Fake friend, real scam: How an Upstate woman was conned out of $33,000

(WSPA) – There is not anything like a chum’s recommendation, however what if that recommendation is actually coming from any person pretending to be certainly one of your mates?

A Greenville lady misplaced tens of 1000’s of bucks all as a result of she concept some outdated buddies have been serving to her observe for a central authority grant.

It seems, scammers have been impersonating them.

Fake pal, actual rip-off

When you’ve been thru a up to date fight with most cancers like Theresa Kraft in Greenville, it’s laborious to not take into consideration 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 concept when now not one, however two buddies messaged her on Facebook to counsel she observe for a $1 million govt grant, one they stated they’d simply won.

“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 were given a complete of $33,000 of her cash in what they referred to 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 for example. We received’t use his final title, since that’s an actual highschool pal of Kraft’s and the man who in truth used to be 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 now not simply govt businesses 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 used to be that you just by no means must pay to get an actual govt grant.

What’s worse, the scammers asked the entire $33,000 in present playing cards.

They stated it used to be to keep away from tax, however the truth is that the $500 in budget on each and every of the 66 playing cards turned into just about untraceable the instant 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, used to be 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 referred to as a kind of two buddies that she came upon they’d by no means messaged her a few grant.

Now, Kraft’s legacy might not be a big endowment, however in all probability her braveness to talk up has extra price, figuring out those that heed her caution don’t must endure.

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

The key to averting this kind of rip-off is to identify the indicators that both your mates or your individual social media account has been hacked.

If you get a message from a chum telling you to make use of their new web page as a result of their different one is hacked, all the time examine that via calling them at once since which may be their misleading technique to get you to make use of their bogus account.

As for Kraft, she filed a document with the FBI and he or she has carried out to a Department of Justice program that could possibly assist sufferers of present card scams.

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