Crooks prowling Facebook Messenger for easy targets

DENVER -- Beware of a Facebook Messenger scam that uses images of familiar contacts to lure users into handing over personal information.

Stacy Steeves told FOX31 that a trusted face popped up on Facebook Messenger with a note that recommended he chat with another person who could access some grant money he had coming.

A man who called himself “Agent Conard” then sent several messages to Steeves, asking for personal information.

Steeves then learned he could collect the money, for a fee.

“If you get a grant for $200,000, you have to pay 'this' much, a processing fee," Steeves recalled.

Audrey Simkins of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation said people should be very wary of similar requests.

“For someone to just be seeking you out for a grant opportunity with you not knowing anything about that, it’s unusual anyway, but especially with social media," Simkins said.

The CBI emphasizes that the best way to protect oneself from scams is to remember the ground rules when it comes to financial offers.

"Unless you’ve made a request for a grant or loan, never share your personal information with a business or person you are unfamiliar with," Simkins.

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