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Beware This Facebook Friend Scam

Sunday, February 15th, 2015 by | Filed Under: Security Help, Social Networking
 
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A high school classmate of mine that I’ve reconnected with through Facebook had this post show up on her Facebook wall.

scampost

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.

~ Cynthia

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3 Responses to “Beware This Facebook Friend Scam”

  1. Kristin Farley-Deem says:

    Great tip, but I would have added that the atrocious spelling, grammar and punctuation are dead giveaways for these sorts of scams.

  2. Jerome Sutter says:

    I have also received this same scam, different words, but the same. Gave my other email address (for untrusted sites), received two emails. Instead of using my name they used the phrase “Dear friends” instead of my name. The second letter stated that she has state 4 breast cancer, and she has 5,000,000 in her savings account. She also has only a few months to live, she wants to give me this money to help other people. I reported this email to Facebook and the ISPS of the sender.

  3. Stephen Austin says:

    Copying a small part of the message and googling it with the word ‘scam’ would easily lead anyone with a shred of common sense to information that conclusively refuted and discredited this scam. Problems here is that the word ‘cancer’ immediately tugs at the heartstrings and invocations of ‘God’ would induce certain impressionable people to immediately trust it thoroughly and get royally screwed. Advice and sound counsel are of little use in these situations.

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