Randolph County mom warning others about Instagram scam

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RANDOLPH COUNTY, N.C. -- Heading into the New Year, a Randolph County mom is warning people to watch out on social media.

She says someone tried to get her money, and when she didn't fall for it, she was threatened.

The mom didn't want her name or face to be shared but wanted to make sure others knew what to look for.

It all started with a direct message on Instagram.

"A man wanted to send me $30,000 because he had won $80 million. [He said] the first thousand followers would get $30,000," the woman said.

The person's Instagram page is filled with pictures of a man holding a giant lottery check.

The Randolph County woman decided to respond, thinking maybe she too would hit the jackpot.

"[He said] I would be the lucky person, and it would be delivered by a FedEx agent, which would be his private agent," the woman said.

The alleged agent, for the person behind the page, sent her dozens of messages and asked her to send him her full name, address, phone number and a delivery payment.

"All I had to do was give him basic information," the woman said. "After we started talking, the [alleged] FedEx agent started messaging me through text and said that I had to pay $150 to get the package."

That's when the Randolph County mom knew something was wrong.

She texted the person, who was using a New York area phone number, asking them to leave her alone.

"The supposed FedEx driver who texted me told me he would blackmail me," the woman said.

FOX8 tried calling the number the woman received messages from, but no one answered.

Capt. Chris Maness, with the Randolph County Sheriff's Office, says these types of scams are very common.

"Don't automatically send money. And if they're asking for money for you to send into an account, that's a no. Don't do that," Maness said.

The department sees a spike in social media scams during the holiday season.

Maness believes the best way to combat it, is by reporting it to authorities.

"We may not be able to catch the perpetrator, they may not even live in the country, but that's the purpose of it, so somebody doesn't get scammed out of their money," Maness said.

That's why the Randolph County mom is coming forward, hoping others are on the lookout.

"I think it's terrible. You can't go out and get a job and your money the right way. You've got to con people out of their money," the woman said.

She tells FOX8 she did report the scam to Instagram, but she has not yet heard back.

On the social media's "Help Center" page, there is a warning and an outline of the different scams they're aware of and what to do.

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