3 On Your Side
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Scammers trolling Facebook

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(Source: 3TV) (Source: 3TV)

A Scottsdale woman says she was targeted by scammers using a new twist on Facebook in an effort to separate her from her money.

"We will need all the necessary information before we can issue the money to you," Kala Cross said as she read a series of Facebook messages that she's received pretty much non-stop since July.

They're all from a person claiming she has a valuable package to send Cross.

"The package was $80,000 and an Apple iPad or something like that," Cross said.

A package with $80,000 and an iPad? That's quite the combo.  

But, there are several red flags here. For instance, Cross is supposed to send in money.

"Through a MoneyGram from Walmart," Cross said.

Cross was told to send a $350 MoneyGram back to the sender who uses the name, Sharon Petersen. She claims to work at something called United Nation, whatever that is.

And one of her Facebook pictures is cold hard cash.  

"I told her I think this is a scam. I don't see how this can be real because you have to send money first," Cross said.

Well, it is a scam. And she may look like a loving grandmother, but the picture of the woman is likely of an innocent Facebook user who isn't even aware her photograph is being used to lure in unsuspecting victims.

"I needed to send her all my information and a picture of my ID. She needed to know my house address. She needed my email password to my Facebook," Cross said.

Fortunately, Cross didn't fall for the scam even though one of the last messages she received said, "I want you to listen up. I'm a woman of God, minister in church of God. I can't lie or scam you because (her religion) all we want for you is the best for you and your family."

Cross wants people to know that this scam and others are all over Facebook. Many times, you just don't know who you're really dealing with.

"Yes, I'm very more cautious about people who I talk to, cautious about who I add on Facebook, definitely for this reason now," Cross said.

Facebook offers tips to avoid common money scams. For details visit https://www.facebook.com/help/616226325154941?helpref=faq_content

Copyright 2016 KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

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Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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