Michelle Tabler with the Better Business Bureau says there are two scams going around to con Alaskans out of their cash, as well as a data breach.
The Internal Revenue Service reported hackers could have stolen data from 100,000 people from the Federal Student Aid program, commonly known as FAFSA. Tabler said those hackers stole financial and personal information, as well social security numbers. She added that people need to monitor the three main credit reports over the next few years, as it could be sold for future use.
One of the scams going around is called the government grant scam. Tabler said people will get letter, phone call or Facebook message saying the victim is on a list and are eligible for a $30,000 free government grant. She added it will say the target is a good citizen and they deserve it. There are a couple thousand dollars in fees, and the message will tell the person they have to wire money, or put it on an iTunes card and read the number to the scammer.
The other scam is known as the Facebook lottery scam. Tabler says it normally starts with a fake friend request, and after a while the victim will get a message saying their new friend just won the lottery. They’ll provide the victim with a link or a phone number to call. What the scammer is attempting to do is get personal information or infect their computer with malware.
People who have been scammed can report it using the BBB’s scam tracker on the website.