Schemers targeting you on Facebook and phone this holiday weekend

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - There are some Facebook and phone schemes happening right now in the Lowcountry to alert you about. Both appear to be based out of Washington D.C. and are targeting people you know. One deals with a phone call claiming a judgment with the IRS. Another appears to be a Facebook hacker looking to take your money.

"It could happen to anybody," said Theresa Harris, who avoided the Facebook scheme.

Harris says she was already "friends" with her cousin on Facebook, when she got a new friend request Thursday.

"She wrote me saying I guess you heard about the good news," Harris said. "I won a lot of money, and your name was on that list."

Theresa wrote back with a personal question, which her so-called "cousin" answered wrong.

"It led me to believe they were not legitimate," Harris said.

Then she got another message telling her to "friend" another user to get a hold of the winnings.

The profile appears to be based out of Washington D.C. with a picture of Maryland Democratic Senator Barbara Mikulski. There's also a UPS logo on the Facebook page.

Harris says she was told to send a money gram for $1,500 to Houston, Texas, and she would then get her winnings via UPS Friday afternoon. Harris didn't fall for it.

"There's nothing for free," Harris said. "If you get something like this, be careful what you put out there."

When Harris logged onto Facebook Friday morning to take pictures of the conversation, it had been erased, and she was no longer friends with her "cousin" or the person she was told to contact.

Since then Harris has deleted her own account to prevent being hacked herself.

Meanwhile a Goose Creek mother says she's getting threatening phone calls from a Washington D.C. number claiming one of her sons was having tax trouble with the IRS, and that he needed to pay up now.

"I knew right then and there the IRS never calls, and never forces you, and tells you you're going to go to jail and I'm going to handcuff you," Deborah said.

Deborah gave WCSC that phone number and we called it.

A man, with an accent, answered the phone stating a name that was inaudible. Upon asking his name again, it sounded like the man gave a different name.

The WCSC reporter gave her name and said the phone call may be recorded. The person on the other end never answered any of the questions.

When the we tried calling the number again, no one answered and eventually an automated voice answered with, "Your party is not answering. Please try your call later. I'm sorry but your call will be disconnected."

"I had friends on Facebook that said, 'Oh yeah I got a call yesterday, or I got one today'," Deborah said. "I finally blocked the number so I won't be receiving anymore."

Both Harris and Deborah have either filed a report with the FBI or are in the process of filing with the IRS and local police departments.

WCSC also contacted the media relations team at UPS to let them know what is going on. Susan Rosenburg, a spokesperson with the company says they will investigate this incident.

Rosenburg said the company does not ask for money via social media sites and has its own fraud protection group to look into incidents.

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