Local woman warns of threatening social media scams

Published: Feb. 24, 2020 at 3:43 PM CST
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A local woman warns of social media scams, and the dangers of not reporting them to police after receiving death threats online. "I'm like, this is one of those scams again, I've been getting them," says Sandy Faust, who was the victim of an attempted scam. "It just got ugly."

Faust received a message that appeared to be from her cousin on Facebook Messenger. She soon realized it was a fake, duplicate account, and told the hacker to leave her family alone.

The hacker responded saying "Tell her to pay me $300 dollars for her to get her page back. I'm going to do bad stuff to her soon." That's when Faust called the police. But the scammer threatened more. "Police can't stop snipers," they messaged. "You getting killed first."

Faust says those words she read hurt. "Back in your mind you know it's probably not going to happen but it shook me up for the rest of the day."

Stephenson County Sheriff's Deputies responded to Faust's plea for help. They say they battle social media scams often. "You don't want to put any type of personal information online," says Sergeant Don Visel. "If you're getting those types of threatening messages you need to contact your local police department and let them know about it. More than likely it is a scam, but we do have to further investigate that."

He says often times scammers are out of the country. But you can never be too safe. Securing social media accounts can help. Faust says she wants to share her story to let others know they aren't alone, and they don't have to give in.

"When are we going to start turning the tables back on them?"