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Texas Meat Market in Bryan targeted by social media scam

Published: Jan. 25, 2022 at 10:55 PM CST
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Texas Meat Market is giving back to its customers by doing a giveaway for the Super Bowl through their Instagram account, but a scammer recently created a nearly identical fake account to take advantage of them.

A brand new 55-inch TV makes a great centerpiece for any Super Bowl party. Texas Meat Market Co-owner Laura Mendez says that’s the thinking behind their giveaway to thank their customers and expand their social media following.

“All you have to do is follow our page, like the post, which is the actual giveaway post, and then tag a friend, on Instagram only,” Mendez said.

Easy enough, right? It was until Mendez says a scammer created a nearly identical Instagram account with its own fraudulent giveaway.

“Not even hacked us, just copied our page,” Mendez said. “Everything - from name, pictures, everything on our thing was copied. It was only one single letter that was different.”

The scammer’s account was called @texasmeatsmarket, with an extra letter ‘s.’ The fake giveaway included a link, then asked for personal information and a credit card number for a $1 entry fee.

“It was basically saying that they had won already, that the TV was theirs, and all they had to do was follow a few other steps like signing up and giving money to these people.”

Mendez says they first became aware of the scam over the weekend. She says a few of their Instagram and Facebook followers alerted them about the fake account.

“One of my sister’s friends was like, ‘Hey, why are you following me at like 4 in the morning, and why is your account private?’” Mendez said. “We said this is a business account, and it’s not private at all. That’s actually another way we found out.”

This isn’t the first giveaway the market has done, but it is the first time they’ve used boosting tools to expand their outreach. Mendez thinks that could be how the scammer caught onto this.

Frustration and disappointment are some of the mixed emotions Mendez says she’s felt over the whole situation, but she says anger is the one that hits home the hardest.

“I hate it because the one thing I don’t want from this is our followers to have mistrust in us because it has nothing to do with us. I really hate people doing that to our customers and our community,” Mendez said. “Social media is a great tool for small businesses because it’s free. If we need to get any news out fast, social media is the best way. That’s why we want to grow our base of followers, and it’s also why I don’t want to lose any followers or customers who have become discouraged over this.”

Mendez says they’ve contacted Instagram about the scam, and the fake account has been removed.

Again, Mendez says their legit giveaway will not ask you for any personal or financial information. Click here to go to Texas Meat Market’s real Instagram account to enter the giveaway. The winner will be announced on Feb. 1.

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