I received a private message on Facebook from the ‘Facebook Freedom Lottery’
claiming he and others had won amounts up to $150 000. At first, I didn’t believe it. Businesses don’t give money away out of the blue and to win in a lottery you need to buy a ticket.
However, moments later my cousin who I hadn’t spoken to in some time sent me a Facebook message about the winnings. He claimed to have also won and noticed my name on the list of winners. He claimed he had already received his winnings after going through a relatively easy process.
Trusting my cousin, I began the process of accepting the prize money which required me to first pay a small upfront fee of $250. Once this was paid, I was to receive the money into my nominated bank account for which he provided details here in Nigeria. The next day I was informed that since the prize money was sitting in a bank in America, I would have to pay an ‘international transfer fee’ which could not be subtracted from the winnings for some complex legal reason.
I was of the opinion that since my cousin had managed to receive the money, then he must have gone through the same process and so he would also pay this additional fee. But then, I wasn’t ready to take chances. in desperation, I spoke with my cousin and asked how much fees he paid before he received his winnings. He had no idea what I was talking about and told me that he had only just regained control of his Facebook account after it had been hacked.
It became clear that it was a scam and I was about to be scammed. There never was any prize money and the Facebook message was part of the scam.