Avoid Celebrity Scams

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Celebrity scams prey on society’s trust in celebrities and the adulation many people have for the rich and famous. Unfortunately, celebrity scams are becoming increasingly common and can be challenging to spot. Here’s what you need to know about these scams and how to protect yourself from falling victim.

There are several ways celebrity scams play out:

Online Phishing Schemes – In this ruse, a scammer pretends to be a celebrity to get personal information from unsuspecting victims. They may create fake social media accounts, send emails, or even set up fake websites to get credit card numbers, account information and passwords.

Fraudulent Charities – Here, a scammer will create fake charities and use a celebrity’s likeness to solicit donations. They may also use the celebrity’s name to advertise non-existent events or products in support of this bogus charity. Of course, any money donated will go directly into the scammer’s own account.

Fake Autographs – In this variation, scammers attempt to sell fake autographs as authentic, often at a fraction of the cost of a real one.

Bogus Endorsements – In this scam, a scammer creates a bogus promotional post that appears to be from the celebrity to sell their own product.

The best way to protect yourself from celebrity scams is to be vigilant. Do your research and make sure that every celebrity-endorsed social media post is legitimate. Be sure to verify a celebrity account before engaging with it.

It’s also important to always follow basic online safety rules. Never share your credit card or account numbers with an unverified contact, and only visit secure websites. When donating money to charity, even if it appears to be endorsed by a celebrity, it’s best to verify that it’s legitimate. You can look up the charity on a site like Charity Navigator or CharityWatch.

Finally, when purchasing an autograph or buying a product that’s allegedly endorsed by a celebrity, verify that it’s legitimate. Use reputable dealers for autographs, as celebrities will never sell autographs directly to the public. If you believe a product is actually being endorsed by a celebrity, check out their account on another social media platform to see if they’re really promoting this product.

Stay alert and stay safe!

Questions? Want more information on Freedom? Contact your personal Freedom Federal Credit Union representative, Lisa Snodgrass at lsnodgrass@freedomfcu.org or call 410-612-2123!

About Freedom Federal Credit Union

Freedom Federal Credit Union is proud to be your financial partner. Freedom serves and is open to anyone who lives, works, worships, attends school, volunteers, or has family in Harford or Baltimore County, MD. As a credit union, we are committed to putting you first, not shareholders, and helping you achieve your financial goals.

Learn more at freedomfcu.org or call 410-612-2123 to see how we can help.

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