US scam targets H&J
The doors will remain open at stores run by one of New Zealand’s largest privately owned retailers, despite online reports to the contrary.
A fake newscast video making the rounds on social media, reporting to be from United States based news company Fox News, claims H&J Smith, which has department stores in Invercargill, Dunedin, Queenstown, Gore, Balclutha, Te Anau, and Mosgiel, was closing.
The newscast features interviews with worried Americans, concerned for H&J Smith’s staff following the closure of the stores, and photographs of the retailer’s stores in Invercargill and Gore. The scam, which appeared online last week, offered a free sample to customers.
H&J Smith chief executive John Green said the company was contacted by several customers who had seen the scam on their online news feeds and the company posted a statement on its own social media pages, reassuring customers that its stores were not closing.
‘‘It’s just disappointing that people take it upon themselves to create confusion for customers.
‘‘It’s just a mischief maker and if I catch up with them then we will have words.’’
While there was still comment about the scam on social media, feedback from customers on the shop floor had been minimal.
H&J Smith department store in Invercargill.