6 On Your Side Answers: Watch out for Facebook scams

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – More and more people are using Facebook. It’s estimated 250 million people log onto the social network everyday.

If you have received a friend request recently, is it someone you actually know, or a scammer?

Mildred in Blount County writes: “My new Facebook friend says I’m eligible for $10,000 dollars from the federal government. Is this a scam?”

Fake profiles abound on Facebook. What cyber-scammers do is grab photos from other profiles, create fake identities and then spam people with friend requests.

Mildred received one of these requests recently and friended a guy by the name of Michael Robinson.

He said she was going to receive $10,000 from the federal government because she has been a good citizen.

Robinson went on the explain, the money was coming in the form of a free grant that many people were receiving them, and the only thing Mildred needed to do to get her money was fill out the information in a form he would send her.

Who knows what else he would have wanted had she continued her messages with him.

Alfred Hill of Oak Ridge heard a similar story last November. He was also told he had received a $10,000 government grant, money he could use to go back to school.

He was directed to a local grocery store and told to purchase a series of prepaid Green Dot cards which he did.

Unfortunately, Alfred never got his grant money.

Study after study has shown Facebook users accept friend request from people they don’t know.

It’s clear that regardless of who the request is from, users need to vet every request. You need to know exactly who your friends are.

You can see Don Dare’s 6 On Your Side Answers every Tuesday and Thursday on 6 News at 4:00.

If you have a question you can send Don an email at ddare@wate.com or call his 6 On Your Side hotline at (865) 633-5974.

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