ST. CLOUD -- We've been hearing a lot about fake news lately but what about fake friends?

The Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota says there's a scam floating around on Facebook involving "fake friends" and "phony charities."

Here's the breakdown, the BBB says you'll receive a Facebook message from someone posing as one of your friends, they'll have a profile picture that's the same as your friend and it'll look like it's coming from your friend's profile. In reality, it's a scammer, hijacking your friend's picture and creating a second account or hacking your friend's account.

The scammer will then tell you in their message that a charity they are involved with is giving out grants and you qualify to receive the grants. They'll tell you all you need to do to sign up to get the grant is to pay the processing and tax fee. In other cases, the scammer will ask you to make a donation in support of the charity.

The BBB says you can protect yourself from getting scammed through Facebook by always being wary of online messages if you're not sure the information is real, contact that friend outside of Facebook. Also, always do your research on charities and press for details from your "friend," if you can't get straight answers on your own or through their answers, don't agree to anything.

As a reminder, always report any suspicious activity to Facebook.

To report a scam, visit the BBB's website by following the link below.


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