Facebook Scams Making Rounds in Wake County

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One of the most popular methods scammers use is to hijack a popular organization, company or well-known brand and use the name in phone calls or mailings to approach some semblance of legitimacy. The Microsoft scam, for instance, continues to steal from unsuspecting people who believe they are truly being contacted from Microsoft.

The most recent scams involve the false use of Facebook, which is currently the most popular social network on the Internet. With hundreds of millions of users worldwide, criminals see this popular platform as an ideal opportunity to work their greedy magic to steal.

In Wake County, North Carolina, residents are receiving phone messages from fake Facebook representatives. One Wake County man, Kerry Falcon, received a message about a Facebook promotion which stated that he had won $1 million.

At first, Falcon thought it could not be real because winning $1 million was too good to be true, but to him, the mention of Facebook gave the message some credibility. "It would be great; I could really retire then," Falcon said.

Falcon decided to respond to the message to gather more instructions on where and how to claim his prize. The message stated that "Facebook" needed more information in order to send out the winnings. "They let you know money was sitting there for you," Falcon said.

As he was reading through the instructions, Falcon noticed some things that caused him to become suspicious about the message. "They didn't put Facebook correctly; they had a space in between face and book, just little things," Falcon said. Other discrepancies, like the fact that the message came from the UK also piqued Falcon's curiosity.

Falcon gave into his suspicions and did not continue with the correspondence. He did not feel comfortable offering his personal data. He had a gut feeling that the winnings were a scam and that they did not really exist. Additionally, he was concerned that if he continued with the transaction, the criminal would have stolen his identity. Concerned about the possibility of others falling prey to the same scam, Falcon said, "I would hate for someone to fall into it and lose a lot of money."

If Falcon would have continued, the scammers would have asked him to wire money to them to pay for the transfer of the money and associated fees. As soon as the money was wired, the scammers would continue to ask for money to see how far they could get.

Facebook is warning people about these crimes. The victim in this case identified misspellings and a UK address as grounds for suspicion. But what if Facebook was spelled correctly and the letter was addressed from a real Facebook address? Scammers will go to any length to trick their victims into believing a lie. Regardless of how legitimate a message or phone call sounds, always begin with reasonable amount of caution.