Are You Talking to Your Favorite Soap Star or an Imposter? How to Avoid Fake Accounts, Scammers and Fraud on Social Media
MGM/Courtesy of the Everett Collection, ABC (2), John Paschal/JPI
This is one story you should not only read but be sure to share with fellow fans.
One of the things we love most about social media is the virtual community it has created for soap fans. Not only are they able to interact with one another (and us!), but they also have unprecedented access to the actors who bring their favorite characters to life.
But like with pretty much everything else in life, there’s definitely a dark side to social media. Unfortunately, there are people out there who are more than happy to prey upon fans by creating fake Twitter, Facebook and Instagram profiles in order to scam popular actors. More than once in recent months, General Hospital alum William deVry (ex-Julian) has had to warn followers to be on the lookout for fraudsters, as in the Instagram post below.
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Among those commenting on the real deVry’s post were numerous fans talking about their interactions with fake accounts, including ones claiming to be General Hospital‘s Maurice Benard (Sonny) and Kin Shriner (Scott) as well as Michael Damian (ex-Danny, The Young and the Restless) and John McCook (Eric, The Bold and the Beautiful).
Sadly, this isn’t a particularly new problem, as evidenced by this 2018 message from Daniel Goddard (ex-Cane, The Young and the Restless).
— Daniel Goddard (@DanielGoddard) December 4, 2018
What’s the point of these copycat accounts? Sometimes, it’s nothing more than a bizarre attention grab. Often, however, there are more sinister motivations involved, including attempts to gain access to personal information (which could be used to commit identity theft) or have an actor’s fans contribute to a fake charity.
So how can you avoid being taken by scammers pretending to be your favorite soap star? By being alert, using common sense and following some of these simple tips.
- Pay attention to the language used. For example, look at the fake deVry account above. “With this opportunity I want to take my time to reach out to you.” If it reads like something written by someone who put what they want to say through Google Translate — and you know that’s not true of the actor in question — be suspicious.
- Check to see if it is a verified account. In the examples above, the real accounts run by deVry and Goddard have received the blue checks which indicate that they’ve been verified. Neither of the counterfeit accounts have. While not all actor accounts are verified, those which have not been bear a closer look before you interact.
- Do not ever give out personal information. A soap star is never, ever going to ask that you hand over your bank-account information or social-security number. They may direct you toward a charity they support or their Cameo account, but they will not ask you to provide them payment information directly.
- Proceed with caution. As with all things in life, a little bit of common sense will go a very long way. If something doesn’t feel right, do a bit of research.
- Report suspected fraud. If you see something, say something. If you’re the victim of fraud, don’t be afraid or ashamed to speak out. If an account purporting to belong to an actor proves to be a fake, report it so that others can avoid falling into the same trap.
Got tips you’d like to share with your fellow soap fans? Hit the comments section below. Then check out this gallery in which we switch gears a bit from real-life bad guys to daytime’s biggest villains of all time, ranked. Something tells us the character who wound up in the top slot has pulled a few cons in their day!