COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — With the cost of just about everything rising these days, Dianne Glaser said she could use some extra cash. So, a message about a grant opportunity from a Facebook friend came at the perfect time.
“She told me about this government grant, and she had gotten it, and (said) I should apply for it to see if I’m eligible,” said Glaser.
That “friend” then sent Glaser a link.
“So, I did that, and this guy comes on, and he says, ‘Let me check and see if you’re eligible.’ He comes back and he says, ‘Your name is on the list.'”
Then, Glaser said he gave her the next steps to take in order to get the money.
“They wanted me to buy three gift cards for $500 each,” Glaser said. “And then, they would send me, the next day, the $50,000.”
Glaser bought the gift cards and provided the numbers on the back. In return, she received photos and videos of the money being boxed up to ship out. But Glaser said she would have to take one more step.
“‘Now, you have to send us $7,000, and we’ll put money in your bank account.’ I knew that was wrong because they would have to have my bank account number and I wasn’t about to give it to them and I told him that,” said Glaser.
Going with her gut, Glaser immediately contacted her bank, explained the situation, and was told it was a scam. And that was confirmed when the bank called the number on the back of the gift cards to find out where the money went.
“Somebody spent a lot of money at Saks Fifth Avenue,” Glaser said.
Unable to get her money back for her, I asked Glaser why she called Better Call 4.
“I really want people to be aware,” said Glaser. “It won’t happen to me again, but it’s concerning that it might happen to somebody else.”
The reason why we couldn’t get Glaser’s money back is because her bank said she willingly spent the money to buy the gift cards and hand over the information. There are no protections for that.
Additionally, the Facebook friend who reached out to her was a hacked account.
The Federal Trade Commission has more information about this type or scam, and how to protect yourself from it, on its website.