Fraudsters hacking Facebook Messenger accounts to con Lincolnshire residents out of their cash

Lincolnshire Police are warning they have recently seen a surge in reports of fraudsters hacking Facebook Messenger accounts to trick people into handing over money via Pay Pal.

Lincolnshire Police warning about Facebook Messenger fraudsters.

Fraud officer Gillian Fleet says people in the county have received messages through Facebook Messenger from friends or family requesting to use their Pay Pal account to receive funds from the sale of items on EBay.

Overall, Action Fraud have received a total of 95 reports between June 1 and July 31, specifically mentioning that the item sold was a camera.

She said: “Messages are sent by fraudsters purporting to be friends or family stating that they have sold a camera on eBay but that they are unable to process the payment as they either do not have a Pay Pal account or because their Pay Pal account is not working. The request is that the message recipient receives the funds into their own Pay Pal account, then, after transferring it into their own bank account, they forward it onto an account controlled by the fraudster.

“If the victim agrees the payment is transferred into their Pay Pal account but, after the money is transferred out, the initial transaction is reversed leaving the account in negative balance.”

Victims have been saying their Facebook Messenger accounts have been hacked and that these fraudulent messages have been sent to all their contacts on their behalf.

Here are some tips to help protect yourself and your money:

* Verify financial requests. Be wary of unusual messages asking for assistance with financial transactions. Even if the message appears to be from someone you know and trust, you should check it is really them that sent the message by calling them or speaking with them in person.

* Unusual financial requests: Never respond to any requests to send money, or have money transferred through your account, by someone you do not know and trust.

* Secure your accounts. You can protect your important online accounts by using a strong separate password and, where available, turn on two-factor authentication (2FA).

* If you have made a payment. Inform your bank, or payment service provider, such as PayPal, as soon as possible. They can help you prevent any further losses. You should also monitor your bank statements regularly for any unusual activity.

Share this information with friends and family.