The past year has seen almost all airshow events around the world targeted by scammers through the setting up of duplicate/fake Pages and Events on Facebook. The aim of these fake pages and events is to sell access to either unofficial livestreams (often involving the relaying of the official livestream through a third party website) or are simple debit/credit card scams selling access to something that doesn’t exist.
The fake pages and events appear to be mostly set up by account holders in India and Asia and are being produced on an industrial scale targeting all manner of live events. They copy graphics used to build Official Facebook Fan pages to create a duplicate page. After setting up the fake facebook pages and events, they then target GENUINE facebook pages run by associated organisations such as DISPLAY TEAMS and ENTHUSIASTS by asking them to co-host the fake events there-by taking advantage of a genuine audience. This clearly could lead to reputational harm to the entire air display community.
How to spot a fake Facebook Event if you are asked to co-host:
If you receive a request to co-host an event, the first thing you should do is check the page/organisation that is offering the ‘co-host.’ In the example below, we have been offered a ‘co-host request’ supposedly by Sunderland Airshow 2021, an event we know has been cancelled for 2021. Click the link to the page first BEFORE clicking to accept the co-host and look at the ‘About Section.’
The first indication that this is a fake page is the low number of likes – just 38. An established event such as Sunderland would normal register likes in the thousands if not much more. But perhaps the biggest tell-tale is in the About Section of the fake page. In the screenshot below, notice the unusual links, email and phone numbers.
If you spot one of these pages, please do report it to Facebook. If you click on the ‘three dots’ icon on the right hand side of the page you will find a link to report the fake page or event.
Please be wary of any invites to co-host events. If you are an event organiser with a facebook fan page, it is worth spending some time using the Facebook search function to see if your pages have been copied.