POLICE have put out a warning to York businesses about fake craft fair adverts that have been appearing on social media feeds in the area.

The aim of the adverts is to get people to send a stall-holder’s pitch fee.

But there is no fair – and if you do send money, you will lose it, says Andy Hugall, North Yorkshire Police’s specialist Digital PCSO.

PCSO Hugill said the fake adverts had been popping up all over local Facebook community groups.

“The posts advertise a fictional craft fayre, fair or similar event which claims to be held at a local hall,” he said.

“The organiser calls out for stall holders to sign up and pay a sum of money to them. In reality there is no event and the fraudster is hoping people will send them a stall holders pitch fee.”

There are some clear red flags to look out for that would suggest a fair is not all it seems to be, PCSO Hugill said.

These include:

  • the venue is not tagged in the post
  • people are requested to send a private message
  • a ‘friends and family’ payment is requested via PayPal
  • no event is advertised on the venue's page.

“Please do your homework before booking into any events and make sure the person advertising such events is a genuine organiser,” PCSO Hugill said.

“Call the venue first and double check the event, before parting with any money.

“If people spot an advert on social media and think it may be a scam, please report it to the admin of the social media page that you see them on so that they can be removed straight away.”