FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Attorney General Beshear is warning Kentuckians that a popular web search could result in them becoming a victim of a scam.
Reports suggest “Facebook customer service” is searched for about 27,000 times a month in the U.S. and scams linked to those searches are being reported.
“A quick online search for a Facebook customer service phone number could connect Kentuckians to a real, live con artist and not a legitimate Facebook employee,” said Beshear. “Kentuckians need to know that Facebook does not offer account customer service over the phone. If users need assistance with their account they should contact Facebook directly via their online account.”
Reports of the scam suggest callers to the phony customer service number will be connected with a scammer who pretends to be a Facebook customer service representative. The fake employee acts as if they can help the caller with their account for a fee and asks the caller to purchase a gift card and then call them back in order to provide the activation code.
Beshear also said Kentuckians could avoid falling victim to most scams by steering clear of payment via gift cards.
“Gift cards are one of scammers preferred methods of payment. They are difficult to trace and nearly impossible to recover,” said Beshear. “If someone asks you to read the activation code of a gift card over the phone as payment – hang up it is most likely a scam.”
Recent news reports of the Facebook customer service scam are helping to educate the public, and Facebook as well as web search engine companies are working to combat the scam. Facebook recommends customers visit, https://www.facebook.com/help/ to seek help with their account.
Over the past nine months, the Office of the Attorney General has received 15 reports of a variety of scams related to Facebook and eight consumers reported losing more than $35,000. Counties where Facebook related scams were reported include Boyle, Floyd, Franklin, Grant, Hickman, Jefferson, Kenton, Leslie, Perry, Pulaski and Scott.
Kentuckians who suspect a scam should complete an online complaint form and relay contact information to the Office of the Attorney General Scam Alert Hotline at 502-696-5345.