An unsuspecting woman was robbed of $1,400 by an online scammer who targeted her three times in a week.
Tonya Goodman is warning social media users to remain vigilant after she leaked personal information online to what she believes to be a Facebook official who has offered to help with her compromised account.
Goodman, a resident of Golden, Colorado, said she called a number that surfaced after her personal Facebook page appeared to be hacked.
The person on the phone offered to help her recover the account and asked for some personal information.
“It wasn’t even Facebook that contacted me, it was the scammer who contacted me,” she told the Fox affiliate CDPR.
She believes she has been the target of a so-called gateway scam aimed at tricking people into revealing information that would allow the parties to gain access to bank accounts and financial apps.
“[They took] “I took the money out of all my accounts and actually helped them,” Goodman said.
Now the despised Facebook user is urging the public to always double-check before sharing information online.
“You can empty your bank account, you might not be able to pay your rent and you might not be able to pay your bills,” she said.
Law enforcement requires all scams to be reported to local authorities and reminds you to remain vigilant if someone urgently asks you for a response.
“They say there’s a warrant out for your arrest. Call this number to resolve the issue. You failed your jury duty. Call this number to resolve the issue,” said Jenny Fulton, spokeswoman for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.
Fulton said it was a ploy that could frighten people and encourage them to act rashly.
“There are currently many ways that people are being scammed. If you receive contact from someone you don’t know, whether it’s an email, a phone call or a text message, don’t contact that person until you’ve verified it’s legitimate,” Fulton said.
Many Americans have also fallen victim to IRS scams, including Susan Ballinger, who was promised a $90,000 grant but ended up going into debt.
Someone posing as an IRS representative asked for her information in order to receive the money, and complied before realizing that money was being withdrawn from her accounts.
IRS officials have stated that officials do not solicit taxpayers’ financial data via email, text message or social media.
The IRS will never threaten to call the police about unpaid taxes or ask Americans how to pay their taxes.
Americans can report IRS-related scams to email@example.com and if they’ve lost money, they can report the case to the Treasury Treasury Inspector.
Taxpayers should never reply to phishing emails or give out personal information.
Americans can also file fraud complaints with the Federal Trade Commission.
IRS chiefs have warned taxpayers should protect their financial records year-round, but said tax filing season is the “prime time” for cellphone fraud.
Meanwhile, the US broadcaster The Sun has reported that Federal Communications Commission chiefs have warned scammers are using robot calls to try to steal money.