North Idaho

Coeur d'Alene man loses life savings to Facebook scam

Coeur d'Alene man loses life savings...

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - One Coeur d'Alene man lost his entire life savings to a cyber scam.

The victim, who wishes to remain anonymous, said it all started with a text message that appeared to be from an old friend, saying he'd come in to lots of money and so had the victim.

To claim his $100,000 prize he had won through his Facebook page, he would need to contact an agent.

"He said you fill out a Facebook form and see if it all adds up to the same guy, and I did all that. And then he starts asking for money," said the victim.

It started with $750 for taxes and delivery and snowballed from there.

“He had me mail the lady that was supposed to sign the check $5,000 or $6,000, cash and Priority Mail,” he added.

Western Union tried to help.

“A couple of times I got turned down. 'You know, can't send money to Nigeria. It's a fraud place.' And I'd lie and say I knew the guy and we'd get it going,” the victim said.

He said he was suspicious but held out hope the package was on its way.

“I would text my friend and say I think this is a scam and he would lie and say he was his agent and say he was a good, honest man,” the victim explained.

$60,000 in it did go too far. He used different means to contact that old friend who had no clue what he was talking about.

“It has been the worst of anything I have ever experienced in my entire life,” he said.

He has since gone to the police, FBI and the Better Business Bureau; all of whom have told him there is little that can be done now.

The Better Business Bureau says to check your Facebook privacy settings to protect against scammers.

Kirstin Davis, with the Better Business Bureau, explained, “what they'll do is they'll earn your trust so they are going to reflect back to the time where you did possibly know each other.”

In this case, scammers used a friend from his Facebook and his religion to gain his.

"If they ever ask you to wire money that is the biggest red flag there is. Even if they say they are sending you a check and they ask you to wire the money back," Davis said.

The Better Business Bureau says it is important to report any and all scams in hopes that one day authorities will be able to catch those who commit these terrible crimes.


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