Woman Warns Of Facebook Scam Claiming To Be Gov't

Posted at 3:34 PM, Jan 17, 2017

A Madison woman has warn people about a scam that poses as a Facebook friend and claiming to be with the federal government. 

The woman, who wanted to hide her identity, told NewsChannel 5 she received a message through Facebook messenger from someone she first thought was her trusted and longtime friend. 

It turned out to be a scammer with an account posing as her friend. 

"They had his picture on messenger and they had his name and everything, so I'm thinking I'm talking to him," she said. 

The person on the other side asked her if she had applied for a "poverty alleviation program" that would benefit people needing their better lives and pay bills by paying for a grant. 

"He said you should sign up today because time is running out," she added.

The woman was given a phone number to contact but it turned out communication would only be through text messages and not on the phone. 

She was asked her personal information and how she would like to pay.

"I was sent this list, if you pay $1,000, you get $100,000, if you pay $2,000, you get $200,000 and it goes all the way up to $700,000."

The scammer told her that she needed to transfer the money and take a photograph of the receipt. Once she does, someone will show up at her door with the award. 

She quickly realize that it was a hoax and never gave money. However, she is concerned someone will fall for the trick.

"It's ridiculous, awful and sinful," she said. "They need to stop, there are too many people out here that need the money."

The scam was so ludicrous that even her daughter started texting the scammer questioning the agency's legitimacy.

She received a text message back saying, "Oh yes this is associated with the government and we are for real as we don't deal with any dubious act."

According to the Better Business Bureau Scam Tracker, there are several similar cases across the country. 

Click on this link for basic rules when it comes to "government grant" scams.