Head on a swivel for real these days. A few months ago I was contacted on Instagram by a Voodoo Priest who offered to provide me with blessings. I knew it was a scam but was curious so I engaged him on the details of what that would look like. He said he needed a few items to get started at the local market. I was like, I have a market, maybe I can grab them for you. He said oh no he had to get the items because they were special like a live chicken, candles, and specific spices.

I told him it was a hard pass for me, I wasn't really into ending a chickens life. He explained that wasn't going to happen but what he needed was the money for the items. Blocked and reported. Not today Satan.

Today, I got a friend request from my friend Robbie.

First red flag. We are already friends and instead of paying attention and checking, I was offended. I automatically thought, "what, did I say something and you deleted me, now you want back in the fold?" It was a split second of insecurity and that's what a scammer is searching for.

Take a beat and trust your gut

I accepted the friend request and then she started messaging me.

Have you heard about the IMF Giving Out Grant? she asked

I work with a lot of non-profits as does Robbie and so it isn't unusual for people to give me tips on cool stuff but what came next made me stop for a second and start paying attention.

have to pay it back, you can also apply too.. because the agent I applied with is an honest woman on her words she's the one who help me out with it

Red flags everywhere. The spelling and grammar are all off, I look up and realize, Robbie is spelled with only one B so I immediately message her on Facebook to let her know I believe she's been hacked.

Now that we are in it, I might as well start messing with this scammer too.

Here it comes

FYI don't call that number please, this is a scam. At this point, I haven't heard from Robbie but I did start texting with a mutual friend, confirming the fact that yes she got hacked so I mentioned I've been messing with them. Carey J told me to tell them something and so no offense to those reading, cause I did it!

And finished that up by reporting them

I checked with the real Robbie to make sure she was ok that I shared this and she thought it was a good thing. So I wanted to go over all the red flags here that you should always be aware of. More can be found at avoiding scams 101

  1. If you are already friends with them, check before accepting the request
  2. Look at the spelling. Is your friend's name even correct?
  3. No posts, just a handful of friends...looking off
  4. If they are messaging you and you notice the spelling and grammar are really off, that is an indicator, granted I'm not perfect when it comes to either of those things but things like, "she a very nice man woman" skipping words could be showing off that English is not their first language.
  5. Asking you for private information is a no go
  6. This scam is having you call someone, once you do that they now have your phone number and who knows what else they are up to

Stay safe out there and pay attention. As the weather gets colder the scammers start getting more aggressive and if you really want blessings, count the ones you already have. You don't need to have someone buy a chicken to get them...unless you are into that sort of thing!