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A digital fraudster posed as English actor and film producer Jason Statham to prey upon and steal money from star-struck users.

A woman who asked not to be named said the scam began when someone posing as Statham contacted her while she was on a Facebook page dedicated to the actor. She thought it was nice that the actor had seemingly embraced “talking to his fans,” and she admitted that she was also in a vulnerable place after recently losing her mother and fiancé. She therefore felt no unease when the fraudster asked her to talk with them over WhatsApp.

Over a period of months, the bad actor sent the woman hundreds of messages over WhatsApp. The fraudster ultimately confessed their love to her. They then used this falsified connection to ask if she would help them with some financial difficulties due to a delayed film payment.

A reconstructed portion of the woman’s conversation with the scammer. (Source: BBC)

Will you love me and be the special woman beside me for the rest of your life honey

I really need you to do this for me honey cause I can’t trust anyone but you with my money honey

Western Union

You will get the official website then you can set up an account darling

The woman didn’t specify exactly how much money she sent over to the fraudster. But she did say that “it was a substantial amount, which would have made a difference to my life and my family”

Detective constable Craig Moylon said that the fraudster abused their timing to play their hand carefully and take as much as they could from their victim. As quoted by the BBC:

This lady has been subject to somebody who just tricked her at a very vulnerable time in her life. When you see the relentless messaging that this lady got from this person and you see the grooming and the exploitation… the impact is extraordinary.

This scam highlights the ingenuity of bad actors who prey upon unsuspecting users on social media. In response, users need to familiarize themselves with some of the most common types of ploys circulating social networking platforms. Here are some of the most familiar ruses making the rounds on Facebook.

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