Scammers targeting victims through Facebook

Posted at 11:00 PM, Aug 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-12 00:01:44-04

Lottery mania has gripped the country with mega jackpots worth hundreds of millions dollars. People dreaming of turning a couple bucks into a huge payoff.

Now scammers are seizing on that eagerness to strike it rich and they have cast their net wider targeting people on social media.

If you thought your Facebook was a scam-free zone-think again. The social media platform is now the latest way for scammers to contact you.

It happened to an Omaha resident who just wants us to call him Eric. He says he got a friend request from someone claiming to be a Facebook employee.

“First they messaged me saying you have won a lottery, you have winnings to collect,” said Eric.

Over 1-and-a-half million dollars---these supposed winnings felt fishy--Eric then began asking questions.

“I'm going yeah ok, do I have to pay IRS taxes, do I claim this with the IRS? And they said automatically no,” Eric said.

The scammers also wanted Eric to pay $950-dollars to claim the prize even adding to Eric’s suspicion. Luckily he didn’t fall for it but the scammers kept pressing on.

“Now they are hitting me at all hours of the night, 2 in the morning, 4 in the morning, 10 in the morning, 5 o'clock at night saying you've got to send this western union to collect your winnings,” said Eric.

This is a major concern for the Better Business Bureau who say this latest scam is alarming.

“It really is a way for them to target a younger audience and also target seniors who they've typically reached through mail who many of them now have Facebook sites set up,” said BBB regional president Jim Hegarty.

Hegarty said it’s a red-flag if anybody wants you to pay first to collect any money.

“There's no legitimate lottery, no legitimate intently that's going to charge you money in order for you to be able to collect your winnings,” said Hegarty.

If you do find yourself involved with these posts, you are urged to contact either the BBB or law enforcement.