Con artists impersonate your favorite celebrity

(KVOA) – The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has warned people about con artists who are pretending to be a popular celebrity to scam people out of money.

The BBB said the scam works like this; You log in to your Facebook or another social media account and spot a post in your News Feed. It looks like a favorite celebrity shared an image of piles of cash, high-end cars, and/or other valuables. The photo has a caption promising you a chance to win these things. It seems to come from the celebrity’s real profile: it uses their name and has a photo.

However, the BBB said there is one small catch. To win, the person posting says you must pay an entry fee or click a specific link and create an account.

The BBB said none of the prizes actually exist.

“If you follow the scammers’ instructions, they either make off with your money or steal personal information by asking you to click a link and ‘validate your account information’, ” the BBB said in a news release.

The BBB suggested following the steps listed below to avoid a social media scam.

  •  Be wary of offers that are too good to be true. The BBB said don’t believe everything you read on social media. If contests or “giveaways” seem too good to be true, they probably are.
  •  Don’t give money or personal information to strangers. The BBB said this is especially true if you are asked to pay a fee or provide your credit or debit card information in exchange for “free” services.
  •  Be selective with your “likes” and “follows.” The BBB said don’t spread scammers’ posts by blindly liking everything that pops up on your feed.  One way to detect fraudulent pages is to look for odd page naming (such as a period added to a celebrity’s name) or a recent page creation date.

For More Information

You can report an imposter account to Facebook. For more information about scams, go to BBB.org/ScamTips. If you have been scammed or targeted for a scam, file a report on BBB.org/ScamTracker

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