A warning about imposter scams

Published 6:52 am Thursday, September 28, 2023

Be careful of celebrity imposters. That’s the warning sent out this week from AARP officials. This October is National Cyber Security month and AARP is focused on shining a light on the most prevalent online scams including celebrity impostors. Stars like Bruce Springsteen, Trace Adkins and Oprah Winfrey are among thousands of celebrities whose personas have been used by scammers online to solicit money from fans. 

These days, celebrities share career news, personal views, even travel videos on social media and interact with fans in comment threads. Criminal scammers take advantage of that by trying to convince fans that they have special direct access to that celebrity online. The way it works is a fan will get a direct message out of the blue from a favorite musician, actor or athlete. They will send out tens of thousands of these messages knowing that while most people will be skeptical — it only takes one person who is excited to make money. 

While the ask might vary between money for charity or an investment opportunity or limited access event and even love, it is always a scam, AARP officials say. They remind people to never share your personal information with or send money to someone you don’t know and have only communicated with online, no matter how supposedly famous they are. 

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