Tennessee News Service
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Not all friend requests on Facebook are from friendly folks. That’s the lesson from scams targeting Tennesseans.
Last week, someone on Facebook contacted a woman from a Memphis suburb claiming she had won a prize and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was trying to contact her.
The woman was told she’d have to pay a $220 delivery fee. After she wired the money, she became suspicious of the scammer’s requests, according to Nancy Crawford, a spokeswoman for the Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South.
“She told the victim that her winnings would be delivered within 24 hours, but then a few hours later she contacted her again and said, ‘Oh, bad news, the FBI has stopped the delivery because you haven’t paid taxes on the winnings,'” Crawford relates.
Crawford says the Better Business Bureau has had other reports of scammers trying to use social media to make a buck.
You can avoid falling for a scam by being careful about accepting friend requests from people you don’t know.
Never wire money or provide debit or credit card information, and report fake profiles and fraud attempts to Facebook by clicking on the three dots at the bottom right corner of the profile’s cover photo.
Crawford adds that before accepting any friend request, you should click on the profile and do your own investigating to make sure it’s legitimate.
“These fake profiles, if she had taken the time to look at the actual profile before she accepted the friend request, she would have seen that in both instances there were a couple of pictures posted on the profiles, but there were no friends,” she explains. “There were no other posts.”
According to the FBI’s latest data, the agency received almost 270,000 complaints in 2014 for Internet scams, with losses totaling more than $800 million.