DETROIT, MI – It can be a daunting task of trying to keep up with all of the scams that are thrust upon users of the world wide web on a daily basis. A new nationwide Facebook scam has worked it’s way into our great state.
Facebook users are contacted through FB, by “scammers,” using familiar accounts or users, who the victims have listed as “friends.” The scammers use these names to create fictitious account(s) and then send invitations from that account, to this “grant process.” If the victim replies to the invitation, the suspect(s) offer their ability to provide them with Government Grant money, in some cases exceeding $30,000.
Once the victim(s) reach out to the suspect(s), the suspect(s) provide them with the necessary “application requirements” and request pictures of the person’s driver’s license, as well as bank card(s), PIN number(s), and social security number(s). In many cases, the reported victims are sending these items to the “scammers,” allowing them to further their fraudulent activities.
The suspect(s) will then ask the victims to obtain gift cards from local retail outlets, in order to fund their application process. This request usually consists of obtaining two (2) $300.00 gift cards for the “initial fee.” The suspect(s) will then request additional moneys or cards, in order for them to ship the victim a large safe, to protect the windfall of cash that they will be sent, proceeds from the purported “Grant.” The suspect(s) will ask that the gift cards be photographed and then forwarded to them, which allows them to extract the funds from the cards.
Additionally, a few days later, the suspect(s) will reach back out to the victim(s) and tell them that their “money” and “safe” were stopped by tax authorities and they request a fee of $3000-$5000, in order to pay the required taxes, in order to get their shipment released. Again, these fees are requested to be paid through gift cards. The “scammers” will encourage the victim(s) to raise the money to buy these gift cards, borrowing from family and friends, to finish up their grant and so the money can be released and the funds sent to the victim(s).
The Michigan State Police are working to identify the subjects perpetrating these fraudulent “scams,” however most of these types of operations emanate from overseas, making it very difficult to locate and identify the suspect(s)/scammer(s). The Michigan State Police is reminding the public to be vigilant and cautious when dealing with person(s) who are offering money over the phone or propositions that sound “to good to be true.” Typically, if a proposition like these sound “to good to be true,” they are! Many people fall victim to these types of fraudulent activities ever week, month and year. The MSP is asking families and friends to help look out for their family members and inform them of these types of “scams,” to keep them from becoming victims, as well.