A high school classmate of mine that I’ve reconnected with through Facebook had this post show up on her Facebook wall.
She accepted a friend request from someone, perhaps thinking that she knew them or maybe to play games with this person. This is the Facebook edition of the old spoofing con where scammers impersonate someone to gain your trust. In this case they were kind of clever. The profile picture is of a kindly looking old lady and the approach seems specifically targeted for my friend who is both religious and living with a serious medical condition herself.
How did they find my friend? Well, she often shares religious-themed posts and also likes and comments on pictures and article pertaining to religion. She also frequently shares, likes and comments on article pertaining to medical issues.
Once my friend accepted the request, this scammer went with a sob story about her illness and then claimed that some special message from heaven had been revealed to her. To a religious person coping with a serious illness, this could be an appealing message.
Of course, once someone contacted the person at either of the two e-mail address provided, there certainly would have been a plea for money from this nice “missionary of God.”
My friend didn’t fall for this approach, but as with other spoofing scams, many people do. I saw a story on the news recently about a Michigan couple conned by someone calling and pretending to be their grandson in jail in Nevada. The loaded up pre-paid debit cards to send to his supposed “lawyer.” and spent thousands of dollars.
Whether it’s a guy coming door-to-door, a phone call, an e-mail or social media, you always need to be vigilant and ask questions.