MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Scam artists can pose as everything from a government official to your cell phone provider. Now some are pretending to be an old friend on social media.
First comes the Facebook friend request from a high school buddy then Michael Hansen says his friend, seen in his 1971 yearbook messaged him, asking if he collected his stimulus money yet – about $70,000 worth of it.
The ‘friend’ claimed he saw Michael’s name on a list and the friend said he too got money.
“And so I went oh really,” said Hansen.
Michael texted the number his friend suggested and learning he would get his 70-grand government check if he sent $850 for the delivery charge.
“That was a red flag,” said Hansen.
At about the same time, his friend messaged him saying he too sent that money and then Michael’s phone rang.
The caller claimed to be from Facebook and said he could help Michael but all he needed was remote access to his computer.
Realizing that could just lead to his computer getting hacked, or malware getting installed, Michael said no way.
“And they’re just getting desperate,” said Danielle Spang with the Better Business Bureau.
The bureau said most of us know, by now, scammers are cloning Facebook pages, stealing people’s photos then targeting that person’s Facebook family and friends list.
It’s forcing con artists to get more creative hitting targets from several directions.
“You should never pay money to receive money,” said Spang.
Michael now knows that and is glad he didn’t fall for this scam.
To avoid being contacted by a scammer like this, experts suggest changing your security setting on Facebook so strangers cannot see your pictures, profile or friends list.