Cyber fraudsters posing as friends and family on hacked Facebook accounts are targeting locals for cash.
The Royal Gibraltar Police is warning the public to remain vigilant when online, with the scammers using a grant scheme to entice people to front the money.
The scammers send Facebook messages posing as a family member or friend and explain that the International Monetary Fund is awarding grants to diverse groups of people within the community.
An RGP spokesman confirmed the multiple complaints have been made by members of the public but no one has submitted an official report.
The fraudsters explain that grants up to $100,000 are available, but a few of 1% of the total grant needs to be paid in advance when applying.
The intended victim is then required to add ‘a member of the IMF’ as a friend who will then assist with the grant application.
Once payment is made the scam is usually complete, however, variations of the scam may continue to delay the application process and ask for further payments due to ‘unexpected’ fees.
The RGP remind the public to ignore friend requests from unknown individuals and “if what is being offered sounds too good to be true, it usually is”.
In a statement the RGP added that victims will never receive the money promised by the fraudsters and will rarely recover their loss are the perpetrators are “extremely difficult to track”.