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Fake buddy, actual rip-off: How an Upstate lady was conned out of $33,000



(WSPA) – There is nothing like a buddy’s recommendation, however what if that recommendation is admittedly coming from somebody pretending to be one in all your pals?

A Greenville lady misplaced tens of 1000’s of {dollars} all as a result of she thought some previous buddies have been serving to her apply for a authorities grant.

It seems, scammers have been impersonating them.

Fake buddy, actual rip-off

When you’ve been by way of a latest battle with most cancers like Theresa Kraft in Greenville, it’s onerous not to consider your legacy.

“It was just a contribution that I could leave behind me that would help people, and I thought this is a good way to use this money,” stated Kraft.

At least that’s what she thought when not one, however two buddies messaged her on Facebook to advocate she apply for a $1 million authorities grant, one they stated they’d simply obtained.

“I’ve written grants before, I know what you have to do to get a grant, and you know, just ticking people off and passing the money is not the way to get it done,” she stated.

And but, the scammers acquired a complete of $33,000 of her cash in what they known as charges. So, we requested her what made her do it.

“It was the second time I had heard about this; it was the second endorsement I got from people that I had no reason not to trust.”

Take Mike as an example. We gained’t use his final title, since that’s an actual highschool buddy of Kraft’s and the man who really was messaging her wasn’t Mike in any respect, however a scammer who had hacked into his web page.

“He texted, he said ‘you know this is real, I could never lead you to a bad program. I swear this is real and legitimate,’” defined Kraft.

Lieutenant Ryan Flood with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office stated it’s all too simple for scammers to impersonate not simply authorities companies however buddies.

“What the scammers are doing is becoming much more elaborate and sophisticated with how they try to trick people,” stated Flood. “They are making themselves sound very legitimate like you mentioned where they are playing the role of a friend. And so much information is out there on social media that they can use that against people and make themselves sound legitimate.”

“The people that are putting this stuff out there are devious enough to take you for everything you’ve got. And they don’t care,” stated Kraft.

What Kraft didn’t know on the time was that you simply by no means must pay to get an actual authorities grant.

What’s worse, the scammers requested the entire $33,000 in reward playing cards.

They stated it was to keep away from tax, however the actuality is that the $500 in funds on every of the 66 playing cards turned just about untraceable the second Kraft gave them the numbers.

“You look back on it and say, ‘How did you not know? How did you not get this?’” she stated.

The solutions, she defined, was that “people that had done good things in my life, that had looked out for me and protected me were recommending this to me. And they were guaranteeing this with their personal experience.”

It wasn’t till Kraft known as a kind of two buddies that she came upon they’d by no means messaged her a couple of grant.

Now, Kraft’s legacy might not be a big endowment, however maybe her braveness to talk up has extra worth, understanding those that heed her warning don’t must undergo.

“I may not die wealthy but I’m going to be OK,” stated Kraft.

The key to avoiding one of these rip-off is to identify the indicators that both your pals or your personal social media account has been hacked.

If you get a message from a buddy telling you to make use of their new web page as a result of their different one is hacked, all the time confirm that by calling them instantly since that could possibly be their misleading strategy to get you to make use of their bogus account.

As for Kraft, she filed a report with the FBI and he or she has utilized to a Department of Justice program that could possibly assist victims of reward card scams.



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