Local couple fall victim to scam through Facebook messenger after scammers pretend to be a close friend

Roberta and James Bennett thought they were applying for a grant to help disabled people pay for housing and medical expenses. The scammer knew personal things about them that only a close friend would know, and that's how they fell for the scam.

Posted: Sep 16, 2019 6:30 PM
Updated: Sep 18, 2019 1:29 PM

TERRE HAUTE. Ind. (WTHI) - A local couple has lost nearly everything after falling victim to a scam through Facebook messenger.

Roberta and James Bennett thought they were applying for a grant to help disabled people pay for housing and medical expenses.

Only to later find out, it was all a scam.

It all started when the scammer pretended to be one of the Bennett's close friends.

The couple lost $1,000 after falling victim to a scam they thought would get the $200,000 in grant money.

The scammer knew personal things about them that only a close friend would know, and that's how they fell for the scam.

"I felt stupid, yet it wasn't stupid because I trusted someone. How did this happen because I trusted someone?," said Roberta Bennett.

It's that money they lost that has now put them in a financial bind.

"It's everything we had. We trusted our friend. I was behind on rent, and it was going to get us out of that bind with the company we live in. We live in assisted living. I didn't like being behind. It was going to get us even with them," said Roberta Bennett.

The Bennett's have just two weeks to come up with the money, or they'll be evicted from their current assisted living home.

"If we don't come up with the money, which we would like to stay here because of our health is in bad shape.. I don't know what we're going to do," said James Bennett.

They hope by sharing their story, others will not end up in a similar situation.

"I want them to be careful. Pay attention to it," said James Bennett.

"Don't trust anyone on the phones, social media anything except voice, because they can get anything anywhere," said Roberta Bennett.

The Bennett's want to warn anyone who is approached on social media do not apply for the financial stability grant.

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