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Edythe Schumacher fell victim to what is being called the Facebook 'sister' scam.
Last month, Schumacher's sister messaged her to apply for a government grant. If she donated $2,000, she could gain access to $500,000 in financial aid. Schumacher was told to contact Sgt. Chris Swecker, who claimed to be with the Federal Government Humanity and Empowerment Program. He had her wire the money to a Massachusetts charity.
Swecker is a retired FBI agent who investigated computer crimes. The charity exists. Neither of them participated in the scam. Her sister's account had been hacked, and now Schumacher's money is gone.
The Facebook 'sister' scam is not entirely new. It's common for scammers to use real names attached to fake accounts.
If this is news to you, it's time to be more vigilant. Even if an offer appears to be verified by someone you know, remember the following:
Another Facebook 'sister' scam is entirely preventable. Just remember that some offers really are too good to be true.