Facebook scammers wipe-out Queensland photographer's business
An Australian photographer has had his photography business hijacked by scammers who took over his Facebook account, erasing seven years of images and customer orders.
Photographer Doug Bazley’s ordeal began when he received a seemingly legitimate message from 'Meta Platforms', the company behind Facebook on his Bluey's Photography Facebook page. The message urged him to click on a link to address an issue.
“This Meta thing came up and it said to me, you need to go into this link to fix this problem,” Bazley told the ABC.
The scam is increasingly common, with Australian Photography's Facebook business page receiving dozens of similar scam attempts every week.
Little did Bazley know this simple action of clicking the link would lead to the loss of his entire social media presence and Facebook page of more than 16,000 followers.
“I hit that link and that was the start of the end, the page just went black, it disappeared. It changed the profile photo and changed the name and I had no access to my account.”
“It feels like your business has just burned down,” Bazley said.
“I spent seven years building that. All I can say is people need to be very aware of what links they get and who they let in. I do all my business on there, I have lost every single contact and there was close to $3,000 worth of calendar orders prepaid, and those names and contact details have gone.”
Bazley told Australian Photography he spent days attempting to report the issue to Meta and Facebook, but it wasn't a company heard about his plight and put him directly in touch with an Australian Meta employee that he began to see any traction.
"She has taken on my case and we are in touch every second day," he says. "Just yesterday she said they are making progress."
"I do hope they will recover, I had so much material on there and made so many connections over the years. This was my main source of income and contact with the public."
Bazley says he hopes his story will serve as a lesson to others who are overly reliant on social media platforms to run their own businesses.
“All I can say is people need to be very aware of what links they get and who they let in,” Bazley says.