LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A Lexington senior citizen lost $500 when someone she thought was a family friend told her via Facebook Messenger that she could get “free government money” if she contacted a company offering the program and sent the required fee.
According to the Better Business Bureau, this common scam takes advantage of the ties that Facebook users have with their Facebook friends.
"What happens is a scammer might hack or clone a person's facebook account, take everyone's name on their friend's list and send messages to other people trying to rope them into some kind of scam. The would be victims may fall for it because they believe the message is coming from someone they know," says BBB's president, Jack Frank.
Here are a few tips from the BBB to help protect against Facebook scams:
• Don’t believe everything you read on Facebook Messenger, even if it appears to be from someone you know and trust…especially if it involves receiving or sending money.
• Don’t automatically accept new Facebook Friend requests with names you know without first verifying that the person isn’t already on your “friend” list. If he/she is, it could be a sign that his/her account has been hacked.
• To protect your Facebook account and “friends” list, go to “privacy settings” and choose the option to make your “friends” list visible to “only me” rather than “public.”