Madison County Sheriff Ben Stewart wants all citizens to be aware of the most recent scam occurring throughout Madison County involving Facebook. Most recently citizens of Madison are having their Facebook accounts “hacked” and then being contacted by the “hacker” that appears to be someone in the account holders friends list. This “hacker” takes the identity of the account holder and begins to contact the account holder’s friends and informs them that they have won a large amount of currency and they too are part of the winning group. However, the “hacker” explains that the potential victim would need to pay upfront taxes and clearance fees in the form of a MoneyGram, wire transfer or other means of electronic transfer. The “hacker” will private message the potential victim verses open posting. So far the winnings claim to be from an organization identified as Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Grant (CFDAG) with additional instructions to send the taxes and clearance fees to a “George Haynes” of Nashville, Tennessee.
Sheriff Stewart strongly encourages all citizens that receive this similar type of social media contact to make certain their friends are who they say they are and to communicate with them in person. Unfortunately, often times a social media account holder will not realize that their social media account has been “hacked” and communications with those listed as friends will appear valid and difficult to detect without direct communication. Sheriff Stewart reminds all citizens that it is very uncommon to pay upfront fees for any winnings. When funds are transferred as part of a scam they become very difficult and in most cases impossible to track considering these types of transactions being diverted all over the world. The Sheriff’s Office will continue to publicize any new scam activity as they are identified and if you feel you have been targeted, please contact the Sheriff’s Office at (850) 973-4001.