TLS has been receiving information from readers regarding a well-known Facebook Messenger Scam. I thought I should repost this article from last fall, that describes the scam. It’s still out there.
Follow the Facebook thread below to see how it works. The recent info that TLS has received was the exact same scam.
Late last year I located a scammer who hijacked Facebook accounts by creating different accounts with same name as yours or a friend and used that to scam their connections via messenger and telling you about some great deal or free money they got and gives you the link to message that person who of course wants cash up front.
They get the information from your profile to create the bogus account. So, if you are Ploni Almoni, they will create Ploni Almoni358 and messenger your contacts. In this case, it was Vicki Rockwell’s account whose account was duplicated using her picture, to initiate the scam.
I’ve been in this business a long time, so this particular scammer is toast now, off of FB and I played along and sent the entire thread to the Feds. Goodbye Vicky, Interstate wire – fraud is a felony, identity theft is another.
Especially be careful of pedos if you have your address up here and your kids pics, etc. They’ll take you by surprise and you’ll never know how they did it or when they will act.
Be advised. I’ve seen this many times. Hard to track down. Anyone on FB can see your profile. Get rid of your address and phone number ASAP and make sure your friends do the same.
The “REAL Vicki Rockwell” profile picture the scammer copied.
Be careful who messages you. Always ask them about a particular thing that only they would know, something that you do not share on FB that would be visible like who was that rabbi or priest we used to go to, what was your uncle’s last name, etc. Something you both know but no one else does and is not visible on FB. Also, search the person’s name from messenger (click on their name there) to see if you are dealing with the FB friend you know by checking their profile. You have zero privacy there and it is a great starting point for malicious actors to get your email, phone and other personal information which can, God forbid, lead to other scams and even dangerous situations to you, your family and friends. Be careful.
You can save their profile pic and upload it to Google search by pic to see whose picture they are really using. In this case they grabbed a profile pic of a university director, Patricia Barlow.
See the entire thread:
Goodbye “Vicki” Hope you enjoy your “new friends.”