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Law enforcement warning: increase of social media scams

WPBN/WGTU -- Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, the list goes on and on. There seems to be more social media than we can keep up with.

And now scammers are using all the information posted on there to take your money.

"Scammers count on your lack of knowledge," said FBI Special Agent Larry Stewart. "So try to educate yourself on any offer you might receive."

Stewart said even if you think you're getting a call from someone you know, if something seems unusual, hang up and call them back.

"The originating telephone number is used by the scammer and it's displayed, or 'spoofed,' there as a telephone number of someone else."

Michigan State Police Trooper Brett Nichols said nowadays there are a lot more ways for scammers to reach out to you.

"They'll get contacted by phone or through email but the big one lately has been Facebook," said Nichols.

Just recently a Cadillac man fell victim to a scam from someone pretending to be a relative of his on Facebook.

"This gentleman was contacted through Facebook messenger by a relative," said Nichols. "The relative said 'Hey I came across this great new government program, you really need to check it out. Just click this link, I've already looked into it, it's all good to go.'"

Though the man did eventually realize the whole thing was a scam unfortunately it wasn't until he had already lost some money.

Trooper Nichols said if you happen to fall victim to a similar scam, depending on the situation, there might not be much they can do, which is why prevention is key.

Some of the things you can do to prevent yourself from becoming a victim is to be aware of what kind of information you are posting online, check all of your privacy settings on social media and never give out your personal information unless you're 100% sure who you're talking to.

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