An elderly couple who live in Cambridgeshire received a Facebook message from someone they thought was a Facebook friend.
The messaged stated that they could earn £40,000 by buying £550 of iTunes vouchers and then sending the code from each voucher to someone via Facebook Messenger. They were told that this person would later contact them.
It is assessed that the suspect identified the victim because their profile picture shows someone who looks elderly. It would then appear that the suspect has looked at their friends list, (which was not set to private) copied a picture of their friend and messaged them using a fake profile set up in their friend’s name. The victim believed the message was from her friend so didn’t suspect the request was a scam. The victim later received a phone call from a male via Messenger and his profile picture showed someone in Australia who they were supposed to send the codes to. Fortunately, they got suspicious at this stage and did not send any iTunes codes to him and called the police.
A PCSO visited the couple, looked at their Facebook profile and everything was open to the public. The PCSO subsequently has locked all their Facebook settings down so only they could see their friends list and no one else had access. It is not clear how many iTunes vouchers the victim bought at this time, but none of the codes were sent to the suspect.