Retailers have again been warned about the importance of keeping a close eye on their social media after someone masquerading as a Just Jeans representative confused and offended customers via the store's Facebook page.
Visitors who posted comments to the page received responses from an account registered as "Just Jeans" and containing the store's logo as its profile image.
The hoaxer played with users for more than 12 hours. A number became involved in back-and-forth conversations with the operator of the fake Just Jeans account without realising it was a hoax.
One customer was told their comment was "so last year", and others were directed to an online "voucher" that showed an offensive picture of controversial ex-AFL player Ben Cousins.
Another customer, who left a positive message about customer service, was told the staff member involved had "filed a complaint" against her.
"How rude!!," one female user wrote. "No one seems to be able to do there [sic] job properly! Just jeans, appalling!"
Just Jeans acted on Tuesday morning, deleting the comments from the hoax account and assuring its online followers that it was "investigating the posts as a matter of priority".
"We're sorry for any upset that has been caused, we are doing everything we can to address the matter as soon as possible," it said.
But it appears the page, which has over 18,600 "likes", had not been visibly active since early December.
A security adviser for the internet company AVG, Michael McKinnon, said businesses that could not monitor their social media on a daily basis should look at "locking down" their page by disabling the comment ability. "There is no feature on Facebook to approve the comments before they are published," he said. "You are always managing by exception."
A spokeswoman for the Just Group, Georgia Chewing, said its page was "on average" monitored on a daily basis and that the chain had not before encountered a hoax user.
"We have blocked the individual from using our site," Ms Chewing said.
In November the airline Jetstar's Facebook page was also hijacked. The prankster used the carrier's logo as the user name to convince some customers that their flights had been cancelled.
- Sydney Morning Herald
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