Intricate Facebook scams continue to find victims

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(3TV/CBS 5) -

Scams cost consumers roughly $50 billion each year. The most frequently reported scams are delivered by phone. But here we have an in-depth look at one scam using the world's most popular social network.

"I wouldn't wish this on an enemy," Shellie Drummond said.

That's Drummond's reaction to what happened to her on Facebook. It started when she found the profile for a friend from years back, named Deborah Boyd.

"I was on Messenger and my friend's name came up," Drummond said.
 
Soon her friend Boyd was telling her about a so-called government grant she'd gotten through an agent on Facebook. Sure enough, the agent then told Drummond she could get financial assistance from the government. All she had to do was provide some personal information, then send $1500 in fees, to get up to $100,000 in grant money.

"The person that I was corresponding with, that I thought was my friend, had vouched for this foundation and I believed her," Drummond said.

So Drummond wired the $1500 to Florida, then waited for the delivery driver like the one shown on Facebook to deliver her $100,000 in cash, but he never came and when she tracked down her friend Boyd by phone?

"I said, Shellie, it wasn't me. You got scammed," Deborah Boyd said.

Turns out, Boyd's Facebook account had been hacked by scammers who locked her out, then quickly reached out to try to con her family and friends.
CBS News found what appears to be a network of fake Facebook profiles offering grants from $50,000 to $1,000,000.

CBS News had a computer expert track the scammers' locations and easily found them in Nigeria. So, what is Facebook doing? The company told CBS News it has, "a dedicated team, helping to detect and block these kinds of scams and has 'developed several techniques' to stop the abuse." But Boyd says Facebook still hasn't solved her problem.

Facebook has now blocked those scam accounts but Boyd says she still hasn't been able to get back into her old profile, which has a lot of family photos she'd like to have back.

Remember, anyone, even someone who appears to be an old friend on Facebook who asks you to wire money, is a scammer, 100% of the time - no exceptions.

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Dave CherryCBS 5 Advocate Dave Cherry works to resolve your consumer problems and protect your money. If he can't help, he'll do his best to point you in the right direction.

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Dave Cherry
CBS 5 Advocate

Dave was born and raised in Philadelphia and considers himself one of the biggest Philly sports fans. At 6-feet, 5-inches, he's probably right! Dave started on a different career path before fulfilling his lifelong dream of reporting the news and helping consumers. Dave graduated from Philadelphia University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting; he later earned an MBA degree in Finance from Temple University in Philadelphia. Dave also spent ten years as Vice President and Director of Sales and Marketing for two of America's leading real estate franchise companies. Dave started his 21-year news career at WHP in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, as news anchor and reporter, then moved to KOLD in Tucson, as the morning news anchor. From Tucson, he went to KRON in San Francisco as a freelance news reporter before moving east to COMCAST in Philadelphia as a general assignment reporter. In the fall of 2003, Dave moved west and joined KPNX in Phoenix and spent nine years as the station Call for Action Consumer Reporter. Through his on-air advocacy work in 2011, Dave and his team were able to help consumers save more than $1 million. Dave joined CBS 5 News as our CBS 5 Advocate in December 2012. Dave is a vegan and likes to eat the amazing vegan food prepared by his lovely wife, Carmen. Dave's also a big Bruce Springsteen fan (he's seen more than 70 shows!), the man who inspired him to learn the guitar. Besides playing many of the boss' songs, Dave writes and sings his own songs and recorded a CD of original music.

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