Disabled man snagged in scam through Facebook Messenger

Published: Jun. 11, 2020 at 8:25 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

An Omaha man who tragically had part of his leg amputated has been taken by a con artist.

After Daniel Lighey lost part his leg to diabetes in February. Girlfriend Julie Hashberger hoped to ramp efforts to improve Daniels's life and hers.

“I was going to get this money and I was going to do stuff with it and everybody kept telling me it’s a scam and I sent them more money and it turned out to be a scam,” said Julie.

Julie had to pay a $500 fee to claim a $20,000 grant but text messages kept asking for more and she paid nearly $2,000 with eBay cards.

“You shouldn’t be scamming people like that and then keep asking for more money and we sat at the house waiting to see if that money was going to come and it never come,” said Daniel.

A dream of replacing the temporary porch ramp became a nightmare.

A nonprofit has promised to build Daniel a new ramp but he’s on a waiting list that could take a year. So when this offer of a government grant came through Facebook Messenger, excitement blurred the red flags.

Like snapping a photo of pin numbers and texting them to a stranger who pulled out the cash value of the numerous eBay cards but never delivered the promised grant.

Julie who works three jobs used her savings and borrowed money from Dan and his brother to pay fees for a phony grant. Now just paying bills will be an uphill battle.

Scammers hacked the Facebook of someone the victims knew and pretended to be them. A phony message from a relative or friend saying they got grant money is a common tactic used by the con artists.