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‘Very shrewd’ - Warning after fake Facebook page targets Norfolk animal adventure park

PUBLISHED: 12:12 23 July 2020 | UPDATED: 12:12 23 July 2020

Sadie Lauren, 26, says that money was taken from her bank account after she had clicked on a link on a fake Facebook account pretending to represent Pettitts Animal Adventure Park. Picture: Courtesy of Sadie Lauren/James Bass.

Sadie Lauren, 26, says that money was taken from her bank account after she had clicked on a link on a fake Facebook account pretending to represent Pettitts Animal Adventure Park. Picture: Courtesy of Sadie Lauren/James Bass.

Archant

A scam victim has issued a warning after money was taken from her bank account when she registered with a website linked to a fake Facebook account claiming to represent an animal park.

Older attractions have been heavily renovated and themed at Pettitts Animal Adventure Park since Mr Abbott took ownership in December 2017. Picture: Neil DidsburyOlder attractions have been heavily renovated and themed at Pettitts Animal Adventure Park since Mr Abbott took ownership in December 2017. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Sadie Lauren, 26, from Swaffham, said she received a friend request from what she later learned was a fake account for Pettitts Animal Adventure Park after she had liked and shared a post about a competition from the official Pettitts page.

The friend request told her she was one of a number of winners and instructed her to follow a link, she said.

Ms Lauren said: “I had a look, I was a bit dubious, but I saw that some other people had done it, so I did.

“I put my bank details in, it said no money would be taken from my account, which I stupidly followed.”

Only 2p was taken from Ms Lauren’s account, but it is believed the scammers are targeting small amounts from a large number of people.

“It was very shrewd of them,” she said.

Pettitts has said on its own Facebook page that a “fake account” is currently pretending to represent their company, warning customers it is “not an official business Facebook page”.

“We have reported the fake account to Facebook along with a number of others. If you get approached by the account please report it immediately,” the park has said.

The fake account, named Pettitts, claims to offer prizes to winners of a competition announced on the official page on Monday (July 20) giving away free tickets to the park.

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Clicking on a link takes a visitor through to a page stating, ‘Welcome to Giveaway Pettitts Animal Adventure Park’.

A number of other people have reported following the link and entering their bank details before later noticing small sums of money - from 2p to £3.95 - had been taken from their accounts.

A spokesman for Norfolk County Council Trading Standards said: “Fake pages on Facebook will often target well-known brands, organisations and retail chains as well as local business and visitor attractions.

“They will then use these pages to offer discounts or giveaways that will lead you to malicious websites.

“These competitions can look very convincing so it is important that we all take a moment to think before we click.”

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


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