On Your Side Alert: HGTV 'Property Brothers' Facebook scam

Published: Sep. 16, 2015 at 3:44 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 17, 2015 at 12:19 AM EDT
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(WWBT) - There is a warning for if you're a fan of the HGTV Network. Crooks are targeting you with bogus prize notifications.  A viewer called NBC12 to warn others about the deception.

Renee Carr loves HGTV. When she received a Facebook Message claiming she'd won a huge prize, that included a home makeover, it got her attention. 500-thousand dollars certified cashiers check and a house improvement and one night on our TV show. We would like to say congratulations," that some of the message Carr received.

She knew it was all too good to be true. The first red flag, she'd never signed up for a contest -- and then the person on the other end told her she'd have to pay to collect the prize. "I had a bunch of questions for them and they just kept wanting me to go to the Post Office and get to Western Union and I had to pay $199.99 for it and I knew then it wasn't right," she says.

NBC12 contacted Scripps, the company that operates HGTV. It says it is aware of the scheme. The company says an imposter claiming to be with a popular show called, 'Property Brothers,' created an unofficial Facebook account and sent out fraudulent Sweepstakes offers. The crooks are trying to get your money and personal information.

Property Brothers posted a warning on its Facebook page alerting fans about the fake prize offer and urging victim's to report it to law enforcement. Carr wasn't fooled but says she could easily see how a fan could fall for the deception.

"Very upsetting, especially when you are in a financial situation like I am and with the home in the shape we are in," she explains. "I take care of my elderly mother, who has Dementia."

She's frustrated that con artists would create the bogus post but also thankful she didn't fall for it and hoping her story protects others.  If you are interested in any sweepstakes offers from HGTV, go directly to its website.

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