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Sharing summer vacation plans on social media can lead to scam

Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - 6:46am

Nearly one-third of people ages 18 to 49 post details about their vacations on social media. But then, scammers try to trick family members at home into sending them money, thinking their loved one are in trouble.

Sharing summer vacation plans on social media may earn a few likes.

"You think you're posting it to your audience… you're family, coworkers, close circle of friends," said Carlos Monctezuma.

But you're not.

You post your trip information online, scammers notice you're away and target family members who stay at home. Scammers call or email them saying you've been in some type of emergency, pretending to be you, emergency workers or attorneys and you need a money transfer quick.

We caught up with Carlos Moctezuma who said it's a major concern for him.

"My grandma would probably be scared and she’ll be like, 'Yeah I'll send the money right now… right away and not have a second thought about it," said Monctezuma.

He said he'll post differently from now on.

"I'll just be vague about where I'm going if anything," said Monctezuma.

Thania Kendrick said she stopped posting things online after one of her friends became a victim of a similar scam.

"It makes me feel it's not safe to put your information on there because a lot of people don't really think about consequences it may have," said Kendrick. "You can't really filter people out from it unless you filter out exactly everyone that you don't really know but people don't do that. We add random people just for the heck of it."

MoneyGram advises you to look for red flags when someone asks you to send them money. They said once you realize it's a scam, hang up the phone or delete the email and call the police immediately.

But Kendrick told us the best way to keep the scammers away.

"Definitely watch what you put on Facebook."

According to MoneyGram, Texas ranked second in the nation in family scams last summer. The average amount of money sent to a scammer was $1,500. It was lower in El Paso at nearly $600.


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