Local News

New Facebook scam attempt to pull on your heartstrings by sharing heart-breaking post

A Facebook scam has been circulating across multiple Andover pages and groups like Spotted In Andover, that attempts to use your good nature against you.

Andover is not short of good Samaritans and Facebook can provide a platform to raise awareness of money for charities and community groups. It also is used for the good of locating pets and even missing people. Though like all social media platforms there is a dark side and there are people out there who prey on individuals to scam.

What is happening now is that profiles (most likely fake) are posting in groups, mostly the Spotted in Andover groups, with a photo of a missing or injured dog and looking to reunite with the owner. Now at a glance and with a clever post you wouldn’t think otherwise and most people, especially animal lovers will not hesitate to share this.

Now here is the thing, the post is fake. Once the heart-breaking post gets enough shares, scammers use a bait-and-switch tactic. The lost pet, missing child, or whatever sad story they posted is edited into a deceptive advert or sometimes to a link pointing to a survey that guarantees a cash prize or another form of scam.

Now, your friends believe you recommended this now. These bait-and-switch ads aim to either get money from you or personal information, that can lead to identity theft.

There are many variations of these schemes, but they all have one thing in common. They use emotional stories to get you to share them on your Facebook page. You might even see these posts in Facebook Marketplace since a sense of community is already built in.

Please be careful whilst on social media. Do some research, particularly on the profile who posted. You’ll find that they are a new profile and probably just joined the group, most likely they will be from another country. They will have turned comments off to keep people from alerting people that it’s a scam.