"Lafayette, LA Buy/Sell/Trade" is a group on Facebook with over 81,600 members. It was created on December 11, 2013, according to the group's 'About' section. Although it is a great resource for Lafayette residents to sell/buy items, the group seems to have been 'taken over' by foreign scammers.
Majority of the posts in the group consist of false information, inappropriate images, and links that lead to hacking.
This post comes from an author named Nancy Donald, claiming that her uncle is missing. Factually, this is false. The picture is actually of a deceased man in Sonoma, California.
Secondly, this post comes from an author named Perseverance Mabhena, showing a picture of a young male in the hospital; claiming that he was hit by a car, and they are trying to identify him. Factually, this is false. Both images are irrelevant to the author's claim, and come from other realistic social media posts.
These two posts are just a few of 100s of different types of scam posts, varying from fake houses for rent, raising money for injured dogs, weight loss pills, free Cashapp money, and false stories about injured people posts.
Many people are sharing these posts, thinking that they are helping to spread the word - but realistically, they are supporting the scammer's intention. The scammers want you to share the post because once a post reaches a wide range of shares, the scammer changes the content of the post - mostly to an item/house for sale. The posts are often added with a link, and if the link is clicked, it can give the scammer access to your phone/computer.
While these posts are being made consistently by scammers in this specific group, they are also being uploaded in different groups and pages all over the world. Our team wants to help put an end to the circulation of spam content, and this is why we are making this article - to educate the community.
One way you can verify if a post is legit is by looking at the author's page; checking their name, location, and friends list (check for mutual friends). Often, the scammers have foreign names, locations (such as Zimbabwe), and images. Another way is by checking to see if the post allows comments (most scammers take off the comments). If you ever doubt a posts legitimacy, just simply don't share it.