The latest Facebook scam targets talk show host Ellen DeGeneres and her fans with a fake account posing as her manager, prompting a lawsuit from producers.
Telepictures Prods, a subsidiary of Warner Bros., is suing a user who posed as the manager of DeGeneres on Facebook, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The lawsuit was filed Tuesday by the company along with producers of The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
According to the report, the fake Facebook page created a false email account and Facebook profile under the name Eric Gold, DeGeneres' manager, and communicating with fans.
After passing himself off as an employee of her show, the fake Eric Gold is said to have solicited and collected personal information from fans. How? Fans were told that they had been selected to appear on the program, the complaint read.
The emails sent to fans said they were randomly selected to appear as a guest because they commented on the show's Halloween edition thread on its Facebook page. The Hollywood Reporter detailed a typical message sent to users.
You have been selected from members of the Ellen DeGenere's Facebook Fan page to be on her talk show because of your comment on the 'Halloween edition'. If you are interested in attending, this offer is an all expense paid trip from Ellen in appreciation of being a fan of Ellen.You are required to reply as soon as possible because we have limited time, the scam read.
The scam also said winners would receive $3,000 for travel expenses if they give their personal information, including name, address, phone number and email address. However, the person could only receive the monetary compensation if they immediately wire ticket and hotel reservation funds via Western Union.
Some users wrote to The Ellen DeGeneres Show, questioning if they were victims of a scam and whether or not Eric Gold is Ellen's manager. It is unclear how many people were affected by the Facebook scam.
Telepictures is seeking a permanent injuction for the scam artist and damages for malicious, oppressive, and fraudulent actions.
The Facebook scam comes during the same time Ellen DeGeneres is offering a 12-day giveaway to fans approaching the holiday season.