Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.
I’ve heard of yet another nasty fraud being perpetrated on Facebook. If you’re on it, be very careful of this one – it’s extremely sneaky.
A friend of my neighbour’s has a friend on Facebook who has a fairly complicated Iranian name. A short while ago she got a friend request from this person and accepted it.
As you may know, sometimes people who are on Facebook come off it and then go back on so it’s quite possible that you will get a ‘friend’ request from someone you thought was already on your list (which could be 100s long of course!).
In fact, this ‘friend’ request was bogus. Some Eastern Europe-based scammers had copied this Iranian woman’s Facebook profile, changing the name slightly by using one ‘l’ instead of two in one of the parts of her double-barrelled name. They copied the timeline, the friends, the family, the photos and everything. So the whole profile looked entirely legitimate. It’s not surprising that the request was accepted.
Then, after a couple of weeks my neighbour’s friend got a panicked message from this Facebook contact – the sort we’re now used to getting in emails – saying that they were away on holiday but had been mugged and needed to be sent £250 asap.
Well, given that this message mentioned members of her family it was very convincing. Anyone would accept that this was something that had genuinely happened to this actual person.
My neighbour’s friend sent money over and it wasn’t until later when they spoke to the Facebook friend for real that they both realised what had happened.
This person has not been able to get their money back – of course – and is feeling very unhappy about the whole situation, as is their Iranian friend.
So, if you have a Facebook profile and you get a ‘friend’ request, just double-check. It looks like this is a nasty new wave of Facebook scams happening online.