GACS Scam-Hoax Via FB Messenger Profiles


By: Gary Hardee
Published: February 13, 2018 2:00 pm

If you have recently received an Instant Message (IM) from a Facebook friend or someone you know telling you that they recently received a large sum of “grant cash” and want to tell you to do the same – well, it is a hoax.  In fact, it isn’t your friend at all that’s messaging you, it’s a scam artist that has stolen the pic from your friend’s FB page and created a fake messenger profile to message the friends of person whose profile was impersonated.

I have received two such messages from “friends” this week, neither of which I fell for. But what bothered me enough to write this article is that I have not been able to find any “search specific” results covering this particular HOAX.  I will call it the “GACS Hoax” or the “GACS Scam”.

The latest message was from a friend I have known for over 30 years. A man of extreme integrity, worldly experience and wisdom.  While I “suspected” the first, I knew the second (my friend) was no joke and the result of unethical and immoral actions by criminals, and that’s exactly what these scammers are, criminals.

I reported this “new” scam to Snopes.com only to get a reply to a link to a seven-year old article that mentioned nothing about today’s twist to an old con or what to do about it if discovered. 
https://www.snopes.com/crime/fraud/govgrant.asp

My email to Snopes:
 
I wonder if you can look into this “thing” I HIGHLY suspect is a scam and a fraud. It is making its rounds on Facebook Instant Messenger and I have received two solicitations this week. Each sender’s profile pic is used to create a fake, FB IM account that does not list a link to the original sender’s regular FB page. But it looks like a friend of yours is legitimizing this scam, but it’s not your friend, it’s an imposter!
The scammer claims they just received a large sum, $50,000+ in cash, delivered via courier after making a grant request to a GACS agent. Invariably, the “agent’s” phone number is sent to you suggesting you text them for easy processing. Of course you will have to pay the agent to assist you in filling out the application and for processing “your winnings” or “your grant”.  The grant, of course, is totally without any “obligation to repay”, it’s yours. Essentially for the asking.
While this URL could not be displayed using my smart phone, I was successful pulling it up on my laptop. Besides being a likely scam, the site may change URLs daily, weekly or regularly to avoid identification and prosecution. I am concerned that clicking on some options on their site might authorize the placement of bots, cookies, worms or trojan viruses on the computer you are using. Not sure.
https://gacsprogram.wixsite.com/globalfunding
FYI – I have today’s entire series of messages saved as screenshots that I could send to your staff if you need them.
Thanks for looking into this!

It seems that Snopes isn’t interested in updating their 7-year-old article.  Oh well.

I would encourage every reader to leave a comment if you have had any recent experience with this particular scam.  Include any links, phone numbers, names of scamming agents in a comment below this article.  Do not include your friend’s name here but go to their real FB profile page and click on “Message” and go direct to them, advising them their name is being used to scam people.

Never give anyone your personal account information, social security numbers and know how to report all information to government anti-fraud agencies.

You can also report grant-related scam attempts to the Health and Human Services (HHS) Fraud Hotline at 1-800-447-8477.

https://grants.gov/web/grants/learn-grants/grant-fraud/grant-related-scams.html

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3 Responses to “GACS Scam-Hoax Via FB Messenger Profiles”

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    GACS Scam-Hoax Via FB Messenger Profiles | Winning Freedom With Truth

  2. Rhonda Reid Says:

    Got it today and as soon as he mentioned grant/free money I knew and copied the link to this article and shot it to him, saying, “Just as I thought.” Never heard another word from him, but went to my friends real fb page and informed him.

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