Emma Heathcote-James who owns and runs “The Little Soap Co.’ on Instagram was made aware of a clone account selling the same products and acting as her when she was mistakably tagged in images on the fake account. Alarmingly the page looked exactly the same with the only difference being an extra ‘o’ added to the end of the ‘Co’.
The cloned account was seemingly set up to scam Heathcote-Jame’s customers into sending them money instead. Emma outlines how the scammers went through her followers, messaging them that they had won the competition being run on the real page and asking them for their PayPal details.
When Heathcote-James tried to make contact with anyone at Instagram, she couldn’t get through to anyone helpful, allowing the scammer to remain active and potentially causing more damage.
After much frustration, she eventually got through to someone who was able to take down the account. However, the process was near impossible and a scary realisation for small businesses relying on platforms like Instagram to run their business.