A bogus Facebook account posing as the Spokane County Interstate Fair was shut down Wednesday after it tried to trick people into revealing their credit card information in exchange for free fair tickets.
Last week, an unknown scammer created a “Spokane-County Interstate’ Fair” account on Facebook. The name wasn’t quite right – the real page is Spokane County Interstate Fair – but the creator was duplicating posts and photos from the real account in an attempt to appear legitimate.
The fake fair page sent out Facebook messages telling people they’d won free tickets. The messages asked individuals to click on a link to collect their prize. After clicking on the link, people were asked to input their credit or debit card information.
Spokane County spokesman Jared Webley said most people probably realized the messages were nefarious. The grammar was awful, for one thing, and the messages included some telltale scam indicators – for instance, the scammer made a point of calling the free tickets “100% real.”
Facebook appears to have removed the account, but Webley said there’s a chance people might still be able to see the messages sent by the now-dead page and click on the link. The county is trying to alert people to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Residents should be suspicious if they ever encounter a county office asking for financial information over Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
“We’re not going to reach out to you by social media ever to collect a credit card,” Webley said.
Webley said the half-dozen people who notified the county of the scam account deserve kudos.
“Without them we probably would have never found out,” he said.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox
Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.