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Jim Jones, Oprah: Stars Targeted in Social Media Scams

Jim Jones, Oprah: Stars Targeted in Social Media Scams


by G. Brown

It was days before Christmas and all through the house, every news channel and twitter account had Oprah on it saying “It’s a fraud, it’s a fraud, it’s a fraud“.  The Queen of talk used twitter to issue a warning to fans about a fake Twitter account that used her photo to try and get people to send money.  Here’s the video sent out to warn the masses…

And now the latest celeb face used to front a social media is that of  rapper Jim Jones.  The “We Fly High” rapper was at his lowest point Christmas Day when a fire swept through the Englewood home that he bought his mother. In spite of the tragedy, Jones still posted a video counting his blessings that no one was killed or hurt in the fire.  Scam artists saw Jones’ tragedy as a way to their treasure and set up a fake Go Fund Me page asking for donations.   Like Oprah, Jones warned fans and would be good Samaritans that the account was fake…

The holiday season is peak season for such scams, but evil never sleeps and neither do thieves who are always looking for ways to steal your hard earned cash.  The good of social media still outweighs the bad, but some due diligence should be exercised if you want to remain safe while on Face Book, Twitter, Snapchat or whatever platform.

First line of defense, always be wary of stars asking for you for money to help their family or donate a little cash for a chance to win a big pot of cash.  Use some common sense, Oprah is worth millions so why would she need you to send her $10 and give you $5000 in return—DUH! In the case of Jones, sure tragedy destroyed his mom’s home, but like the “Love and Hip Hop” star points out–that’s what insurance is for.  Some stars do lend their name and likeness to champion causes like raise money for ALS, cancer and AIDS, but those are usually attached to foundations and legitimate organizations. Always search the celebrity’s name or organization on Twitter, IG or the platform to make sure it is really them.

Scam artists can be convincing and pretty smart, but it doesn’t take much to outsmart them.  It was a pretty dumb move using Oprah’s profile to try and get money from fans.  The woman is at the end of the day a journalist and as such is used to researching info. It was simply a matter of time before she sniffed out the scam.

Live by the basic tenets of  social media security…never share your address, phone number, driver license number or social security number.  Don’t post your vacation plans, alert thieves you’re away from home or where you are at the moment.

Don’t let scam artists tarnish your good intentions. There are plenty of worthy sites doing good things to help victims and the less fortunate.  Utilize a little common sense and your good intentions won’t leave you with a bad taste in your mouth.