Youngstown hair salon owner shares scam hitting her business, warns others not to fall victim
A Youngstown hair salon has fallen victim to an online scam where a fraudulent Facebook user books appointments for the salon, posing as a hairstylist who works there.
Those working the scam ask for a mobile payment service like CashApp or ApplePay payment in advance for the appointment and then keep the money. The owner says that after nearly seven years in business, she's never experienced anything like this.
Lauren Burnette, a local salon owner says she's had four customers in the last four months come into her studio saying they've pre-paid for an appointment with a specific stylist...only for them to find out that stylist doesn't work there.
Customers tell her they've been scammed out of anywhere from fifty to one hundred and fifty dollars. Burnette has reported the fraudulent profile to Facebook and spoken with the police, but it's still online.
Melissa Ames, President of the Youngstown Better Business Bureau, warns people that if someone they don't know is asking them to pay with a cash app, or pre-paid credit cards, it's a red flag that there is limited protection for you to recover loss if the transaction if a scam.
The Better Business Bureau says customers can stay safe by using payment options that allow you to track and dispute the charge. But for Burnette, she says she still feels threatened.
Burnette said she doesn't want her business and her name run into the ground by criminals posing as employees at her establishment. Burnette feels bad that people are being taken in by the scam, and wants to forewarn others to be cautious and call and confirm with the business before paying for services.