FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- If you get a message on your social media from someone who appears to be your friend offering you free money, be on guard.
A Fayetteville woman lost more than $20,000 to this scam. She had no idea she was being scammed until she contacted Troubleshooter Diane Wilson and asked her if she should send money.
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It all starts when you get a personal message from one of your connections on Facebook or Instagram. The conversation starts out normal with a message that they have been trying to get in touch with you. Once you respond, the conversation quickly turns to money and how they've been compensated and want to share it with you.
The "friend" will then tell you about a grant you can qualify for. The money can be used to pay bills, start a business, anything you want.
The Fayetteville woman said the scam worked on her because the message about the free money came from her close friend on Facebook. She didn't realize a hacker had taken hold of her friend's account.
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If you get one of these messages, don't give them any personal information, and don't send any money through gift cards or if you're asked to wire money.
If you respond, Diane Wilson said your account could be hacked, too.