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Susan Tompor: Fake Facebook fundraiser shocks family with cancer diagnosis

Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Home and Consumer News

Just imagine scrolling Facebook one day and making the shocking discovery that your brother has cancer. He never mentioned a thing to you. But now he's posting requests for donations to cover his medical costs?

And this is how you find out?

The sister picked up the phone and called her brother. Unfortunately, others just donated on the spot, no questions asked.

The thing is, the Troy, Michigan, man isn't battling cancer. But a scammer who set up the phony fundraiser had already accumulated $1,785 out of a $4,500 goal by the time the man discovered the terrible fraud, according to a report with the Troy Police Department.

How Facebook friends were tricked into giving money

The man who reported the incident at the station told police Sept. 26 that he later learned that someone had gained access to his Facebook account, changed the password, and set up an online fundraising campaign so the crooks could get money.

 

Sgt. Jason Clark, a spokesperson for the Troy Police Department, said Facebook unfortunately does not offer customer service via phone or provide anyone the opportunity to speak with someone.

"It is very difficult for a victim to recover a hacked account," he said.

"We have reviewed past reports where victims make a hacked account claim with Facebook and the page is deleted within 30 days," Clark said.

The consumer then must create a completely new Facebook account. Consumers are advised to review their security user names and passwords on all social media, and check their privacy setting. And, yes, alert friends and family when you spot something odd.

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