On Aug. 13, UVUSA announced their “Weeks of Welcome” giveaway on Instagram to celebrate the beginning of the fall semester; shortly after that, a copycat account was created on Instagram that looked exactly like the original. The creator is still unknown and is suspected of trying to steal people’s banking information, according to Jeff Elggren, a digital marketing major and public relations chair for UVUSA.
The first fake Instagram account was made to look exactly like the original @uvustudents account. It had their most recent posts, including the giveaway. The fake account would message students asking them to fill out a form that asked for their card information.
“Students were letting us know [about the fake Instagram account],” said Elggren about when they first became aware of the imposter. “All we could do was [tell students to] report the account.”
After a few days of reporting the account, it was taken down. However, a different fake account was created on Sep. 3. This account was made to look like the public relations team at UVU. This account messaged more students than the first fake account.
“When I first got the dm [direct message] from the fake Instagram account I was so excited,” said a digital cinema freshman at UVU. “But then when I opened it I knew it was a fake account, I was so disappointed.”
Elggren added that it’s not the first time that this has happened and that he doesn’t doubt that it will happen again.
“The more followers we get and the more students are involved, the more it happens because people will take advantage of that,” said Elggren. “That’s why we’re trying to get our page verified so that it’s easier to tell the difference between scam accounts and the real account.”