IN YOUR CORNER: Ardmore friends lose $10s of thousands to Facebook fraud

In Your Corner

Linda Quistian has been saving up for some time. But her plans of a fresh start in a new apartment are now on pause.

“I started crying,” she explained. “Because I lost all my money.”

It started on Facebook, when a family member came forward with exciting news.

“[My cousin] said ‘your name’s on the winning list for this Publisher’s Clearing House,'” said Linda. “I thought, great! Because when you’re on a fixed income, it’s hard to live.”

Her ‘cousin’, got her in touch with an ‘agent’.

That person let her pick from a number of prize options, with corresponding amounts Linda would have to pay in return.

But there was a catch.

“So I took the cheapest one, that was supposed to [cost] $300 to get it,” said Linda. “Then they kept adding and adding and adding fees and stuff to it.”

Every new fee equaled hundreds of dollars. Linda all paid for each fee by buying Google play cards across Ardmore.

“Walmart told me they can’t sell more than two cards a day cause of these card scams,” said Linda. “I didn’t listen to them.”

Her friend Flora Bray also ignored the warnings.

Flora’s Facebook fraud came seemingly from a close family friend.

She says her friend had information on a sweet new program.

“He said this is a program that Bill and Melinda Gates had started, monetary program, for the old people on disability, unemployed,” said Flora. “Sounds pretty good, from a friend I’ve known my whole life.”

Problem is, it wasn’t Flora’s friend, or Linda’s cousin reaching out.

The ruse is on the rise in the digital age, Facebook pages being hacked or cloned.

Fraudsters are creating fake profiles, using the name and likeness of those we love, to take from those in need.

Linda lost $2-thousand-plus.

Flora lost more than $31-thousand.

“I’m fixing to have my electric turned off,” said Linda. “Cause I don’t have money to pay them.”

“That [money] is borrowed from a loan company, my family, out of the bank,” said Flora.

Facebook is urging folks to be aware.

Consumers are urged to watch out for any lotto, grant/loan, or business venture being offered on Facebook.

Be especially wary of business ventures or lotto like giveaways, where the consumer is required to pay first.

If anything feels off, have the page confirm personal info only friends or family would know.

“[I asked the fraudster] If you are who you say you are, how many brothers do I have?,” added Flora. “That was it. It ended.”

Both Flora and Linda’s savings are wiped out. They’re hoping their story could save others.

Unfortunately these cases often go unreported, but they happen far more often than you might think.

If you feel you might be a victim of a scam, speak with your family and contact law enforcement.

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