CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — City officials are warning of a scam post circulating on Facebook.
“It is a fake page, it has no relationship to the City of Corpus Christi at all,” said Communications Director DeAnna McQueen.
The page claims to be the "Corpus Christi Department of Burial Services", which doesn’t exist. The post is offering "affordable burial insurance programs". McQueen said the city was made aware of the post by an employee last week, and they are working with Facebook to get the post and page removed.
“It is not easy at all,” she said. “We are working with Facebook to determine our rights to request that the fake page be brought down, to change the name of it, and cease using our city seal.”
Katie Galan, the regional director of the Better Business Bureau, said this type of scam is not uncommon, and called it a "government imposter scam".
“One of two things will typically happen with a scam like this, and that is either they are phishing for your personal information, or they are going to prompt you to make some sort of payment,” she said.
Galan warned against posts like this, and recommends always doing your own research before giving away personal information.
“We do advise not to go off any contact information that’s on that post, or that link, or whatever it is that you received. Go and find that contact information independently,” she said. “Definitely don’t respond to anything that you receive unsolicited. Even if you think there’s a possibility it could be legitimate, still don’t click on anything that’s in that correspondence. Go independently, find that source yourself, and contact them and then ask about whatever it is you’re looking at.”
Galan said scam posts are usually easy to spot, and said they are often littered with grammatical mistakes. She said this particular post did not seem to have any grammar errors, but the emojis in the post are a giveaway.
“Of course a city entity or government entity is never going to put emojis in a post,” she said.
McQueen said the city has dealt with phony posts and pages on Facebook in the past.
“We have had a couple of pages in the past that have popped up every now and then, and we have worked with Facebook and successfully got them removed,” she said.
If you are ever unsure about the legitimacy of a service the city is offering, you can contact the communications department at 361-826-3211.
Galan recommends reporting any potential scams to the BBB scam tracker and the Texas Attorney General’s office.