Have you received a social media message from your favourite celebrities account? Are you certain it’s that individual before you get too excited? Are you sure? We’ve heard rumours that con artists, who would do almost everything to get their hands on your money, are now using social media to impersonate famous people. They are soliciting donations from fans for a variety of fictitious purposes, such as winning a prize, supporting a good cause, or providing assistance of some type. Some famous people do raise money for worthy causes. However, you must be certain that the cause and the person asking for your support are legitimate.
There are many different imposter scams and Nigerians are notorious for this, but they all operate in the same way: the con artist poses as someone you know and trust in order to get you to transfer them money. And that’s precisely what these fake celebrities are attempting to achieve.
What then should you do if a famous person approaches you on social media and demands money?
Speed up. Speak to a trusted friend or relative before sending money.
Do some research by typing the celebrity’s name plus “scam” into a search engine. To avoid falling victim to a charity scam, follow the same advice with each organization or cause that they want you to support.
Even celebrities you meet on social media, never send cash, gift cards, or prepaid debit cards to someone you don’t know or haven’t met in person.
Contact the firm you used to transmit the money if you sent it to a fraudster (your bank, wire transfer service, gift card company, or prepaid debit card company). Inform them that the transaction was fraudulent. If it is feasible, ask the business to reverse the transaction.
Share your story on social media and with the EFCC.