Scam artists target Reverend's Facebook account during pandemic

Published: Apr. 14, 2020 at 9:04 PM CDT
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The talk of government grants has scam artists looking for ways to trick us. How about pretending to be a trusted friend on Facebook?

A Facebook message from a friend and retired pastor gave Rev. Jack Kouth faith that a government stimulus offer might be legitimate.

“A grant and you don’t have to pay it back. It’s for people who want to use it for different things,” said Kouth.

So Jack messaged back to his east coast friend, let’s talk about it.

Jack spent many years socializing with his good friend and naturally would know his voice. So the scammer had to come up with an excuse claiming he dropped his cell phone and can only text.

And pretending to be Jack's friend, the texter said this is too good to be true money delivered to the doorstep. Just click a link. Jack got suspicious.

“I called my friend and verified that he hadn’t called me and told him what happened and he said he had had his Facebook account hacked,” said Kouth.

Rev. Gene Mockabee is a true friend to many.

Rev. Gene Mockabee, a Facebook hack victim said, “I don’t want them to have that same trouble if I can help it so I immediately went on Facebook and put a warning on there that there was this scam going on.”

Scammers using hijacked Facebook information to wish Jack’s wife a quick recovery from cancer treatment.

Mary Sue Sturgeon, the wife said, “In this time when everybody is really worried about everything it’s not a good time for something like this. Too bad they’re going to prey on seniors but that’s what this was.”

And Reverend Kouth says that’s not the kind of preying that’s needed right now.

The Better Business Bureau is getting reports of scammers asking for bank account numbers to direct deposit stimulus money and beware of clicking on any link that promises to speed up a government check.

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