“She explained she felt unsure of the event’s legitimacy due to the lack of info she could find about it online, and the very basic, limited responses she got from the event organizer,” Mathews said. She decided to call the Chamber because she thought if it was a big event like Octoberfest, the Chamber would probably know more.”
While still on the phone with the caller, Mathews began researching social media and local events calendars. No Octoberfest event showed up online for October 23-24 at Lake James, she said.
“I asked her to email me any info she had received, which led me to the flier and basic info about the alleged event,” said Mathews. “The event host said 1,200-1,500 people were expected to attend each day, and they were accepting payment via Paypal but referred to it as a ‘donation’.”
With no luck finding any credible information online, Mathews contacted city and county managers, Lake James State Park and the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office to get the message out it could be a scam. After the State Park confirmed there was no record of this event being held at the lake, they added “SCAM” to the flier and alerted the public, local media and the Burke County Sheriff’s Office.