Andrea Gilligan is warning people against a fake Facebook account that has been using her name to try and scam people out of money.
The Lunchtime Live presenter spent the weekend trying to get the fake account taken down by Facebook.
The account, which was set up in Andrea’s name and included personal and professional pictures, was sending messages to people telling them they had won €1,000 and should click on a link to claim their prize.
“I just want to tell people, if you get a message from me on a Facebook page with €1,000, it is not from me,” she said.
“Please don’t click on any links; please don’t hand over personal information or bank account details.
“I wish I had €1,000 to give away but it is definitely not from me.”
If you receive a request/message from this Facebook account 👇asking for your personal details or, to click on a link to claim money..it’s not me! I’ve reported the page to @facebook
Please do not engage with the account & block it! pic.twitter.com/imN5wzdRaS
— Andrea Gilligan (@andreagilligan) March 10, 2023
After three days of back and forth with Facebook, the account was eventually taken down this afternoon; however, it is unclear if anyone was taken in by the scam before it was removed.
“I believe it has now been taken down but my point is that it is extremely difficult to do this,” she said.
“Only for I had the backing of the digital team in work and obviously [Newstalk Tech Correspondent] Jess [Kelly] who is well aware of this.
“Like it should not be this hard to get a fake account or an account purporting to be somebody that is clearly trying to dupe people out of money, it should not be this difficult to get this removed.
“It shouldn’t. It absolutely should not.
“You should not have to jump through the hoops that I spent the whole weekend trying to get through to highlight that this actually trying to fraudulently get money out of people.
“It shouldn’t be that difficult.”
Andrea said Facebook initially decided not to take the account down because it only removes accounts that “pose a danger to other people and are harmful to the community”.
She called on social media companies to improve their security and complaint features to make it easier to get fraudulent accounts taken down.
“The response should not be that, ‘This account wasn’t harmful,’” she said.
“Absolutely, it would have been extremely harmful if people filled out details or handed over account details on that.
“I was just so surprised at how complex this was and how long it took – from Friday evening at about 6pm to only get this down now today at about lunchtime on Monday.”