Scammers using 'end of the year' promises to target victims - KMOV.com

Scammers using 'end of the year' promises to target victims

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The end of one year and start of another can be a hopeful time, but some scam artists want to take advantage of your hope.

Beverly Hicks can't help but break down over her grief and regret over being scammed.

“They are just taking people's money,” she said.

Beverly fell for an increasingly common scam. A "friend" on Facebook asked her if she wanted an end-of-the year grant from the government for $150,000.

“I thought I was going to be able to get this money and get up out of here,” said Beverly.

But, first she was told she had to pay some money up front, so she gave over everything she had, close to $5,000, even her money for medications.

“I cleared out my social security, his, I took out a car title loan, this is ridiculous, we don't have anything,” Beverly said.

It turned out, of course, the Facebook “friend” was a fake and the whole thing was a massive con.

"It only took a few people to suck her in that way and it was a good payday," said Missy Reisenleiter. 

The very same thing happened to Reisenleiter's 93-year-old mother recently.

“They told her she had to pay the taxes up front, so she did, to the tune of $24,450, but no grant has come through,” Reisenleiter.

Despite the fact that Missy's mom is pretty tech savvy, the lure of an offer of big cash was powerful.

The crooks provided documentation and information that, on the surface, appeared to be legit.

The money disappeared with a few simple wire transfers, but in both cases, there were red flags to look out for.

The con-artists created a sense of urgency, even instructed the women to lie to their own banks.

The money is likely gone for good, but they want to warn others before it’s too late.

“Whoever is behind this, they need to go to jail,” said Beverly.

“Don’t fall for them. Just simple as that. Don't fall for it, because you'll be sitting like me, without anything,” she said.

It can be very difficult for law enforcement to crack these kinds of cases.

Facebook wants you to report any bogus accounts you see. Learn how by clicking here.

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