Motor Culture Australia is one of many modern-day businesses that reaches the majority of its customers through social media. This allows for us to communicate with our members in real-time, engage in conversations and build stronger customer relationships, however this also comes with its own unique set of challenges. Facebook, being one of the largest and most widely used platforms, has unfortunately become a breeding ground for scam and impersonation accounts. Last year, 62% of Facebook users encountered a scam every week and we are seeing new fake Motor Culture accounts on Facebook and Instagram daily. These scammers use our logo as their profile picture, call themselves some misspelt variation of Motor Culture Australia and repost some of our recent facebook posts. In conjunction with a ‘You have won’ message, this is the perfect recipe for preying on our unsuspecting members, seeking to steal their personal information and bank details.
What should you look out for?
It can be tricky to determine if an account is fake or legitimate as scammers do everything they can to appear genuine. There are a few signs that you can look out for when interacting with business accounts to keep yourself safe.
Suspicious Profile Info
Often, scam accounts have missing account information, a misspelt name, strange job title or weirdly cropped images. A legitimate business would never misspell their own name or post a low quality, blurry image.
Next, as the accounts have not been active for more than a few weeks, their posts usually have little to no engagement. If an account has made all their posts within a few days and they have no comments and less than 100 likes, it’s probably a scam. In contrast, a legitimate business account will have many posts spanning over months or years with consistent likes and comments. Furthermore, Motor Culture Australia’s Instagram account has over 70,000 followers and our Facebook page has over 110,000 likes, so watch out for accounts with much lower numbers.
Facebook offers two different types of accounts on their platform, business pages and personal profiles. As we are a business, Motor Culture has a business page which means that we can’t request to be your friend and you can’t request to friend us. Anytime you receive a friend request on Facebook from an account that looks like Motor Culture, you can be sure that it’s fake. Similarly, Instagram offers business accounts and these do not have a private setting which means that you will always be able to see all our posts whether you are following us or not. Plus you won’t need to request to follow us, it will just automatically change when you hit the follow button. Any account that looks like Motor Culture and requires you to request to follow is fraudulent.
Requesting Personal Information
Legitimate business accounts will never ask you to confirm bank account or card details through a social media platform. We ask for these details at the time that you purchase a membership and only through our secure website payment system. If an account asks you to confirm your payment details in order to claim a prize, be wary that it’s an impersonation account. Furthermore, unless you have contacted us first with a query, we won’t be asking for your phone number, address or email through Facebook.
So, what is Motor Culture doing about these fake accounts?
Keeping our community safe from scam accounts is definitely a top priority here at Motor Culture Australia. We are in regular contact with a representative from Facebook about scam accounts so that we can stay up-to-date with the latest strategies and information on getting these accounts taken care of. In the last three months of 2022, Facebook took down 1.3 million fake accounts so we know that they are working hard to protect their users. We also focus a lot of attention on educating our community to make sure they are aware of scams, know how to identify fraudulent accounts and know how to report them. We often post examples of copycats on our social media accounts and mention them in almost every Facebook live-stream so that we can make sure everyone is being cautious. On top of this, we are working to get that big blue tick for our legitimate profiles to make identifying which account is truly us, a lot easier for our members.
Last but not least, we always make sure to stick to a clear protocol for contacting winners so that those who are contacted by a fake account immediately know it’s not us. We ONLY contact winners via the phone number or email address provided at the time that you become a member. Never ever will Motor Culture Australia message you on Facebook or Instagram to let you know that you’ve won and we certainly won’t be asking for any bank account information through these platforms.
What can you do to protect yourself?
If you do come across a scam or fake account please report it to Facebook using the steps below. This will help Facebook take action on the account and determine if it needs to be removed from the platform to protect other users.
You may receive a response from Facebook in a few days following your report. They will either inform you that they have removed the account or that it does not violate their community guidelines. In both cases, there’s no need to do anything further as they are now aware of the account and will continue to monitor their actions.
If at any stage you are unsure if an account is legitimate or not, please feel free to reach out to us to verify its authenticity. You can always give us a call at 1800 512 490 and we will be able to let you know if the account you are interacting with is us.
Scam and fake accounts on social media platforms are an unfortunate reality of the digital age however by keeping an eye out and reporting anything suspicious, you can protect yourself and others in the community from fraudulent schemes. While Motor Culture Australia is working hard to minimise the presence and impact of fake accounts, we appreciate the assistance from our members and followers to get these accounts taken down. Remember, if at any time you are unsure of what to do, please give us a call at 1800 512 490 and we’ll be more than happy to help!
Dixon, S. (2023). Actioned fake accounts on Facebook worldwide from 4th quarter 2017 to 4th quarter 2022. Statista. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1013474/facebook-fake-account-removal-quarter/
Hutchinson, A. (2022). New Report Finds that 62% of Facebook Users Encounter Scams in the App Every Week. Social Media Today. https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/Social-Media-Scam-Activity-Report-2022/638016/