Facebook Messenger Scams

Beware of Facebook Messenger scams. Wise to have online conversations in trusted spaces

Be aware of a Facebook Messenger scam that leads you to believe you are talking to a trusted Facebook friend, but they start talking about themselves receiving a large amount of cash that any senior or disabled person is eligible for delivered by a UPS courier service to the door. The conversation will start out casually then will lead to a message similar to this:

“I got money from the {I.F.C.} International finance corporation grant program set up by the World Bank Group with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation..”

The conversation will then evolve into you being asked:

“I think you should contact the claiming agent now on their text number before the program closed. Can i forward you where to contact the agent in charge?”

There are many scams trying to get your personal information out there. This one is particularly dangerous because you feel that you are talking to someone who is legitimately your friend on Facebook Messenger.

Online private communications is a way of life in 2018. We all take precautions to ensure our privacy. If someone is a Facebook friend with us and they send us a Facebook messenger message most people automatically think that it is the person who is friends with us sending the message. Be aware that sometimes the person is not who they say they are.

This situation recently happened to me with a trusted relative. It is very easy to be deceived. Some quick research led me to believe this was a scam and to legitimate information about the scam being posted on the Bill And Melinda inda Gates Foundation website.

What to do in a situation like this is outlined on Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation official website and is reproduced here for your information:

“If you doubt the authenticity of any type of correspondence claiming to originate from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, please email phishing@gatesfoundation.org. This alerts the foundation to the potential scam and allows for it to be investigated and remediated, if necessary.

The foundation is aware of numerous forms of fraudulent correspondence including, but not limited to: email, postal mail, fax, and telephone, all claiming to be from, or associated with, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. They are circulating in a number of different languages and often include foundation logo, photos, links, or other information taken directly from our official web site, www.gatesfoundation.org.

Unfortunately, scams claiming to be from or associated with the foundation are growing in volume and, in many cases, can be quite sophisticated. Our security team is working with law enforcement to make every effort to stop such scams, but unfortunately, we cannot stop them all.

Please be advised that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates, foundation employees, grantees, or partner organizations do not:

Request administrative fees for awarding a grant. The foundation’s grant-making procedure can be found here.
Host internet lotteries or offer prizes of any kind through email, postal mail, telephone, fax, or in person
Request registration fees for conferences or summits
Request information about bank accounts or other private information
Approach individuals in person offering grant opportunities
Solicit donations at any time
Offer investment opportunities”

It is also prudent to report suspicious activities to Facebook by clicking here and to notify the person who is is being personated that their account is compromised and to change their password.

Another option is to consider taking all conversations to text message, email or app like Signal, Telegram, WhatsApp. Be sure to check out the encryption of each service. Signal is widely reported to be the most secure.