‘Springsteen’ imposter scam costs woman $11K
CHICAGO — A woman lost over $11,000 to an online scammer after being convinced she was helping "Bruce Springsteen" end his marriage.
It's part of a growing type of scam called the "imposter scam" that the Federal Trade Commission said cost people over $328 million in 2017.
The Springsteen fan told CBS Chicago she was sucked into the scam after "Bruce" responded to a comment she left on what she thought was his official Facebook page. After messaging and exchanging pictures with "Springsteen" for about a year, she said things turned flirty.
"Springsteen" said his wife Patti Scialfa controlled all their bank accounts and he had no control of his $460 million in assets. But if the woman would send him some money, it would help him.
First she sent between $400 and $600 in iTunes cards. Then came a picture of gold "Springsteen" said was his, but he needed money to ship it to the United States.
Using a cashier's check and money orders, the woman said she sent him over $11,000 to an address in Dubai.
The FTC said that if a celebrity asks you for money, there's a good chance it's a fake, and suggested these steps to be sure.
- Slow down. Before you send money, talk with someone you trust.
- Do some research: Search online for the celebrity’s name plus “scam.” Do the same with any charity or cause they’re asking you to support.
- Never send money, gift cards, or prepaid debit cards to someone you don’t know or haven’t met — even celebrities you meet on social media.
- If you sent money to a scammer, contact the company you used to send the money (your bank, wire transfer service, gift card company, or prepaid debit card company). Tell them the transaction was a fraud. Ask the company to reverse the transaction, if it’s possible.
- Report your experience to the social media site and to the FTC.