Monday, April 15, 2024

Watch out for dinosaur scam

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Maria Gill
Maria Gill
"Subtly charming problem solver. Extreme tv enthusiast. Web scholar. Evil beer expert. Music nerd. Food junkie."

Like many netizens, Catherine Giroud wanted to pamper her kids when she bought four tickets for the Jurassic Festival, a life-size mechanical dinosaur exhibit that will be held in the parking lot of Quartier Dix30, in Broussard, at the end of the month. ‘October. However, she was soon disappointed.

“A unique opportunity to come face-to-face with various giant and animatronic creatures from prehistoric times, to see their teeth, see their eyes blink, see their tails swing and hear their majestic roar,” the mysterious organizers wrote, in English, on the event’s Facebook page.

There is no business associated with this page, which has over 92,000 people interested in the Jurassic Festival. It is reported that the event will be held from October 22-31 at Quartier Dix30, which is incorrect.

“We ended our cooperation with this promoter on Monday evening,” Dix30 spokesperson Patrice Perron said, adding that customer suspicions of fraud raised by customers prompted him to investigate.

Yesterday afternoon, the Jurassic Festival reported the “Wonderful People of Quebec” on the event page, saying they were looking for another venue.

Catherine Giroud, I regretted buying it.

“I’m usually very attentive. You can pay with PayPal, which is always a good sign. But I should have done more checks,” admits the 28-year-old, who lives on Montreal’s South Shore.

I wrote to the organizers who responded to it. On the other hand, the radio fell silent about them, when I asked them for a refund. “My credit card issuer told me that their site really looks scam. They want to wait a week before canceling the transaction, time to see if the regulators will answer me,” she explains.

mystery regulator

According to our information, the organizer of Jurassic Fest is the Australian company Festival Ignite Ltd, which has been around since June 29, 2020.

In the purchase confirmation she received by e-mail – which is far from the case for all customers – there is no trace of the name of the promoter. However, note that Canadian and Quebec taxes are not deducted from the $85 bill.

From Facebook, people are welcome to go to an English-only website to buy tickets. The promoter indicates that the quantity of tickets is limited and will not be sold on site. Above all, no refund will be given, is it written all over the place.

Festival Ignite left little trace when the domain name was anonymously registered, notes Alexis Dorais-Joncas of ESET.

The cybersecurity expert notes that there are 55 identical locations for similar events in Calgary and Edmonton as well as Brisbane, Adelaide and Sydney, Australia.

“All this in just 12 months of operation. It certainly raises questions about legality,” says the ESET Intelligence and Security Team Leader.

For its part, Facebook said it was “checking out the event.” According to a spokesperson: “The audit team is monitoring the event and will see if Facebook’s policies are being followed.”

As for the promoter, he did not respond to our multiple requests for interviews.

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