Social Media Charity Scam

Good Samaritan – Bad outcome!

A new scam is taking advantage of people’s desire to help others during the holiday season. In this scam, the bad guys convince customers to do their dirty work. They prey on people’s emotions through a series of communications that build trust over time. But this scam is not limited to the holiday season.

How It Works

  • The bad guys engage you on your social media page or on a relationship/dating website.
  • They create an online relationship with you and convince you they need a large number of phones.
    • Some say they are working with a charitable organization and ask you to provide reliable phones to less fortunate people who need them.
  • They say they have the money for the phones, they just need you to place the order on your account. They may even ask you to go to a store and ship the phones to their address.
  • The money for the order – up to $30,000 – appears as an ACH (pending) transfer on your account.
  • But when you order the phones, the money disappears. The transfer never happens.

What To Do

You should always beware when someone promises to pay you for helping others. The money rarely materializes. You should also be wary of unsolicited requests on social media or your phone – through phone call, email or text message.

If you receive such an inquiry:

  • Do not share personal or account information.
  • Do not reply. Ignore the message or call.
  • Be wary of anyone asking you to order phones and ship them to an unknown address.
  • If you are interested to see if the request is legitimate, call the entity using a phone number found from a trusted source, such as their secure website or your bill. (Do not use a number or website provided by the possible scammer.)
  • Report the matter to the organization that supposedly contacted you.