On Your Side Alert: Warning about Instagram shoe scheme

On Your Side Alert: Warning about Instagram shoe scheme

(WWBT) - If you use Instagram, we have a warning: crooks are trolling the site offering items for sale. If you pay, you will be out of your money and the fraudsters will stop all contact with you.

A viewer called 12 On Your Side after it happened to her to warn others.

"When I was little, we always went shoe shopping and it is just something that has stuck," Samone Morgan explains. It's no secret, she loves shoes. She says she has about 50 pairs, and her collection is growing. She was hoping to add some fancy Jordan Gamma 12s to her closet.

Morgan was excited when saw an offer on Instagram.

"I came across a guy with a bunch of shoes and was like, 'Oh that is cool,'" Morgan says.

She showed us the messages from the man offering her two pairs of shoes for about 300 bucks. But her excitement quickly faded.

"I wired him some money through Western Union, he told me my shoes should be here in two to three days," she explained.

It turned into a waiting game. Those shoes never showed up and when Morgan tried to reach out to the seller, she says he blocked her on Instagram. When she tried his cell phone, the person on the other end told her she had the wrong number.  Morgan knew she'd been duped.

"Western Union tells you before you do it, to make sure you know who you are sending your money to because we can't help you get it back," Morgan explains.

Even though she'd heard of this type of scam, Morgan admits because of the back and forth text and Instagram messages, the seller gained her trust. She says she let her guard down.

I reached out to Instagram for a statement and never got a reply. However, the site does have a warning on its website about buying and selling.

It says: "Instagram is a place for sharing your life with your followers through photos and videos. We don't support using Instagram for buying and selling goods or services."

"I mean, I was angry because I really wanted the shoes. But life goes on," Morgan says. Western Union also has warnings on its website about common schemes when wiring money.  The number one tip: never wire money to someone you haven't met in person.

Morgan believes the shoe selling scheme is common; her cousin also fell victim.

"She texted me right after we sent the money and goes, 'I never got my shoes and neither did my friend,' and I was like, 'No, I just sent him some money,' and I am like, 'Man, I hope this isn't going to happen to me,'" Morgan says.

For Morgan, it is lesson learned: never buy anything from someone on Instagram. If this happens to you, you  can report it to Instagram. You will find the form in the site's Help Center.

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