‘Please ignore’: Actor Sam Neill’s desperate plea to fans

Actor Sam Neill has warned his fans after being impersonated by scammers on social media.

Actor Sam Neill has warned his fans after being impersonated by scammers on social media. Photo: Getty

Logie-winning star Sam Neill has issued a desperate plea to his hundreds of thousands of social media fans after being targeted by scammers.

Fresh off taking home a silver Logie for his performances in Foxtel and Binge’s The Twelve, New Zealand actor Neill has warned his followers they are being targeted by scammers impersonating him.

“Scam! Please ignore!!,” the 75-year-old Jurassic Park star wrote on Instagram on Thursday, along with a picture of an account that looked like it belonged to him.

“This is one of a number of scam accounts on social media pretending to be me … They will start conversations that always end in scamming you out of money.

“They’ll also try get you on to other platforms like Skype, WhatsApp etc to continue the conversations. PLEASE IGNORE !! And also report … so these fraudsters pages can be shut down.”

Neill, who has almost 600,000 followers on Instagram is hardly the first celebrity to be impersonated by scammers.

Images of public figures such as TV presenter David Koch and even mining boss Andrew Forrest are commonly used to lure users into fake cryptocurrency investment deals.

Other familiar faces to be used include former NSW premier Mark Baird, Boost Juice founder Janine Allis, Thor actor Chris Hemsworth and billionaire Dick Smith.

Some of the scammers use fake quotes, apparently from the celebrities, to promote cryptocurrency. Users who click on the links are taken to websites made to look like legitimate investment programs endorsed by those celebrities – but they’re actually scams designed to steal money.

Earlier this week, a NSW woman told the Nine Network how she was tricked into believing she was in an online relationship with Australian actor Alex O’Loughlin as part of a catfishing scam.

The woman, from regional NSW, told Nine she lost $37,000 to the scammers – as well as her pride and dignity.

“I look back at it now and think about how stupid I was,” she said.

The 46-year-old Hawaii Five-O star had no link to any of the accounts used to dup the woman.

sam neill

Sam Neill’s Instagram post.

Last year, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission launched Federal Court action against Meta (Facebook’s parent) over the “disgraceful” crypto scams.

“The technology of Meta enabled these ads to be targeted to users most likely to engage with the ads,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said at the time.

“Meta should have done more to detect and then remove false or misleading ads on Facebook, to prevent consumers from falling victim to ruthless scammers.”

Mr Sims said tricked consumers had lost at least $650,000 to the crypto scams.

Mr Forrest has also commenced criminal proceedings against the company over scam ads featuring his photo.

Top tips to protect yourself from scams

  • Do your research into organisations or people asking for help before donating
  • Use third parties such as PayPal to keep banking details safe, and to have a higher chance of getting money back if you find out you’ve been scammed
  • If you’re suspicious of someone asking for donations through platforms like GoFundMe, report them to the site
  • Before donating, ask yourself whether you’re prepared to lose the particular amount of money
  • Don’t let emotion cloud your judgment
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