Do you know when something just isn’t quite right? You’re walking in a parking lot and feel like someone’s following you? You’re jogging in the park and think someone is about to jump out and mug you? How about online? You hop on your favorite social network and someone you know starts a weird chat with you. Doesn’t seem the same? Recently I was contacted by someone that I know on Facebook and immediately I know her account had been hacked. I wasn’t chatting with the person that I thought I was. Turns out her account was being used to get money out of people she knows. Fortunately that hacker decided to chat with me instead of someone more trusting, or less online savvy.
It starts out very innocently with a “Hi.”, then it turns into a hard luck story. These scam artists have to be related to the guy that hits you up in the parking lot “tryin’ to put together a dollar”. He’s trying to get back to his half way house in LA and just needs bus fare. Meanwhile he’s asked you every other day for bus fare and he’s too screwed up to remember he already tried his BS on you. Also “Nope aside that am having problem to sorting out hotel bills.”? Really? At least learn a little bit more English.
And there it is. She/he needs $870 to “sorting out hotel bills.” and of course they want it through Nigerian and other scam artists’ best friend, Western Union.
I was actually genuine in my response. How would I send someone money through Western Union? I have never done it. I never will, but that’s beside the point. Of course they’re all too happy to step me through the steps.
At this point I’m done. I started this exchange when checking email and Facebook before I hit the road home. This hacker/con artist has now taken up enough of my time. I was immediately unfriended/blocked from the friend’s profile. If not I could have written on her wall or what I actually tried to do, get her email address. I did end up finding her with my wife’s Facebook account, contacting her husband and let her know what was happening.
So, be careful on Facebook. I had heard about this scam before, though I’d only heard of it tried on motherly or grandmotherly type from their fake children or grandchildren. The most important thing to take away from this is never send anyone money through Western Union. It is always a scam. Trust your instincts if something doesn’t feel right.