Woman scammed by Facebook fake
Thursday 03 September 2009
A Missouri woman was tricked into wiring about $4,000 to someone in England after receiving faked messages from a friend on Facebook asking for help, police said.
Jayne Scherrman of Cape Girardeau wired the money through Western Union after receiving what she believed were several requests for help from her friend, Sgt. Jason Selzer said.
Police were notified about the scam on 26 August, Selzer said. They believe someone took over the Facebook account of a Cape Girardeau County resident, Grace Parry, changed the password so she couldn't access it and sent out messages saying she and her husband had been detained in London and needed money.
Scherrman said received a message last Tuesday from Parry saying she needed help. Scherrman, a pediatric dentist, said Parry and her minister husband go on mission trips, so she didn't think it unusual that they might be in England.
She figured they really needed assistance if they could only reach her electronically, and expected they'd pay her back quickly.
She originally was told electronically they needed $600 for a hotel and taxis. Then she was told it wasn't enough with the exchange rate.
Finally, she was told by a caller that the couple had been detained and more money was needed to help them fly home.
Scherrman asked to speak with her friend, but was told she wasn't available. She also got a name from the caller and tried to get an address when she realized she might have been scammed. By then, she had wired nearly $4,000 through three Western Union transfers, she said.
Parry said another friend from Mississippi also sent $600.
Parry, who hadn't traveled to England in years, tried to access her account to warn other friends but couldn't.
She asked Facebook to suspend her account, and her husband posted warnings about the scam, including one Scherrman received after she'd sent the money.
Parry said she feels violated by what happened. "It's just sad because they work on people's compassion, and Jayne's a very compassionate person," she said. She said she had never posted a lot of information about herself online.
Selzer said people should remember to change their passwords often and to be careful about posting personal information.
Palo Alto, California-based Facebook said internet schemes like this one aren't uncommon.
Facebook has systems to detect suspicious behaviour tied to compromised accounts and blocks it when it possible, company spokesman Simon Axten wrote in an email.
"We're also working with law enforcement and with Western Union (a wire transfer company commonly used by the scammers) to investigate specific cases and improve education," he wrote.
Life & Style blogs
Why you should never make assumptions about people with autism
People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year, says study
Optical illusion turns blue demon into brunette
What do the emojis on Snapchat mean?
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
- 1 Isis propaganda video shows 25 Syrian soldiers executed by teenage militants in Palmyra
- 2 Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
- 3 The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
- 4 Right to die: Belgian doctors rule depressed 24-year-old woman has right to end her life
- 5 The biggest first date turnoff has been revealed
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The leading provider of Employee Managem...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Kent based design consulta...
£25000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you looking to work for an ...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This role's responsibility also include operat...