MORE than 30 Queenslanders have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in what police are calling a “very concerning lottery scam” targeting Facebook users.
Queensland Police released a statement on Thursday, warning everyone to be weary of the scam.
Police said victims have been contacted through Facebook by a person claiming to work for the social media giant, advising they have won the $7.5 million prize in the ‘Facebook Lottery’.
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Victims are then requested to pay legal, late or administrative fees to “unlock” or release the money.
Police said the fees could be hundreds or thousands of dollars and could be asked for in installments.
A realistic looking Facebook branded credit card is then sent to the victims, who are told it will be made active once they pay a further $7500.
Once this is done, they will apparently be sent their winnings.
Police said the latest victim from Mackay lost over $100,000 in the scam.
“This is just a rehash of a number of long running phishing based lottery scam, just reinvented with a social media angle,” Detective Acting Superintendent Melissa Anderson said.
“There is no Facebook lottery and certainly no Facebook credit card. Victims lose the $7500 and every other instalment or fee they have paid.
“This is just another example of criminals targeting vulnerable members of the community.”
Detective Acting Superintendent Anderson said police fear there could be more victims.
“We continue to plead with the community to realise that if someone contacts you out of the blue to present you with winnings, a once in a lifetime opportunity or a chance to gain hundreds, thousands or millions of dollars, you MUST ignore it or seek independent advice to verify the claims,” she said.
“Make sure you are in control of your personal details and be wary of anyone seeking your information online or over the phone. You can’t win lotteries unless you buy a ticket.
“We urge the community to maintain control of their details and be mindful of what information you are giving out online. Is this too good to be true? I can say with almost 100% confidence that it will be.”
R U in Control of your finances, your identity and your personal details? Are you putting yourself and your family at risk? Stay in control and to find out more information, visit the R U in Control page.
To get quick tips about how to your Facebook account secure and how to recognise and avoid scams and phishing, click here.