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Scammer uses Facebook to target Morgan County family

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WEST LIBERTY, Ky. (WKYT/WYMT) - You get a Facebook message from a close friend, who says he just won $150,000, thanks to a Facebook promotion.

However, appearances can be deceiving, as a Morgan County family found out.

Gary Williams has a lot of hobbies, from hunting to Facebook.

"Catch up on the news and see who's killing the biggest deer," Williams said.

Williams says that's all he uses the site for.

"I usually just read and observe what's going on. I don't put too much stuff on there," Williams said.

However, Williams says someone used his name and picture on a separate Facebook page, and that person is trying to make some big money.

"He just started out messaging me. There he's talking about the money of $150,000, did you get yours from there?," Sheila Keeton said.

Keeton is a family member of the real Gary Williams. She says she received the invite from the fake Gary Williams to cash in on the prize.

"He was telling me that my money would be there three hours after I sent the $500," Keeton said.

The ploy was to use a familiar face to get the victim to "friend" another account, the one that really pushes the scam to another level.

There, someone calling himself David Williams says you must send off money through Western Union to claim your stake in the prize money. Keeton says the messages came minute after minute, until she caved, and sent $500.

"There were some red flags that popped up, but still I kept going back to Gary. Gary got his, it must be real," Keeton said.

The scam was reported to Kentucky State Police, but investigators said there wasn't much they could do to recover the money. The Williams family wanted to share their story, to warn others.

"It's upsetting that someone would actually do that. You know using someone that you really would believe just about anything they'd tell you," Keeton said.

The scam has Williams upset. He says he's going to stay off Facebook until the messages stop, so his friends will know they're not coming from him.

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