The Huntsville Police Department has been made aware of yet another scam. This scam involves Facebook Messenger and a message that appears to be from a friend. The person that seems to be a known friend is advising the recipient of a great opportunity to receive a large amount of money in the form of a government grant. The “friend” talks about how they got their money and provides a phone number for the recipient to text and inquire how to get a grant. At some point, a processing fee will be requested and instructions provided on how to send the money.
A few things to look for when using Facebook Messenger to ensure that messages are not scams are:
– not accepting a friend request from someone who’s already a friend
– making sure that the statement “different from your Facebook friend…..” is not at the top of the screen
– the message may also appear to be from someone for whom English is not their native language.
In addition to the Facebook scam, there are numerous other rip-offs trying to separate residents from their money. Citizens have received phone calls advising that they are the winner of some foreign lottery, that a loved one has been arrested, or that a large tax debt is due. In all these cases the caller has requested money be paid or transferred to a prepaid credit card or money gram. Unfortunately, there is no free money. HPD recommends that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is, and encourages residents to be a bit skeptical and not send their hard-earned money to anyone.
For more information, contact Lt. Jim Barnes at (936) 291-5480.