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Facebook scams plague Saanich puzzle company with worldwide reach

Fake businesses change ‘website and identities faster than burning paper’
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Cobble Hill Puzzle Company has a full gallery of images online to help potential customers avoid scams – particularly on Facebook. (Cobble Hill Puzzles/Facebook)

A Saanich-based company with worldwide customers says Meta’s fraud and scam policy is failing after potential customers were duped.

Those at Cobble Hill Puzzle Company and Outset Media Games are out to warn customers – and plead for them to be hyper vigilant – about deals that appear too good to be true.

“We reported hundreds of ads to Meta. They still have not been removed. Their advertising policy states they ‘protect people from frauds or scams’ but clearly their algorithms are failing big time and need more manual scrutinizing,” the company said in an online warning. “Unfortunately, these scam companies place ads faster than we can demand them to be removed. And they run for short periods of time under several identities. … They change their website and identities faster than burning paper.”

The scams aren’t new, taking a popular and respected business and creating an ad that looks like the business is celebrating an anniversary or going out of business and offering deeply discounted products.

While based from an office on Commerce Circle, the company’s reach and impact is worldwide and customers of the popular Cobble Hill Puzzles in particular are frequent targets.

READ ALSO: Saanich woman fleeced, threatened in double scam – puppies and gift cards

Since flagging it for followers weeks ago – with an ever-growing list of scam websites to watch out for – potential customers have inundated the puzzle company with comments such as “fell for this one today” along with near misses.

Several report noticing signs of a scam – for example, receiving a “receipt” with an unusual company name attached – not remotely Cobble Hill Puzzles – or random website, email address, or fake Facebook profile.

“If you want to shop online, we recommend buying direct from retailers that are established or direct from the company/brand. … Please support them. If they have a mailing list, get on it so you can find out about real deals, not these fake ones that steal your information and cheat you out of your money while Facebook and the con artists get rich,” the online warning reads.

Visit cobblehillpuzzles.ca for a list of retailers.



Christine van Reeuwyk

About the Author: Christine van Reeuwyk

I'm dedicated to serving the community of Oak Bay as a senior journalist with the Greater Victoria news team.
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