Scam artists are pretending to be an old friend on social media – to get you to part with your hard-earned cash.
It’s important for Facebook users to remain alert when accepting friend requests and receiving money requests – after a victim was almost taken for thousands of dollars.
Michael Hansen says a Facebook friend request came from a high school buddy.
The supposed “friend” then messaged Hansen asking if he collected his stimulus money of $70,000, claiming he saw Hansen’s name on a list and said he too received money, according to CBS News, Sacramento.
Hansen texted the number the friend suggested and later learned he would receive a $70,000 government check if he sent $850 for the delivery charge.
This occurred around the same time his friend messaged him saying he too sent the money.
Hansen’s phone rang and the scammer claimed to be from Facebook. The scammer told Hansen he could assist remotely by gaining access to his computer.
Hansen soon realized that this could lead to his computer being hacked, or malware getting installed, so Hansen said no way.
The Better Business Bureau says scammers are cloning Facebook pages by stealing people’s photos and then targeting that person’s Facebook family and friends list. That’s forcing con artist to get more creative, hitting targets from several directions.
“You should never pay money to receive money,” said Danielle Sprand from the BBB.
Fortunately, Hansen did not fall for this scam, according to CBS News, Sacramento.
Experts suggest the best way to avoid being contacted by a scammer on Facebook is changing your security setting to where strangers cannot see your pictures, profile, or friends list.
This report is from CBS News, Sacramento.