The Kittitas County Sheriff's Office is warning about an internet scam that's been seeing growth in recent weeks.

Detectives say the ruse involves the scammer posting to social media sites about a missing child or relative and asking for users to assist by sharing the post in order to spread the word.

In reality, there is no lost or missing person, however, and once the post is well circulated, the scammer will then change the original post to include a malicious link that contains malware or other potentially-damaging agents to your computer and its systems.

To avoid being scammed, detectives are advising never to click on a link in a social media post unless you are absolutely certain it is legitimate.

It's unknown how many people have fallen for the scam since it began making the rounds locally.

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Ranking States with Most Online Scams

Here's a state-by-state look, using data available from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), ranking states by total amount of money lost to fraud.

Gallery Credit: Scott Clow

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