Celebrities are fun to follow in the news and on social media. It’s entertaining to read stories about celebrities’ families, their homes, and other details about their personal lives.
So, it’s easy to see how someone can quickly become star-struck when they receive an unexpected message from their favorite actor, athlete, or musician. While it might be exciting to engage with someone you look up to, there’s a good chance that you are being scammed.
These celebrity scams are common among aging adults, especially since many people in this demographic aren’t savvy with social media.
Common Celebrity Scams
It’s essential to warn family members about common types of celebrity scams. Most often, the cons start with bogus social media accounts on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. First, the scammer builds a following of people who are fans of the celebrity. Then, followers start receiving messages from the scammer requesting money.
A variety of scams invoke celebrity names, such as:
- Charity donation requests (often associated with a cause the celebrity actually supports)
- Exclusive concert tickets or backstage passes
- Entry or processing fees to enter an online giveaway
- Investment opportunities from a famous business person, such as cryptocurrency
- Fake live streams, including a message that a prize will be given to the first hundred people who comment. Then the people who respond receive a direct message requesting bank information to deposit the payment
Sometimes, scammers watch the real celebrity’s social media accounts to find fans who are commenting on the real status update. For example, someone might post “I love you Britney” on Britney Spear’s Instagram account, then the person receives a message from a fake account thanking them for the comment and asking for a charity donation.
Watch for These Warning Signs
If you or a loved one is following a celebrity Facebook account, look for the blue checkmark that shows the account is verified. Avoid accounts with few followers and little activity. Check the name on the account to watch for misspellings (such as Kammala Harriss) or punctuation (such as Bey.on.ce).
Also, be aware of anyone soliciting money or personal information through private messaging. Don’t engage with people requesting this information.
This information is intended to inform the public at large about this important issue. It is not intended to serve as legal or medical advice.