When you’re on Facebook, be careful if you get a friend request from a big country music star thanking you for being a fan. It’s probably a scammer just trying to get into your wallet!
Tim McGraw, Trace Adkins, Luke Bryan among the names being used by scammers
Clark fans have been sharing with us on Facebook that recent encounters with scammers masquerading as popular country superstars are on the uptick.
Lisa wrote in to say that she’d received a couple of these messages earlier this week.
‘I have had several Facebook friend requests from ‘country music stars’ [saying] that I had liked their FB page. One was supposedly Tim McGraw and the other was supposedly Trace Adkins. They thank me for being a fan, develop a little conversation, then tell me the security company they have been using is closing and they need a dependable person to receive and hold their briefcase.’
‘Said briefcase allegedly contains a HUGE sum of money, concert tickets, etc… The briefcase will be delivered to me via a courier service and I must pay the fee to get the briefcase, which will be returned to me tenfold. The fee? $800 + !!!!!!! Please let people know. I notified local law enforcement who didn’t care. The [scammers] actually got very ugly when I refused.’
While Lisa’s experience shows that the names of Tim McGraw and Trace Adkins are reportedly being used by scammers, it isn’t limited to those two country stars. Nor is this kind of scam a new thing.
As far back as 2012, Luke Bryan took to his Facebook page to warn fans about fake profiles that crooks were setting up in his name.
“Hey y’all, PLEASE SHARE THIS! i just want to let everybody in on something. there have been a lot of issues with fake facebook profiles of me. this is the only profile i use for correspondence. i don’t have a personal page. if you are friends with another Luke Bryan, unfriend them and don’t believe any of the messages.”
Sadly, the scammers were even drawing Luke’s wife Caroline into the equation, prompting him to add:
“Also, people are impersonating my wife of all people. she DOES NOT use facebook. unfriend anyone pretending to be her. i’m sorry for such a long post, but i want all of you, my fans, to be aware of what’s going on.”
Speaking of Luke Bryan, the country singer narrowly missed topping a list of the most dangerous celebrities in cyberspace as determined by anti-virus software company McAfee. He came in a very close second behind DJ Armin van Buuren.
According to McAffe, that dubious honor means anyone searching ‘Luky Bryan’ plus any of several terms like ‘free MP4,’ ‘HD downloads’ or ‘torrent’ means you would have a nearly one in five chance (17.64%) of running into a virus-infected link.
Other musicians who also made the Top 10 list of most dangerous celebrity searches include Usher, Britney Spears, Jay Z, Katy Perry and Lorde.
What you can do to stay safe
Clearly, the threat of running into a bogus celebrity Facebook profile isn’t limited to the world of country music. So here are some tips to keep you on the straight and narrow:
- When connecting with celebrities, use their official verified social media account. Look for the little blue checkmark — called a verified badge — to know who you’re dealing with.
- Report any scams to Facebook.
- Block any user accounts from which a scam is coming.
- Know that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is!