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Facebook game scamming users out of hundreds of dollars

In a scam alert, Facebook is the latest avenue some scam artists are using to get your hard earned cash and some Michiana residents say they’ve fallen for it.

One Elkhart resident lost close to $200 before family members stepped in to stop the scammer from stealing more.

“I should [have known], but I didn’t. I was just praying it was true,” said Jamie Harrison, a victim of the ‘Facebook  Lottery’ scam.

53-year-old Jamie Harrison is learning a hard lesson after being scammed out of her money by a Facebook game targeting hundreds of app users.

“I got a message to play Facebook Lottery. ‘Oh everyone wins’. Who doesn’t want to win the lottery, you know, so I played it. Next thing I know I’m getting notified,” said Harrison.

The person on the other end messaged her telling her he worked for Facebook and that she’d won $60 thousand in the so-called ‘Facebook Lottery’. Little did she know, that wasn’t the case at all.

“Next thing I know, here I’m still fighting for my winnings. Now they’re just taking money. I’m borrowing money, to get my money,” said Harrison.

Over the next 6 months, Jamie was told she had to send $25 on Visa spending cards and send them in, in order to redeem her winnings.

By the time she realized something wasn’t right, she had spent over $150 on cards which the scammer had taken. The scammer finally sent two checks in the mail to Harrison, but..

“Two fraudulent checks. This is what I got from my new account Friday with this closing my account for fraudulent,” said Harrison.

According to the Better Business Bureau, lottery and prize scams are among the most serious and pervasive frauds operating today with more than $500 thousand people reporting in the U.S. and Canada just over the last 3 years. In 2017, the total reported losses came in at $117 million.

“And it just goes on.. he keeps texting me now,” said Harrison.

During my conversation with Harrison, more texts from the scammer came in about more money, but she says she knows what she got herself into and she’s ok with the loss stopping here.

“[He says] ’your winnings [are] now closing out, you have until 11:00 p.m.’. Well, I guess, then, I’m not a winner.” Harrison

According to that same study, the average amount of money lost in these lottery and prize scams comes out to about $500 a person by wire transfer and the elderly are among those targeted by the scam artists. Click here to see that study along with more lottery scam stats.

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