The fraudster’s goal is to get you to buy and send them items like phones or gift cards.
First, the fraudster connects with you online to gain your trust. They may pose as a Facebook friend or as a romantic interest on a dating site. Then, they ask you to buy high-dollar items for them or for a charity they’re working for. They say they’ll send you the money, but ask you to make the initial purchase.
The fraudster makes it appear like there was a transfer of funds to your account. You buy the items, expecting the money to clear your account soon. But, after you send the items, the funds disappear—and you’re on the hook for the money you’ve spent.
These kinds of requests aren’t legitimate when they come from someone you don’t know.
Tips to defend against scams on social media
If the fraudster claims the purchase is for charity