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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

smithye (not verified)
June 12, 2019

In reply to by pxypet (not verified)

hello pxypet I was scammed out $10,000,00 bye a called Zak Bagans ,it started off well in april of this year and then he started saying he loved me and wanted to marry me but then came wanting money to send 15mil over to me in New Zealand and put me down as the next of kin on the paper work ,lucky I have kept all the info he has sent me and I will be sending that off to the FBI very soon one I get more info from him ,we are still chatting on hungout and hes still wanting me to get more money to send him which I am not , I am sorry that has happened to you its sad to see what your daughter did to you ,
Sammy (not verified)
September 04, 2019

In reply to by pxypet (not verified)

I too have just been contacted by Zak Bagans he hasn't asked for anything yet. But I'm keeping him on the hook. Hoping to get all the information I can so that we can nail this guy.
Sweets (not verified)
March 02, 2020

In reply to by pxypet (not verified)

Zac Bangans just asked me to go to a store and get him a 100 gift card to privately talk to me
burntgurl (not verified)
May 03, 2020

In reply to by Sweets (not verified)

What was his instagram name? I got messaged by Zak Bagons asking me to go get a Seophora gift card and spend $300 for his charity
Rowdy Ronda scam (not verified)
October 30, 2018
Someone noticed that I liked Ronda Rousey's WWE and cloned her account. Apparently, someone hacked her bank account and the banks locked it up for four months. She needs help in the way of money. Her phone number is 17406611760.
Khali Sanchez (not verified)
January 29, 2020

In reply to by Rowdy Ronda scam (not verified)

I to have been doped by a 740 area code its not Ronda rousy because I have that same number on hangouts app its ashamed how people can use sasha banks and bailey top wwe diva names who say its a joke it's only for publicity about marriage
mincap95 (not verified)
November 04, 2018
I had one from Jason Statham and we were talking for a few weeks before he asked for money for his charity. I asked him to video phone me just for a minute to prove who he was but obviously he couldn't. Today I have a friend request from Mark Sinclair aka Vin Diesel. I would never give money to any of them.
Mickie (not verified)
November 05, 2018
I think I was scammed by a few imposters
LR (not verified)
November 07, 2018
I was recently "chatting" via Instagram with Bryce Dallas Howard. Total scammer. I played along for a while to see where this was going and sure enough, "she" asked me to donate to her Australian Children's fund and now she's going to Africa. Gave me some bogus place to wire the money that's in Nigeria. Ha - as if she would reach out for money that way. Unbelievable!
Don't use your… (not verified)
November 18, 2018
I was also scamed of 18.000$ by a impostor claiming to be Abbey Brooks a porn star in Instagram
Me (not verified)
July 17, 2020

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

why would people give large amounts of money. When you know they have money. Johnny depps tried to scam me on hangouts. You know it's a scam if they invite you to hangouts.
ToSut (not verified)
November 23, 2018
Yes, l believe l scam Someone pretend Ralph Tresvant, asked for gift cards and he's to married by next year to start new life, and asked to more gifts cards,and lf don't send to him, he gets upset and go to crazy and used profanity I trying to ruined his career and sending money to Nigeria to
Very angry I f… (not verified)
November 29, 2018
I had recently broke off a relationship with my ex girlfriend. First time I used twitter, was a big follower of WWE. Came into contact on Twitter with which I thought it was Alexa Bliss. Talked and messaged for couple months. That’s when it started, asking for me to send iTunes Cards. At this time they asked for them for her fans, that she gives them out randomly so kids and fans can subscribe to watch the wwe network. At this time I thought sounds legit. I sent some using my credit card. She then said she would reimburse me. I then of course like a dummy gave my credit card info to her. Low n behold it said my balance was paid and here it started. So thinking she had paid my credit card balance I thought she was legit. I continued to message privately on my mobile and thru Twitter and some other message sites. Thinking I was in a relationship with Alexa Bliss. From there she asked for all of my credit cards and she would pay them off for me. So I did. After the posts came back from my credit cards and I seen I had the max credit available now on all my credit cards cause I thought she had paid them off for me seeing the apps and phone were saying paid and I had the credit available, she continued to ask me to buy these iTunes cards and also send money to some people so she could get it. Of course I had to. I thought at this point that I was now her boyfriend and of course like I would do, take care of her if she needed something. Well a week went by and boom it hit, all the credit cards came back with returned payment from bank account she used to pay was either closed or non existent. Man I felt so dumb. I brought it up to her to hear her explanation. She said it was her bank and she would get it fixed. I thought ok let her write the wrong and see what happens. It then said got paid again, which then the available credit was again available from these credit cards. And the viscous cycle began again. I am now in credit card debt for over 20,000$. I am a disabled Veteran so I only get a fixed income. Man I feel like I got my whole world turned upside down in these months I had been messaging with the so called Alexa Bliss. And it didn’t stop there. I really need some guidance moving forward. I was gullible at the time but thought it was a relationship. They played on my emotions of love. On top of that the credit cards are now trying to collect all of the debt, but in my eyes, they were the ones to release all of this credit to me without even ensuring funds were paid to my account in the first place. That’s just my opinion. In no way am I saying that none of this is my fault, but if the credit wasn’t there in the first place after she made payments, I wouldn’t have run my cards up so high of doubling the credit limits and the fraud would have been caught much sooner. Isn’t that what we ask, yes we are borrowing money to pay for stuff, but when the payment is submitted don’t you think they would hold off on giving you the credit to your account right away on the same day it was paid???? On a couple of them even 4 days after payment was made thru the scam from her. Craziness cause I’m out all of that and more from western union and money gram too.
shortchop10 (not verified)
August 30, 2019

In reply to by Very angry I f… (not verified)

I too got the same thing done to me
KC (not verified)
December 07, 2019

In reply to by shortchop10 (not verified)

That is horrible!! I hope you get it together for yourself.
Anonymous (not verified)
November 29, 2018
I think this may be happening to me. I won't give the musician's name, because I'm not sure if it's real or not right now. Started PMing me via Facebook from a group I belong to. I never heard of him, but I saw he had videos on Youtube. Seemed like a nice guy. The subject of money came up. I got that gut feeling that maybe the only reason he even talks to me at all is because he's setting me up for some kind of money scam. He said he needed financial help, and I suggested that he start a donation page. Haven't heard from him again. Oh well.
Anonymous (not verified)
December 02, 2018
I’m getting messages from someone claiming to be Mark Sinclair...aka Vin Deisel. He’s messaged me for several days trying to Convince me that he is who he claims To be. He said he wants to talk on the phone to Get to know me better, bit that we need to use an encrypted phone. He has asked me to send an IPhone 6 to an agent in Tennessee so that they can Install a new SIM card. Once the new SIM card is replaced and the phone is secure, it will be mailed back to me. I’m thinking it’s a scam and they are selling the phones.
None (not verified)
March 08, 2019

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

I have recently experienced the same thing from a Mark Sinclair aka Vin Diesel... actually gave me the address and name of the person to mail to. The home is on he market to be sold and I did locate the people on Facebook
Betty (not verified)
March 20, 2019
Recently Dwayne Rock Johnson has been texting me. Saying he needs help to get brief case and a box from Airmaxinternational deliverys @gmail. com . Wants me to be a beneficiary for him on a certificate of deposit and they want $3000 to send it by private jet. I'm like this reported I have all information and photos
JRock (not verified)
December 04, 2018
I just found someone on the JCRUSH dating site posing as Susan Sarandon. How nervy!! Susan Sarandon isn’t even Jewish and why would she be on a dating site?!!
charliewilson6… (not verified)
December 14, 2018
bunch of Dierks Bentleys has contacted me fb twitter instagram wanting money or i tune cards and gift cards
NVC (not verified)
December 18, 2018
Hello, who know something about Justin Kelvin from instagram (@justinkelvin2, @andijustinkelvin..) ???
JH (not verified)
December 27, 2018
Here is scammer imposter acting like Celebrity Living River state Nigeria Allies: Angela Francis & Brantley Gilbert on Google Hang out be careful he is very Demanding & cant take No for answer & I know he uses twitter too Be careful of who you are talking to because I found out there scammers using celebrity Names to scam you & try black mail you & I just busted on where he lives in River state Nigeria..Please do not send sexy pic of nudes or any inform he may have on you as I already report him to FBI and efcc
Don't use your… (not verified)
December 28, 2018
I have been getting messages from someone saying he is joaquin phoenix.
Scarlette (not verified)
January 08, 2019
I have been contacted by at least 5 people claiming to be Tom Cruise & they declare their undying love for me & want the meet mr right away, then they give me an email address for their management team & it is either $10,000 or $20,000 for a meet & greet session. I got irate and said I didn’t pay to see any man & that maybe they should pay to see me. Then they say if I pay it, he’ll give it back to me when we meet. LOL Oh yeah, I have also been contacted by Johnny Depp, then I say a message from Johnny Depp saying he doesn’t text his fans. All this on Twitter & then they want you to go to another messenger app like WhatsApp or hangouts. They are smooth!!!
Larine (not verified)
December 02, 2019

In reply to by Scarlette (not verified)

I got the same from 5 guys confirming their dying love for me saying they are Johnny Depp. Well, Im a huge fan of him, but really? What are the chances that he will contact me??
dabrink45 (not verified)
April 25, 2020

In reply to by Larine (not verified)

Wanted to warn everyone of Johnny Depp scam on Instagram. He is claiming that he can’t talk on Instagram but to contact him on the WhatsApp. The number he gave was 424-675-9708. Do not speak to him, report any account he uses. The account he used to contact me was JohnnyDeppreal20.
Rach (not verified)
June 29, 2020

In reply to by dabrink45 (not verified)

The same thing is happening to me at the moment I got contacted by a JohnnyDepp as well as is saying that it would cost me $850 for him to come meet me . And to do it through the bitcoin app. He first contacted me on Instagram saying that it was him and that he had his official account and that this one was his other account to get in contact with his fans . He told me to download hangouts and WhatsApp . And to email his management at hollywood dmanagement0814@ to schedule the greet and meet.
Cici (not verified)
June 20, 2020

In reply to by Larine (not verified)

I'm going through the same thing right now. I've been contacted by at least 6 "fake" Johnny Depps and the more I block them the more they pop up. All I do is click like or comment on a nice picture and within 10 minute JD is sending me a message! I've had about 10 of them closed down but there's always more. It is very sad when they use the love a huge fan to separate us from our money! Yeah and the undying love thing same theme from all of them. Like he would ever play with his fans emotions like that! This is still happening to me so my pain is fresh but I just hope that this post helps someone out. DON'T FALL FOR FAKES!!
California girl (not verified)
August 07, 2020

In reply to by Cici (not verified)

Yep I’m going through the same thing at least 20 or better
Tuureluurtje (not verified)
June 22, 2020

In reply to by Larine (not verified)

Lol .. I am in the middel of a Johnny Depp scanner who wants to merry me hihi I am 66 ...I am quiting now because we have reached the part that hè wil ask for money now. It was niche for a few days to have this experiment.
Pandora (not verified)
July 11, 2020

In reply to by Larine (not verified)

I just closed my 5th Johnny Depp ... totally in love with me they all are .. so now i blocked the Johnny Depp Instagram account .. not interested anymore
FoolforLove (not verified)
January 30, 2021

In reply to by Scarlette (not verified)

Me too-same scenario. Pay his 'mgmt.' and you can meet Tom for dinner, at a fancy hotel. Be careful, ladies!! Scams everywhere....
Freddyg05 (not verified)
January 10, 2019
I got a DM from WWE superstar on Twitter. Now she or he wants me to donate money to one of her charitie? Why would the real Sasha Banks be contacting me anyways? Sounds too good to be true?
degap84 (not verified)
January 10, 2019
I have been getting messages from "vin diesal" on Google hangouts asking me to donate money to the less privilege children
Amy B (not verified)
March 13, 2020

In reply to by degap84 (not verified)

He’s hanging with Kenny Chesney. Talking to him now lol
LCD (not verified)
January 11, 2019
I've been talking for 7 months now to a "famous" rock star who reached out to me...it started subtly and is now very romantic. He wants to send me money and gold to buy a house. This is freaking me out. He asked for iTunes cards (which i gave into because it seemed harmless), but really, would a famous rock star need your $100 iTunes gift card? I need help. It seems like he is somehow the person based on details he shares, but, it just doesn't make logical sense. Now he wants to have a video call (we haven't had any calls) with his accountant regarding this money?
Naya (not verified)
April 21, 2019

In reply to by LCD (not verified)

I think I have experienced the 'famous' rock star (Los Angeles). The first he sent his packages to my country (Asian countries) to the orphanage, and his package hit by confiscation in Europe ( I had paid the fee confiscation, I weird why I as a receiver must be paid, because he said not have the money and then asked for iTunes cards and paid the hospital bill. The 'famous rock star' promised me to pay off my money 3 weeks ago. After that, he blocked my hangouts. Luckily I still have a lot of money even though a little money is gone. May God give him a proper punishment
Gabriella (not verified)
May 01, 2019

In reply to by LCD (not verified)

Who famous rock star? Old rock star or younger? what's the name or initial as imposter famous rock star?. The previously the famous rock star sent DM to my IG, sent DM not through the official account, but from a personal page, then to hangouts. The famous rock star asked the money for the heart of surgery. I hope I'm not getting scammed. He sometimes upset if I asked to call or video call. I hope the famous rock star want to pay back. He disappears for almost 2 months. Just hope.Even his net worth almost $ 100 million
jdbrown3434 (not verified)
October 22, 2019

In reply to by LCD (not verified)

Who is the rock star is he associated with Guns N Roses ?
laurie7353 (not verified)
December 16, 2019

In reply to by jdbrown3434 (not verified)

Well I’m in the middle of this with this person associated with gnr and it’s been about 3 months we have been talking and he’s still trying to talk to me ,I’m recently divorced and obviously very vulnerable,so I’m totally in love seriously I’m so stupid! I never heard of any of these things about scams he actually texts me on my phone,after a couple weeks of convincing me he was him he said he wanted to see me and spend some time with me in Atlanta I took 2 weeks off for vacation didn’t tell anyone and he’s supposed to be picking me up on the 27th of course he wanted me to get him as many amazon cards that I could get to help I guess pay for the ticket and some of the trip ar first I freaked out then he told me he’s been hurt too many times so out of respect for myself I figured why should I expect him to pay for everything then it feels like I’m a paid hooker or something so I agreed got 800$ worth of cards and he’s still talking to me and telling me it’s him.so then a couple days ado I decided to dm him on another one of his profiles and he talked to me said it wasn’t him and he is now asking to get to know me I’m so confused and hurt I want it to be him he’s been so sweet to me it’s awful!,
Jane (not verified)
March 08, 2021

In reply to by LCD (not verified)

C'mon, girl. Like $100 is $1?! He already got you and he's going to keep on asking for those gift cards! I have one now that responded from the Facebook fan page - asked for a steam wallet $200 gift card. These scammers creep out of the woodwork everywhere, this one manages the page of the person he's impersonating!
Spouse of Scammed (not verified)
January 14, 2019
Hi all, I found out my wive was getting messages on Twitter with a fake Seth Macfarlane when she said she wanted to spend $2000 on a meet-and-greet with him (no details of course). I said she needed to get some more information and when she couldn't I looked up the twitter account. It was a fake, I reported it to twitter and it got shut down. Then she did it again and actually sent them $350. It of course was another fake. Is there anything I can doges this money back? Who should I report this to? Any other suggestions? Thanks in advance.
NYC_Lady (not verified)
January 14, 2019
Hello, I was contacted by cbe_sting account on instagram, impersonating musician Sting on January 1st. "He" was writing to me, pretending to be musician Sting himself and then eventually called me, but - I didn't pick up the call because it was required to change my security setting in order to pick up the call. He wanted to see my pictures and asked my age and weather I'm pretty. He suggested that I install hangout application in order to communicate with him, which is how celebrity impersonator scammer often work, from what I read on internet. He stopped after I asked, why he is interested in me. It happened after I commented on official Sting account on instagram. I was also followed by other fake Sting account same day vpnf_sting I believe. I reported them both to instagram and one of the accounts, vpnf_sting, is gone by now, but other one "cbe_sting" still exists
Michaellyn (not verified)
January 16, 2019
There's a George Eads now on Instagram using george.eads_official that's been wanting me to donate money and wanting me to send it via Western Union to his so called "management" company. I've been wondering if he was real or fake since he asked me to do that. It sounds awfully fishy to me. I have asked him to call me or video chat or Facetime or Snapchat with me and he always some lame bs excuse.
Tom small (not verified)
January 20, 2019
This person was scammed for 7,000 buy a Tim McGraw so called he would really convincing send her legal documents of him being divorced so I did a little investigating because he's using Google Voice and the number he is using is 775-391-5244 saying that's his private number but it's actually a Google Voice number paid her credit card off for her to use it for him to get him Itune cards so just be aware of this scam
Brand09 (not verified)
January 21, 2019
I have had an encounter with a person who says they are Joseph Gordon Levitt. On his actual page I commented on and all of a sudden I got a DM from another JGL page saying that it was his personal page. Having common sense I immediately asked for a pic of him holding a recent newspaper and other details..Somehow he could not because of privacy reasons... He then ask to go to Hangouts to chat more. So I agreed. Its crazy because they knew EVERYTHING about Joseph Gordon Levitt! Eventually it came down to me paying for a "slot" to see him on his tour... And that his assistant/ manager name Lisa Palmer will email me details... So I reversed tracked the email and it was located in Ireland which was a red flag. I expressed my concerns and he didnt know what I was talking about. We talked for months..knew JGL locations also said that he and his wife where divorcing and he wanted to be with me. I told him that because of my core values that I couldn't be with him until he was fully divorced.. But I was constantly pressed about meeting him in L.A. . I told him that I could book my own flight to meet him but he said that it wasn't going to work because he was an A list celebrity. I fell in love with him... The algorithms in his writings didnt quite add up and I always question it..he said that he had his team run his main accounts online...bull! I also noticed that the "personal ig page" had liked every female flirty comments . Im just not sure because while filming in New Orleans he told me alot of things that a scammer had no way of knowing and wasnt broadcasted online... I just don't know if it was his finsta page or was it a scammer... But my heart is crushed to pieces ....
Feathers77 (not verified)
July 19, 2019

In reply to by Brand09 (not verified)

Hi Brand009, did you ever found out if you were talking to the real JGL?
Mad (not verified)
January 22, 2019
A friend is being scammed by an imposter saying he’s David Muir. Asked for iTunes gift cards so he could keep listening to music and as a test to prove her loyalty to him. Says he’s in love with her and wants to meet her. “David” had his assistant Tom contact her to set up the meeting through his charity. Now getting her personal information. Getting out of hand now!