Will the real Terri please stand up! A lesson about the Facebook lottery.

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So an interesting thing happened earlier last week.


I had no idea Mark Zuckerberg was so generous, I’ve sent through my $500 to Mr Christian Völkers so that the UPS man could deliver my winnings to the door.  I should be getting my winnings any second now.  No seriously, don’t you believe me?

Now if you haven’t gathered already, those last few lines were what my favourite character from The Big Bang Theory would call “complete hokum”.

It turns out Christian Völkers is not a Facebook Lottery Agent  and is actually a major partner in a company in Europe that is involved in Real Estate & Yachts and nothing to do with Facebook at all.  So roll back and break down what actually happened.

Scammer Step One

One of my friends Terri Billington, an amazing business leader who runs Terri Billington Enterprises sent me through a friend request or at least her doppelganger – now whilst I knew we were already friends I made the assumption Terri was creating a different profile to separate friends from business – a few friends have done mostly because of the unknown use of lists on Facebook. It turns out it wasn’t the reason I thought.

At this point I called the real Terri on Skype and helped her secure her privacy settings on Facebook, what a lot of people are unaware of is the list of your friends are often set to public, which means I don’t even have to be your friend to see who you’re friends with – part of this I suspect happened in a Facebook upgrade so it’s imperative to check.

Secure your friends list here: www.facebook.com/friends





The bits highlighted are some misdirection’s thrown in to the conversation.

“It’s been ages since we’ve spoke!” – I had literally seen Terry less then a week ago.

“Telstra” – To my knowledge Terri has never worked for Telstra…. ever…. for the most part my questions of mis-information were dodged however when I asked about how her son’s were going they slipped up, Terri has daughters.

Scammer Step Two

*Fake Terri* manages to dodge the persistent questions about her job position by telling me she was randomly picked for $120,000.00 and gee whiz I’ve won as well and I should get in touch with my mystery man shown at the beginning of this blog.  I mean if your going to pretend to be a Facebook Lottery Agent (a role that doesn’t exist) at least change the name of the person you’re pretending to be or get someone slightly more unknown from google images for your profile picture.

From what I could gather from conversations with both fake Facebook accounts this is a two man (or woman) team.

“Number One” to bait – the friend who they assume is close enough to influence me but distant enough to not really know that much about me or have any real conversation of substance and to be the sound voice of reason to smooth over any transaction concerns you might have.

“Number Two” to close – a person who looks like they’re in the position of authority that in conversation presents as someone who is mostly professional, although the conversation hardly actually presented that way in a reality.

It would not surprise me in the least if they had a room full of people will computers given the “scripted responses” they both seemed to have.  These people are really playing a law of average game and must have some level of success praying on the naive, foolish and even the greedy to continue to run a scam that I’ve seen running since 2010.

Scammer Step Three

“Let me just check the list for your name…” in an age of skepticism they really try to work you over with flattery and greed, there also seems to be an incredible sense of urgency and as I stall with my silly silly questions his impatience just seems to get worse as we continue.

Now initially I believed this to be some sort of scam like the old scam some of you might remember where “Your recently deceased family member has left you millions of dollars please just give us your bank details, a blank signed piece of paper oh and maybe the keys to your house?”  It turns out that it’s just good ole cash they’re after and for a measly $500 to get my winnings – I am sure that they must have some volume from success from the naive especially with the idea that they are using your friends against you.

Busy week ahead for me this week so that’s all from me for now, would love to hear about anyone else’s experiences with scams on Facebook or any other social media platform jump on to our OTOTGo Facebook page.

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