Local businesses used in Facebook scam | #datingscams | #lovescams | #facebookscams

Rebecca Whenham, who co-owns Fruitful Specialty Shop with Andrea Whenham and Aurora Bechard, says they have a legitimate Valentine’s Day giveaway happening and thinks because it has gotten a lot of comments and attention, somebody is taking advantage of that.

“Somebody had created a fake personal profile rather than our business profile and took our pictures and our name and kind of messed up the name a bit, they only used a part of it. And then they were sending friend requests to everybody who had commented on our post, sending them a link saying that ‘you’re the winner you have to go to this link’ which obviously is not something we would do,” says Whenham.

The scam that Medicine Hat Brewing Company was the subject of is the same.

Whenham says the scam was probably only going on for about 20 minutes before they were notified by at least two people.

“We asked those people to report the profile and they sent us screenshots of it,” she says. “We went and found the profile and reported it ourselves and then made posts on our initial post for the giveaway and then also just a post on our Facebook to let everybody know as fast as we could that this was not us doing it, not to follow any links. Like we wouldn’t send any information like that.”

Sgt. Adam Gregory of the Medicine Hat Police Service Community Support Unit says he hasn’t seen a lot of this sort of scam targeting small businesses they appear to be getting more common as time goes on.

He says when people get messages that are even a little suspicious they should reach out to the company directly, don’t ever grant third-party permissions and never give out personal information.

Remain vigilant is Gregory’s overall message.

“There’s lots of these things that are happening within all communities and we just have to be vigilant, do our own research and don’t act on anything that seems too good to be true. As they always say it if appears that way it very well may be. The world of fraud and especially social media fraud is ever-changing. As they change we have to adapt and be aware,” he says.

Whenham and her co-owners at Fruitful Specialty Shop thank everyone who alerted them to the scam.

“Our page is a business page where you don’t have to accept any friend requests, you can see everything that we post right there on the front page,” she says.

She adds giveaways for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and other special events are a big part of Fruitful Specialty Shop and hopes customers will continue to support them.

The store is still accepting orders for Valentine’s Day and is taking extra precautions to make sure that everything is clean and there is minimal contact for customers.

“We’re super excited for Valentine’s Day and hope that we can make everybody’s Valentine’s Day a little bit happier this year,” she says.

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