DENVER (CBS4) – A social media scam is targeting teenagers and their money by using apps like Instagram to get teens to wire them funds. But when they send off the cash, they never get their payoff.
Video after video show what appears to be happy customers with lots of cash. Instagram user “pat_stayin_focus” promises that a $100 investment gets $1,500 in return. For 18-year-old Shardae Harling it seemed like the real deal. At eight months pregnant and working full time, she thought wiring him $350 would help her make ends meet. But after she sent it, the scammer asked for more.
“He was just like, ‘Well, as soon as you release the funds, and soon as you send us an additional $350, we’ll send you your money.’ He promised us $4,500,” Harling said.
She and her friend Khadijah Ali borrowed cash from relatives, and $700 later they realized it was all a sham.
“It was just really depressing. I couldn’t even buy my son a bathtub. And my friend has a daughter to support, and we both are single moms,” Harling said.
“That was all the money we had. So now we just have to find a way how to get it back,” Ali said.
A call from a different number got a fast response back from the “Money Team.”
“Disappointing that there’s people out there that are like that, and who have no sympathy, to just take your money. And it happens to a lot of people,” Harling said.
A cybercrime report shows that one in 10 users have fallen victim to a social media scam. Experts say if something looks too good to be true, it probably is.