Category: Scams (Page 1 of 8)

Duct Cleaning Scams v2.0

If you aren’t familiar with the duct cleaning scams that abound on Facebook, I recommend you first check out my 2021 post on this matter. Once you’re up to speed on the basics, it’s time to discuss the new-and-improved duct cleaning scams. Duct Cleaning Scams v2.0 are beginning to spread throughout Facebook. Don’t fall for them and be ready to report them.

Upgrades

Duct cleaning scams are the same as before: People located in Pakistan are posting in American Facebook Groups, trying to sell duct cleaning services.

They use sock puppet accounts that make them look American. Posing as “local companies”, they are really just looking to schedule appointments, which they then resell to unlicensed people near you. The folks in Pakistan collect referral fees for each job s/he schedules. The people in America get suspicious cleaners at their door. Whoever arrives to clean ducts is not connected to any real company, and may overcharge for their service or commit other crimes.

But they’ve upped their game for 2024. The scammers are trying to appear more professional now. Their latest posts show a classy flyer with pricing, a business card, and a real website.

The wording of their posts is much improved, too. Gone are the copy-and-paste phrases that we rolled our eyes at, like “Believe our Work not Words!” Now they present more detailed and personalized posts that closely resemble everyday small businesses in our country.

Their sock puppet accounts are looking better, too. They’ve got dozens of them now, all sporting American names and stolen photos. They’re using the accounts to click Like on each other’s posts and photos, which makes them look active and more legitimate.

Same Tells and Giveaways

I am sure this is still a scam. First, I chat with these people. It’s the same ol’ schtick with them, but I still like to get proof when I can. I ask them where they’re from (Washington!) and then I send them a link to my address. (Oops, that wasn’t a link to my address, it tells me the location of the clicker:)

Karachi isn’t in Washington, good sir.

But there are other hints. Sometimes, I click the poster’s name to view their Facebook profile. And it catches my eye when their profile name doesn’t match with the name hiding in their Facebook URL:

I’ve tried calling some of their numbers (Houston TX area code, probably purchased through Ring Central), and no one ever picks up. But they answer texts and Facebook messages immediately. And they block me quickly, if I mention their home country:

And then there’s their website. The Titan website looks fine, but the devil is in the details. Looking up the domain name, I can see it was registered just 2 months ago, through a Czechoslovakian company. And while the images on the site looks crisp and pleasant, every single one of them tracks back to other, older, legitimate HVAC companies throughout the USA. Google Lens is really nice for doing a quick reverse image search, and it shows that these schemers just lifted their images from real duct cleaning websites.

Advice

  • If you recognize a duct cleaning scam, report it to Facebook, and then also report it to the admin of the group where it was posted. Facebook won’t do anything, but hopefully the group’s moderator will remove the post and/or block the sock puppet account.
  • Verify a service company’s identity with a simple phone call, or getting a referral from a true local. Make sure they have a contact number and address that makes sense for your location. Avoid contracting with any service provider that insists on texts or private messaging only.
  • If someone claims they have a license with the local county or NADCA, get that license number from them and check it out! Scammers will boast about having all their licenses, but won’t give them when asked.

The Bitcoin Purchase Scam

bitcoin purchase scam

The Bitcoin Purchase Scam is rather common right now, and I’d recommend you become familiar with it. It is just another Thank-You-For-Your-Purchase scam, and there is no truth to what’s in the message.

In short, this scam’s email announces a charge for a Bitcoin purchase you didn’t make. That’s because there was no purchase, but the scammers are hoping that you don’t know that. They want their victims to react quickly and reach out. Anyone calling the stated phone number will speak to a cybercriminal who is all too ready to lie lie lie and steal your money.

But here’s a longer, Too Many Words version, from a fresh incident that I just helped a client recover from:

From a Recent Service Call:

Today’s caller asked me to check over his computer, because he’d had some unauthorized transfers on his bank account. His bank couldn’t explain it to him, so they recommended he have his PC checked. I asked him a few questions about possible scams, but nothing rung a bell. So I dug in and eventually picked out the history and whole story of the scam.

About a month ago, he’d received this email, became concerned, and called who he thought was Paypal. It was not Paypal, it was instead some crook in Scamdinavia.

bitcoin purchase scam
Don’t ever call the numbers in these emails. No good can come of it!

The scammer on the phone told my client some convoluted story, in order to convince him to install Anydesk and DWAgent (remote control software) on the machine.

I don’t know the in and outs of the scammer’s claims, but browser history from the PC showed that they’d visited the Paypal website, as well as Western Union. Perhaps they attempted some money transfers, but I don’t think they succeeded. And then things went quiet for a few weeks. But the scammer was playing The Long Game. He retained his remote-access to the computer and bided his time….

And more sketchy activity began a couple of weeks later: New remote control software (Supremo & RealVNC) was added to the system last week. And then someone installed a covert keylogger as a Chrome extension. My client didn’t recall any new phone calls, so I had to conclude that they were accessing the computer without his knowledge. They were adding these programs and attempting more bank transactions using his computer, while he was away or asleep.

For my part, I removed all of these control apps and crimeware. The Supremo was a challenge, as they’d put a password on it, but I persevered. In less than an hour, we had answers and a safe-to-use computer again. But the client still has plenty of work to do. Following up with the bank, changing passwords, chasing after money to see what, if anything, can be clawed back… I wouldn’t wish this stress on anyone.


Please, if you’ve read this far, understand that these crooks will go to great lengths to steal your money. Be suspicious of anything unexpected that arrives on your computer or phone. Try to verify things independently from any call or email that has you worried. And if it gets too complicated or overwhelming, just shut everything down and go talk to a friend. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

If you’ve received an email you are concerned about, feel free to forward it to me! I will write you back with my professional opinion as to if it is fake or legitimate. And if you’ve been had, you may call me and hire me to clean your computer. But call your bank first, prioritize your financials over your technology!

Typical Facebook Scams

Scams continue to abound on Facebook, despite efforts and apologies from the man at the top. If you’re going to use this platform, please be aware of these typical Facebook scams, so that you don’t get taken:

Hair Stylist Scams

If you’re looking for a new ‘do, please be cautious you don’t get taken by “fake” hair stylists on Facebook. It’s a simple scam: Pose as a real stylist, collect a deposit or booking fee and then block the customer and disappear with the money.

This scam is a little harder to pick up on, though. First, these scammers (from Nigeria?) are willing to chat with you, using decent English and convincing slang. They may sound like cool, local people! Next, a pretend-hair-stylist may give you the name, address and phone number of a legitimate hair salon near you, when you ask. But they are not connected to that company — they just pulled it from a quick Google search to convince you to hand over your money.

Antivirus Offers

Some endorsements on Facebook won’t go to legitimate antivirus websites. They’ll go to a semi-phishing website, where they’ll try to get you signed up on spam lists, or entice you to download adware onto your computer.

Dental Care Assistance

I know that good dental care is expensive, but don’t fall for this nonsense. You won’t get anything but spam email and calls if you cooperate with this type of post.

Reduced-cost/free dental care is out there, though. Get off of Facebook and investigate what the trade schools and colleges in your area might offer!

Giveaway Groups

Scams are so prevalent on Facebook, that the scammers are creating closed groups for their schemes. These groups are essentially a place for their scams to collect and build up.

You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy than in one of these groups. Steer clear!

Paid Surveys

I imagine there’s a way to get paid for surveys, but a post on Facebook is not it. Instead, people who are duped by this will be handing over their PII to scammers. They will sign you up on countless spam lists, and possibly use your info in other scams or identity theft efforts.

typical facebook scams

Red Flags for Typical Facebook Scams

  • They show a URL to a GoDaddy or GoogleSite address.
  • Payment is through Venmo/CashApp while credit cards are discouraged.
  • A photo of American cash is shown.
  • They insist on texting or private messages, and don’t want to talk on the phone.

Scam Electricity-Saving Devices

Scam Electricity-Saving Devices

This post is not really a computer tip, per se, but I’ll cover it anyway. Scam electricity-saving devices are rather tangential to what I write about here, and quite a few people are asking me about them. So heads up! Here’s what I can find and say about these things:

Power Saving Devices

These things go by a variety of names: Watt-Saver, StopWatt Energy Saving Device, Power-Save Box and more. If you notice these for sale on Amazon/TikTok/eBay/Facebook/etc., they will promise to greatly decrease your electricity bill! All you have to do is buy a bunch of them, plug them into your household outlets and wait.

But everything about these boxes is made up and the facts don’t matter.

  • Elon Musk and/or Tesla have had no hand in creating or selling these devices.
  • They do not reduce your electricity consumption in any meaningful way.
  • Fox News and other news media have not endorsed or covered this product.

Their marketing also states that it may take a few months for you to notice the reduction on your bills. This is just a tactic to convince purchasers to keep these devices longer than the purchase-return-window.

The Truth

If you really want to cut electricity costs in your home, don’t believe these con artists. Conserving electricity is a little more involved than buying some junk from Amazon and plugging it in. There are plenty of reputable resources out there with ideas for you, and your electric company probably is probably one of them.

But Jesse, I see these things on Amazon and they get great reviews!” Sorry, you can’t count on Amazon reviews these days. There are countless ways to game that system, so that a bogus product shows many 4- and 5-star reviews.

These devices contain almost nothing of value. YouTube has plenty of videos, where people take apart “power-saving boxes” and discuss their innards. Enjoy!

Low-Hanging Fruit

In the technology world, people are jeopardized by two separate yet equally scary groups: the big tech companies, who care only for monetizing their users’ data; and the opportunistic scammers, who prowl the web looking for victims. These are their stories.

Dear Xxxxxx,

I’m writing this letter to you about your kiddo. Please don’t worry, this is not one of those Are-you-sitting-down? notes. But let me explain something that you might think is a teachable moment:

Facebook recommended your daughter’s profile to me, as a potential friend-connection. I haven’t Friended her, but I did click on her name to look at her profile. And Egad, She’s got too much personal info out there. I am able to view all of this info on her profile, because it’s all set to Public visibility:

  • Complete FB Friends List
  • Name of high school and college, with admission years and major
  • Hometown and current city/state of residence
  • Mother, father, brother and uncle’s names, with links to their FB profiles
  • Birthdate
low-hanging fruit

If I can view this info, then anyone in the world can. I’m thinking about the scammers that are having a field day on Facebook — all of this sensitive info is essentially low-hanging fruit to them. “Easy pickin’s”, if you’re into that country vernacular. And I’m not so concerned about your daughter here, as I am the people connected to her. She’s probably smart enough to dodge the average Facebook criminal, but what about all of her friends and family?


A publicly-visible Friends List is what attracts scammers that clone profiles. In essence, a bad guy could create a brand new FB account, and give it your daughter’s name. S/he could copy and use your daughter’s profile pic. And then they’ll start sending Friend Requests to everyone they see on her F-list. If any of her FB Friends are too trusting or naive or quick-with-the-mouse, then they may connect with an impostor-scammer, who is ready to pretend to be your daughter and con some money from them.

Publicly-visible family connections are interesting to a different type of crook. Sometimes, cybercriminals attempt the “grandparent scam“, where they call a family member and pretend to be someone else in the family. The scam usually starts with a phonecall: “Uncle Ned, it’s me, Saoirse, I’m in NYC and I’m in jail! Can you wire-transfer me some bail money?” In order to carry out these schemes, they study family names & connections and it really can help their ruse hold up. Full disclosure: I unknowingly contributed to a grandparent scam, several years ago. A scammer saw some family names on my FB masthead photo, glommed some specifics about my family, and tried to scam someone important to me. Live and learn, never again!

And showing your hometown and school info to the public is just all-around ill-advised. That info is commonly connected to account security questions, so an identity thief might appreciate this kind of info.


My hot-take on Facebook is this: Mr. Zuckerberg & Co. spares all expense in running their platform, and they are not looking out for their users. When on Facebook, we are not customers, we are simply “the Product.” The scammers are very aware of what Facebook tolerates and ignores, and they exploit that knowledge to their greatest benefit. This has been happening for a long time now, and I have no reason to anticipate any improvement. If we’re going to use Facebook, then it’s up to each user to mind their own safety.

So, if you think your daughter would be receptive to some advice, let her know she should go to her Facebook Profile, and change all of her personal info to be less Public. To the right of the Friends List is a 3-dots button that allows you to Edit Privacy. She can also go through all of the sections under “About” on the profile, and use the Pencil or 3-Dots buttons to up the privacy levels. Personally, I’ve set most of my Profile to the “Only Me” level, but the “Friends” level is good, too. Anything besides “Public!”

And if she makes these improvements, there a tool for her to check herself. If she goes to her Profile, there’s a 3-dots button to the right, just below the masthead photo. She can click that and then go to “View As”. This presents her profile as it appears to the public (to people who are not connected to her on FB). She can traipse through her own profile in this mode and judge if she missed anything that needs hiding away.

Cheers! — Jesse

Zelle Scam Refunds

zelle scam refunds

A year ago, I blogged about Zelle and why scammers often push their victims to use it. Money sent through Zelle is generally transmitted in an instant and that means the transaction is irreversible. Scammers want your money, and they don’t want you to be able to claw it back. They know that Zelle doesn’t help much with scam refunds.

Up until recently, Zelle (and the big banks behind it) have been unsympathetic to scam victims. Their stance was simply that customers were responsible for their own transactions. But there’s a change a-coming: Senator Elizabeth Warren and other congress-people have mounted investigations and pressure on the big banks. And the results are swaying banks to do more for scam victims.

If you’ve been swindled out of money through a scam, and Zelle was the tool to move the money, then there may be hope for you to get a refund. Banks participating in Zelle are now refunding scam victims for incidents dating back as far as June 30, 2023. If you fit this description, then:

Be safe out there, my friends.

Recurring Facebook Scams

Here’s a (hopefully? for a while?) final run-down on recurring Facebook scams I’m seeing out there. Don’t fall for any of these, please!

Celebrity Impersonation Pages

Johnny Depp is not going to private-message you on Facebook. Lori Loughlin will not respond to your comments and Likes. Margot Robbie would never send you a Friend request. Celebrities live in a different world than us and have handlers and layers of protection that separate us from them. If an ultra-famous person on Facebook is giving you explicit attention or asking you for things, please suspect a scam. You are almost certainly dealing with a con artist.

Creepers in the Comments

This should be a no-brainer, but I have to mention it. There arelurkers & creepers on Facebook and they manifest unexpectedly in the comments of Reviews and Public Posts.

Don’t ever respond to these characters. Block them or report their comments, but don’t initiate any contact. They’re just looking to start a private conversation, and try to take advantage of you after that begins.

Puppy Adoptions

Legitimate people will try to adopt out their puppies or other baby animals. And then there’s the scammers:

These scams can often be spotted with ease. The scammer will be out-of-the-area, or pressure you for a down payment before seeing the animals. As with most internet offers, don’t hand over money before seeing firsthand what’s for sale.

Car Detailing Offers

I’ve written at length about this type of service scam, but it merits a special mention here. Bogus car detailing offers persist in many Facebook groups, and I recommend you avoid them.

Much like the duct cleaning offers, you might actually get your car cleaned through one of these posts. But you’re not dealing with a local company. If you comment on one of these posts, someone from Pakistan, using a sock puppet account, will contact you to schedule your car detailing. S/he will send some unknown person to your house to “take care” of your car.

That person may actually clean your car, or not. If anything suspicious or illegal occurs, that person is going to vanish. The individual from Pakistan will block you. And you will have no one to hold accountable, the police will be unable to assist. It’s best to report these posts and find a truly local company to clean your car for you. Shop local!

Bargain Offers for TV Streaming

I’ll be breaking this out into a separate, detailed post soon, but for now, watch out for this nonsense:

Avoid these offers, as they are too good to be true. If these were legitimate, everyone would be flocking to them, and no one would ever pay for cable TV again. People who have a go at this type of streaming might actually get to watch some of their favorite shows. But the service will be spotty. The support will be non-existent. And then suddenly, the law will catch up to the copyright infringers at the top. Suddenly, the streaming service will wink out of existence as the top executives quit the country with whatever money they still have. Spoiler alert: these companies are not paying for or obtaining licenses for the shows they allow you to stream. That’s IP theft!

Facebook Account Help

If you’ve ever been locked out of your Facebook account, you know then how decidedly unhelpful Facebook is. You cannot call Facebook for help. They don’t offer any email or chat support. It’s just crickets and tumbleweed. This creates a perfect void for the scammers to fill:

Cybercriminals have crawled all over Facebook and other social media sites, creating posts, comments and even Group Pages, promising to help recover lost Facebook accounts. And anyone who comes to them for help? These bad guys will take whatever they can: your money, your Facebook account, your email and its password, and more.

These dreadful people are also constantly scanning public posts and comments for anyone looking for this kind of help. Sometimes, they will just pop up and comment back on people’s comments, promoting fake-help scammers on Instagram.

If you’ve lost access to your Facebook, check out what I’ve written on this blog post, or head straight to the legitimate Facebook article on this topic. You’re welcome to reach out to me for further advice. But please: Avoid or ignore any strangers that claim to have magic recovery powers. They don’t.

Everyday Facebook Scams

I’ve posted recently about several scams on Facebook; here are some more! Since Meta is so negligent at policing its platforms, bad actors and their schemes thrive on their social media platform. I may often have some new everyday Facebook scams to tell you about.

Catalytic Converter Theft

If you see post about catalytic converter theft, be suspicious. They’ll have some interesting photos but no real details about the crime or who to contact. They just want you to Share the post and boost the signal.

But don’t do it! Don’t Like the post, don’t Share it. There’s no real scam to these posts, but that comes later. These posts serve as gullibility checks. The scammers watch and notice who is spreading their nonsense info, and may PM those people later with targeted scams.

Giving Away a MacBook

This is the same plan as when the scammer tries to give away a PS5. They’ll privately message you and ask you to cover their Fedex shipping costs. If you pay that, they’ll disappear with the money and you’ll then learn that there is no such thing as a free MacBook.

everyday facebook scams

Amazon Work from Home Opportunities

Amazon does offer a lot of job opportunities, and some of them are work-from-home. But you won’t find them in posts that look like these:

These posts are not associated with Amazon in any way. They often direct you to click on a Google Sites URL, which would take you to a scammy site that tries to collect all of your PII. Don’t click the links! Don’t fill out any forms on these sites! You won’t get a job, but you will become inundated with spam email and junk postal mail and other scammy offers.

If you want to peruse legitimate jobs with the Amazon company, check out the real Amazon Jobs website.

Duct Cleaning Offers

I think most people know by now that these things are suspicious. But since they remain pervasive, I thought I should remind you to beware these nameless duct cleaning offers.

I’ve written at length on how these things work, but in short: The poster is in Pakistan, ready to take your info. He will schedule your duct cleaning with a mystery person in your region, and collect a commission. An unlicensed worker will come to your house and perform some kind of duct cleaning procedure. But the work may be lousy, or the bill may turn out higher than what was agreed upon. Play it safe and hire a local, licensed company for this type of work.

RV & Tiny Home Giveaways

This is another one that I’ve gone over, but deserves a mention since they are still commonplace. These posts claim that there was a lottery for a free RV or other small home, and the winner did not claim the prize! They offer the chance for someone else to step up and be a winner.

This scam presses people to Share, Share, Share their post, but please don’t do that. Don’t help the scammer get this rubbish in front of more faces. And don’t Like the post or Message the poster. They’ll just tell you that you’ve won the prize, and then try to collect a “transport fee” from you. And then, they’ll ghost you.

More Telltale Signs of a Facebook Scam

  • The poster Likes their own post.
  • The first comment is also from the poster, urging you to message them or click a URL.
  • The language seems off, for example: “Kindly check your private messaging.”
  • They ask you to text them, email them or otherwise go off-platform (away from Facebook messages).
  • They claim they are licensed, but won’t produce a license number or other hard details for you to verify.

Caller ID Spoofing

Caller ID spoofing, or phone number spoofing, is important to understand. If you’re not familiar with this practice, let me explain:

Caller ID Is Fallible

When you receive a phone call, most phones display some identification about the inbound call. You may see:

  • First Name, Last Name, Area Code and Phone Number
  • Business Name, Area Code and Phone Number
  • Private
  • Unknown Caller

You need to know: The info shown on your Caller ID can be altered. Both the number and the name on your Caller ID display could be inaccurate or untrue. It is easy and often free for someone to change (spoof) their Caller ID info.

Legality

Phone call spoofing, as a practice, is legal in our country. But using spoofing to defraud or cause harm is illegal. If this gives you some pause, if you’re wondering why spoofing is legal at all, consider some possible legitimate uses:

  • Law enforcement may need to alter their identity as they investigate crimes.
  • Collections agents might spoof their Caller ID info so that a debtor won’t avoid their calls.
  • A doctor or counselor may spoof their number when calling a patient to maintain a crucial level of privacy.
  • Friends might use Caller ID spoofing for pranking each other, without causing harm.

Scammers!

Of course, the main point of this post is to talk about scams, and make you alert to them. Scammers love to use Caller ID spoofing when they call their potential victims. They know that people tend to believe what they read, especially when it flashes by quickly. Robocallers and spammers also use phone spoofing, but the biggest danger is from scams like these:

  • Caller ID shows the name of a US Court System or the IRS, and the caller says you need to pay off your fine/charges now, or be incarcerated.
  • Apple/Microsoft/Amazon/Facebook Support shows on the Caller ID, and a robocall tells you that your account has had suspicious activity on it. Press 1 to be connected to an agent who will help (steal) your account.
  • Your bank shows on the Caller ID, and they are calling to reset your PIN and password, as someone has tried to hack into your accounts.

To be absolutely clear, the above examples are scams. The IRS, Microsoft, your bank, etc. are NOT going to call you for account changes or payments. Please hang up if you ever answer a call like these!

Scams of all kinds use spoofing to make their calls show the same area code and exchange as your number. This is called Neighbor Spoofing. They make their number look very close to your number, so that you think it is someone local to you and might answer more quickly.

It is also possible for someone to spoof your exact phone number. This can be done to confuse you and get you to answer. But it can also be done to deflect blame to you. If you ever get angry calls from other people, telling you to stop with the spam calls, understand that a bad actor may be using your number in their spoofing scheme.

How to Defend Against Call Spoofing

You’re doing it right now. Maintaining awareness that Caller ID is not to be trusted is the best defense against Caller ID spoofing. After that, you can consider some extra tactics:

  • Talk to your phone provider and see if they offer/recommend any particular call screening options or apps with spoofing protection.
  • Put your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry.
  • Don’t answer unfamiliar numbers. Let every unexpected mystery call roll to voicemail.
  • Report persistent spoofing problems to your phone carrier and/or the police.

Commonplace Facebook Scams

There is no end to the scams I see on Facebook. I know I’ve posted at length about specific FB scams, but in this post, I want to run down quickly on a bunch of commonplace Facebook scams. Watch out for these, don’t fall for these, definitely report these:

(Don’t) Buy This Shirt!

This offer may tug at your heartstrings, because they’ve mentioned their son is autistic. But there is no son, and the poster is from another country. The URL will take you to a web-storefront, where you can pay money for a shirt. But it’s at an online marketplace where anyone can quickly open up a shop and have shirts printed:

commonplace facebook scams

You might actually get a (lousy) shirt, but please realize that you’re giving your card info to a stranger who may be halfway around the world. The big risk here is getting mystery charges on your card, later on.

Neon for Free

Want a neon sign? You’re not going to get one from these jokers. Their plan is to privately message you, gently guilt you towards making a small donation, and then disappear with any money you’ve sent them.

Vendor Fee for Non-Existent Fair

Looking to sell your hand-crafted art in your region? Community fairs and festivals are the way to go, but beware generic scam posts as shown below.

While at first glance, these may look legitimate, it’s a lie and a trap. The poster has used Google to find an address commonly used for public events. Any email or phone number provided is not connected to the stated address; they go straight to the scammer. They’ve crafted this post so that people will contact the scammer and not the venue. And if you contact the scammer, they’ll take your “reservation fee” and disappear with it.

Egg Sales

I’ve picked this scam apart before, but it deserves a mention, since I’ve seen it often this month. It’s similar to the above scam, in that they want to privately message you and get an advance payment for eggs. But you’ll be sitting by the door waiting forever for that henfruit. The poster is just using a sock puppet account, as they sit in an internet cafe in Kenya.

Giving Away a Gaming Console

Those PS5’s are super-expensive, so seeing someone giving away one for free on Facebook may seem like a miracle. And even more convincing is to see someone local, someone believable!, posting about how you can have their unwanted video game hardware:

But this type of scam is usually carried out using a stolen Facebook account. If you contact them for the console, they’ll say that they moved to another state, but can Fedex the device to you, as long as you cover their shipping. Once again, if you send them any money, they’ll ghost you and you’ll never get anything in return.

Moving, Everything Must Go

If a real person has to move and sell off a lot of stuff, they’ll give you an address to visit, and a phone number to reach them at. But some posts only lead to private messages, where you are urged to pay a small amount to “hold” the item for you. I think by now you know what’ll happen if you give them any money.

And other “moving” posts lead you to other weird websites or private Facebook groups, where you’ll meet with other scams and attempts at collecting your personal information.

Fake Job Listing

If you think you’ve found your dreamjob on Facebook, think again. Many of them are traps:

A real job listing should state a well-known company name, and will refer you to Indeed.com or some other corporate website. This scam job listing has no real contact info, and will only lead to a fake job interview over chat, and then they’ll try to get your bank account info or worse.

Telltale Signs of a Facebook Scam

  • The poster has a locked account, or has turned off Comments to their post.
  • They need you to pay them a little bit of money first, to prove that you are not scamming them!
  • They won’t meet you in person for a transaction.
  • You cannot call to speak with them.
  • They want you to use Venmo or CashApp instead of a credit card.
  • You meet with resistance when asking for basic info, like a website URL or address or phone number.
  • They comment a link to a website, but the URL shows a Google sites address, or something that just doesn’t look relevant.
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