KANSAS CITY, Kan. – A woman said her checking account was wiped clean after scammers tricked her into thinking she was receiving a government grant.
“I am scared because I don’t know what I am going to do,” said Sheryl Weeks.
Weeks said it all started when one of her Facebook friends messaged her and told her she qualified for a government grant. Weeks said she was skeptical but said the friend promised it worked for her.
“I even told my friend that I am almost sure it’s a scam,” she told FOX 4.
Weeks had no idea at the time that it wasn’t actually her Facebook friend sending those messages. It was most likely somebody who stole her friend’s profile picture and name, and made a duplicate account to try to trick people who knew her.
“I thought, well okay, I can help my kids, I can pay my bills, get debt paid off and buy groceries, you know medicine for my husband,” Weeks said.
Weeks said the scammer, who she thought was a friend, promised she would receive the cash if she followed a few steps. First, Weeks said the scammer dropped $2,800 into her checking account. Next, she said they told her she had to send him multiple MoneyGrams of one thousand dollars each.
She said the scammers claimed it was to prove she had an active checking account. However, she thinks they just needed her account information to wipe it clean.
“We got so far behind on our house payment and I don’t know what I am going to do,” she told FOX 4.
Weeks’ daughter-in-law says now the scammers are harassing Sheryl and calling her from different phone numbers and demanding she send them more money. She said she went to the KCK Police Department on Saturday. Officers told FOX 4 in situations like this it’s hard for police to do a lot since it’s an internet crime and Weeks sent the money willingly.
If you think you have been the victim of a government grant scam you can file a complaint with The Federal Trade Commission. Remember, it’s illegal for anyone to ask you to pay to apply for a government grant. Also, the government will never charge you a fee to claim your grant money.