TUCSON (KVOA) – Plenty of people who are connected to the internet are catching up with friends on social media or randomly surfing the web. Unfortunately, so are scammers. They are taking advantage of social networking sites, earning victims’ trust by pretending to be someone they already know and sending out a message or two with COVID-19 news, a fundraising request or perhaps a great deal on a product, the Better Business Bureau said.

How the Scam Works

While scrolling through Facebook, a message pops up in Facebook Messenger. It’s your friend, family member, or neighbor. At least it “looks” like them because the profile picture matches. From here, the conversation goes one of two ways. In one version, your “friend” tells you about the most awesome deal they found online, or they want you to view a video. All you must do is select a link, share the good news or simply respond to the message. In some cases, perhaps you want to take part in the offer and are ready to pay a processing fee and tax. Stop and think: would your real friend pass along this type of information?  

In another version, the “friend” claims to be raising money for a charity to support emergency personnel, a food bank or some other organization that has really been hit hard by the pandemic. They’ll push for a donation and yet, it sounds suspicious. But the message appears to be coming from someone you know and trust. Or is it?

A third version is circulating…

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