LINCOLNTON, NC (Kelcey McClung/WBTV)- Imagine your surprise if you saw your home advertised in a Facebook giveaway. Lynn Payne knows the feeling.
Payne's sister-in-law shared a post from a page, "The Weekly Deals," on Payne's Facebook profile. She pointed out that the house the page posted looked just like Payne's.
Payne was shocked to realize that it was her home. She and her husband, Thomas, recently put the house on the market and it had already sold. She read through the comments on the post and saw dozens of people begging to win.
"I messaged the page immediately and asked them to take the post down," Payne said. "They never responded."
By Tuesday, Facebook had removed the post.
Because the house was on the market and closes August 7, Payne speculated the page took pictures of her house from the online real estate listing. The Weekly Deals posted three of the photos from the listing, offering the home up as a giveaway. Though the page says in the description "all of our giveaways are just for fun," many took it seriously.
"It takes a twisted mind to taunt people who dream about having a home," Payne said.
Payne said that family and friends have been telling those hoping to win the home that it is a scam. According to her, The Weekly Deals has marked those comments as spam. Other people have commented back, accusing Payne of discouraging others from entering the contest so she can win.
"I know this is a scam, but people don't believe it," she said. "They [The Weekly Deals] are preying on vulnerable, needy people."
The false giveaway of Payne's home was posted Sunday afternoon. It had already surpassed 30,000 shares by Tuesday afternoon. In the comments on the post, people have been sharing their unfortunate stories in the hopes of winning.
One comment reads, "Please... we live in a shack that's falling apart... field line busted, water leak, holes in walls and floors, mold in closet, no subfloor or insulation, no heat or air other than a fireplace and oscillating fan... my sons and husband and I need this badly..."
Despite her frustration with the situation, Payne said that it has made her much more thankful that she has a home to call her own.
"It made me feel very blessed and very fortunate, but very heartbreaking that people are begging for my home," Payne said.
Payne says that the new owners are aware of the false post circulating about the home.