BBB Warns: Social Media Scams Are On The Rise

Today, your BBB® heard the tale of another consumer who was approached by a fraudster on social media.  This fraudster sent a friend request to our consumer who informed BBB that it was an “old high school friend” who approached her out of the blue.

After the friend request was accepted, the “old friend” told her about a “global grant project” who would give the consumer a grant if she applied.  The fraudster posing as the old friend gave the consumer all the contact information for this grant project. The consumer did contact them and applied for the “grant” and lo and behold was “approved” for a grant.  The consumer was then told that she had to select a “Case file” from the list below.

You apply for $500 and get $25,000:00
You apply for $800 and get $35,000:00
You apply for $1000 and get $40,000:00
You apply for $1,500 and get $50,000:00.
You apply for $2,000 and get $95,000:00.
You apply for $4,000 and get $100,000:00.
You apply for $5,000 and get $150,000:00.
You apply for $6,000 and get $200,000:00
You apply for $7,000 and get $300,000:00
You apply for $8,000 and get $450,000:00
You apply for $9,000 and get $550,000:00
You apply for $10,200 and get $750,000:00
Final you apply for $20,000 get $1,000,000:00

It turned out that in order for her to receive the “grant” the consumer had to pay whichever amount she selected.  The fraudster then stated that she would receive the larger amount as the “grant.”  The “friend” on social media informed the consumer that it had worked for her, that she had been given $15,000 after sending in $1500.

BBB informed the consumer that typically grants are applied for and awarded for a specific purpose, not just because the consumer is a good citizen or pays their taxes.  In addition, you generally don’t have to pay for a grant to receive it.  We advised the consumer that the “old friend” from high school be un-friended so that they no longer have access to the consumer’s friend list or personal information. We also advised the consumer to monitor her credit report and/or consider putting a credit freeze in place if she provided any personal information such as social security number during the application process.

Unfortunately, social media has become the choice of some fraudsters to perpetrate things like this in order to gain some quick cash.  BBB reminds everyone to be careful who you friend and what you “like” or “share” as it could open the door to potential fraudsters looking to take your money or your personal information.

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About Amanda 202 Articles
Amanda is the Director of Investigations & Information Services and is a regular contributor to the consumer education blog. She is one of our go-to colleagues for answering complex consumer inquires. Amanda also manages our charity reporting program.

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