Valley Man Claims Online Thieves Conned Him Out of Hundreds
SANTA ROSA – A Rio Grande Valley man said online thieves conned him out of $700.
Samuel Silguero Jr., a provider, said he and his wife provide for their grandchildren on a fixed income. He said about a month ago, he received a message on Facebook that sounded too good to be true.
"You won $150,000 and I said what must I do to get the winnings? Then she said, ‘You have to send us $700,’” he said. “I said $700 for winnings? I said I don't know.”
Silguero said he initially didn't trust the message. But then he received videos of people counting large amounts of money.
The grandfather then began getting text messages from people claiming to be FedEx drivers asking when they could deliver his winnings. Finally, he received a call from a friend he's known for years.
"He says, "It's legitimate.' It's legitimate? Really? When you have to fork in some thousand dollars to get your winnings? I've never heard of that," Silguero told CHANNEL 5 NEWS.
Silguero said his friend explained he received money after sending the people what they asked for.
Silguero told CHANNEL 5 NEWS his desire to provide for his family took over, so he decided to send the $700.
He was instructed to send the cash Western Union to another woman in Indianapolis. The next day, the con-artist asked for $3,500.
Silguero said he realized he made a mistake and headed to the Better Business Bureau for help.
"When you are communicating with one person and the money is to be sent to a second name, that is a red flag as well," Better Business Bureau president Dolores Salinas said.
Salinas explained often conmen use Western Union and MoneyGram to receive money. She added social media sites can also be used to discover your personal information.
She recommends users erase their phone numbers and email address from the site to stay better protected.
Silguero said he'll be staying away from social media from now on.