To Our Amazing Supporters,
Some of you may have seen for yourselves (or been made aware through our social media posts) that on Thursday, March 4th a fake Instagram account was created assuming the username “_wmtrailcollective.” The person(s) behind this fake account were able to copy legitimate WMTC posts, images, taglines, etc., to replicate a facsimile of our Instagram. They also created a fake website -- all in an effort to scam and take advantage of you, our amazing supporters.
The account was used to message many of our followers with the notice that they had won our truck raffle, proceeding to ask for verification of payment information. Within hours of this fake account being created, many of you reached out to notify us as well as report the fake account given the suspect verbiage of the message’s content. We immediately issued a notice that the account was fake and a scam on our social media pages. We also immediately suspended the truck raffle.
It was our first priority that no one fell prey to this scam. During the last week we have issued several posts warning our followers and have been in contact with the police, the State Attorney General, and our own legal counsel all in an effort to figure out how to resolve this issue expediently.
Many of you helped us by reporting the fake account, but to date those efforts have yet to result in the removal of that account. We were successful in getting the fake website taken down (thank you, Google) but the fake Instagram remains. We are frustrated and dismayed that we have so little leverage in disproving the credibility of these accounts in order to have them terminated, but we have exhausted all options available to us at this time.
The State Attorney General has recommended that we cancel the Truck Raffle, as there is no way to guarantee that the scam won’t continue. It is our top priority to do everything we can to ensure that none of our supporters are taken advantage of. Hence, we are canceling the Truck Raffle.
Over the next week we will begin to issue refunds for the purchase of your ticket(s). We had hoped to use the Truck Raffle as a fun and exciting way to fundraise for trail projects, and this is not the ending we had hoped for. If you would like the full cost or a partial cost of your ticket to go to the trails and programs like employing youth on trail crews, please contact us by March 19th and we will send you a tax receipt for the 2020 tax year. We will also be eternally grateful! We will send full refunds to anyone we have not heard from on March 20th.
For those of you who helped us by reporting the fake account and reaching out with kindness and understanding, we can't thank you enough. Hopefully the account will eventually be removed. We’ve certainly learned some valuable lessons from this experience.
Thank you All!
Contact Email Melanie.firstname.lastname@example.org