Rocky Mount woman loses $1,000 answering Facebook message from her 'friend'

Diane Wilson Image
Friday, October 15, 2021
NC woman loses $1,000 trying to get free grant
Scammers are impersonating your friends and government officials on social media all to get your money.

ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. (WTVD) -- Scammers are impersonating your friends and government officials on social media -- all to get your money.

A Rocky Mount woman lost $1,000 to this scam and wants to make sure it doesn't happen to others.

The scam starts with a message from one of your friends on Facebook.

"I'm like OK, I have not heard about any grant money," Nancy Belcher said. Curiosity got Belcher's attention, so she responded to the message and was referred to a Facebook page that claims to give free government grants.

Belcher was promised a $95,000 grant. She said that would be just what she needed to "pay off some bills and get myself back on track."

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Belcher messaged back and forth with the person and was instructed to buy eBay gift cards, scratch the numbers off the back and then send pictures of the card numbers to get the grant money.

Belcher followed the instructions, but she didn't get any grant money. Instead, the person kept asking for more eBay gift cards.

"I kept going on and on until, finally, I was like OK, enough is enough $1,000 is a lot of money to be giving away."

When she never got the grant money, Belcher eventually realized it was all a scam. The original message who she thought was her friend, came from someone who hacked that account.

The tough reality is that Belcher's $1,000 is gone -- once you give the numbers on gift cards to someone that money is spent.

Belcher is speaking up publicly to make sure no one else falls for this scam.

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The woman got a message from a friend about an available grant, but a scammer had hacked her friend's account.

"It may sound good, look good, it's not good. So my advice is to be very very careful," she said.

Remember the big red flag that something like this is a scam is if you're ever asked to pay in gift cards. This scam not only happens on Facebook but also through text messages and email.