Local Business Warns of Scam - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Local Business Warns of Scam

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HATTIESBURG  The Banana Peel has been in business in Hattiesburg four years.  Owner Dana Robinson said after working so hard to build up a business, she was blind sided by a scam.

"You know, it's so scary, and it's disappointing that your name and your logo can be used inappropriately," Robinson said.

A customer called Monday morning informing her that for at least two weeks, someone opened an Instagram account using the Banana Peel's name and logo and pictures from the real company's Facebook page and web site.  They started a Pay-Pal account and claimed to sell those items.  But of course, buyers never received them.

Robinson said she wants to get to the bottom of it.

"We have contacted the Attorney General's office to see if they could help us in any way to resolve this problem," Robinson said.  "We've been unable to contact anyone from Instagram or send a report."

She said she wants customers to know in the future they do not sale anything online.  They only post their products to advertise.

According to Robinson, customer service is a number one priority at the Banana Peel.

"We want to please everyone, so to have a negative thing happen toward our store, we are going to try to make good out of it and bring awareness to other businesses that this can happen," Robinson said.

She said anyone who purchased anything from the fake Instagram can show their Pay-Pal receipt to receive store credit.

"We're trying to make it good for those people," Robinson said.  "We don't want a bad name for our store."

She suggested that business owners keep a close eye on social media to make sure there are no fake versions of their business.

"For consumers, I would say make sure you know what your ordering and who you're purchasing it from," Robinson said.  "You see a brand or a logo that you are familiar with, but you may want to call and verify if you are purchasing stuff online."

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