Celebrity impostors on rise

Cops caution public against falling prey to cyber crooks posing as celebrities and tricking them into parting with money

By   |  Published: 13th Aug 2020  12:25 am

Hyderabad: Incidents of cyber fraudsters cheating people posing as celebrities and their managers on social media are on the rise in the city, with many falling for the excitement of a ‘celebrity’ contacting them or of promised chances in the film industry.

The rise in such cases, where the gullible are tricked into paying the fraudsters money in the name of donations, charity and even for jobs, has prompted the police to warn celebrities to keep a regular eye on their social media accounts. Many of the incidents had fraudsters posing as celebrities and reaching out to potential victims on social media, and sugar-talking them into paying money for ‘charity’, and in some cases, managers of celebrities promising chances in movies, for which money had to be paid.

According to Cyberabad Cybercrime Cell officials, the cyber crooks were asking fans and well-wishers to send money for different purposes including charity donations.

“Some celebs do raise money for legitimate causes. But you have to be sure about the cause and more importantly, that the person asking you is real or fake,” a senior cybercrime cell official said.

Imposters are of different kinds, but they all work in the same way, pretending to be someone you trust to convince you to send them money. And that’s exactly what these celebrity imposters are trying to do, he said, adding that it was observed that the fraudsters create fake profiles of celebrities similar to that of the real ones, mostly by adding just another letter to the name. Citizens unaware of this were getting cheated.

“Celebrities need to be very careful with their social media accounts, which can be easily hacked or misused. They should ask their media managers to regularly keep a check on their accounts. If they find any fake accounts in their name, they should alert the police immediately,” a senior official said.

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