LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Oprah is the latest celebrity being used to try and scam people on social media.
A one-two punch of celebrity and holiday scam prompted the media mogul to warn her followers in a post with two simple words: “Fraud alert!”
“Somebody out there is trying to scam you using my name and my avatar on social media, asking for money if you sign up for an OWN account,” she said, before declaring repeatedly “It’s a fraud!”
The scam circulated on Instagram, where a user with the name @own_christmas said Oprah was giving away $5,000 each to the first 100,000 followers that follow the account. The account has since been deactivated, but several screenshots of the original post made on Dec. 15 still exist under the hashtag #own_christmas.
Oprah and her media company, Oprah Winfrey Networks or OWN, said it was working with both Instagram and Twitter to take down these fraudulent accounts.
It’s not the first imposter to use a celebrity’s name on social media.
Earlier this month, “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Jurassic World” star Chris Pratt warned fans of an account that was preying on female fans and trying to get their phone numbers.