(Willmar MN-) The Willmar Police Department says recently they have been contacted with questions on alleged missing children, injured animals and other Facebook postings that caused concern. In researching those postings, most appear to be Facebook "Share Scams" that originate through Marketplace or Craigslist type groups. Research shows that this is mainly done to try and alter algorithms for the original poster to show up more on other Facebook feeds. Additionally, the original poster may be able to target those that share or like the post for spam or more specific scams.
Things to look for:
- If you check the profile of the original poster, they may likely be from overseas
- They may use a "555" in their alleged phone number similar to what Hollywood does
-The photo will have clues that don't match the description (Two examples shown: One was a "missing girl found in Willmar" but shows a Texas Fire Dept patch. The other is a "house for immediate rent in Willmar" but shows palm trees).
Beware of postings from sources that you don't know!