A 20-year-old Chicago man was arrested late last week for allegedly running a Facebook scam that took $60,000 from five customers of Redwood Credit Union in Santa Rosa, California.
Police allege that the man, who is charged with fraud, grand theft and more, worked with several other individuals across the country to perpetrate the con. The scammers would friend individuals on Facebook, and a short time later send them a message with an offer to make quick, easy money. However, the scam itself was quite complicated.
Victims were tricked into providing their financial account information to the suspects, who would then deposit a series of checks in the victims’ accounts. They were then asked to transfer the checks to another account but keep ten percent for themselves as a commission. However, the credit union quickly determined that all of the financial transactions were fake.
“The good news is Redwood CU was able to identify the fraudulent activity quickly and immediately engage law enforcement to actively pursue and arrest the suspect before more members were impacted by the scam,” said Mishel Kaufman, the senior vice president of risk management at Redwood Credit Union.
Though it’s obviously a good thing that this scam was stopped before it affected too many people, there were so many red flags that it never should have been a problem in the first place. Always be skeptical of strangers you meet on social media—especially ones offering you too-good-to-be-true moneymaking opportunities.