This is one I actually almost fell for. No joke, I was hit on hard times, tight on cash, and really could use some help. Let’s review this scam a little bit.
Your friend who you have known a long time messages you to let you know they just got a federal grant for 10k+ and you could too. To help you out your friend offers to file it for you but wants some basic personal information. Everything seems legit until they tell you that the funds are ready to be shipped to you and you need to pay a $500+ handling fee.
Let’s review the red flags real quick.
- They contacted you. Even though its a friend’s account this is a red flag.
- They want info they should already know about you, like your First and Last name.
- They tell you the money will be shipped via FedEx. FYI its generally frowned upon to send money via post that is not in check form. While not illegal it is a red flag.
- They ask you to pay a very high service and processing fee.
So, how do we avoid this type of scam? Here are a few tips you should follow when contacted by a friend with this type of offer.
- Call your friend if you can and ask them if they were hacked.
- Ask your friend general questions they should know about you.
- Check out your friends, friends pages and see if they are complaining about them. Lots of people are not afraid to call out a scam.
At the end of the day never send money to someone who contacted you that you were not expecting. There is no grant, no service, or anything really that will contact you out of the blue and ask you for money. If it feels wrong it most likely so plays it safe.