Suffolk Butchers hit by Facebook scam attempts

Alastair Angus, owner of Thurston Butchers, was the victim of a Facebook scam.

Alastair Angus, owner of Thurston Butchers, was the victim of a Facebook scam. - Credit: ARCHIE GINGELL/THURSTON BUTCHERS

A Suffolk butchers has been targeted by social media scammers after it posted about a Valentine's Day hamper competition.

Thurston Butchers announced it was offering a Valentine's Day hamper full of "everything you need for a special date night and a slap up breakfast the next morning" via its Facebook page on Thursday February 4. 

But by Sunday evening, people had started to receive messages from a suspicious account.

"Around 7pm my phone went nuts," owner Alastair Angus said. "Customers, colleagues and friends were messaging me to notify me of a strange account and to verify if it was real or not."

An account with a similar name to the butcher's had added participants in the hamper competition as friends and messaged them saying they had won.


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It then asked them to click a link and input their bank details.

Mr Angus said: "It's such a shame that this competition has been hijacked in this way. We're just a small village butchers trying to do something fun and promote the local businesses involved."

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A spokesman for Suffolk County Council Trading Standards warned against social media scammers.

He said: “Social media platforms are popular hunting grounds for scammers. The scammer’s aim is to get you to click on fraudulent links, to send your bank details or other personal information.

“Receiving an instant message, email, text or phone call out of the blue is a sign of a scammer. They will often put you under pressure to respond quickly or make offers that sound too good to be true.

“Reputable businesses will not act in this way. But if you think a message could be genuine, contact that business using official channels from their website, or contact details that you know to be correct. Do not respond directly to the message that you have received.

“If you are suspicious about any such activity, you can report it to the national Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133 or online."

The real Thurston Butchers account put out a second message on social media reassuring customers that the winner is still going to be announced on Friday February 12.

  

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