Scam­mers hit re­sort

Fake Face­book ac­count set up for Day­dream Is­land

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS - Luke Mor­timer

SCAM­MERS have again hi­jacked the name of a Whit­sun­day tourist des­ti­na­tion to trick peo­ple into un­wit­tingly hand­ing over their de­tails ahead of a slated re­open­ing of the real re­sort early next year.

Day­dream Is­land Re­sort rep­re­sen­ta­tives have taken to Face­book, warn­ing on the re­sort’s page about “a fake Day­dream Is­land Face­book page run­ning a scam com­pe­ti­tion”.

The post, dated about 6.30pm on Thurs­day, had been shared a whop­ping 935 times and had gath­ered hun­dreds of com­ments by late Fri­day. Those com­ment­ing were warn­ing friends of the scam – which wrongly stated the is­land re­opens this month – tagging them or ex­press­ing their dis­ap­point­ment that Day­dream had been tar­geted again.

It comes af­ter a sim­i­lar scam was re­ported in the Daily Mer­cury in Fe­bru­ary last year.

“If you see this, please re­port the page or post and don’t give your email ad­dress,” the post read.

“It is ab­so­lutely in no way as­so­ci­ated or af­fil­i­ated with us. We are in touch with Face­book to have this re­moved as soon as pos­si­ble. Thank you to those who have alerted us.”

It ap­peared the fake page, ti­tled sim­ply Day­dream Is­land and not Day­dream Is­land Re­sort, had fi­nally been re­moved from Face­book by late Fri­day, af­ter the re­sort’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives got wind on Thurs­day and alerted the so­cial me­dia gi­ant.

The scam page made men­tion of a “hur­ri­cane”, rather than a cy­clone, tip­ping some Mackay-Whit­sun­day re­gion res­i­dents off that the page may be fal­si­fied.

Sev­eral rep­re­sen­ta­tives for the re­sort ex­pressed dis­ap­point­ment at hav­ing their con­sid­er­able so­cial me­dia fol­low­ing of more than 44,000 peo­ple taken ad­van­tage of.

It was sug­gested the scams, both this week and last year, may be pig­gy­back­ing off the real re­sort’s im­pres­sive so­cial me­dia en­gage­ment.

Mean­while, the re­sort is set to open its doors early next year af­ter suf­fer­ing ex­ten­sive dam­age when Trop­i­cal Cy­clone Deb­bie tore through on March 28, 2017.

The re­newed re­sort will in­clude 277 rooms and an ex­panded food and bev­er­age of­fer­ing, among other draw cards.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

ALERT: Day­dream Is­land Re­sort, which is still un­der con­struc­tion, is the sub­ject of a new scam.

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