(with video below) There is a new scam going around, coming to your email address or Facebook inbox as a personal message from somebody claiming to work for Facebook, say Shirley Herriott or Sheryl Sandberg - which are names scammers use often. It may be even from the founder Mark Zuckerberg. It mentions that you won either the Facebook Lottery Sweepstakes (aka Facebook Grant Award 2020) or a grant through Global Green Grant Fund. It could be any name and any grant, see more below.
In this article you'll learn not only how the scam works, but also how to easily identify if the profile of the person contacting you is fake or not. Let's take a look.
Watch the video below to see in action the Facebook Lottery Winning scam exposed:
The message contains the following text: "This is to inform you that you have won the sum of one million dollars from our Facebook Inc. Sweepstakes. This is a bonus to promote our users worldwide through this online lottery, which is fully based on an electronic selection". Needless to say, the amount mentioned could be any: $500,000, $250,000, etc. The person contacting you even sends fake IDs of her or Mark Zuckerberg, see below:
How does this one work, what do you need to do? Indeed, just like many other winning notifications, this scam requires you provide your bank account and some other personal information, in order to receive the money.
After you connect with 'the agent', he asks you to open a bank account at a financial-looking website (such as http://www.cash.plusbk.net). Then he will send you a bank account information and told you to activate the account by depositing amount of a few hundred dollars (or British Pounds).
Here is some good news.
Watch the video below to see how you can easily identify if the profile contacting you on Facebook is a fake.
A more complex approach comes with the variation of the scam where they use the name Shirley Herriot, represented by a fake lawyer - say, Lenwood Powell. In this case, you might be contacted by a real Facebook friend. Your friend's account is real, but he/she got hacked - and the scammer contacts everyone on their friends' list, including yourself.
The message says something like this: "I saw your name on the winners' list of Global Financial Facility supported by World Bank Group" (bogus organization). "Please contact them and ask them about the prize/grant". The amount you apparently won is $180,000. Another name used for the fake organization is the Global Green Grant Fund.
Of course, you get excited and send a Facebook message to this organization. After they congratulate you, they will 'connect' you with Shirley Herriot, who claims to be a Facebook Processing representative at Grant n Lottery Entitlement Evaluation, which is also a fake position. Facebook doesn't have such a thing.
Shirley will inform you that in order to receive your well-deserved $180,000 you will need to a pay a $400 insurance and delivery fee. She would ask you to pay the amount in the form of iTunes cards, see the image below.
Many naive people send the $400 right away in hopes of getting the big grant. Don't be one of them.
Needless to say, the name they use could be different than Shirley Herriot, especially after scammers get reported, which happens often. They change the names and start over again - so don't try to be smart and get back to 'Shirley' saying that you know is a scam. She won't give a damn and change the name right after. You won't help anyone else.
As cool as it is to receive a personal email from Mark Zuckerberg, this is just another social media scam. It is now probably the most common Facebook scam out there. Even chances of winning the lottery are higher than this, because that actually can happen.
You cannot be a Facebook random winner when it comes to out of the blue "Facebook online international lottery" kind of messages.
How can you recognize this scam? Look at the domain name or the email address they're using. If they claim to be from a corporation but the email comes from a Gmail or yahoo address, you should know that something is wrong. Always do your research and trust only legitimate companies.
Make your family and friends aware of this scam by sharing it on social media using the buttons provided. You can also officially report the scammers to Facebook using the link below:
If you want to be the first to find out the most notorious scams every week, feel free to subscribe to the Scam Detector newsletter here. You'll receive periodical emails and we promise not to spam. Last but not least, use the Comments section below to expose other scammers.
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