Woman gets scammed out of $900 in 'Facebook fee scheme'

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A Houston woman is sharing her story and warning others after a scammer posed as someone she knew.

"I really needed that money. Now I don't have anything in my account," said Yajaira Torres.

Torres was scammed out of $900 by a man who she said was a long-time Facebook friend.

"I already did the police report. I'm going to let them handle it," she said.

For now, she told ABC13 her story to warn other people even though she admits she feels embarrassed for falling for what the FBI calls an "advanced fee scheme."

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"I cried so much that day I couldn't stop blaming myself mostly," she said.

It all started when Torres saw a post by the "friend" on Facebook, claiming it was to help people struggling because of the pandemic. The post said if you gave $100 you would eventually receive about $1,200 in return. It went on to say the more you gave, the more you got in return. All the friend asked for was gift cards. Torres said that's when she sent him pictures of the gift cards but then, there was a catch.

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"[He] said, 'There's going to be a fee, but this fee will be refunded to you when you get the $2,400. So in total, you will get $2,800,'" Torres recalled.

In the end, she never received the money promised and soon realized the gift cards she purchased had already been used.

"I've never been through anything like this and I trusted this person," Torres said.

The FBI and BBB always warn people about these types of scams and it's happening a lot more now due to the pandemic. The FBI says to always be suspicious of anyone offering something that is "too good to be true."

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