On Your Side Alert: Warning about Facebook Lottery schemes

On Your Side Alert: Warning about Facebook Lottery schemes

(WWBT) - Cyber crooks are trolling Facebook, and they are after your information and your cash. A viewer said she fell for a message claiming she had won a Facebook Lottery.

Harriet Nettleton considers herself a hip grandma. "I am too blessed to be stressed," she says. While many seniors may shy away from social media, she is the opposite. Nettleton has been on Facebook for a couple of years. It's her way to stay connected to family and friends. "I am on everyday all day long, between Facebook and TV. I have nothing else to do," she says.

It was a fun experience until she started receiving messages claiming she'd won thousands of dollars in a Facebook Lottery. She flagged most of the messages as fake but one sounded so real, she fell for it. The crooks told her to she'd won $950,000. To collect, she was instructed to wire $157. She did and, of course, her money was gone and that jackpot never showed up, "With me, it is need not greed. I had plans for my church, for my children, for people here in the building. I was going to help and it all for nothing," she explains.

Nettleton is not alone. In the Facebook Help Center, there are dozens of other people asking if the Facebook  Lottery is true. It doesn't exist and there are also others warning against the scheme. Remember, you can never win a lottery you haven't signed up for and you never have to pay to collect money you've won. Nettleton says she's learned lesson and hopes her mistake is teachable moment for others.

"A neighbor of mine is no longer a neighbor because she lost her apartment and fell for the telephone call, which she gave them her information and they cleaned out her checking account," she explains. Nettleton posted messages on Facebook to alert her friends and family. Even though she says she's a little embarrassed she fell for the deception, she says it's not going to to keep her from using Facebook, "No, no, no, as soon as my phone charges, I will be back on it," she says. She'll continue to use it but with extreme caution.

Remember, you can report suspicious messages or posts to Facebook and can find the details on how to do so in the help center.

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