Better Business Bureau

Better Business Bureau

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- There's a scam that seems to be resurging lately on social media. This one involves scammers posing as celebrities.

Country music star Trace Adkins certainly knows how to belt out a tune. But these days, the recording artist is also delivering an important message.

"A lot of imposter accounts out there on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram pretending to be me, please do not engage with these people or send them money."

That same warning is being echoed by other celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, who are concerned you might get ripped off.

"Somebody out there is trying to scam you, using my name and my avatar."

According to Tierra Terry, who's with the Phoenix Better Business Bureau, it's a troubling and clever imposter trend that's currently sweeping across social media.

"Scammers are taking on the persona of well-known celebrities and promoting cash prizes and giveaways," said Terry. The Phoenix Better Business Bureau recently issued a warning about the impersonation scam.

At the same time, actors like Patrick Dempsey are also alerting fans that someone impersonating him online is asking folks for money. Terry goes on to say:

"The catch is there's a cost associated to being entered into this cash giveaway, or there's a suspicious link that they are going to ask you to use to verify the account information to use for malicious purposes."

Savvy internet users are also taking notice and warning potential victims.

One person wrote the Federal Trade Commission saying, "there's a Jim Carrey imposter out there, asking for iTunes cards," and another said, "The person was impersonating Pit Bull the Latin singer."

Terry goes on to add, "All they'll do is ask you to like or comments, and they'll send you a message on your Facebook messenger and ask you to complete information or fill out a form and ask you for personal information as far as your bank account, or your account login information."

The scam has been around, but it's making a resurgence lately.

According to the BBB, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg are among those who have been impersonated.

"They can also utilize that the charity factor or a way to pull on the heartstrings of individuals who are scrolling through the feed, to make it look like it's legitimate," Terry said.

The bottom line don't trust any kind of offers you might see being touted by celebrities online because Terry says it's most likely not the celebrity you think it is.

"Be selective of your likes and followers as well. Because your friends that are on your social media will begin to like and share as if it's legitimate, and unfortunately, people will begin to fall victim to these scams," Terry said.

 

Copyright 2020 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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