Being unsure of English phrases can save you from Facebook Scam
So my friend Facebook Chatted me and told me he is in trouble. He was stuck in London, mugged at gun-point, and needs some help to get back to the States. Since English is not my first language, I wasn’t sure if “mugged at gun-point” means someone literally points his gun at you, or just an idiom referring to a certain situation. After trying to look up this term (rude to ask when your friend is really mugged), I saw the official Facebook page explaining this fraud (Thank your super high PageRank Facebook). So I just want to warn my friends about it.
After knowing it’s fake, I wanted to get more details of what they are doing.
I wanted to paste the conversation but realized Facebook don’t save chat history. Sadness.
Basically, it has these elements:
1) Friend got mugged in London
2) Needs money to get back to the states
3) Pretty perfect and sociable English. Not the usual dumb “I am the royal accountent of Nigeria”
4) Sense of urgency. “Plane leaving in 2 hours and I need to settle my hotel bill here!”
5) Goes through person’s inbox so knows what you guys have been talking about, “So…how was that investment with Viralogy.com you were talking to me about 6 months ago?”
6) Wants you to send money through Western Union.
7) Smart responses to “How come you don’t ask from your parents? They’re pretty rich dude.” “Is there a phone I can call you with?” “I’ll just pick you up from the airport and you can stay at me. Then you don’t need the money.”
7) Gets mad when you want to confirm their identity, “Dude I already got mugged and you’re asking these stupid questions. I need to leave like right now and I need help…why won’t you believe me??” and then at the same time looks through all Facebook stuff to try to answer you.
Please pass this around so no one falls for this. It also hurts friendship if they succeed. Thanks!