Facebook scam warning

The Northern Territory Police Cybercrime Unit is warning Territorian Facebook users about new online fraud being spread through Facebook.

Over the past few days police have received reports from NT residents who have suffered losses between $2,000 to over $50,000 as a result of this fraud.

“This is simply a rehash of the Facebook lottery fraud that occurred in 2018,” said Senior Constable Jason Corbett.

“However now instead of prize money, the offenders are promising funds for amounts from anywhere from $50,000 to $1,000,000, that can be claimed from a fake organisation that they’ve named ‘The National Compensation Program.'”

The offenders compromising Facebook accounts and accessing the account holder’s contacts, locking out the actual owner of the account. Alternatively, an account can be cloned by using stolen profile pictures.

A Facebook user may receive a message on Messenger from what appears to be a known contact. If the account of the apparent known contact has been cloned then this message will arrive on a new message stream, with an explanation about how they had to create a new Facebook account as they had been locked out of their old one.

The offender will then quickly talk about a huge amount of money they that received and how you too can claim your money. All you have to do is get in touch with the person that they dealt with and pay a relatively small processing fee.

“This is simply an advanced fee fraud where victims are required to pay upfront fees with the promise of later receiving a large sum of money,” Senior Constable Jason Corbett said.

“With each fee you pay, another invented obstacle or hurdle will arise requiring more and more money.

“The offenders are abusing the trust that you have in what you thought was a real Facebook contact for their own financial gain.”

NT Police are reminding people to always check whether offers are legitimate from a trusted independent source, even those passed from people you know. Do not send money or give any payment details to claim an apparent prize, grant or lottery winnings.

If you have suffered a financial loss through this type of fraud or other scams, you can report it to police on 131 444 or go to the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN) https://www.acorn.gov.au/.

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