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Ever had a celebrity like your post, reply to you publicly, or even direct message you? Yep, it can be a thrilling experience knowing that an actual star took time off from their busy schedules just to reach out you.
And with the spread and popularity of social media, communicating your thoughts to any brand or personality is easier than ever. It's like having a direct line to the stars!
But as usual, crooks are exploiting this convenience to find their next victims.
Don't be fooled! Read on and learn all about the recent trend of celebrity and brand impersonating scams that are plaguing the internet.
Celebrity phishing scams
In a recent Facebook post, the popular home renovation team The Property Brothers warned their followers about a new scam that's spreading online.
Apparently, someone is sending out fake Property Brothers company profile letters that appear to be soliciting for jobs and are requesting payments over the internet.
To complete the ruse. aside from The Property Brothers logo, the letters even have the HGTV logo stamped on them.
As expected, the fake documents are filled with grammatical errors. misspelled words and awkward sentences.
"Our company has been an established construction firm, creating homes in different locations," it reads.
'May it be building of new home or a reconstruction/expansion of one, we are dependable professionals who will render outstanding services from pre-construction to cost scheduling, our team will be ready to serve you. "
The scam letter then provides a Yahoo email address, a big red flag that something's amiss. A name as big as The Property Brothers brand will certainly have its own email domain address, don't you think?
The Property Brothers are just the latest victims in this growing cybercriminal trend. As you can see, scammers are also starting to create fake accounts on YouTube and Twitter.
Here's another scam you need to know about. Crooks are starting to impersonate YouTube stars and are sending out messages that look like they were sent by the YouTube celebrities themselves.
In a video warning posted by YouTube vlogger Philip DiFranco, these YouTube messages typically have "surprise gift" giveaways and they all say that you have randomly won a prize. You probably know where this is going right?
To claim the prize, a shortened link is included which will likely take you to a phishing site that will steal your information or infect your gadget with malware.
According to the BBC, aside from DiFranco, targeted YouTube stars include Lewis Hilsenteger from gadget review channel Unbox Therapy, makeup artists James Charles, Jeffree Star, rapper Bhad Bhabie and many others.
So what is YouTube doing about this spreading ploy? In response to DiFranco's video, YouTube tweeted that it is "in the process of implementing additional measures to prevent impersonation like this."
In the meantime, be on your guard. If any YouTube personality (yep, including Kim Komando) appears to be reaching out to you via YouTube's messaging system, claiming that you won a random prize, stay away! It's most likely a scam!
Fake Twitter brands
Another big racket nowadays is brand spoofing. In these cases, crooks are pretending to be representatives from a particular company, and they are inserting themselves in legitimate conversations in Twitter.
For example, a scammer will create a fake Twitter account that pretends to be from the support team of a particular company and will direct message a user with any sort of complaint.
Like any other phishing scam, these brand impersonators will then try and make you surrender your personal information and your credit card details.
In other cases, criminals will even hack into a celebrity or brand's Twitter account and send out fake promos, giveaways and contests that are nothing more than attempts to steal your information.
Recent victims of these types of scams include Target, Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Virgin Media.
Don't be fooled
As we always say, you need to be vigilant at all times, keeping an eye out for social engineering scams like this.
We know it can be exciting and you may get star-struck if a celebrity messages you directly but chances are, these are just impersonators hoping to make you their next victim.
If a brand or celebrity tries to solicit or offers you a prize or free money via a direct message, it's most likely a scam.
Millions of loan and mortgage records exposed in another massive data breach
When it comes to keeping your information private, most of us tend to think our biggest threat is hackers. But recently, it seems like our biggest threat might just be company negligence. Once again, a large financial company has been caught leaving the personal information of millions of customers exposed. If you own a home, you might be impacted.