By Kurtis Ming

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Michael Hansen wanted to get the word out after he was targeted by scammers from three different directions at the same time.

First, it was a Facebook friend request from what looked like a high school buddy he saw at a recent reunion. The profile had his picture and all the right information, including where he lived.

Hansen says his “friend” messaged him, asking if he collected his $77,000 of stimulus money yet. The “old buddy” claimed he saw Hansen’s name on a list of potential recipients, and the “old friend” said he too got money.

“And so I went, ‘Oh really,’” Hansen said.

He then texted the number his friend suggested and learned he would get a $77,000 government check if he sent a $850 delivery charge.

Michael chuckled, “That was a red flag.”

Then about the same time, his “friend” messaged him telling him, he too sent that money. Then Hansen got a phone call from someone claiming to be from Facebook. Hansen says the guy claimed it was a legitimate program.

He pushed back about paying $850, but then the caller said he could help get around it by remotely accessing his computer. Hansen realized that it could just lead to his computer getting hacked or malware being remotely installed, he said no way.

He said the voice told him he’d lose the money, to which Hansen said, “Then I guess I’m broke.”

The Better Business Bureau’s Danielle Spang says most of us know by now scammers are cloning Facebook pages, stealing people’s photos to target that person’s Facebook family and friends list.

“And they’re just getting desperate,” said Spang.

It’s forced these low lifes to get more creative, hitting targets from several directions at the same time to make it seem more legitimate.

Spang says, “You should never pay money to receive money.”

Hansen knows that and is glad he didn’t fall for this triple attack.

“I think they’re horrible,” he said.

Here’s the deal—if you don’t let strangers see your pictures, your profile or your friend’s list; this scam can’t live long.

Take a couple of minutes to change your privacy settings; it could keep scammers from cloning you and targeting your Facebook family and friends.


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