Aco sy michelle, Facebook scams and how to avoid them

A friend of mine recently disclosed that he has been scammed on Facebook in the amount of P 30,000.00. He transacted with a certain person whose Facebook name is “Aco sy michelle.” He has done a lot of online transactions before and after doing preliminary business in Facebook, he usually meets in person to finalize the transaction.

It is only in the meeting when items and cash changes hands. The item was indeed very tempting. It was for a Canon 60D camera which was only sold for P 30,000.00. (Usually this sells for close to P 60,000) However instead of going about his usual protocol, my friend decided to send the money. Afterwards he was given an LBC tracking number. He was alarmed when the item did not arrive on the day it was suppose to arrive. So he tried calling up the person but her mobile number could not be reached anymore. He tried messaging her in Facebook, but the Facebook page was already deactivated. The seller was gone with the wind and so was his P30,000.00. My friend was devastated and together with him I am warning the public to be vigilant in doing online transactions. Here are some tips I have personally come up with in order to help inform the people on how to avoid being scammed in Facebook.

1.) When buying an item online offer to meet in person, and finalize the transaction in person – This is what we call “Kaliwa-an” so to speak. The item and the cash changes hands only after both of you meet in person. Make sure also to meet in a public place to avoid getting robbed or worse even kidnapped. If the seller refuses to meet, then it is probably a scam.

2.) Do a preliminary back ground online investigation – A simple Google search will do. My friend told me that if he had searched for “Aco sy michelle” he would have found out that this person has been scamming people already using this Facebook profile. I’m surprised this scammer still continues to use this profile considering that such profile has already been exposed. I am even more surprised that people are still being ripped off even until now by this profile considering the deluge of information against this profile. Visiting forums, blog and even Facebook pages will also help in your background investigation. A facebook page called “Official Bogus sellers” attempts to warn people of all bogus sellers in Facebook.

3.) If it’s too good to be true, it probably is a scam – If an item is selling way too low for its market price or if an offer is too good to be true than most likely it is a scam. So stay away from that.

By the way the aliasas of “Aco sy michelle” according to online information are Michel Grace Sembrano, Michele Perez, Micelle Velasco, Michelle Gordoncillo, Ronna Michaelle Balbuena. He or she probably lives in the Baguio or Benguet area as sometimes money is sent to the scammer who uses a Baguio address through a local baguio bank or via LBC, GCash or other ways of sending money. A lot of people are really angry with this scammer. Most of them wished her dead and that her body be sent in a compost bin. I understand the sentiment. Getting ripped off is really devastating. I really don’t know what’s the reason why this person is scamming. Perhaps he is deeply in debt and is a first time buyer mortgages. Anyway I hope this helps. (By the way couldn’t help but notice the funny/unusual Facebook name the scammer is using)

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