To the Editor:
St. Clair County Associate Judge Chris Kolker wants Metro-East residents to be aware of a new scam that is being perpetrated on social media.
"There are people on Facebook, and other social media platforms, claiming to be from East St. Louis and other metro-east towns that are sharing information about a ‘Board’ that is handing out tens of thousands of dollars in grant money and unclaimed benefits,” Kolker stated in a release. “It is a scam and people need to be careful so they do not compromise their private information or give money to them.”
Kolker said the scammers friend people on Facebook and post the erroneous information on Facebook or in private messages. They claim individuals can sign up for benefits through an agency called the Department of Health and Human Service Compensation Appeals Board (HCAB) or the Workers Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) and that the agency will then send the individual thousands of dollars in benefits. One such person tried to scam Kolker, who immediately reported it to the Attorney General.
The scam often requires the victim to pay a processing fee, usually around $250, in order to receive $10,000- $25,000 is grant money or unclaimed benefits. However, after the processing fee is paid, the promised grant money never comes.
“There is no state agency overnighting checks to people for tens of thousands of dollars,” Kolker cautions. “If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is”
Kolker encourages individuals who have seen this scam to contact the Attorney General’s consumer fraud hotline at 800-243-0618 and report the posts or messages to Facebook administrators.
St. Clair County Associate Judge Chris Kolker