TUCSON (BBB) - From Better Business Bureau
You probably know to watch for scams in your email inbox, on the phone, and in a text message.
However, if you are on Facebook, look out for scams using Messenger. BBB is seeing an increase in reports of scammers reaching victims through Facebook Messenger.
You get a Facebook Messenger chat that looks like it comes from a friend or relative. In some cases, scammers have hacked into your friend's Facebook account. In other versions, the scammer creates a separate look-alike account by stealing your friend's photos. Either way, scammers are banking that you will trust a message that appears to come from someone you know.
Currently, the most commonly reported Facebook Messenger con in BBB Scam Tracker is the government grant scam (bbb.org/grantscam). In this con, the scammer – posing as a friend or family member – will send you a message claiming you qualify for money from the government. To receive the grant, the scammer requires you to pay a "processing fee" or an "application fee" first. The scammer keeps this money and disappears.
Be wary of your friends' tastes online: Your friend or family member may have impeccable judgment in real-life. But online, email messages, social posts, and Facebook Messenger chats could be from a hacked or impersonated account.
Report scam accounts and messages to Facebook: Alert Facebook to fake profiles, compromised accounts, and spam messages by reporting them.
- Learn more on BBB.org: Most scams follow similar patterns. Learn more about government grant scams (bbb.org/grantscam), financial scams (bbb.org/investmentscam), and online shopping scams (bbb.org/webpurchasescam).