FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – A crook or crooks on social media used a North Texas public official’s image to make their phony offers appear legitimate.

The City of Farmers Branch said it happened to Mayor Robert Dye this week.

READ MORE: Former Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall Explains Why No Action Was Ever Taken Against Officer Bryan Riser, Now Charged With Capital Murder

Someone impersonated him in a fake Instagram account, then used that account to solicit payments from unsuspecting victims who expected to access a federal grant.

Instagram scam (credit: City of Farmers Branch)

Police Chief David Hale says these fraudulent offers have become more common during the COVID-19 pandemic.

People are more often desperate for federal grants, spending more time online and more likely to make a quick decision, trying to meet a fake deadline.

READ MORE: Gov. Greg Abbott Responds To Criticism For Ending Mask Mandate, Fully Reopening Texas: 'There's Never Going To Be Uniform Agreement On This'

COVID-19 vaccine scams, federal grant scams and banking scams are just the tip of the iceberg.

Learn more about scams during the pandemic here.

The FBI has a large database of common scams here.

MORE NEWS: Visit Fort Worth Launches Campaign Promoting Businesses That Encourage Mask-Wearing

MORE FROM CBSDFW

CBSDFW.com Staff