Milwaukee, Wis. – In order to trick you, scammers need to earn your trust first. What better way than by posing as a popular celebrity? For example, con artists recently impersonated YouTube stars and promoted fake cash giveaways. Be sure to verify an account is real before clicking any links.
How the Scam Works
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.
There is, of course, one small catch: To win, you must pay an entry fee or click a specific link and create an account. However, 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.”
Dwayne Johnson is only one of many celebrities to be impersonated by scammers on Facebook and other social media. Even fake accounts for Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder, routinely pop up, so be wary of any offer that looks suspicious.
How to Avoid Facebook Scams
- Be wary of offers that are too good to be true. 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. 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.” 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
Report an imposter account to Facebook. For more about scams, go to BBB.org/ScamTips. If you have been scammed or targeted for a scam, help us warn others by filing a report at BBB.org/ScamTracker.For more information or further inquiries, contact the Wisconsin BBB at www.bbb.org/wisconsin, 414-847-6000 or 1-800-273-1002. Consumers also can find more information about how to protect themselves from scams by following the Wisconsin BBB on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.