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BBB Warns of NEH Facebook Scam

July 5, 2017, 1:21 PM HST
* Updated July 5, 1:24 PM
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Hawai‘i’s Better Business Bureau warns the public about a Facebook scam involving the impersonation of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Hawai‘i’s  BBB recently received a call from a resident concerned about a grant award from the National Endowment for the Humanities on Facebook.

This is a scam; the NEH is being impersonated on Facebook.

Late last month, the NEH published a press release in regards to this and reminded users that they never use Facebook to contact individuals in regards to a grant award and to not send any money or personal information to these imposter accounts.

Hawai‘i’s BBB reminds residents that often times scammers will create social media accounts and fake websites that closely resemble legitimate organizations. Users should be very cautious whenever they encounter any sort of contest or giveaway online.

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There are several red flags indicating that a social media account may be  promoting a fraudulent contest or giveaway:

  • Facebook page is not verified: You can identify a verified account by looking for the check mark next to the account’s name.
  • Profile name uses additional punctuation: Sometimes scammers will put an underscore or a period in the profile name in order to use the same profile name.
  • No URL listed: If the social profile promoting the contest does not link to the official website of the organization or is missing other details the profile is most likely fraudulent.
  • Only one post from the page: A major red flag would be if the account appears to be very new and has very few posts.
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If anyone encounters this giveaway or others similar to it, they should not click on any of the included links or provide any personal information.

Scams such as these can be reported using the BBB Scam Tracker.

ABOUT BBB For more than 70 years, Hawai‘i’s Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2015, people turned to BBB more than 172 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 5.3 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for the local, independent BBBs in the United States, Canada and Mexico, as well as home to its national programs on dispute resolution, advertising review, and industry self-regulation.

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