Man, Woman Face Fraud Charges for Instagram Scam
Social media has been used in recent years primarily to communicate with friends and family members. Businesses also use it to attract customers. Now social media is being used to commit crimes—primarily fraud.
Two Maryland residents are facing fraud charges after running a check scam on Instagram. The 24-year-old man and 25-year-old woman were issued arrest warrants in June. The woman was arrested on June 25, while the man wasn’t arrested until September 23. Both have since been released on bond.
The two had been running a check scam on Instagram since 2018, but Montgomery County Police did not become aware of it until November 2019. Their investigation uncovered how the man and woman would defraud victims. The man would use his Instagram account to contact female Instagram users. He claimed he would pay them so he could use their accounts to commit the scam. He then posted photos of bank account statements with large balances with information about how to make money through a “currency exchange.”
The man would then reach out to the victims’ friends and see if they would participate in the exchange. If they said yes, the man would send the victim a check to deposit in their bank account. The victim was then instructed to send a portion of the check back to the man through cash or an online money transfer system. The victim was then allowed to keep the remaining money. After a few days, the victims would receive notifications from their banks that the checks were fraudulent and they would have to pay back the money. Detectives also found out that the money the victims were sending to the man was actually being deposited into the woman’s bank account.
Detectives identified five women who were victims of this scam, but believe there could be more victims. Altogether, the women were scammed out of $6,400. Four of the victims are from Montgomery County, while the fifth victim is a resident of Prince George’s County.
The man and woman are now facing charges for the scam. Both have been charged with multiple theft, fraud and forgery crimes.
Instagram scams are becoming more popular as people flock to social media. The types of scams include the following:
- Scammers will flirt with you to gain your trust, then ask you for money.
- Scammers will claim that you won something, but you’ll have to pay a fee in order to get the “reward.”
- You may receive fraud offers related to employment that seems too good to be true.
- These scams claim you will make millions of dollars with just a small investment of your money.
Contact a Maryland Criminal Defense Attorney Today
Many people engage in scams to defraud people of their hard-earned money. Scams can happen in a variety of ways, from phone calls to emails to text messages to social media. These crimes may be prosecuted harshly.
Protect yourself with help from the Columbia white collar crimes lawyers at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. Our aggressive representation can defend you from a conviction and help you keep your freedom. To schedule a free consultation, call (410) 774-5987 or fill out the online form. We have two offices to serve you.