WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Westfield Police Department is warning residents of a social media scheme that has been reported in western Massachusetts.
Police said that the suspects use Facebook, or online dating sites, to meet their victims. The suspects will message, chat and in some cases even call the victim.
There are several variations of the scheme, but it always involves starting an online relationship with the victim. The suspects will show fake photos and personal information. Police said the one thing they will not do is meet in person.
According to police, once the suspect has gained a relationship with the victim, they will start asking for money. They will come up with a personal problem or tragedy and ask the victim to send money, most likely overseas.
Western Union, GreenDOT cards or other similar services are generally requested. If you send money, the suspect will ask for more, and they might even send fake documents to try and prove that they are real.
Police said that another way the suspects might try and get your money is by asking for access to bank accounts.
They will either steal money from the account or money will be mysteriously deposited in the account. The suspect will then ask the victim to send the deposited money overseas.
The money they deposited into the account is stolen, and by sending it overseas, the victim has now become involved in that criminal activity.
The Westfield Police advises people not to wire money overseas to anyone they have not met in person. Once the money leaves the country it is almost impossible to recover it. Also, you should never give anyone access to your bank accounts.