I-TEAM: Scammers target local radio personality through social media

DAYTON — Scams on social media are skyrocketing and it is costing people billions of dollars.

Earlier this year, the I-Team uncovered a scam impersonating a local bakery online to get their customer’s personal information. Now, scammers are targeting familiar faces using their names and your trust to steal your money.

The I-Team’s consumer investigative reporter Xavier Hershovitz shows us how the scam works and how to keep your money safe.

For more than 30 years Nancy Wilson has connected with the Miami Valley over the K99.1FM airwaves. It’s a connection she doesn’t take for granted.

“Without them, there would no us. So, for someone to want to scam them and impersonate me – I find that really – I take offense,” Wilson said.

She said she received a message from a listener, telling her there was someone pretending to be her.

“This was a first, this was a first,” Wilson said.

The fake Facebook page told listeners they had won a contest and needed to put their credit card numbers in to claim their prize.

“It really makes me angry because there are so many people out there who are vulnerable and are looking for ‘Oh I won something – this is somebody I know and somebody I listen to every day,’” Wilson said.

These scams are skyrocketing online. Just last month, someone impersonated News Center 7′s Nick Foley online. Once again, asking viewers for money.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, last year consumers reported losing $1.2 billion to fraud that started on social media.

To avoid these scams, the FTC suggests you go to privacy settings and limit those who can see your social posts. It says consumers need to be cautious of messages from friends asking for money and to be especially cautious of messages from organizations or people they trust.

Scammers try to use your trust of them to lure you in, just like they did with Nancy.

“Hopefully with people keep being reminded about that, that we would never do that sort of thing, they’ll catch on,” Wilson said.

In March, the FTC issued orders to social media companies to learn more about how they screen for fraud. They hope to use this information to crack down on social media scammers.

Here are some additional links from the Federal Trade Commission that can help guide you:

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