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It may seem hard to believe, here at Popcorn, we keep ourselves up to date on the latest scams so that we can educate and protect you, but sometimes even one of us can get caught off guard.

This is our Operations Manager’s story:

“It all started with a Facebook advert in my news feed! Not as innocent as they may seem…

It was an advert for dinner in the sky during the Christmas season. Something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now, and my anniversary was coming up! Perfect! I checked them out, before making any commitments and found both a Facebook page and a legit looking website.

So, I made my reservation and received an email confirmation of my booking as well as banking details. I made my payment and again, received an email confirmation with further details. Fab! I was going for dinner in the sky!

A few days later, it looked to be rather windy, so I decided to call and see if I could change my booking. That’s when I realised it was a scam… nothing existed. No Facebook page, no website.

I contacted the bank whose details I was given, and they confirmed that the account had been closed and they were investigating (I guess I wasn’t the first unsuspecting victim) the circumstance and details.
So long R1700!”

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Fake Facebook ads are quite a popular thing, and despite countless complaints, Facebook seems to have a bit of a lacklustre approach to tackling these criminals.

You can, however, report suspicious ads to Facebook here:
https://facebook.com/help/contact/234887816572954/ but, there are no checks done by Facebook to ensure that the advertisers are legitimate.

So always keep your guard up and remember these FIVE tips:

  1. Google the company before making any payments. Also check out trustpilot.com.
  2. Check who owns the website on whois.net
  3. Make sure you are not falling for a phishing or fake copy of a legitimate site.
  4. Watch out for spelling mistakes in the domain name or tricks like adding hyphens in front of a seemingly trusting site. i.e. safe-paypal.com is not paypal.com
  5. If you do come across a fake ad, please report it. Should you fall victim, report it to the police and the bank immediately.

"This whole ordeal just made me realise you can never say ‘It will never happen to me’ and that I must always think before I click."