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Did your favorite celebrity reach out to you on social media?

Before you get too excited, are you sure it’s that person? Really sure? We’ve heard reports that scammers, who will try just about anything to separate you from your money, are now posing as celebrities on social media. They’re asking fans to send money for all kinds of supposed reasons – like claiming a prize, donating to a charity, or giving help of some kind. Some celebs do raise money for legitimate causes. But you want to be sure the cause—and the person asking you to support it—are real.

Imposter scams come in many varieties, but they all work the same way: a scammer pretends to be someone you trust to convince you to send them money. And that’s exactly what these celebrity imposters are trying to do.

So what should you do if a celebrity contacts you on social media and asks for money?

  • Slow down. Before you send money, talk with someone you trust.
  • Do some research: search online for the celebrity’s name plus “scam.” Do the same with any charity or cause they’re asking you to support—and learn more about charity scams here.
  • Never send money, gift cards or prepaid debit cards to someone you don’t know or haven’t met – even celebrities you meet on social media.
  • If you sent money to a scammer, contact the company you used to send the money (your bank, wire transfer service, gift card company, or prepaid debit card company). Tell them the transaction was a fraud. Ask the company to reverse the transaction, if it’s possible.
  • Report your experience to the social media site and to the FTC.

To learn more about imposter scams, visit FTC.gov/imposters.

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856 Comments


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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

  • We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
  • We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
  • We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
  • We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.

John Henry
August 08, 2018
Best suggestion is don't ever give money out over the net. If someone ask you for money, tell them to send you a request thru the mail. They will never do it, at .50 cents they can't afford to.
Skuie
September 04, 2018

In reply to by John Henry

I just ran across this!! It was on Twitter and the person was impersonating Pitbull the Latin singer! This guy wouldn't give up, but I didn't give any $!!! He would do personal messaging. It all went back to 1 site that I could figure out. Twitter doesn't help out with anything, they don't care! I took snapshots os all the conversations I could, even tweeted some, thinking that the real Pitbull, or someone he knew would see it by mentioning his name. Ahhh, guess their all in their own little world or something! This person would get mean and a bit nasty when I wouldn't give $.
Susy
April 23, 2019

In reply to by Skuie

Also theres a Jim Carey imposter our there. Asking for iTunes cards. Trust ur gut.
On to you dude
February 26, 2020

In reply to by Susy

Funny enough I'm chatting to jim carrey now hahaha I knew it wasnt, as why would he start chatting to me lol Fake Twitter account
Messy
March 10, 2020

In reply to by Susy

Hahaha I'm chatting to "jim carrey " right now ...
steven
March 20, 2020

In reply to by Messy

What chats online you used to scammer Jim Carrey . Hangouts or IG?
Michelle
July 03, 2020

In reply to by steven

This famous person is Timaya the Nigerian singer some one contacted me yesterday posing as him
Julie
June 15, 2020

In reply to by Susy

Jim carrey imposter on instagram and hangout app,
Don't use your…
September 15, 2021

In reply to by Susy

Has anyone been contacted by someone claiming to be Dakota Fanning?
Crushed123
May 21, 2019

In reply to by Skuie

I had a similar incident when I had 2 celebrity imposters reach out to me. They either were a single person doing this or a group of play Tom Hanks and Channing Tatum. It was too good to be true. I played along after becoming emotional. Celebrities don't reach out to personally other than a comment or two in public twitter. Never private messaging. This happened for about a week until they've asked me to buy them am amazon card/ itune card. Why would any celebrity ask for those cards when they got a lot of money. He said he was too afraid, stressed and depressed to go out and that he couldn't because of his fame. That maybe true, but I saw in Google news that someone spotted tom hanks and his lovely wife at a gas station pumping gas. That contradicts the scammer. Celebrities may or may not have much freedom, but when they do. They are approached in public by a person. Stressful but I feel manageable.
Lgibs
December 18, 2019

In reply to by Crushed123

I just had a chat with "Tom Hank's" I'm not convinced its really him. Hasn't asked for anything..we talked about a few movies. I asked his wife's name..he said Rita. Which is right but anyone knows that. How do so know if it's him or scammer on Instagram?
anderson
February 08, 2020

In reply to by Lgibs

It's simple. You ask him to send a photo Government ID at least. no more than 1X24 hours during you have to chat with him. After that, you can find out and cross-check that photo on Google.
Melissa B
March 19, 2020

In reply to by Crushed123

I was new on Instagram I looked up Channing Tatum being a big fan I hearted his pics and made some comments next thing I knew I was getting private message from Channing saying thank you for the comments , likes and support and Im anytime im a big fan this went on for a few weeks next thing I know he is asking me if had a thing called hangout chat i told him no, i enjoyed are talks but than things got weird Channing was asking if i can support and send money for his charity for Orphans and also asking me to send him a calling card. i told him no i don't having any money and tried to glut me into it and ask me to trust him. this is still going on i know its a scam not sure what to do i would love to Tell the real Channing Tatum wants going on i know talking to him is out of the question . but i need help
Leelee
July 16, 2020

In reply to by Melissa B

Omg Melissa, thank you !!!! I have my biggest crush on Mehdi Dehbi ( The Messiah ) I called him out as a scammer and he got so upset with me and it's been going on 2 months now and yes I got emotionally attached to all the sweet talk but then he asked me to cash a check that he needs sent to an Orphanage here in the US because he's apparently in the UK . I told him I can't do any money transactions due to a legal lawsuit I'm dealing with and he started with the guilt and that's when I got suspicious!
Renee
January 13, 2021

In reply to by Melissa B

What was the name on instergram bc I have someone he say he is him but he keeps asking for my ssn I told him no
Michael knight
January 30, 2021

In reply to by Melissa B

Mr. Tatum is a scammer. He involves the imposter tom Hanks as well. It could be the same person. You must stay on guard because they have lots of money and resources for what they want and need.
Channing Tatum 123
July 19, 2021

In reply to by Melissa B

Hi Melissa B. I have heard about this! Are you still talking to Channing Tatum on Google hangouts? Today is July 18, 2021. My sister is chatting with him too and I want to make sure it is a scam. Please help. Thank yiu.
Alex Paul
May 25, 2020

In reply to by Crushed123

I had "Tyler Perry " talk to me on Instagram and he told me that he has a foundation called the Tyler Perry Foundation and that it helps orphans. To deposit around $200 to a bank and gave me a name of a person to deposit to. I called the bank and asked them about the person and they told me if I don't know the person I'm depositing to not to do it. Which I didn't once I got contacted by Tyler Perry he asked if I made the deposit and I told him no because the wouldn't let me. And I got contacted by his personal assistant and I know that scammers from Nigeria call females Ma all the time. I don't believe that it's actually Tyler Perry and he keeps saying that he's single and that he is moving on.
Vincent
May 29, 2020

In reply to by Alex Paul

Be Careful. That's scammer always ask to donate money to orphanages at Nigeria. Fake orphanage
KathyB
January 13, 2021

In reply to by Cam

I was taken in by this thread. Asked to donate to a Nigerian charity. Only donated $200. Escalated, wanting me. Scammer was so nice to talk to. Switched from Whatsapp to Google hangouts. Refused to talk on phone. At one point celebrity was hacked and kidnapped they said. Wanted $15,000. Sadly, celebrity was Simon Baker. That would have been cool.
finleymonroe
August 08, 2018
Have received calls allegedly from the IRS that we are to return a call to them at 516-303-8340 to avoid prosecution.
SGLoyalCA
August 08, 2018
I’ve Had That Experience... Very Clever... But, I Know What Charities My Fav Support’s...& He Has One Of His Own
KW
August 08, 2018
Recently there was one with Dwayne Johnson, asking people to click on a link to download a movie and in order to do so you have to enter your credit card number.
Did you get th…
August 08, 2018

In reply to by KW

Wondering whether particular celebrities are being targetted. Did you get this appeal? Are you part of his fan club or something? Would love to interview you, if you didn't mind. Thanks!
Brenda
August 08, 2018

In reply to by Did you get th…

You really should investigate the scams involving Elvis I know for a fact they ask for money and even nude pics I belong to a group on fb trying to expose all of them It's amazing how far they go And the people they hurt Please check into this
FansBeware
January 22, 2021

In reply to by Brenda

Please look into the FB scam blogs called Val Kilmer Chats and Val Kilmer Live. They impersonate Val Kilmer. An imposter starts on Val’s official site, sometimes replying to an earlier comment the fan made, and then redirects the fan to the imitation blog and finally to Google Hangouts. Conversations can go on for a while and if the fan does not realize that this is a scam, the fan can be asked for money for “charity” or for gift cards. I did not get to the final step because I read a complaint. This is wrong.
Sliver12
February 23, 2021

In reply to by Brenda

I have someone posing as Chris Isaak contacting me. He even gave me a phone #. When I asked him to call, he got really angry. I think the real Chris Isaak should know about this.
Bigwilm1
March 05, 2021

In reply to by Sliver12

Here in 2021, Cillian Murphy and Tom Hardy are the targets now!
Renae 83
October 12, 2021

In reply to by Bigwilm1

I'm supposed to be talking with Tom Hardy but things got strange when he said he would pay for me to move from New Zealand to the States and get me a job and house. Then he asked if I could save some money for his management to get my visa I messaged him and said that it sounds to good to be true and haven't heard back yet.
Teddy07
August 14, 2018

In reply to by Did you get th…

Beware of Donald Glover imposter - active on Messenger, asking for a $1.590 donation for the meet & greet session. His fake assistant Annabelle asks for ID details and sends payment details via email. They provide this addresses for Western Union purposes: 230 Ellis Ave, Irvington, NJ 07111
Boyle
January 24, 2019

In reply to by Did you get th…

I’m getting messages from someone impersonating a celebrity
Help.me96
March 28, 2019

In reply to by Justice raines

Hello i think im getting scam because one of my favorite country singers message me on Instagram and he is asking me for money
Really
March 30, 2019

In reply to by Help.me96

I'm getting texts from a Peter Hernandez (Bruno Mars) asking for Western Union wire because supposedly the charity websites are having issues. Started out like it really was him, but now I think it's a hacker.
Ccrows
August 17, 2019

In reply to by Really

A good friend’s 22 year old daughter with Downs Syndrome is being scammed by “Peter Hernandez” aka Bruno Mars. He’s requested pre paid credit cards to fund a new studio. She’s at wits end because she’s is unable to convince her daughter this is fake. Any suggestions on how to take this scam down?
T
July 22, 2020

In reply to by Ccrows

That's so sad and just really a shame. May GOD continue to bless, protect, and keep your friend and especially her daughter, in JESUS' name. Amen. "Bruno Mars" has been trying to scam me, too. Thank You, LORD JESUS, that he revealed himself to me and more than one time. It's disappointing and embarrassing for me. I'm disappointed that it's not really him cuz I think he's so cute. And I'm embarrassed that, at first, I thought it was him. It's just really a shame how far some people would go for money.
Perspective
December 30, 2020

In reply to by Ccrows

Look up other followers of the said "celeb" and reach out to ask if they'd had same experience. If u find any, then you can have them reach to the daughter showing that's scamming.
Help.me96
July 31, 2019

In reply to by Help.me96

My favorite country artist has been asking for money to help get his divorce for a year now that he’s been working on and says he finally got it and has tried a number of times to come see me in fact on his way tonight. She blocked him out of his account and finally after agile I loaned him 600 dollars to finalize his divorce. Calls me day and night from Nashville for over a year and just wondered if he had tried that with anyone else. I may be wrong but we are madly in love and says he’ll pay me back. Can’t repeat his name.
Worried_mom
October 30, 2019

In reply to by Help.me96

This country singer wouldn't happen to have a wife and 4 boys would he?
Don't ubc girl…
January 29, 2020

In reply to by Worried_mom

Is the country singer have two boys and his two nieces and nephew live with him and his wife
Michigangirl
July 24, 2020

In reply to by Don't ubc girl…

Was it keith urban cause hes been messaging me saying he wants to buy me a house and come visit the usa never once asked me for money but hes wanting to buy me everything I think it's a fraud
Gina_perry7575
January 07, 2021

In reply to by Michigangirl

He is happily married to nicole Kidman its a fraud
JulesTenn
March 07, 2021

In reply to by Michigangirl

How did he contact you originally please Michigangirl? Waa it direct on insta? I think my sister went through something similar just last December? She thinks it was him still. 'He' was very nice to her when chatting, never rude or anything. Same house promise etc. No request for money tho. Hope you can help....cant convince my sister.
Secret Angel 007
August 25, 2021

In reply to by Worried_mom

I should have known when he asked me to go to hangouts from Smule I think rather I’m pretty sure I’m getting scammed to from someone claiming to be constanctine mouralus From the singling app smule
Surfergirl
November 11, 2019

In reply to by Help.me96

I know what your going through. Look for the language imposters will text am going to the store. That is not southern and they will string u along until you say no more. Block them they are not who they say they are...
Smart Granny
December 27, 2019

In reply to by Surfergirl

On Tweeter, followed by two pro golfers...the minute I announced on my feed, was unfollowed but not before the orivate message of...hello dear how are you. Now have a country star doing the same...wants my phone number so we can ‘chat better’. Hmmm, ok...NOT. Also have a US Army General on Words, right. Imposters should be fined and jailed imo