Hackers and spam are certainly not new in the digital world. I know that personally I seem to receive dozens of “phishing” attempts weekly via my various email accounts.
But this morning I received a new kind of phishing attempt – a very official-looking email confirming an order placed to ShopLAStyle.com (see below).
Of course I knew I hadn’t placed any such order so I was immediately suspicious. I’ve had a few situations in the past with credit card fraud and online orders being placed (and actual deliveries made to my home) by people who accessed my credit card. But I suspected this wasn’t the case here. The links to the site made me even more suspicious so I thought I’d manually check out the site to see if it was legit.
The site was down – nothing appeared. Hmmm. So I googled the company and found out they have a Facebook page. I checked it out and discovered the company the company was smartly using it to communicate to its 6,307 fans about the situation. Clearly I wasn’t alone.
About an hour ago, it posted:
SPAM ALERT! If you received an email stating you placed an order #20399282 it is spam. Please do not click on any links. There is no order. Unfortunately this happened a few months ago. Please do not be alarmed. There is no credit card fraud.
It then provided an update later:
Here is a little more info – it’s what we learned when this happened to us about 6 months ago. We were not hacked. We do not have your contact info. The spammer has a list of emails and we have no idea how they got them. They created a template email and sent it to all of you. You all received the same email and order number. Yes it makes us look bad but we have nothing to do with it! They are using our brand to entice you to click on the link.
And most recently:
Unfortunately our site has been brought down because of this incident.
I decided to check out its Twitter account to see if they were also providing updates via that platform and was suprised to see they have not. Equally surpising was the fact that they don’t seem to use Twitter much at all – their last update was November 27th!
This is obviously a very serious situation for ShopLAStyle.com and I feel for them as they try to get their website back online as this is having a serious impact on their sales. The next task will be to restore their credibility – even though they have done nothing wrong in this case.
I hope they continue to embrace social media to provide updates to their fans and customers. I give them kudos for their work on Facebook but I feel they should also use Twitter in this situation. Even though they have far fewer followers than Facebook fans, media outlets will gravitate towards Twitter for updates and appearing silent on the platform doesn’t provide the proactive image the company needs at this time.