Dorset shop owner warns others after falling for creepy Instagram scam

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A shop owner has warned other business owners not to trust anyone online after her shop’s Instagram account was hacked. Jessica Parish fell for the “creepy” scam in February, and despite many efforts she has been unable to get the account back three months later.

“You just can’t trust anyone that direct messages you,” she warned others.

Jessica owns and manages Shoreside, a beach store in Swanage. She built up her Instagram following and enjoyed using social media to promote her business. However, in February she received a message from a local charity’s account with an innocuous word puzzle.

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She said: “When they [the hacker] first messaged me, it was a Wordle from someone who I thought was a friend. They [ the hacker] obviously thought ‘she’s the sort of person that would be into doing a word puzzle,’ and I was! That’s how they hooked me into a conversation.

“I gave…

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