Consider this another reminder there are bad people in the world, and that you need to be super-diligent when dealing with people or businesses online. They may not be who you think they are.

Fake social media accounts are nothing new. Individuals with apparently nothing more productive to occupy their time create them to steal our identities and access to our personal information, or dupe our friends and family into giving up their personal information so they can rob them blind. Businesses are an even bigger target since they are attempting to appeal to the largest number of people possible and will often have far more followers (i.e. potential victims) than you or me.

One of those businesses is Burdette Park.

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On Wednesday morning, just after 9:00, the park created a post on Facebook giving fans the chance to win five passes to the Aquatic Center. All followers had to do was comment on the post with a specific hashtag.

As you can imagine, the post received hundreds upon hundreds of comments from people trying to win. Just under four hours later, the park followed up with this warning:

Based on the post, it seems that after the park published the contest, someone saw the number of comments it had received and used it as an opportunity to start some trouble by creating a look-alike, or fake, Burdette Park account and sending private messages to people who commented claiming they had won, and all they needed to do was provide some personal information in order to claim the prize. One follower admitted to providing an e-mail address but shut down the communication when a credit card number was requested after realizing something wasn't right.

Always keep in mind, a business will never ask for personal information like a credit or debit card number through social media or e-mail. If something seems fishy, it probably is. And, if you're ever unsure, because the fake accounts can look very real, contact the business directly by giving them a call to see if they sent the message. Chances are, like in Burdette's case, they didn't.

[Source: Burdette Park Facebook]

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