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A woman in her 50s, known by the pseudonym Jillian, was contacted by a scammer via Facebook Messenger last year."I'd come out of a long-term relationship, and I was vulnerable," she told the ABC."I'd been swimming and I came out of the pool and there was a message on Messenger, and I was very curious."I hit on it and it was this chappy and he said he was a colonel in the American Army and he was widowed."Initially it sounded quite genuine." She said she felt "buoyed" when she kept messaging with him over the course of a week.
"I kept receiving messages, but when I asked him a question — I didn't suss it straight away — but I then realised he was never actually answering my questions," Jillian said.
It identifies a "sharp increase" in scams taking place through social media sites such as Facebook.
"It can be really hard to tell who's genuine and who's fake these days," Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) deputy chairwoman Delia Rickard said.