This Facebook scam cost one man $50,000

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Beware: This Facebook Scam Could Cost You Hundreds

Whether it's a coupon scam, a phone scam, a lottery scam or something else, there are people out there who want to steal your money.

When you hear the stories of people who've been conned, it's often easy to pass judgment. But, keep in mind, scammers work to perfect their craft, just like the rest of us. In many cases, there may be something that seems slightly off, but there are also logical reasons to justify it. This makes picking out a scam more difficult.

See how Facebook has evolved through the years:

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Facebook over the years
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This Facebook scam cost one man $50,000

The original Facebook homepage from 2004 with a small picture of Al Pacino in the top left corner.

Photo courtesy: Max Slater-Robins/WayBack Machine

Mark Zuckerberg originally described himself as not only the founder of Facebook, but also as the "Master and Commander" and "Enemy of the State."

Photo courtesy: WayBack Machine

Here's what a Facebook group page looked like in 2005.

Photo courtesy: WayBack Machine

For comparison, this is what a Facebook group page looks like today.

Photo courtesy: WayBack Machine

The Facebook homepage in 2005 also listed all of the schools the social network was in -- and still included the photo of Al Pacino.

Photo courtesy: Max Slater-Robins/WayBack Machine

The company decided to drop the "the" from its name in 2005, after it bought the domain Facebook.com for $200,000.

Photo courtesy: WayBack Machine

We love this gem about "poking" from one of the original FAQ pages.

Photo courtesy: WayBack Machine

Facebook's homepage in 2006 was a stripped-back affair, doing away with the list of schools in favor of a simple login option.

Photo courtesy: Max Slater-Robins/WayBack Machine

Mark Zuckerberg's profile in 2006.

Photo courtesy: WayBack Machine

Facebook launched the News Feed to display all your friends' activity in a single timeline in 2006.

Photo courtesy: WayBack Machine

At the same time, Facebook introduced the Mini-Feed. But the entire concept of a News Feed resulted in some very public outrage. Some users even went so far to call one of Facebook's product managers the devil.

Photo courtesy: WayBack Machine

Facebook's 2007 homepage contained the first instance of its now-synonymous logo and offered the "latest news" from friends.

Photo courtesy: Max Slater-Robins/WayBack Machine

The Facebook of 2008 continued to refine the homepage and offered options for signing up.

Photo courtesy: Max Slater-Robins/WayBack Machine

Facebook gained the "connected world" diagram in 2009, which lasted all the way until 2011.

Photo courtesy: Max Slater-Robins/WayBack Machine

In 2009, Facebook's home page also got a facelift. Posts started to stream through the News Feed in real-time.

Photo courtesy: WayBack Machine

That same year, Facebook also introduced its algorithm for determining the order in which status updates should be displayed.

Photo courtesy: WayBack Machine

Facebook changed its logo font in 2010 but left the homepage much the same.

Photo courtesy: WayBack Machine

2010 was also when Facebook brought notifications to the top navigation bar following yet another redesign.

Photo courtesy: WayBack Machine

Facebook also rolled out a new, more visual profile in 2010. It added a row of recently tagged images below your name and basic profile information.

Photo courtesy: WayBack Machine

Facebook left the design the same in 2011, but made the input boxes used to log in clearer.

Photo courtesy: Max Slater-Robins/WayBack Machine

Facebook launched the News Ticker in 2011 so users could keep up with their friends while browsing through other parts of Facebook.

Photo courtesy: WayBack Machine

The Facebook Timeline feels like it's been around since the beginning. But it launched in 2011 to act as a virtual timeline of your entire life.

Photo courtesy: WayBack Machine

Facebook also split its instant messaging into a different app called Messenger in 2011. It's now got more than 800 million monthly users.

Photo courtesy: iTunes

Facebook swapped out the connected world diagram for a phone in 2012 as its users moved from desktop to mobile. Today, over 800 million people access Facebook on mobile everyday.

Photo courtesy: Max Slater-Robins/WayBack Machine

Facebook started flooding the News Feed with sponsored stories in January 2012.

Photo courtesy: WayBack Machine

Facebook settled on a design in 2013 that it would stay with for the next few years.

Photo courtesy: Max Slater-Robins/WayBack Machine

This is what Facebook's mobile app looked like when it first launched.

Photo courtesy: WayBack Machine

It has since been completely redesigned.

Photo courtesy: WayBack Machine

Facebook also owns a bunch of other popular apps, most notably Instagram, which the company bought for $1 billion in 2012. With more than 400 million monthly users, that seems like a steal nowadays.

Photo courtesy: Business Insider

2015 was a big year for Facebook that saw its first ever day with one billion users online simultaneously. The company had figured out how to make money from mobile too, turning it into a $300 billion business.

Photo courtesy: Max Slater-Robins/WayBack Machine

Today, more than 1.5 billion people use the social network every single month.

Photo courtesy: Facebook

And more than 1.4 billion people use it on their mobile phones every month. Not bad, considering 12 years ago smartphones didn't even exist.

Photo courtesy: Facebook

Here's the Facebook homepage today, on its 12th birthday.
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When you hear the stories of people who've been conned, it's often easy to pass judgment. But, keep in mind, scammers work to perfect their craft, just like the rest of us. In many cases, there may be something that seems slightly off, but there are also logical reasons to justify it. This makes picking out a scam more difficult.

That was the case for a man named Frank, who lost $50,000 through an elaborate Facebook scam.

It started when he received a Facebook Friend Request from a woman named Kim. He'd never met Kim before, but she claimed to be a drill sergeant in the U.S. Army, who was stationed in Afghanistan. Their conversations seemed completely normal at first, but eventually led into more.

Kim and Frank's relationship wasn't anything romantic. Instead, the two became friends, and Kim eventually asked Frank for a favor.

"As we were talking on Facebook, she asked me to help her get a couple of consignment packages out of Ghana and into the States," Frank explained. "[She said they'd] be delivered to me."

He agreed to help her, and Kim provided him with instructions. She put him in contact with a company called Say Cargo Express Inc., and various legal and shipping personnel.

"The packages contained, according to Kim, $10.5 million in cash and $70,000 in gold bars," Frank said. And he was promised that once the package arrived, he'd receive a commission.

Other parties from the shipping company soon began corresponding with Frank regarding the cargo. There was even a man named Tony Lithur who claimed to be a lawyer, hired to ensure that everything was done legally.

Frank began losing money in small increments at a time. First, he was asked to send $3,000 to cover Lithur's legal fees. Next, he was asked to send $9,000 to cover the storage fee for customs. The big scams came when he was asked to pay two different $17,000 installments to cover the gold fee from the Ghana government, and fee for the IRS.

The parties involved communicated with Frank for around four months, dragging out the process with "hiccup" after "hiccup," and requesting fee after fee. Eventually, Frank began to suspect that he was being scammed.

"To be honest, when she brought the proposal about the consignment I was skeptical," Frank said. "But in the back of my mind I thought, 'Why would someone from the U.S. Army want to scam me?"

That's just the thing, isn't it? Some of these scams really do sound legitimate. And, unfortunately, most people don't discover that they've been scammed until it's too late.

Thankfully, sponsor, Kaspersky Lab, has software that can help keep you safe. It analyzes URLs and gives you a heads up if anything looks suspicious. Click here to learn more, and get 50% off as a Kim Komando listener.

Disclosure: This post is brought by our partners at Komando, who aim to highlight products and services you might find interesting, or useful. This post references their trusted sponsor, Kaspersky Lab.

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