Sounds like a scam.' And he said, 'No, it was delivered right to my front door,'" Wakeland recalled about her conversation.

Gibson's conversation was similar. The person claiming to be her aunt said she $150,000 delivered.

Diane Wakeland

Diane Wakeland

"The fake aunt was letting me know she did it as well and received her money and that's why she was helping me with the payments," Gibson explained.

The request to make payments was the only way to get the free grant. The scammers say it is used to cover the UPS delivery charge.

Wakeland didn't fall for it. Unfortunately, Gibson did.

"The thing that had me, was that they faked the page that was faking it was my aunt that I trusted," Gibson said.

Facebook scam

There's not much that can be done since Gibson gave the scammers her money. Online cheats can be anywhere in the world.

However, there is one red flag to look out for — you should never pay money for a free grant or lottery. If you're asked to make payments for something that should be free, it's a scam.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

1 Comment

  • Carol Searing Wood

    I got this scam a month or so back. Someone I knew sends me a friend request. I thought. Hey we are already Facebook friends. But some create a 2nd account. Just to play Facebook games on. Then so called friend pops up on messenger. Starts going on about grants, money of sorts. I said this is to good to be true. Person kept talking and talking of the grants. I said this is got to be a scam. After about a few or so minutes of talking to whoever. I realized there were 2 Facebook pages of the same person. Same exact everything. But realized who was the fake. Unfriened it. And blocked the person. I immediately contacted the real friend. I guess some of his other friends also almost got scammed. No I did not fall for the scam.