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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

Lindamaz (not verified)
December 21, 2020

In reply to by Kp (not verified)

He's on Scrabble go and gives his WhatsApp number as +1(914)846-8690
Shelly (not verified)
August 19, 2021

In reply to by Lindamaz (not verified)

I was playing Scrabble and we were matched to play. We've been playing for a while now. He asked if I had Hangouts, which I don't but I do have Google Chats. So we are talking on that. I kept telling him I don't believe him so he asked what he could do to prove it to me. Everything he has been saying so far has been accurate as to where he is, what he doing, etc.. I questioned him about Alexandra and he answered everything. So I told him to send a pic with my name and date on it. He did and its so convincing. I had my son look at it and he says it has been photoshopped. I'm still talking to him... I'll play this silly game until he asks for money. Thanks for the number, I may have to use it to my advantage soon.
Lori (not verified)
April 20, 2021

In reply to by Kp (not verified)

Yes I also was contacted by “Keanu Reeves “on Instagram. We talked for a few days. I got the whole bit, you know your beautiful, I love you , a lot of poems. I was always suspicious so I kept checking the internet to see exactly where the real Keanu was. The fake told me he was at his Hollywood home. The real Keanu was really in Germany filming his next movie. He tried to get me to pay $ 1000 for a meet and greet. So I sent him one heck of a message back. But can you believe he still wanted to talk to me and be my friend. What nerve.
Rosiesgirl8898 (not verified)
April 29, 2021

In reply to by Lori (not verified)

I have a Keanu Reeves that responded to a fan page I responded to over past few days. Convinced me to open a hangout page. Then called me on it. Did not sound like him. When I cancelled my hang out account he found me on messenger. Then sent a copy of a fake i.d.
Melany (not verified)
January 26, 2020

In reply to by Ladybug09 (not verified)

I also changed with somebody who claimed he was Vin Diesel. We had video chats and I though it was really him. He showed my his children . Very soon he told me he is deeply in love with my and proposed my to be his wife. But firstly I have to make it possible to organise he visiting to the country I am living at. That was about meet and greet. I had to settle it with his management team. I sent e mail to his management and I have got from them I have to pay 15000 Euro's for his stay in my home country. I told that I could not afford it . But he insisted on meeting with my and told my I have to do everything possible to make meet and greet possible because he had made all arigement and promised his children to come visit me. He told me to pay and he would pay me back on arrival. ..I said to him I could not afford and blocked him.
Lola (not verified)
January 16, 2021

In reply to by Melany (not verified)

Melany, me and you both the same about Vin Diesel. He told me exactly what he told you, it seems that he copied the message... this scammers was really good.
JB (not verified)
March 04, 2021

In reply to by Ladybug09 (not verified)

Yes, if there was no sound on the video thats a big hint. Also it is very easy to mix or record sound bites as responses.
Not sure if th… (not verified)
July 15, 2021

In reply to by Ladybug09 (not verified)

I am a Kevin Gates fan. I have had him/or imposter single me out with no posts on his account and say this page is for “my real fans only” he wanted my location. Also he showed me what was suppose to be a passport however I have a United Staes passport and it doesn’t look like the one he showed me at all. It looked more like a greencard ID. I said “my passport looks NOTHING like that!” These people shouldn’t need anything or any information from us. We know they talk live with their fans sometimes and that is the only way to probably get to speak with them. They don’t have the time to mess around with us all day., and they definitely DON’T need our money!!!
Tinkerbell (not verified)
September 07, 2019

In reply to by Smilie (not verified)

Thank you for sharing your experience because today i get a friend request from Vin diesel on Instagram and i still don't believe that was the real one and this impostor trying to ask me to open an account to hangout and google but i decline it.
Lola (not verified)
January 16, 2021

In reply to by Smilie (not verified)

The same thing with me about Vin Diesel, talk for weeks and sweet talked me after awhile, he start asking for iTunes card I told him I don’t have any money..... he got mad and disappeared for weeks. Came back apologizing that he loves me and again, asking for money so I just blocked him.
JB (not verified)
August 13, 2018
I was scammed just recently on social media from a individual claiming to be a celebrity rapper TI Harris. Meanwhile the imposter claim if his fans/supporters donate he will personally send $5,000 in either money gram or Western Union. So I donate $100.00 in which he gave me a false money gram number. The website on social media looks so real and he mention some individuals that he knew in my hometown. I reported the incident to Money Pak fraud investigation department and they told me that since I gave them the information then therefore; the business cannot refund my money back. Money completely lost and I am assured that the imposter is scamming more individuals out there on social media.
Joseph7 (not verified)
November 27, 2019

In reply to by JB (not verified)

I been asked money by two impersonaters, saying they are trace Adkins, they asked for money, its a lot of money, $27,799.
Smiles at cute… (not verified)
February 01, 2021

In reply to by Joseph7 (not verified)

This is new to me but I got a video call from Martina McBride supposedly, I couldn't hear her and she couldn't hear me, but has been asking me for gift cards to, but doesn't brag about her daughters and says she csnt get a loan and said her bank is frozen, Is this a scam? She says she loves me and I'm beautiful, thank you for listening but I need to know?
szch (not verified)
August 20, 2018
In instagram every day increases the number of Keanu Reeves asking for money for the most varied situations, I think Instagram needs a privacy policy, just like facebook has.
Susy (not verified)
April 23, 2019

In reply to by szch (not verified)

Oh...Keanu has practically proposed to me. I'm 70 !!! If he only knew....the fool is barking up the wrong tree.
Mgram (not verified)
May 21, 2019

In reply to by Susy (not verified)

That is too funny. Just a couple days ago I got a friend request on instagram from keanu Reeves. My profile pic is a sewing dress form .lol. I played along a bit with the questions. Spelling was bad. Then the time change was a clue. I live in canada near toronto. Keanu is in california. This troll said he was 9 hrs difference. India is 9 hrs ahead. Lol. He wanted pictures and a video call. I told him he was a fake. He called me a liar. Lol
Sometimes I re… (not verified)
August 20, 2019

In reply to by Mgram (not verified)

I got the Keanu one too. Same spelling mistakes on hangouts and fake management emails. Plus how hard is it to remember the time difference between LA and Chicago? To this minute he is still doing the I'm so miserable act. I wouldn't be surprised if a couple of people wrote all those messages. Stupid. Do something else with your time....
Nancy (not verified)
January 11, 2020

In reply to by Sometimes I re… (not verified)

So I just recently (2 days ago) had Keanu Reeves contact me through a messenger , which of course was exciting but at the same time suspicious why would he contact me. It was in replying to a comment on face book which followed with a message “hello”and his 2 picks and quotes and the conversation started.... “Tell me about yourself “...... I asked which part of Canada he’s from? 3 min silence which followed I was born in Beirut , Lebanon. Then I repeated my question again , this time silence 5 minutes ... Toronto Canada. I replied to his question by asking him to guess which country they speak Hebrew? Answer “I don’t know, give me a hint.....after giving him a hint - is it Hawaii ? At this point ihad no more doubts that the whole thing was a scam and I blocked them .
Loli (not verified)
September 29, 2020

In reply to by Nancy (not verified)

I had a suspicious Reply from Keanu Reeves via IG saying thank you for the kind words. Ok no big deal. Then I got another reply claiming to be him saying thank you, that my words made him want chat with me more. So chatted and then it was can we chat here “hangouts”. I said sure. We have talked now for a week, no asking for money, he answers questions I ask and gets them right. I’m playing along waiting to see whoever this is to screw up because there is no way Keanu Reeves would talk to people off IG when he has tons of team members that help with all this. I’m just seeing if anyone else has been through it this way?? No asking for donations or $$...just chatting here and there.?.? Cautiously curious to see if I can figure out who and what the hook is/scam.
Cavegirl (not verified)
February 24, 2021

In reply to by Ann (not verified)

Hi Ann, yes it goes on for weeks sometimes months and the the money comes into play. Once they have you in their grip.
VA (not verified)
January 05, 2020

In reply to by Mgram (not verified)

I've been chatting to Keanu on words with friends. Who ever it is should learn to spell correctly and check his facts on the internet more thoroughly. I bailed out before any harm was done. Other people might not be so lucky.
Shark (not verified)
November 20, 2020

In reply to by VA (not verified)

Someone on words is using a keanu reeves name and pick. I can't find any others like it, so was hoping staff had vetted the ID as official. Brief chats didnt bother me , but now they want a what's app contact, assuming it's a catfish now. Did you get any other validation ?
Agatha (not verified)
July 03, 2020

In reply to by Mgram (not verified)

In instagram I met Hiroyuki Sanada, we chatted by Japanese. then he requested me add use hangouts for chat with him. I don't understand, he not request my money, so what he can get from me?
LolaDon't use … (not verified)
August 20, 2019

In reply to by roxi (not verified)

Zac efron impersonator is out there. Beware
BobAlkat (not verified)
June 26, 2020

In reply to by LolaDon't use … (not verified)

Zac efron scammer he gave is so called private number to me through what’s app. I refused to download hang outs The number too be aware of is +1 (405) 254 8052 Telling me we have plenty to talk about and how He is interested in only me Don’t believe it
MJG (not verified)
September 29, 2019

In reply to by Susy (not verified)

I am in the middle of a scam right now and unfortunately they got a chunk out of me - I did ask them if they were scamming me but they said no and promised to send me $3000.00 if I got them a $500.00 Amazon gift card - this was Keanu Reeves impersonator. I swore I would check online first but I forgot - I have short term memory loss.
td (not verified)
January 13, 2021

In reply to by MJG (not verified)

Yes beacause Keanu really need a $500 amazon gift card from a fan.
Scammed by Nick (not verified)
September 14, 2018
I got scammed by someone impersonating Nick Carter from the BSB. I got told he was divorcing his wife, asked for 10k sent to this government agent to settle his divorce, and also asked 10k to someone in Turkey for his son’s medical treatment. When I busted him for lying he continued to deny he lied and that he loved me from the start. What a joke
Embarae (not verified)
September 30, 2018
Some using the name Jim Carrey. He wants you to help with charity funds, says he will put money on your bank account or credit card. When he does do this he will get angry if you don't send it right now. Full of niceness to get you to do this. He also sends pictures from the other site of the real account on Twitter. He also know a lot about the actor.
Elle (not verified)
April 11, 2019

In reply to by Embarae (not verified)

I just got scammed too. Someone pretending to be Jim Carrey. Anyone can be fooled. He said he needed gift cards for Amazon and needed it to be a surprise. Then later said he wanted to make a payment to my credit card.... no way dude. He does know alot about the actor and said something about his assets all tied up in legal stuff after his divorce and needed $5k. Nope. I may be occasionally gullible but not stupid. A little Google search proved that. The guy is using this number that is from Iowa... It took me a few to figure out this scam because he was nice. Probably won't be real soon!!
Scammed by Mic… (not verified)
October 10, 2018
Had the same experience with someone posing as Michael Keaton on the online game, Upwords. I have been playing along, but did not send money to his "agent" in Africa via Western Union. No way!
Pia (not verified)
October 12, 2018
I had loads of imposters pretending to be Tom Hiddleston, and they were very fast forward when it came to "donations for charity". The last imposter that I just blocked today pretended to be Benedict Cumberbatch. De declared his undying love for me (yeah, sure) and told me he was filmming in Africa currently, but he wanted to meet me so bad, blah blah blah. He also has a huge knowledge about Mr. Cumberbatch. He wanted me to pay for his flight to meet me. He also got super angry when I refused to do so. Be careful, guys!
88rr33 (not verified)
February 11, 2019

In reply to by Pia (not verified)

Did he ask for Amazon cards and talk about marriage?
Pia (not verified)
April 10, 2019

In reply to by 88rr33 (not verified)

No, he didn't ask for Amazon cards, but he was talking about marriage right after his "divorce".
scottbonnie197 (not verified)
February 20, 2020

In reply to by 88rr33 (not verified)

well there's this guy act like Steve Perry now I've been talking to her for about over a year but he when I go on the Twitter and stuff it says it says if it's really super burrito have a blue check well when I talked to him on the blue check it cuz it says Steve Perry official and it's got the blue check and he responds to me and he send me pictures of selfie a copy of his license and everything so I got a copy of his license and I don't know what to say I need to go to the scene of the lead singer from Journey I know there's a fake one going out to but I got a lot of proof I mean I got a copy of driver's license I got he's texting from the official it's got to be theatre somebody working for Steve Perry that can have that access to that because it's coming from the official Steve Perry with a blue blue check so I need somebody help me find out if I'm being fooled
Sheila (not verified)
April 19, 2020

In reply to by scottbonnie197 (not verified)

I have someone saying he is steve perry and he says he.loves me and whats to met me.after the pandemic is over. But 3 day into the chatting he has asked for 100 dollars and 300 dollars saying its for his on line show. He did offer me a drivers licence and a.selfie. still talking to him. He wants his money from ebay or cash app or some make up place. He to connected me on Instagram on steve perry offical music
Komal (not verified)
August 07, 2020

In reply to by Pia (not verified)

I recently came across such account. Suddenly, he asked me if we can meet, connected me to some other guy who according to him is his agent, who apparently asked me to pay $1500 for chopper gas. This guy claims to be Tom Hiddleston & asks to pay the amount. Though I am very big fan of him, I really didn't like it. Let me know in case we can report this somewhere.
bunny47 (not verified)
October 19, 2018
I got scammed on Facebook messenger by someone claiming to be Charlie Puth. He wanted me to send him itunes gift cards worth a 1,050$ Beware Charlie Puth fans. When u become a super fan on his Facebook page a message from that person will try to get u to send him money. The email address is officialcharlieputh 0291 @gmail. com
Picasso2018 (not verified)
October 16, 2018
I have been conversing by private message with Steve Perry on Twitter, at least it appears to be Steve Perry. He hasn't asked for anything and keeps his comments very brief. Last night he told me a very bizarre story that I find hard to believe. I haven't trusted that it is really him and now I am convinced that it is not. he follows me on Twitter. What do I do?
Bella (not verified)
November 10, 2018

In reply to by Picasso2018 (not verified)

I had same experience bout a month ago, he said he was Steve perry we talked through private messages for about 2 weeks, then he gave me this crazy story about being involved with drug cartell, then wanted me to help him get $2000.00 to pay black mailers, I blocked him from message, and Twitter then he follows me again then now on Facebook, won't friend him on FB, awful people
Picasso2018 (not verified)
October 17, 2018
Update. Now the fake Steve Perry says that he was involved in a drug deal gone bad. Thugs are trying to shake him down for $1,000,000.00. He still hasn't asked me for money. When I told him that my husband thinks he is scamming me he became indignant but is still messaging me.
Bella (not verified)
October 18, 2018

In reply to by Picasso2018 (not verified)

Someone did the same to me about Steve Perry said someone blackmailing him about a drug deal gone wrong, trying to be romanticly in volved with me asking for help paying off blackmailers for $2000,000
Hotstuff (not verified)
October 18, 2018
I got a message from Columbus Short on Instagram and was knowledgeable about his personal life.. he had pictures of selfies that I couldn’t find online. Here’s one of his messages: My financial guy told me earlier today tho that he'll be needing to log on to it himself and do the deposits without complications. Then immediately you get the cash ..you'll let me know and the amount. He'll need the login access dear to check the appropriate mode of payment After completely denying him access to my account login, I sent him screenshots from my bank to show him how I’ll be held liable if anything happened.. I even told him it doesn’t make sense because there’s other ways of sending me money without my login info. he gets upset if he feels like you don’t believe he’s real and will try to make you feel bad for questioning him. I went as far as searching current scams he may have done before, no luck. I looked for the selfies he sent me on Facebook, IG, and twitter.. no luck.. either he’s smart and meticulous or he’s never been caught... my biggest question was how he was able to get pictures of Columbus that I couldn’t locate anywhere else.. he states him and Aida aren’t together and it’s for publicity.. I haven’t sent any money at all but he did ask me to help him pay an encryption bill that’s $1800.. no way possible that I’m sending money to anyone I haven’t met.
Leiry (not verified)
October 22, 2018
I've been contacted by mark Sinclair A.K.A vin diesel. Asking me to join his fast and furious team. At first I was in agreement then I came to find out I had to pay 500 to join. I said i did not have that kind of money then he asked 200.. I was like nope, if I join what are my benefits .. he said I get to meet him in person.. to make the story short he sent me to speak to his agent. The agent asked to send the money to some African dude through western union. I told vin diesel this is a scam. He got upset and sent me pictures. I met with a friend and she asked me if I follow Vin.. I said wait he reached out to asked to join his team? My friend said yes. We both started texting the Vin diesel guy and he had the audacity to stop talking to my friend and calling her rude. Bottom line I told him I will investigate he said no problem.. I will call his management office.
Baker10 (not verified)
October 22, 2018
friend of mine who is a female in her 40's, was contacted on IG by someone claiming to be actor Chris Hemsworth, said that it was his private email and account, to keep it secret and not say anything to anyone about it, he was telling her how pretty she was and manipulating her, she fell for it for a few days as the perp told her to go to hangouts to chat and was thinking this would turn into a serious relationship, but the perp started asking about money and donations to help various charities he has in his foundation. Was also asking for gift cards, from Steam and others and offering to send money to her account. At around that time she caught on and told the scam artist to piss off and blocked him. Now she realizes how many fraudsters are on Social media. Does not surprise me some people get brainwashed in believing it's all real and keep it going losing thousands and ending up with a
pxypet (not verified)
October 26, 2018
My daughter lied to me about knowing Zak Bagans and now I have been scammed out of $70,000.00. This was for my retirement and now I will have to work until I'm 70 years old. I'm probably going to lose my home, all because this guy has been sweet talking her. I told her that she was being scammed. she was lying to me telling me that she needed the money for her debts and then she turned around and sent all this money to her.