Fake WC2023 accounts: how to spot them and how to deal with them
The World Championships are a popular event and as such, we get a lot of copycats trying to scam you for tickets, livestream access or merchandise. Sometimes, they are successful in tricking people into thinking they’re us and we don’t want that to happen; we want you to be able to enjoy our very real and amazing event! To avoid getting scammed and having to miss out on the World Championships we’ve listed a few things to look out for.
1. Our accounts have existed since May 2015 (FB) and March 2016 (Insta)
The pages on Facebook and Instagram were made when it was officially announced the Netherlands would host the 2017 world championships. We’ve used these same pages ever since, only changing the name according to the event itself. Scammers have to make new pages, which is how you can recognize them.
You can find this information on the ‘About’ tab on our Facebook page or the ‘About this page’ option on Instagram.
Every Facebook and Instagram page has a unique @. Ours is very to the point: wcicelandichorses2023 and @wc2023nl. No mentions of ‘live’ or ‘livestream’.
2. We have provenance and a lot of followers
Because our pages have been around for a while, many people now follow us or have given our accounts likes. Fake accounts haven’t had the time to gain so many wonderful fans, so always check the number of followers an account has.
3. The closer we get to the start of the World Championships, the more we will post
We want to tell you about the things that are happening before, during and after the event. There’s a lot to share about the build-up of the tracks, the Markarður Square, what special events to look forward to and everything that happens as the world championships take place. As you can see in the image of our Facebook page, we post a lot of updates (10+ in the past two weeks). Scammers won’t put that kind of effort into their page.
4. We are a community of Icelandic horse enthusiasts
Fake accounts will create a page for a sports event. While the World Championships are a sports event, it comes from a community of people passionate about Icelandic horses, which is why our page is a community page on Facebook.
(Picture right: out of all of these accounts, only ours is a community and not a sports event).
5. Our page can’t send you friend requests
On Facebook we have a community page. This type of page can have followers, but not friends (though we do consider you as such). If you receive a friend request from a page with a name like ours, rest assured: that’s not us. Don’t accept their request!
6. We don’t have a group page
Because we already have a community page, we don’t have a group page for the event itself (we do have one for our volunteers, which is not a public account).
7. We don’t post direct URLS for ticket sales, livestream access or t-shirts
Some scammers post direct links to a ticket sale, livestream access or even t-shirts. This is something we don’t do. Our posts always have a high-quality image relating to WC2023, Icelandic horses or the topic we’re posting about, and we’ll simply ask you to visit the official WC2023 website. Our website is very easy to navigate, so if we want you to know where to buy tickets or livestream access, we will tell you which menu item you need to click.
There is a URL to our website in the text at the bottom of our posts which also warns you about fake accounts. Fake accounts tend to remove that part, but be careful in case they haven’t. If you’re not sure, don’t interact.
If someone responds to your comment under one of our posts that tells you to buy a product by clicking a link they’ve posted, don’t click the link. If an account with a similar name as us offers you a livestream access link, it’s also not us. We don’t post direct links!
8. Our URL ends with .nl
Our website URL is https://www.wc2023.nl. It ends with a Dutch domain (NL), and starts with HTTPS. HTTPS is a security protocol which makes a website safer to use for you. While it’s not a failsafe, many scam websites only have the HTTP protocol, which misses the s (which stands for ‘secure’). They also will add other domains, such as .com. The .com domain leads you directly to a scam site, so please take care to use .nl!
9. Not sure about the URL you see? Google our website instead
If you still have doubts, Google for the World Championships Icelandic horses,
Icelandic horses Oirschot, or something closely related to our event. Our event will show up in the first results. Google places a lot of importance on the relevance of a page to its visitors, which is why ours will usually show up in the top 3.
10. We can’t offer a free livestream (sorry)
Because livestreams need hosting, equipment and people to handle said equipment, we ask for a fee in order to cover those costs and give you top quality video during the competitions. If you do see an account saying as such, they’re trying to scam you.
What can you do when you see a fake account?
11. Trust your gut
If you see a message, a page or an event that feels wrong: don’t interact with it.
Some scammers come directly into the comments of our posts to reply to your comment or tag you to convince you to buy something. We won’t do that – instead we’ll tell you to visit our website or which shops you can visit to buy merchandise.
The only URL we use in our social posts are at the bottom of the post, where we also warn you about fake sites.
12. Report fake accounts and events
If you’ve run into a fake account, report them! You can find the report button on the right (the three dots). Tell Facebook this account is pretending to be someone else, then select business, and type in WC Icelandic Horses 2023. Choose the account with the most followers (which is us) and then send the report in. You can also opt to block this account to keep you safe in the future.
13. Tell us!
If you’ve found a fake account, please let us know! The more people that report these fake accounts, the faster they’ll be taken down so they can’t scam anyone else. Find us using the tips above and tell us through chat what the account’s name was. We’ll get to work reporting the account as well.
There are several ticketshops that sale fake tickets, such as the ones below.
- ViaGoGo (.nl)
- AllEvents (.in)
You can report such websites to
And, again, let us know so we can warn others.