Social media scammers swindle superfans on Facebook, Twitter and Google, report says

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53rd Academy Of Country Music Awards - Arrivals

Be wary of any declarations of love coming from a social media account purporting to be country singer Kip Moore’s.

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If you notice Oprah Winfrey is raising funds for a charity abroad on Facebook, or if you receive romantic Twitter messages from country singer Kip Moore, you’d better pump the brakes. Don’t send money — or worse, sign divorce papers — based on social media promises alone.

That’s because fans are getting ripped off and left brokenhearted by scammers who run fake Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts, according to . It’s part of a larger problem on the internet, where celebrity impersonators have the tools to trick people into sending money under all kinds of guises. 

Social media has brought fans closer to their favorite celebrities, . But the trail of tricked people left behind by scammers shows there’s a dark side to social media’s power to connect regular people with superstars.

On payment app Venmo, , CNET found. That means an account for musician John Legend looks just as legit as an account for someone you’ve never heard of.

Some people have begun to push social media companies to do more to address the problem. After scammers continually claimed in ads that UK consumer advocate Marin Lewis endorsed financial products, . In his lawsuit, Lewis argued Facebook could use its facial recognition technology to immediately delete ads showing his image, because he never endorses products.

According to the Times report, Moore said fans approach him and his representatives at concerts all the time claiming to be in a romantic relationship with him. Their proof is screenshots of chats with social media accounts that don’t belong to him. Some have even said they’ve left their husbands to be with him after he said he loved them. “They’re handing me a letter, you know, ‘Here’s the divorce papers. I’ve left so and so,'” Moore told the Times. 

Celebrities told the Times that the problem is too big for them to manage by , and that the accounts that do get deleted are a drop in the bucket.

In an email, Facebook and Instagram spokesman Pete Voss said it’s against the company’s terms of use to impersonate another person on its platforms. “People use Facebook and Instagram to connect with real people, which is why we’re so focused on authentic connections and activity on our service,” Voss said. The company is using and to detect scams.

Representatives for Oprah and Moore, cursos programacion blockchain as well as Twitter, didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Moore, who tweets from the verified Twitter account @kipmooremusic, tweeted out the Times story Monday. “Here’s a heads up for those of you still being duped by impostors,” he wrote.

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The report traces the scams to groups in the West African countries of Nigeria and Ghana. For Oprah, the problem got so bad that to warn fans not to give out their bank information to fraudsters impe: CNET looks at the tech powering bitcoin — and soon, too, a myriad services that will change your life.

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