Have you been contacted by a “celebrity” on social media asking your for personal information or donations?
We’re getting more and more questions about this sort of thing, and people are correct to be suspicious. We haven’t heard of genuine celebrities ever contacting people out of the blue to ask for donations, however we do often hear about imposters who have taken time to build trust with people before asking for money and/or personal information.
As a rule, do not share personal information with people you don’t know on social media. This is dangerous. Also, do not send money to people or organizations that are unknown to you. If you want to donate money to a person or non-profit, take a moment to look into their credentials.
I was contacted by someone claiming connections to Look To The Stars
Please beware of any group or individual requesting money for "Look to the Stars" and referencing this web site to show legitimacy -- the request is fraudulent:
- We're a team of volunteers based in the UK and worldwide
- We don't represent or partner with the celebrities or charities we list, nor request donations.
We've built our global reputation on sharing uplifting news about charity work; and phishers and scammers can unfortunately use this to take money from unsuspecting people.
Sadly, this kind of goodwill identity theft is not uncommon in the charity world.
Checking whether a non-profit is legitimate
For a non-profit, check websites such as "Guidestar and CharityNavigator, and also governmental resources such as the IRS database (US) or Charity Commission website (UK) to ensure that the organization is genuine and reputable. (The IRS database has no information beyond confirming a charity’s non-profit accreditation. Charity Navigator and Guidestar do not have a complete list of non-profits, but they do provide background information that can help you understand how well the organization is run.)
Checking whether social media accounts are genuine
Were you contacted via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram? Genuine celebrity pages will be ‘verified’ with a blue badge near their names. Here are links to help you report the fraudulent activity:
- Facebook - How to report things
- Twitter - Report an account for impersonation
- Instagram - Impersonation accounts:
To report fraudulent activity to the FBI, visit the ic3.gov website.
An opportunity to make things better
Finally, if you have a chance, sometimes people need reminding that every day, we have a choice: we can make the world a better place by caring for each other, or a darker place by taking advantage of each other. It’s simple, and we can choose.