Weslaco Woman Warns Others about New Social Media Scheme
WESLACO – A Hidalgo County woman said she almost became a victim to a new social media scheme.
Weslaco resident Mary Jane Sepulveda said she wants to warn others about the messages on her social media account.
It all started with her account getting hacked. Her cousin, Diana Deanda, got a message from Sepulveda saying she had won $50,000 in cash and a brand new laptop.
The person messaging Deanda told her she was also listed as a winner. It turns out the person on the other end wasn’t Sepulveda.
“I haven’t been on my Facebook. I wasn’t on my Facebook yesterday,” Sepulveda said.
After getting a hold of Sepulveda’s account, the cybercriminal sent out messages to all her friends.
Deanda said the message directed her to link up to another account. The other account had a picture of a high-ranking service member who claimed to be with the federal government.
Deanda said they asked her to wire money in order for her to get the $50,000.
“I said 'Well, how much?’ and that’s when I said this is a fraud. And he says, ‘$1,150,’” she said. “Be careful. Don’t fall for this. They look legit, but they’re not. They’re false.”
Dolores Salinas with the Better Business Bureau of South Texas said she never heard of this particular scheme before. She said it’s an attempt to steal people’s money or information.
“The only thing that changes is the delivery of those scams, and scammers are always on top of technology,” she said.
Salinas said schemes are happening through email, phone calls and social media. She said defrauders know social media will make it a little easier for people to fall for it.
“If it comes from you, and the people in your network and in your circle believe that you wouldn’t send them something that’s not valid or not accurate, then they might fall victim to a scam simply because they trust you,” she said.
Deanda said she plans to report the scheme as soon as possible.