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Jessica Fricker, dispatcher, from the Hardin County Sheriff’s Department, contacted the Independent last Thursday about a scam that is taking place on Facebook and can affect any Facebook user. There have been two reports of local victims who have lost over $1,000 with this scam. One victim was scammed by a person that was disguised as her Facebook friend and family member.
The scammer sends the Facebook user a friend request posing as a person from the community or someone he or she may know (sometimes as a stranger, also). Once the user has accepted the friend request, the disguised scammer says that they have won a large sum of money and needs their help to pay the delivery fees. The scammer says that he/she will put you in contact with a man on Facebook that will give you the details on how to send the money to cover the delivery fees. Once the money is sent, it is gone, and the user finds out that their friend has not won money.
Sheriff Fricker called the FBI on this case, and others in the past. Sadly, the FBI stated that the money is usually wired immediately overseas and extremely hard to trace. The best thing to do in a case like this would be to call the friend and talk to them in person. If you find that you have been scammed, contact the Hardin County Sheriff’s Department at 618-287-2271 as soon as possible, so someone can look into it.
Fricker says that this is just one of the many different styles of Facebook scams. “It’s sad, but if what you are seeing in a message on Facebook seems to good to be true, it probably is,” stated Fricker.