Beloved Qld Live Music Venue Targeted By Scammers

8 February 2022 | 3:26 pm | Staff Writer

NightQuarter hit by scammers.

The team behind Queensland live music venue NightQuarter was recently targeted by scammers, almost losing an “irreplaceable” and “invaluable” marketing asset.

As Courier Mail reports, the Sunshine Coast favourite, which is feeling the effects of COVID like all other venues across the country, came close to losing its Instagram to overseas scammers.

Venue owners Michelle Christoe and Ian Van der Woude lost access to their Instagram and its almost 30,000 followers due to an email scam that claimed there was a copyright breach issue with the account and it would be deleted if they didn’t take action.

The email contained a link that installed a keystroke program onto Christoe’s phone which allowed the scammers to bypass secondary authentication security measures and take control of the venue’s Instagram.

NightQuarter’s account then sent out similar messages to its huge following.

Christoe told Courier Mail that their Instagram was an “irreplaceable” and “invaluable” marketing asset. 

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The scammers demanded money for the return of the account, but instead, Christoe and Van der Woude sought the help of local IT and cybersecurity firm ID Care, who was able to retrieve the login after five days.

On what they learnt from the experience, Christoe told The Music: "Make sure you are careful when you set up all your IT services that it is set up in a way that you have ownership set up in the business name, not IT or creative consultants, and you always have two-party authorisation on everything."