HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (WSAV) — If you buy anything online, you need to be aware of where you’re sending your money. Now, if you shop on Facebook you might become the next target of scammers.
“You send that CashApp, you’re not getting that money back. It’s gone,” said Lt. Eric Calendine, Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office.
If you scroll through Facebook Marketplace or online shops and find something you want to buy, you should be cautious. Red flags like typos, suspicious email addresses or odd payment requests, should raise your eyebrows.
“Selling, you know, a set of, you know, washer and dryer, you know, ‘send me a $250 deposit, I’ll hold it for you. You know, you send me a CashApp or Zelle or Venmo’ and, you know, $250, but $250 over 200 people is a lot of money and that’s just one day,” Calendine said.
Also, if you meet with someone to buy something police ask you to be careful where you decide to meet up.
Another scam that’s common in the area is buying a puppy online. Online scams like that can get pretty pricey, pretty quickly.
“The dogs in Michigan, you know you’re going to put a $1,000 deposit down,” Calendine said. “Next thing you know, you’ve got to pay airfare for the dog to get, you know, freight. So now you’re up to like maybe $1,500 or 2,000 and the dog’s supposed to arrive. You get this tracking number and then nothing. So now you’re out like $2,000.”
Police said that scammers target elderly people because they believe they can trick them but always remember, police will never email or text you asking for money.
Not only does your bank account take a hit from scams, but they also do a number on your mental and physical health as well. Calendine said he unfortunately saw an elderly man on Hilton Head go through this recently.
“He can’t sleep at night, his stomach was bothering him and this a gentleman who’s 80 something years old and the health starts declining because then all they think about is that incident and it starts building stress,” Calendine said. “And they can’t get around it, they just keep thinking about it day in and day out to the point where it hurts them physically.”
The sheriff’s office said with money transfer apps becoming more popular it could be helping scams like these rake in more cash than ever.