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Facebook user nearly scammed out of $100K

Posted at 10:37 PM, Jun 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-24 22:37:54-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — William Craft said he was excited to get a Facebook message from his grandpa a few weeks ago, but he said he knew something was wrong when the other user told him to sign up for a $90,000 grant.

“He does have a Facebook page, yes, but he rarely uses it, and he’s never used Messenger before,” he said. “They didn’t ask me for money. They told me to call a specific person at a company that made no sense at all,” he said.

The person on the other end of the message pretended to be Craft’s grandpa. Instead of calling the number for the grant, he picked up the phone and called his Grandpa Robert Craft all the way in Louisiana. He said he had no clue what he was talking about!

Grandpa Craft told Fox 4 he hasn’t used Facebook in at least two years. He says with the news around Facebook hacks and day-to-day scams, he saw something like this coming.

“I really wasn’t surprised at all!” he said.

Marketing Professor Christine Wright-Isak said Craft did the right thing by ending that conversation on Messenger immediately.

“If it’s a relative or a friend or someone you know personally. And they’ve never brought up an issue like this before, chances are it’s not really them, and you might want to check with them directly,” she said.

She said users can go beyond that to report a scam like this.

“You might want to contact the Better Business Bureau and alert them to this kind of a scam and the police department,” she said.

Craft’s grandpa said he has an even better plan.

“If I need to talk to my grandkids or something, I’ll call them,” he said.

Craft said he couldn’t see the user’s actual profile. He said it looks like they used his grandpa’s picture and a phone number to send him the message. Fox 4 reached out to Facebook Monday night, and they requested a screenshot of the original message from the scammer.