Several businesses in the Alexandria area have been targeted in a fake “you have won” scheme by hackers.
Some businesses have also had their website or Facebook pages duplicated in the scam.
Tami Bredeson, president of Carlos Creek Winery, said the hackers sent out messages to the winery’s Facebook followers that asked for personal financial information. “We have followers who are now having to cancel their credit cards and contact their banks,” she said.
Carlos Creek has reported the scam to Facebook and Bredeson said they’re hoping for a quick resolution, including the deletion of the fake Facebok page.
Other businesses have also been hacked in the last week, including Copper Trail, Creative Touch Boutique and Eye Associates of Alexandria.
The Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce sent out an email blast alert about the scam Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 23 and offered the following tips for keeping financial information secure:
- Businesses cannot ask people to “Friend” them. They can only ask people to “Like” them. If you get a friend request from a business, it’s fraudulent.
- Businesses won’t message you for your credit card information. If you get a request for financial information through a message, it’s fraudulent.
- Also never email your personal financial information; it is not secure. When using a website, look for the “lock” in the address (URL) bar. If there isn’t a lock, it’s not a secure site and you shouldn’t share any personal or financial information on it.
“Know who you are doing business with and if you are questioning something, don’t hesitate to call the business directly or the Chamber!” the email blast said. “Please share this information with your fellow businesses. Together, we can stop scammers from targeting our community!”