Cornwall based retailer Seasalt is warning customers about hundreds of fake adverts appearing on Facebook saying the company is closing 118 stores and selling off stock at 80% off.

Seasalt Cornwall, whose head office is on Falmouth Business Park, says the statement is wholly false and the company has had a very good year and is actually opening more “bricks and mortar” stores.

These sites have been using incorrect spellings and showing fake Seasalt shopfronts with promotions advertising up to 80% off stock, along with suggesting store closures.

Falmouth Packet: One of the many variations of the fake ad which has been appearing on FacebookOne of the many variations of the fake ad which has been appearing on Facebook (Image: Facebook)

The adverts appear under different accounts many with blue ticks, but the accounts are either fake or have been hacked.

In a statement issued to the Packet, the company says this is all false and they are forging ahead with their international expansion plans, so this targeted fraudulent activity is extremely frustrating for them.

“In recent weeks, we have been made aware of a number of unauthorised websites and fraudulent social media accounts trading under the appearance of Seasalt Cornwall, using our branding and logo and targeting our customer community.

“These sites and accounts are not legitimate and are in no way connected to our business. We have posted messages across our channels to warn our customers and advise them not to transact with these sites, including providing additional security advice on our site.

“We have also requested that our community reports all targeted ads directly to social media platforms so they can be blocked as promptly as possible.

“We are taking this situation extremely seriously and we are carrying out every possible action to get these sites reported and removed. We have a specific process in place for dealing with this that includes reporting the sites to relevant authorities and third parties to have them taken down.

“We are members of Meta’s Brand Protection Scheme and we are working closely with them to ensure these fraudulent advertisers are removed.

“Our priority is ensuring our Seasalt customers and brand do not continue to be victims of this fraudulent activity and can shop with Seasalt and our trusted retail partners in complete confidence.”

The fake adverts come as Bank of Ireland has warned consumers about a new wave of purchase scams luring unsuspecting shoppers through online ads to make payments for goods and services that subsequently turn out to be fake.

While a Guardian investigation has warned that a vast web of China based fake shops are touting designer brands taking money and personal details from 800,000 people in Europe and US.