Alleged Facebook scammer targets Bell County resident

Published 10:45 am Thursday, June 6, 2019

For Nancy Mason, Facebook is just a way of staying connected to family and friends. But, the online sensation can be the ultimate breeding ground for scammers. According to Mason, there is one person who has attempted to use the Facebook Messenger App to get money and information from her.

Mason said she was contacted by an individual stating that she had won money through the Publisher’s Clearinghouse. She then said the man asked her to send money to claim the prize. There was also a link available to click. This individual — who allegedly claims to be working with United Insurance Counselors — states that you will be disqualified from the prize money if you tell anyone.

Mason said she isn’t the only person who has received similar messages. She said that a few of her friends received similar messages, but the messages were coming from someone using her Facebook account and photo. She deleted her account in an attempt to prevent the alleged scammer from scamming her friends while using her profile.

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Scams of multiple kinds are nothing new to the police officers like Bell County Sheriff Mitch Williams.

When it comes to scams claiming you’ve won money, Williams said if you win money, you don’t need to send money.

“If they are asking for (money), that’s a dead giveaway,” said Williams. “They are going to be wanting bank account information and stuff like that. Generally what happens is they will target the elderly with stuff like that.”

Companies asking for personal information over the phone should also be avoided.

“Never give out personal information,” said Williams. “If it’s a reputable business and someone that you’re dealing with, they should already have your personal info. They don’t need to be asking for it. Places like the IRS are not going to contact you by phone. They are going to contact you by mail. You’re not going to receive a phone call. One thing I would certainly advise is never call the number back.

“There are so many scams that you can’t keep up with them. It’s usually from a phone that you can’t track the number back to. A lot of times they are overseas to begin with.”