TULSA, Okla. — A common scam is making the rounds once again and could be showing up in your Facebook Messenger inbox.
Scammers are impersonating your friends, sending messages about a government grant opportunity that could give you money.
"I've been approached about something that I think is a scam, even though my friend says it is legitimate,” viewer Susan told 2 News.
She's raising the red flag on a scam that is again preying on innocent Facebook users.
"It’s a website called GoFreeGovernmentMoney.com and supposedly they're giving out free grants,” she said.
Susan's "friend" likely isn't a friend at all, but rather an impersonator looking for someone to take the bait.
“She said that she got a $500,000 dollar grant but I just can't believe that it's legit,” Susan said.
She’s got the right idea, as the message she received from her quote "friend" is likely a scam, and here's how you can tell.
The Federal Trade Commission said the government will never get in touch out of the blue about grants. It won't call, it won't text, and it won't reach out on social media.
If this does happen to you, experts said do not to give out any personal information. You might even reach out to your "actual" friend to tell them their account may be hacked or cloned. Then, report the grant scam to the social media site.
As for the website “GoFreeGovernmentMoney.com,” or ones like it, don't click on it. You can check for phishing by copying the URL and pasting it into PhishTank.
This will show you if the website is trying to trick you into giving out sensitive information, or if the link will deploy malicious software onto your computer.
In this case, the website in question came back as 76 percent likely to be a phish.
If you do find yourself with a convincing message from a friend about a government grant, you can always check grants.gov for a free list of available federal grants.
If the grant isn't on the list, it's probably a scam.
A big indicator something is a scam, experts said, is if you're asked to send money in the form of a gift card, money transfer, or cryptocurrency.
See the full story with 2 News Oklahoma on Thursday at 6 a.m.
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