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'They're going to keep doing it': New Facebook scams target Rockdale businesses

'They're gonna keep doing it": New Facebook scams target local businesses in Rockdale
Posted at 6:04 PM, Feb 01, 2024

ROCKDALE, Texas — A new online scam is circulating social media this year, targeting small businesses like Perk Up! Coffee House in Rockdale.

  • Scammers on Facebook are posing as Meta employees, flagging business pages and threatening to delete pages unless owners click a link.
  • Owner of Perk Up! Coffee House Heather Cruise says the scam is leaving bad reviews online, hurting her local business.
  • The Better Business Bureau is encouraging owners to report these scams on social media platforms.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

When Heather Cruise opened Facebook recently, an alert popped up.

"It was showing up with the logo and basically saying this is... the Facebook business, and they're saying that you have done a copyright infringement, and if you don't click on the link... if you don't resolve it right now, then we're going to delete your page permanently," said Cruise, the owner of Perk Up! Coffee House.

But it wasn't from an actual Meta account.

Turns out, it was a scam, and it's not the first time she or other business owner have seen it.

"This is an emerging scam, something that's really increased the past couple years, so much so that people are coming our direction and filing scam tracker reports and telling us they look incredibly convincing," said Senior Director of Media Relations for the Better Business Bureau.

Now, it's affecting her business, resulting in bad reviews and wasting her time.

"There's all these things that are going on that are taking away from you being able to do things like 'How can I market my business better? What new drinks can I develop that people are talking about wanting to do?'" she said.

These scammers can also steal identities, information and money.

Victims can report scams to police, but it's hard to enforce especially outside the U.S.

But Cruise doesn't believe it'll ever stop, so she's just planning to stay vigilant.

"Until that becomes not a viable way, they're going to keep doing it, and once it becomes not viable, they're going to find another way," Cruise said.

"I think there's always gonna be something out there like that. It sure would be nice to be able to limit it."