Beware social media crooks and swindlers

Social media and swindlers are in the news these days. My aim is to help good, honest, hard-working people avoid being scammed by vermin who ply their filthy trade as crooks.

I recently took phone calls from a man (with heavy foreign accent) who said I was eligible for a “discount” on my employers’ insurance. He wanted personal and financial information. I was skeptical, and I asked him for a callback number. He provided a number that was bogus.

I have a Facebook account with a number of friends. I received a private message from what looked like a friend mentioning a “United Nations Empowerment Fund.” This long-lost contact said he “received money and saw my name on a list,” and asked me to text a number and “to see if I was eligible.” At first I thought it legit. When I asked him a personal question about a mutual friend, there was no acknowledgement of my question. Moreover, the texts were in broken English. Of course, at that point I got suspicious. Turns out my friend’s account was hacked. He had no knowledge of the attempted con.

Beware of Private Message or Messenger texts about “grants” of any kind. After paying a big “processing fee,” no “grant” will appear. These creeps will use your trust in a friend to rip you off.

Eric R. Straub

East Lyme

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