Facebook friend request nearly cost North Carolina woman thousands

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ASHEBORO, N.C. (PIX11) – A North Carolina woman said she almost fell victim to a $2,000 scam – and it all started with a simple Facebook friend request.

Cheryl Albrecht, a nutrition director at Randolph County Senior Adults Association, shared her story with PIX11 News affiliate FOX8, hoping her experience could help protect others.

“I didn’t want any more of my former seniors or my current seniors to be finagled out of their hard earned money,” she said.

After logging onto Facebook, Albrecht noticed a friend request from a woman she knows from the senior center. The woman claimed to have been awarded money from the federal government.

“She had seen my name on the winners list as well and wanted to know if I’d gotten my money,” Albrecht said.

To get her money, the woman said Albrecht had to send a Facebook friend request to man she’d never met. He would then lead her to the cash.

So, Albrecht complied.

The stranger whom she friended asked her for her personal information, including where she lived and whether she was married. He then asked her to send him $2,000 to claim her prize.

It was too good to be true, Albrecht thought, and she cut off communication.

But it didn’t stop there.

“He still hounded me,” she said. “Literally, ‘Do you want your money? Do you want your money?’”

Turns out, an imposter was pretending to be Albrecht’s friend from the senior center. And a couple weeks after dodging the first scam, another scammer targeted Albrecht.

This time, a man said money was being awarded through a Facebook lottery.

The Better Business Bureau told FOX8 it suspects the lottery scam is being used to deliver malware onto computers and get users’ personal information.

Warning signs that someone is trying to take advantage of you or steal your information or money include being messaged out of the blue, being asked to click on links, and demands of confidentiality, the BBB said.