3 On Your Side
3 On Your Side

Facebook lottery hoax continues

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(Source: KPHO/KTVK) (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
(Source: KPHO/KTVK) (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
(Source: KPHO/KTVK) (Source: KPHO/KTVK)

When people are told they have won something, it's pretty exciting, particularly when it's $600,000. For that amount sometimes common sense can go right out the window. 

"My friends - I usually keep in contact with my old high school friends and family and stuff like that," Christina Rauch said.  

Rauch likes being able to keep up to date by using Facebook, which is used by a billion people worldwide every day. She thought it was a little weird when she recently received a friend request from someone she didn't know. 

"His name is Robles Matthew Garcia, supposedly, and that's his supposed picture," Rauch said. 

Going against her better judgment, the Phoenix woman accepted the friend request, and the man going by the last name of Garcia wasted no time sharing good news with Rauch. He said she had won Facebook's lottery for accepting his request. Rauch read to 3 On Your Side a portion of the message she received: “Congratulate you that you have just won the sum $600,000 from the Facebook organization promotion program."

Rauch said all that money sure could come in handy.

"Oh my God, I was excited. I could remodel the house, I could do all kinds of stuff," she said.  

Rauch sent Garcia her contact information, and that's when someone from the so-called Facebook Lottery started texting her about her winnings. She was even sent a series of photos showing pictures of previous Facebook winners.

"The pictures are what really got me," she said. 

The pictures included Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, along with some so-called lottery winners. In order to get her hands on the money, Rauch was instructed to wire $150 to help cover fees and delivery charges. That's when the light went off for Rauch, who realized the so-called Facebook Lottery was a hoax. Fortunately, she never did send in the money.

"From what I heard, a lot of people are falling for it," she said. 

She's right about that. In fact, it's such a problem that the federal government has issued a warning about the scam.

3 On Your Side has heard from other viewers who say they've also been contacted about winning the Facebook Lottery. Unfortunately, Rauch said some people are falling for it. 

The Better Business Bureau lists a few red flags consumers need to be on the lookout for regarding lottery scams: 

  1. The names of well-known businesses and individuals are often used in lottery scams to give the impression of a real lottery, even though there's no connection to the named businesses or individuals.
  2. Businesses do not email consumers out of the blue to say consumers have won a lottery prize.
  3. The demand for confidentiality is a ploy to keep recipients from turning to someone they trust for advice, or checking with authorities.

For additional information about lottery scams, click here

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