Two local businesses have been impersonated with fake Facebook pages to try and obtain credit card information so far this year.
About 2 p.m. Tuesday, someone alerted Terra Cafe they had received a message from the Facebook page Terra’Cafe telling them won a contest and provided a link. General Manager Richia Austin said clicking the link took people to a page asking for their bank information.
“We would never ask for bank information,” she said. “Especially for a free pastry and free coffee.”
By 5 p.m. the business had about 30 people tell it about the scam. Austin said she appreciated the community letting them know what was happening and asked everyone to please report the page.
Ausitn said she also reported the page to Facebook but as of Friday morning had not heard back. She said she’s worried about what the account could post that could be associated with Terra Cafe on accident. In addition to the similar name, the fake page uses the same header image at a greater magnification.
A similar incident happened in January. The Black Bear Burritos Evansdale account warned its followers that some people were getting a message from the account Black’Bear Evansdale.
That page is still active and has several posts in Indonesian. There are no posts on the Terra’Cafe page.
Star City Police Chief Thomas Varndell said one of his officers took a report on Tuesday’s scam.
Typically, those types of cases are forwarded to the Federal Trade Commission which has more of an outreach and more resources, Varndell said.
He acknowledged these types of scams are part of life in the internet age and it’s mainly the elderly and immigrants who fall victim to them.
When purchasing something online you should only give your credit card information in a checkout type situation for something you are deliberately buying, Varndell said.
“Just in general don’t give any information to someone you haven’t confirmed who it is,” he said. “There is no reason someone needs your date of birth or Social Security or account unless it’s a lending company or someone you typically do business with.”