Whether or not you end up being the winner of a getaway offered on Instagram by Veritas Vineyard & Winery and Quirk Hotel Charlottesville, you won’t need to give a stranger your credit card number to find out.
The winner will be announced Friday as planned by the winery and the hotel, but only from the accounts @veritaswinery and @quirkhotelcva, said Lindsey Navin, marketing manager at Veritas. The two local businesses have thwarted a fake Instagram account that tried to trick contest hopefuls into sharing credit card information with a third party who wasn’t acting on behalf of either company.
“It looks like there was a spam account set up, and they were DM’ing our customers,” Navin said. Navin said she contacted Instagram parent compnay Meta and filed a copyright report and numerous other forms to help foil the fake account; a number of Veritas customers also contacted Instagram to report what they suspected correctly was a fraudulent account.
“Quirk and Veritas are collaborating on this. We will announce it on schedule on Friday,” Navin said of the prize announcement. “We’re never going to be asking for your credit card information. All we are going to be asking for is an email address so we can send the tickets to you.”
Navin said she reached out to customers who had followed the fake account to let them know it was not legitimate.
Navin said the incident can serve as a reminder to everyone to pay attention and not to let one’s guard down in what can feel like a safe environment on popular social media platforms.
“It’s about being aware and being a smart consumer on social media,” Navin said.