The Facebook Scam Artist

As writers we need to be out there for people to reach and know about us. However, in this process, we also make ourselves vulnerable for scams. Last week, for example, I received a scam and wanted you to be aware of this in case you are targeted as well.

The scam was quite prevalent and wide spread as I saw other posts talking about this particular one. The first inquiry was a message I got from a high-school friend who I never had chatted with before on Facebook. So I was delighted to hear from her and knew her to be a good and honest person, this was why I did not discount the message from the very beginning.

The message began with a hello and I responded with a “hi.” It started quite seductively with a couple lines of conversational banter then went into its scam which ran something like this: Did you know Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, is running a $90,000 lottery promotion?

I questioned the lottery promotion angle from the beginning. Lotteries are run by municipalities or states and is a form of gambling so how in the world could he offer a lottery promotion, which would not only include the United States but all over the world? This could not be legal. In Nebraska, there was a ballot issue to allow for casino gambling (in order to compete with Council Bluffs, Iowa, which has several casinos and lies across the river from Omaha). The Nebraska measure was defeated, but my point is it had to be legally approved. So as a political junky and former journalist, the word, “lottery,” was a red flag.

The message told me my supposed friend’s portion was “delivered” to her. Delivered? Money is either sent to your checking account or a check is sent to your home but “delivered?” This too gave me an uneasy feeling.

It proceeded, saying they saw my profile as a winner and I needed to contact this claim agent to receive it. At first, I thought my friend was kidding so I wrote yes and I better claim that 50 cents. After this, the person provided a link to this particular claim agent’s Facebook link. If the Internet has taught me anything, it is to not click links from unknown sources.

The message continued I could see “she” was serious. I finally said you are serious, aren’t you? Yes this person replied. At this point, I stopped communicating with my supposed friend and really got an uncomfortable feeling in the pit of my gut.

I called a friend and asked her advice. She too thought this whole thing sounded too good to be true and mentioned a fact I had not thought of and this was what were the odds that both of you could win?

So later, I returned to my regular tasks when about a half hour later a writing friend asked me to befriend her. I confirmed it since I did know her. The message again started with a “hello” then asked if I heard about the $90,000 lottery giveaway. This is when I knew definitely it was a scam.

What did I do? I deleted the messages and reported the scam to Facebook. You can to do this on your page and select different options, such as “delete” or “delete and report scam.” I soon discovered the person who requested my friendship was already my Facebook friend. I unfriended the fake one and, as with anything of this nature, it is suggested you change your password.

Anyway, I thought I would alert you to this since as writers you are on the Internet to interact with friends and give them updates on what you are doing in the writing arena. I hope this helps you, and remember most people are honest brokers but there always are those scammers. God bless.

26 Comments

  1. Thanks for the warning!

  2. ronfritsch says:

    Thank you for this post, Janet. I suppose these crooks could pose as ourselves to defraud our FB friends. Horrifying. We’ll all end up trusting nothing on the Internet.

    1. I didn’t think of someone pretending to be us and doing a scam. Yikes!

      1. Yes, Ruth and we have such great attributes to emulate. God bless. Smile! Smile!

    2. I know it is horrifying and I know now I make sure when a friendship request that this person is not already my friend before I click confirm. God bless.

    3. It is scary, isn’t it? The Internet has many good qualities but you also must be aware of its pitfalls. God bless.

    4. You are welcome, Ron. God bless.

  3. Thanks for the warning, Janet. I’ll be on the look out for anything like this. And if I become aware of any other scams, I’ll make sure to put out a warning. In fact, I might just make a Facebook post about it.

    1. Sounds like a great idea to warn your friends and others. God bless.

  4. You wrote: “I better claim that 50 cents.” That was so funny! I LOVE that line.

    I heard other people on Facebook are getting friend requests from people already on their friends list. I don’t know if they’re all claiming to be with this lottery or not, but it does make you wonder how much scamming is going on. Maybe this is why Facebook is changing their message thing. (I don’t know the details of the messenger app or whatever they are going to do differently, but I heard there’s something going on in that area on Facebook.)

    1. I heard they are changing their message platform, also. It could be because of this scam or others similar. It makes sense. One of my friends is afraid to click share for anything now so Facebook must know this hinders individual usage, which hurts their bottom line. God bless.

    2. Glad you liked that line. Sometimes I can be funny.

  5. Just Patty says:

    Thank you for posting this.
    Lots of love
    Patty

    1. You are welcome, Patty. God bless.

  6. Colline says:

    Good to know that your distrust prevented you from going further with this. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Yes, I am glad, too, and I want to thank Ruth Ann Nordin for giving me such great advice. It was her assurance of my suspicions, which guaranteed my discounting of this. God bless.

  7. I’ve seen it done where someone you’ve already friended tries to friend you again. It’s not the person at all, but a scammer hijacking the name.

    1. This is what happened to me. God bless.

  8. It’s so ridiculous. Where did all of these crooks in the world come from?

    1. It would be nice if they could find a legal way to make a living, wouldn’t it? God bless.

  9. When I get these $10,000,000 award emails I respond with “Oh this is so thrilling but I would like to have gold bullion instead of cash and ask the same personal info q’s they ask me. Usually get no replies but new ones still come in all the time. By the way, I am selling ocean waterfront property in Nebraska for 3 cents a linear foot and if you just send me….

  10. “A treat for connoisseurs of awful English and dubious deals.” http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00K4LWSXM/

    1. Great way of saying this! God bless.

  11. Diane Erdahl says:

    I had the same scam happen to me about two weeks ago. My final comment “leave me alone, or else.”

    1. This scam was widespread, touching many people including you and me. Your words were a great way to stop this. God bless.

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