Scammers now targeting memorialized Facebook pages - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Scammers now targeting memorialized Facebook pages

Posted: Updated:
SPOKANE, Wash. -

Scammers are now targeting families who recently lost loved ones by using Facebook’s name.

Mikel Reuter lost her daughter Laura back in December to cystic fibrosis. To make sure her daughter’s name lives on, Mikel posted on Laura’s page weekly, with a photo and something she wrote to remember her.

“All of us just loved that,” Mikel says.

But then, she got an email from Facebook saying that her daughter’s page would be memorialized. This is something that Facebook actually does when someone reports the person has passed away and Facebook is able to verify it. But once a page gets memorialized, no one can post on it anymore.

“I was just crushed. It was keeping her alive kind of,” Mikel says. “I just think that's a horrible loss that I can't do that anymore. It was worth the hundred dollars if I was going to get access to that. Unfortunately, I get nothing.”

Mikel wanted to speak with a person about that situation so she looked online for Facebook’s customer service number. She called what she found, and she says whoever was on the other line was convincing. They told her that she had called at the right time and that all she would have to do is verify her identity with where she’s calling from. They told her to do that, she had to go out and purchase $100 in iTunes gift cards and give them the codes. They said the money would be refunded once they got those codes.

“Of course when you're in a moment of grief and trying to maintain something you desperately want to maintain you're just much more vulnerable,” she says.

Mikel realized they were scamming her because they asked to make another charge of $25, and she had to purchase another gift card in that amount. Now, looking back, she says there were other red flags too. They asked for her age, told her to say the gift cards were presents if asked by the clerk at the store. She also found out that Facebook doesn’t have a phone number for regular users either. If you have a question about Facebook, they have an online help center: https://www.facebook.com/help/

“So don't believe it and be very careful who you talk to,” Mikel warns.

For more information on other warning signs of scams:

https://www.usa.gov/stop-scams-frauds

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/scammers-push-people-pay-itunes-gift-cards

https://support.apple.com/itunes-gift-card-scams

If a scam like this happens to you, make sure you report it to law enforcement https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx and to the BBB.

https://www.bbb.org/scamtracker/us/

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