Facebook Scam Claims Mattapoisett Stabbers, Fall River/Plymouth Serial Killer
There’s a scam going around social media claiming horrible acts of violence being committed in Fall River, Plymouth, Mattapoisett and other communities in Massachusetts and beyond that appears to be nothing more than a hoax devised to make the post go viral.
We first noticed it on July 27, when a post appeared in the “Mattapoisett, MA” Facebook group. The post claimed that “the public around Maitapoisett (sic) is being warned to be alert and vigilant” because two men pretending to be homeless were asking for help but then attacking people. The post even claimed that they “attacked a 33 year old single mom with a knife 2 days ago leaving her struggling for her life.”
The post also included photos allegedly of the two men, which we’ve covered up here because, well, this whole thing is just made up and there's no reason to unfairly malign them for this, even if they do appear to be actual mugshots.
First, Mattapoisett Police never put out any kind of warning or press release regarding such a situation. Our newsroom would have definitely been all over that story if indeed a single mom was attacked with a knife and struggling for her life.
A search of Facebook turned up the exact same post across the platform, mentioning different towns and with different suspect photos, but yet the rest of the text was exactly the same. It appears that the posters (who are likely using fake or bot accounts) are just copying the text and a “>” symbol indicates where the town name should populate.
Now here’s where it gets really interesting: at some point after the original post hit the Mattapoisett group – and was shared 848 times – the original poster went back and edited the post. Everything about the two people and the stabbing was gone, replaced by “Hey guys, I finally received mine. It’s really coming guys” and a push for a “new relief program” from “LifePoints Instant rewards” which appears to be some kind of credit scam using the hashtag #BOOMchallenge.
As we know, many so-called “challenges” on Facebook are usually attempts at collecting private data, and this one is obviously a scam.
And as you can see, the shares of the post – like this one from the moderator of the Mattapoisett group – all now reflect the scam. It’s an easy way to get a post to go viral before turning into a money-making opportunity off people who had the best intentions, if not the best judgment.
A different version of the scam began circulating locally on Thursday evening, this one claiming that “there’s a serial killer or abductor who is currently hunting in (insert town here). My friend was almost taken by him.” The post claims he drives a truck with LED lights and hits cars of women who are driving alone and once they pull over, he abducts them.
The post has circulated around, with the same photo, claiming this was in Fall River and Plymouth, and those are just the only two we saw. Again, nothing from police in either community warning of this.
Yet again, you can see this is something that is happening all over.
Once these posts go viral, it’s likely they too will be turned into scam posts, so be careful before you share and remember, if it sounds like it might not be true, it probably isn’t.