Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Beware the Nigerian Prince...and Facebook Powerball

Well, I'd wanted something that would be good material for writing, but I hadn't exactly wanted something like this. The this is that someone tried to scam me on Facebook. Not only that, but they copied a friend's profile to do so.

I got a friend request from someone I haven't talked to in ages, and who I'd thought I was already Facebook friends with. I figured, ok, so she had deleted her account, or had accidentally unfriended me (that has happened with someone before), and was just trying to get back to where she'd been before.

But then the following conversation ensued. I'm sharing it because I find the idea that Facebook might try to compensate their users by paying out big bucks to only a lucky few truly hilarious. Um...yeah, sure. Seems totally logical and not at all suspicious to me.

Since I know I have had a blind reader, and may still have blind readers, I've copied it out below.

Idiot Scammer: hello
Me: Hey
Idiot Scammer: how are you doing
Me: Pretty well. How about you?
Idiot Scammer: I'm pretty good and extremely happy for my life. Facebook has really changed my life for good. I've a great news to share with you, Guess what??
Me: What?
Idiot Scammer: I was just wondering if you have heard about the Facebook Powerball Lotttery promotion that was imposed by facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to help and support retired, widow, unemployed, disable, full/part time worker's. Have you ever heard about this before??
Me: No, I hadn't
Idiot Scammer: Are you sure you haven't heard about this until now? The promotion was made to some facebook user in other to benefit from them its a randomly picked of profile on facebook and get $70,000.00. Did you get yours yet?
Me: No, I have to say I'm rather skeptical about whether it's real.
Idiot Scammer: i mean facebook is giving out the money for some randomly selected users for compensating all users
Me: So they're compensating everyone by only giving money to a few?
Idiot Scammer: A friend told me about this and i find out that its legit. UPS delivered the money to my door step. I even saw your name on the winner list with the shipping company agent.
Me: So...I'd assumed that [name] somehow deleted her FB account, and was just getting back online. But I now find that I have two friends named [name]...and a quick Google search shows that the Powerball thing is a scam. Bye.

I told the friend whose name, profile photo, cover photo, and basic info had been used for the scam. After all, I'd want someone to tell me. That led to me helping her by trying to figure out how to report the account copying hers, but it was deleted fairly quickly. I did report the above conversation to Facebook, but since the account is gone I don't know if they'll even be interested in it.

Even though I'm still laughing at the screwy logic behind the scam, I'm a little uncomfortable with the fact that I friended a scammer and gave them an opportunity to look at my profile. In retrospect I should have unfriended Idiot Scammer as soon as I started to think something was odd.

Live and learn, I guess?

I just hope that if my profile gets copied, my friends will figure it out and tell me.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Isn't that terrible -- good thing you saw through it!

Sarita Rucker said...

Someone would have to be really innocent to not see through it.