Police in Lebanon County caution residents about potential social media scam

LEBANON COUNTY — Police in South Londonderry Township are warning residents of a potential social media scam they were alerted to Wednesday by a local resident.

According to South Londonderry Township Police, the resident received a message on the Facebook Messenger app that was purportedly from the profile of a known Facebook friend, so the resident had no reason to question the validity of the message.

The message said the friend had seen the resident on a “DHHS list,” and the resident was entitled to money. The resident was told to send a text message to a phone number that was included in the message.

The resident sent the message, and soon received a message back from a person claiming to be a federal government agent, police say.

The communication said:

“Hello my name is Agent Thomas Cole. i work for the Department of Health and Human services with Federal Government grant Agency. i will like to kno w why you send me a message. if you are here for the on going UN and Government grant reply with a capital YES. ?”

Police say the resident continued to communicate with the suspect.

We will make every effort to ship your order as soon as possible. You are to choose below amount you want to claim

You pay $650 and get $100,000.00
You pay $1100 and get $150,000.00
You pay $1600 and get $200,000.00
You pay $2000 and get $300,000.00
You pay $2550 and get $400,000.00
You pay $3100 and get $500,000.00
You pay $3800 and get $600,000.00
You pay $4500 and get $700,000.00

Police say the communication was a scam. In this case, a suspected hacker took over the Facebook account belonging to the resident’s friend in an attempt to lure the resident into a money scam.

South Londonderry Township Police remind social media users to  be suspicious and skeptical any time “free money” is offered, or if they are asked to text third-party numbers. If anyone asks for money or personal information, police say, you should use secondary and verifiable communication to authenticate the identity of the person sending the message.

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