Copycat Facebook page spoofs Arizona business, scamming owner’s father
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Social media is a critical part of Dr. Natali Edmonds’ business, Dementia Careblazers. “We put out little training videos for family members to be able to digest and see just a couple minutes and take that tip and try it with their family member,” she said.
Her business’ Facebook page has about 32,000 followers. Recently, Edmonds found a copycat account that looks identical to hers. “They totally scammed my own father. My own father thought he was talking to me,” she said. “Recently, my dad had some ‘memory vitamins’ delivered to the house, and I asked him, ‘What is this? Why did you order these things? They don’t work.’ And he said I told him to.” Edmonds quickly realized whoever was running the look-alike Facebook page messaged her dad directly and told him to buy the supplements. “It’s so frustrating. I was so upset,” Edmonds said.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, consumers have reported losing $2.7 billion to social media scams since 2021. “My average customer is over the age of 55 years old, and so scammers are brilliant to go after my audience,” Edmonds said. “How much is this really happening? If my dad never ordered those memory vitamins, I’d have no idea that this was still going on.”
The copycat account mimicking the real Dementia Careblazers page has about 5,000 followers. “Their numbers keep growing as people continue to think it’s me,” Edmonds said. There’s a telltale sign right on the screen that shows it’s not real. “The URL says SimpleGirlsBD, which doesn’t even make sense. My company is Dementia Careblazers,” she added.
Facebook has a tool to report impersonation accounts. To report one, go to the cloned page. Click on the menu with three dots on the cover photo. Then select ‘find support or report page.’ “I’ve done it dozens of times since my dad was scammed,” Edmonds said. “The account is still alive and still out there. Nothing happens.”
On Your Side contacted Facebook and its parent company, Meta, several times to find out why the page had not been removed. The company has not responded to any of our requests. In the meantime, Edmonds changes her profile photos regularly to try and outpace the bad guys.
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