Normally, if someone told me that they’d been conned out of thousands of dollars by Nigerian hucksters on Facebook, I’d probably tell them that they’d just given me the single most depressing example of human stupidity imaginable. Sure, I’d be adding insult to injury, but they’re really, really, dumb so it’s ok.
But this story about a 67-year-old woman who has been left homeless after falling for a Facebook scam makes me feel nothing but overwhelming sadness.
It’s a classic scam, with a modern-age twist. The Florida woman, who has not been identified, claims that she lost over $4,200 as a result of the scam, which began on Facebook and ended with a Western Union transaction.
According to WFTV, the woman received a message from a Facebook friend, who told her that she had just won $80,000 herself and had already received the money. Of course, the friend added that the Florida woman had won too – and an even more substantial $150,000 to boot.
Naturally, all she needed to do was to pay taxes on the winnings in order to collect. A classic scam, carried out through a Facebook hack.
Once they had the lady hooked, the scammers reeled her in by taking the ruse offline. The Florida woman claims to have received calls and text from someone claiming to work for the IRS, who threatened her with jail time if she failed to pay the taxes on her winnings.
“She was going to arrest me for money laundering,” the woman said. “I was crying and told her I didn’t want to go to jail.”
So she complied. She depleted her entire savings account and sent it to Nigeria.
“I do trust people until they give me a reason not to…I live on a fixed income you know and I’m 67 years old,” she said. “All of this money just seemed like it was saying, ‘Come get me.”
Man, f*ck people.
Image via WFTV video, screenshot