Albany fish and chip shop customers caught in scammers’ Facebook competition net
A popular Albany fish and chips restaurant has been caught up in an online scam targeting Facebook competition entrants, prompting a warning from Consumer Protection.
WA ScamNet at Consumer Protection warns Facebook competitions run by legitimate WA tourism and hospitality businesses are being “hijacked” by scammers.
Scammers create fake Facebook pages impersonating real businesses to promise users the chance of winning a prize if they like, share or comment on a post.
Fake profiles contact entrants claiming they are a “winner” but need to register their details by clicking on a link which goes to a fake website where they must provide their personal and financial details.
Albany’s Ocean and Paddock is one of the businesses targeted, with owner Rebecca Brennan describing the incident as “horrible”.
“What made it really difficult is that we have a really close relationship with our customers and a certain level of trust, so they were the ones that were really violated,” she said.
“It went on for four days and I had to take time off work and sit at the computer and find everyone that was targeted and message them personally.
“It was very confusing and it put our whole business to a halt.
“There were a few people who actually did give over their credit card details that I couldn’t get to fast enough, which was the saddest part about it.”
Consumer Protection commissioner Gary Newcombe said competitions were a common marketing method.
“Our warning is for people who receive these ‘congratulations, you’re a winner’ messages to be very suspicious and check that the message is from the actual business,” he said.
“Send a message via the original page or call them if in doubt before being led to a fake website and giving away vital personal information that could be used to steal your identity or money.”
Visit the WA ScamNet website or call 1300 30 40 54.
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