Thousands of people were tricked by a fake Center Parcs page that was offering a huge prize into giving away their personal details.
Trading Standards has warned people about a Center Parcs scam that tricked more than 17,000 people in a matter of hours.
The fake Center Parcs page was set up to offer people a chance to win a free stay at the Longleat resort in Warminster.
But the competition – and page – were fake, designed to scam people into giving away their personal information or to help grow the fake page.
Wiltshire Trading Standards (WTS) issued a warning online urging people to recognise scams and remain vigilant on social media.
Taking to Facebook, WTS shared images of the scammer’s page and post which promised ‘a free Center Parcs holiday for 4 at Longleat and £500 to spend’, including ‘free travel’.
WTS wrote: “Spoiler Alert – You aren’t going to win a holiday but you may lose out to scammers. This page was set up 3 hours ago and already has almost 18k shares.
“The page was only set up today and does not belong to the official @centerparcsuk.”
The post continued: “Scammers set up these pages to obtain your personal data or to collect likes (in this case the page is later sold/changed names by the scammers to fill your newsfeed with spam).
“By ‘signing up’ you’re giving the scammers your personal details.
“Our advice is to spend a few minutes checking out pages before liking and sharing posts such as these. When was the page set up? How many posts are on the original page?
“Does the page have the blue tick to confirm the profile is the official page of the business it’s claiming to be?”
Some people commented on the post explaining they couldn’t believe some people fell for the trick.
One user wrote: “The old adage applies to the internet as well. If something looks too good to be true it probably is.”
Another wrote: “If you do fall for this maybe you shouldn’t be allowed on the internet unsupervised.”
A spokesperson for Center Parcs said: “Like a lot of well-known brands, our brand name has been used without permission by unauthorised Facebook pages on a number of occasions.
“We have been made aware of an unauthorised page on Facebook offering the chance to win a Center Parcs break and can confirm this is not genuine. We have reported this to Facebook.
“We would like to remind people not to enter their details or share the page. If ever in doubt about a post, please visit our official Facebook page to check if it is genuine.”
The page has now been removed, however another similar one was created on the same day, already gaining 56,000 likes.
Woman furious after she’s kicked out of Wetherspoons for wearing ‘inappropriate’ top
A male member of staff allegedly compared her to the topless men he’d been kicking out all day
A young woman has expressed her fury after being thrown out of a Wetherspoons pub for her ‘inappropriate’ clothing.
Twenty year old Mollie Wood had gone to The Back of Beyond Wetherspoons branch in Reading with her friend, Amy Lee, for some food and drinks after watching England’s Euros match against Croatia on Sunday, June 13th.
She said she and her friend were escorted into the pub by a female bouncer after showing their IDs and signing into the Track and Trace app.
However, as they were walking to their table, a male member of staff suddenly intervened, Stoke-on-Trent Live reports.
Mollie, a tech worker, and her friend were walking through the pub when a male manager shouted for them to stop, allegedly telling them that they can’t come in and that they’re dressed too inappropriately.
When Mollie asked why her clothes were inappropriate, the manager, who is believed to be in his thirties, informed her that he’d been kicking out topless men all day, and that her top was small enough to be classed in the same category.
Despite Mollie and Amy quizzing the manager over whether there was a dress code, they apparently couldn’t get a straight answer.
Mollie later looked into whether Wetherspoons actually maintains a certain dress code, but claimed that she couldn’t find any reference to one.
She also said she had already been served in that pub earlier in the week while wearing the exact same halter-neck top, pictured above.
The women later returned to the pub to complain about how they’d been treated, but Mollie claimed to be met with only more rudeness by the staff members.
A Wetherspoons spokesperson has since addressed the incident, saying: “Shortly after entering, the customers were politely asked to leave the pub as, on consideration by the pub’s management team, their dress was not, in this particular case, in accordance with the company’s guidance to pubs on appropriate customer dress.
“What may be considered appropriate dress is invariably a matter of individual judgement and whilst no offence was intended to the two customers by the request to leave the pub, we support the approach of the pub’s management team in this instance.”
Boy, 9, delivers letter to Prime Minister pleading for medicinal cannabis prescription for epileptic brother
Thomas wrote to the Prime Minister in a bid to get his little brother, Eddie, a prescription for the treatment
The brother of a severely epileptic boy penned an emotional letter to the Prime Minister in his plea for a medicinal cannabis prescription.
Nine year old Thomas Braun, from Farndon, Cheshire, told Boris Johnson that his parents should not have the ‘added worry of having to find lots of money to pay for his medicine,’ according to the BBC.
His younger brother Eddie can suffer up to 100 seizures a day, and his family currently spend around £800 a month on his medicinal cannabis treatment, which they say is ‘life changing.’
Thomas, who said his brother means ‘everything’ to him, asked the prime minister to help his parents ‘and the other mums and dads’ who have to fundraise each month to meet the medical bills.
He wrote: “My mum and dad love us both, and they have to help Eddie a lot and sometimes I have to help too.
“They have the added worry of having to find lots of money to pay for his medicine. Lots of our friends help. But getting the medicine from the government without having to do lots of things to find the money would help them a lot.”
Thomas admitted that he ‘felt nervous’ delivering the letter to Downing Street but he said ‘it was also very exciting, because this is my chance to actually help change my brother’s life and my family’s life.’
Medicinal cannabis can be prescribed on the NHS but only in ‘exceptional’ cases.
The treatment was made legal with a prescription in 2018 for those with an ‘exceptional clinical need.’ But since then, only three NHS prescriptions have been issued, forcing families to spend thousands of pounds on private treatments.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Social Care said licensed cannabis-based medicines were ‘funded by the NHS where there is clear evidence of their safety and clinical effectiveness.’
She said specialist doctors could now prescribe ‘unlicensed cannabis-based products for medicinal use where it is clinically appropriate and in the best interests of patients.’
£1M cannabis farm discovered in famous Blackpool nightclub
What a find…
A famed Blackpool nightclub has played home to a £1M cannabis farm, police discovered this week.
Resort officers stumbled across the colossal set up, which had been thriving in the empty building formerly known as Central Club.
Following a search of the club, which has laid dormant for years, detectives found 1,500 cannabis plants along with a large amount of electrical equipment across the building’s three floors. During the search at the club, a man was found by police and was subsequently arrested.
A police spokesman said that the force, along with assistance from Blackpool Council, have cleared the site and the plants and equipment will be destroyed.
Inspector Cara Leadbetter of Blackpool Police said: “The activities of drug dealers can have a dramatic effect on our communities. It can ruin lives, fuel other crime, such as burglary and robbery, and can instil fear in our neighbourhoods and we are determined to tackle that.
“It’s also really key that as part of this work, communities feel stronger and more empowered to do what they can to prevent serious organised crime from becoming the community norm.
“Local people are a vital source of intelligence and they need to help us to keep them safe by telling us what they know and turning rumour into hard evidence.
“We need the public to continue to work with us to help us tackle drug crime by informing us of any suspicious activity.”
Back in its glory days, Central Club was a staple part of Blackpool’s nightlife and achieved nationwide fame when pop star Robbie Williams filmed the music video for his Advertising Space single there in 2005.