Pretty much the most heinous use of social media I can think of, is to bilk thousands of dollars out of folks who can't afford to lose it. Often, the folks who are targeted, are the least able to part with that kind of cash. They get sucked into the promise of making a larger sum of money than what they contribute.

Such was the case in Belfast recently. Someone posing as an old friend on Facebook, convinced a woman over several weeks, to send photos of gift cards to them. They would then get the card numbers from the photos, and redeem the cash value. She was even convinced to send photos of her credit card, which they also made transactions with.

The Belfast woman was told she could receive a grant for $100K, but basically needed to send the money to cover the taxes, etc. The scammer managed to get $26,000 from the woman before she finally started to suspect something wasn't adding up, according to the BDN.

Belfast Police just want to remind everyone, if it sounds to good to be true, it almost always is. And maybe tell someone when you're beginning to shift large amounts of money around, and get a second opinion about where your money is headed.

The saddest part, is that very little can be done to get much of this woman's money back. Likely, the scammer was in another country, and since almost everything was done with gift cards, there's no way to trace them. She may be able to get some back from fraud protection on her credit card, but that's about it.

It can't be a good thing if you're sending photos of gift cards, and not sending them to a real address. Cell phone photos should never be a part of a money transaction. But at the same time, don't feel stupid if it happens to you. these people are con-artists, and know how to say all the right things.

But most importantly, it's your money. Give it to people face to face. Never over the internet or phone, unless it's a 100% verified source. And good luck, because there's always gonna be someone trying to take what doesn't belong to them.

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