An Ames woman is accused of helping scam dozens of people Facebook.
Ames Police say 42-year-old Sherri Massey was first a victim of the scam. She received a message Facebook that she won $350,000 in an online game. After paying the “taxes” through Western Union, authorities say Massey became part of the scam.
“They solicited her to help do this with other people and she was doing the Western Union payments, then keeping a small portion and sending the rest of the money to Nigeria,” says Commander Geoff Huff with the Ames Police Department.
Wire transfers show Massey was part of 56 transactions worth nearly $20,000. She is accused of keeping about $5500 and sending the rest overseas. Ames police began investigating the scam after being contacted by authorities in another state. They were looking into the case for one of the victims.
Massey is charged with money laundering and her next court hearing is May 15th.
“She certainly should have known something was wrong in the whole way this whole thing operated,” says Huff.
Massey is in the Story County jail on a $10,000 bond. If convicted, she faces up to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.