Sioux Falls Police are sending out a warning about a scam after an area woman lost thousands of dollars.
Police say she thought that she was communicating with a friend through Facebook, but instead it was a thief.
KELOLAND News sits down with a Sioux Falls couple who almost fell victim to the same scam.
Dennis and Dianne Van Goor have been on the alert for scammers, especially as they’ve gotten older.
“That’s what they do is affect older people,” Dennis said.
However, this scam making the rounds almost cost them thousands of dollars.
“Dianne got a message from supposedly this friend of hers,” Dennis said.
Her supposed friend told her that she won money, and Dianne also could be a winner.
“We thought it was some type of excess they couldn’t report. It was technical,” Dennis said.
She sent them to a claim agent going by the name of Larry Sloane. He said if they gave him money, they would get more money in return.
“It sounded so real. He was so convincing,” Dennis said.
Dennis went to the bank and withdrew thousands of dollars.
“If you have to spend money to get money, that’s a huge red flag,” Jessie Schmidt with the Better Business Bureau said.
That’s why Schmidt says you should contact that friend by phone or in-person, and never send money.
“You can never trust that a Facebook message is from a friend. If you’ve been on Facebook for any length of time, you have seen you get duplicate friend requests from somebody who is already a friend of yours,” Schmidt said.
“I was sitting at the computer. I really truly believe God gave me an answer. He said, ‘Call your friend,'” Dennis said.
That’s exactly what the Van Goors did, and their friend didn’t know anything about the prize money. Now they have a message for others.
“Anytime somebody calls you, and you give money to them and you’ll get a lot more back, forget it. It’s a hoax,” Dennis said.
A hoax that could cost you hundreds.
Schmidt says if you get a similar message, you should report it to Facebook and the Better Business Bureau.