The Vanderhoof International Air Show isn’t until August but organizers are in damage control after issuing a scam alert on its Facebook page.
According to organizers, a fraudster under the names “Andrew” or “Olivia” attempted to collect vendor fees via Pay Pal.
Program Director, Anne Stevens explained to Vista Radio how they found out about the scam.
“The way I found out was that I had an inquiry from a potential vendor. They were saying that someone from our organization by a certain name had been harassing them for payment and we haven’t asked our vendors for payment yet.”
“That made me quite curious. She said she was really agitated because he had been barraging her with messages all day. I asked her if she could screenshot what she was getting and she sent to me and it was obvious someone took our post from Instagram and created a false application form.”
Stevens stated under no circumstance would they request a vendor to pay using an online service.
“We will be in touch with our vendors. We will have an agreement together between the airshow and the vendor and we will be accepting payment by cheque or by mail through the office of our accountant.”
“We will not be requesting online payments from any vendors.”
Stevens added an isolated incident like this can really damage the image and reputation of their event.
“It is incredibly discouraging and disappointing. It’s kind of a violation as we work really hard to build those relationships with our guests and vendors and social media is a huge way that we do that. To be taken advantage of in that way, to confuse people is really a low blow.”
“We posted the scam alert everywhere we could but really there is nothing we can do. It’s a fake Instagram account, a fake Pay Pal application account, anybody can set that up.”
The airshow is slated for August 6th.