Facebook fans of American talk show host Ellen DeGeneres have been targeted by a scammer posing as her manager.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, producers of The Ellen DeGeneres Show have filed a lawsuit against an anonymous individual, who – it is alleged – created fake email accounts and a Facebook profile in the name of Eric Gold, one of DeGeneres’s managers.
These accounts were then reportedly used to contact Facebook fans of Ellen telling them that they had been selected to appear on the TV show.
Hollywood Reporter published a typical message that “Eric Gold” had sent to a potential victim:
"You have been selected from members of the Ellen DeGenere's Facebook Fan page to be on her talk show because of your comment on the 'Halloween edition'. If you are interested in attending, this offer is an all expense paid trip from Ellen in appreciation of being a fan of Ellen.You are required to reply as soon as possible because we have limited time."
In addition, the intended victim is told that a $3000 cheque will be mailed to them to cover travel expenses, if they send back their mailing address, name, telephone number and other personal information.
However, when the excited Ellen fan responds to the message they are told that they were too late in responding, and all the spaces are gone.
However, out of the kindness of “Eric’s” heart, he says he’ll be able to get you into the show if you quickly put the cheque into their bank account and wire him the reservation funds.
And that’s how the scam works. The cheque the Ellen fan has been sent bounces, but only after they have already wired money to the scammer.
The scammer, who Ellen’s producers are attempting to get an injunction against, has taken advantage of Facebook users announcing their love for a TV show. But rather than an all-expenses trip to Ellen’s TV studios to watch a show being filmed, they’ve been taken for a ride.
If you use Facebook and want to get an early warning about the latest attacks, you should join the Sophos Facebook page where we have a thriving community of over 150,000 people.
3 comments on “Ellen DeGeneres fans targeted in bizarre Facebook scam”
Last month, a friend contacted me and informed me that she saw my name on a list of people that were to receive cash from ellen degeneres’s prize give away for people on special selection. My friend even texted me a picture of her prize of eighty thousand dollars in cash which was mailed to her. Out of curiosity, I called a number which she apparently contacted in order to make arrangements to collect her prize. A person by the name of Terry Cooper answered and he then confirmed that I had been selected to receive a prize from the Ellen Degeneres Foundation but first I had to provide him with information about myself. Then he mentioned that I was qualified to receive the prize after I cleared a five hundred dollar fee for mail handling. After that, I no longer answered any further requests to contact him. Instead, I contacted the police and they recommended that I no longer keep in touch with this person as it was probably a scam.
$500 to deliver $80,000? That’s one heck of a fee, even if it were true.
(Think about it. If you have won $80,000 and there’s a $500 cost to deliver the money, then you have actually won $79,500. So why don’t they just send you that much? Heck, why don’t they double the delivery fee, keep $1000, and send you 79 large ones instead?)
I also just got someone saying the same thing! I told them that I contacted the police. But they still keep sending the same thing!