‘What is wrong with people?’ - Warning issued after scam Facebook account targets Yarmouth circus

Great Yarmouth Hippodrome. Credit: Lydia Taylor.

Great Yarmouth Hippodrome. Credit: Lydia Taylor. - Credit: Lydia Taylor

A fake Facebook account bearing the name of a circus on the coast is sending people friend requests before asking for credit card details.

Jack Jay, producer and ringmaster at the Hippodrome Circus in Great Yarmouth. Picture: David Street

Jack Jay, producer and ringmaster at the Hippodrome Circus in Great Yarmouth. Picture: David Street at Streetview for Hippodrome Circus Great Yarmouth. - Credit: David Street at Streetview for H

The owners of the Hippodrome in Great Yarmouth said they have been made aware that an account has been created imitating the venue’s official page.

Jack Jay, producer and host, said they learned of the scam on Tuesday (October 6) after a customer sent a message, with a screenshot of the impostor account, saying she had received a message telling her she had won a competition.

The fake page, also named Hippodrome Circus, claims to offer prizes to winners of a competition announced on the official account on Monday (October 5) giving away free tickets for the venue’s Halloween show.

Mr Jay said: “It was quite perturbing, because it was a very good fake, all the information was exactly the same and all the images were the same.”

The circus has reported the hoax to Facebook.

“It’s the first time we’ve had anything like this. It’s just not very nice for our customers. We’ve built the Facebook page over the years, and it’s just a good community, we like to use it for competitions, to give away tickets.

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“It’s just a shame during these times when we’re trying to do something nice, there are others there spoiling it and doing things in a negative way,” Mr Jay said.

MORE: ‘It’s the energy, it’s the happiness’ - Iconic circus helps man overcome anxietyClicking on a link on the fake account takes a visitor through to a page stating, “Congratulations, you are a happy person who got a gift from us. Follow the last step by clicking on the registration button below. Remember when you need to enter a credit card number.”

The Hippodrome has said its official competition does not require entrants to click links or register

“Our page is an official Facebook business page so you will never be ‘friend requested’ by our page so do not accept.

“Please don’t click any links and if you see this page please report the fake post for being a scam and then report the page for being fake and block them,” the circus has said.

Fans of the Hippodrome’s official page have been commenting on the scam.

Emma Baker said: “I just had a message and friend request. What is wrong with people? Thought I’d won for a second.”

“There is no need for this despicable behaviour,” said Gillian Stolworthy.

Have you been scammed? Email daniel.hickey@archant.co.uk