CRAWFORD & JASPER CO. – Sweet Designs Cakery which operates out of Pittsburg and Webb City’s Ghetto Tacos are just two of multiple 4-State businesses who have bad actors impersonating them with fake Facebook pages.
“We’ve spent a lot of time cultivating our Facebook page and growing that for marketing purposes and to keep in touch with our customer base. We’ve been doing that for over 10 years. People trust us,” said Sweet Designs Cakery owner Heather Horton.
And violating that trust is key to this scam.
Both Sweet Designs Cakery and Ghetto Tacos say that scammers have created fake Facebook pages after stealing photos from the legitimate business pages, and then friend requested local customers or reached out to them when the businesses were offering promotions or giveaways.
“Our last three giveaways, they’ve been hacked. And it’s just frustrating because they’ve been reaching out to our customers and saying they’ll win money, or asking for credit card information, and we don’t do that,” said Ghetto Tacos owner Marcos Renteria.
Both businesses have posted customer warnings on their Facebook pages. They’ve also reported the scam pages to Facebook and hope their loyal customers do the same, although the Cakery hasn’t been impressed by the social media giant’s response.
“We’ve reported it to Facebook in multiple ways, every single way we possibly can. So far, I haven’t gotten a very good response from Facebook,” said Horton.
Captain William Davis with the Joplin Police Department says scams of this nature are one of the most commonly reported crimes to law enforcement, but with the scammers often overseas, local law enforcement is limited.
But that won’t stop them from frequently warning 4-Staters to be on the lookout online.
“Doublecheck with the business, it might be good to go through another avenue to contact them. Instead of clicking on that link, look the phone number up,” said Cpt. Davis.