Scammer posed as actor Jason Statham to steal from fan

Graham Cluley

A British fan of actor Jason Statham was fooled into thinking she had formed an online relationship with the Hollywood hard man, after joining a Facebook fan page for the “Fast and Furious” star.

As BBC News reports, the unnamed woman from the North West of England – who was feeling vulnerable after the death of both her mother and fiancé – was tricked into giving a fraudster “hundreds of thousands” of pounds.

Reconstructed WhatsApp messages. Source BBC

The woman said she was first contacted online by someone posing as Mr Statham while she was on a Facebook page dedicated to the Fast and Furious star.

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“I thought ‘Oh, that’s nice of him, talking to his fans’. I might have been star-struck then, I don’t know,” she said.

The fraudster then encouraged her to use the encrypted WhatsApp service, sending her hundreds of messages over several months.

The woman said it felt like she was building a relationship with the actor, although looking back “I don’t feel like I was in the right place myself because of what I’d been through”.

The fraudster posing as Mr Statham told her he loved her and eventually asked her to help with some financial difficulties, claiming a film payment was delayed.

She then made a series of payments to the fraudster, totalling hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Reconstructed WhatsApp messages. Source BBC

My heart goes out to the poor woman who fell for this heartless fraudster, and I wonder how many others might have fallen for similar scams but felt too embarrassed to come forward.

Hard-nosed readers of this blog might find it hard to imagine that anyone could be duped into wiring thousands of pounds to someone they’ve never met, but the truth is that we’re all human. We’re all capable of making mistakes. And if we’ve been shaken by a traumatic event, how many of us can put our hands on our hearts and say that sometimes we might not make some pretty poor decisions?

We should all take care to look out for friends, family members, co-workers, acquaintances who might be vulnerable to scammers and fraudsters.

For more discussion on this topic, be sure to listen to our “Smashing Security” podcast:

Smashing Security #126: 'Zombie chickens and fast-food victims'

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.

2 comments on “Scammer posed as actor Jason Statham to steal from fan”

  1. Do not agree. State of traumatic health Irrelevant. It would never EVER happen to me Probably because I am of Latin extraction and to us money and its preservation and retention for FAMILY needs o is sacrosanct.
    You give someone who you have never met andwho has never spoken to you on screen live but who claims he is Jason Statham and needs money repeat needs money!!??

    And you give him hundreds of thousands repeat hundreds of thousands of pounds??!!

    on the basis of some spurious piece of texting?!

    The woman is clearly deranged and she deserves all she gets.

  2. Fidus amor caveat emptor
    A Fool and their Money always soon parted
    When Scammers sell Stairway to Heavens for the Broken-hearted.
    The Foolish are tempted by the Greed of buying Love discounted
    And Double down on a lie they believed that they doubted.
    When Realization overcomes Faith always Oblivious
    All that's left is a Bank account both Empty and Obvious.

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