SPARTANBURG, SC (WSPA) – We have a warning about a new twist on an old scam. We’ve received a few calls from scam targets throughout the Upstate, who share the same story.
They’ve been told they’ve won the Facebook Lottery Promo.
In the last few months, Melissa Blackwell has received friend requests from two people who said they worked for Facebook.
“We had mutual people in common, cause I won’t normally accept them unless we’ve got some. So I accepted her,” said Melissa Blackwell from Lyman.
And right away they mentioned she had won hundreds of thousands through the “Facebook Lottery Promo 2016.”
“You know she was very convincing, I was sitting there going, now how in the world, I haven’t entered anything to become a winner,” said Blackwell.
Her daughter Summer Hull knew it was a scam when they asked for her in an IM for ” Name, Address, Email, and Number.”
If Blackwell had believed it, the scammer would have likely gone on to ask her to pay an upfront fee for the winnings.
But in a new twist, the second scammer pulled out all the stops.
She sent video testimonials of supposed winners and even a document claiming to be from the FBI.
“She’s trying to break us, like eventually my mom’s going to break and send her some information,” said Hull.
“This particular scam is more persistent and a little more sophisticated than some of the other ones I’ve seen. And just their level of persistence I think is definitely something that people need to look out for. It’s obviously worked out for them in other situations,” said Katie Freseman, the Social Media Manager at USC Upstate.
She says look for red flags like typos, and be leery of friending people you don’t know personally.
Another tip, check Google. One quick search of “Facebook Lottery Promo” and you’ll find inquiries into the scam dating back at least three years.
So how do you stop these guys? Facebook says the best way to do that is report it to them, and the more people that do, the more likely and faster that scam profile will come down.
Which is just what happened this morning.
“I feel like it’s some kind of identity theft, and they’re just being so persistent that eventually somebody might break and give them that information because somebody might find them legit,” said Hull.
“We just wanted to warn people about what’s going on, to be on the lookout for stuff like that,” said Blackwell.