Martin Lewis issues warning over celebrity profiles commonly misused in scams | UK News


Taylor Swift, Adele and Elon Musk are all likely to be used in fake profiles for scam adverts,(Picture: Getty/Rex)

Martin Lewis has revealed the celebrities most likely to be used as scammers – including himself.

Taylor Swift, Adele and Elon Musk are all likely to be used in fake profiles for scam adverts, Action Fraud data has suggested.

MoneySavingExpert.com has looked how frequently public figures were mentioned in scams reported in 2022 and 2023.

Mr Lewis topped the list in the analysis of the most featured public figures mentioned in reports to Action Fraud – with the biggest reported scam resulting in a £500,000 loss.

The King, Jeremy Clarkson and Rishi Sunak were among those to appear in the list compiled by MoneySavingExpert.

Mr Lewis said: ‘It’s likely that the criminals pumping out these scam ads effectively use their own in-house dark-web digital marketing teams, researching which celebrities and advert types get the best click through rates, and honing the way they work to be able to attract more victims.

‘Almost certainly they will be collecting data on each public figure’s power to draw people in and how many people who respond to a celeb in an advert then go through to part with the money.’

Mr Lewis added: ‘And if it’s an ad with me in, it’s always a scam, as I don’t do adverts. Topping this list is about the worst compliment I’ve ever had.’



Top 20 figures used in scam cases

  1. Martin Lewis, 32.4%
  2. Taylor Swift, 21.7%
  3. Elon Musk, 13.9%
  4. Adele, 2.7%
  5. Holly Willoughby, 2.3%
  6. Jeremy Clarkson, 2.0%
  7. Mark Zuckerberg, 1.5%
  8. Johnny Depp, 1.1%
  9. Keanu Reeves, 1.1%
  10. 10. Ed Sheeran, 1.1%
  11. 11. Peter Jones, 0.9%
  12. 12. King Charles, 0.9%
  13. 13. Phillip Schofield, 0.9%
  14. 14. Richard Branson, 0.8%
  15. 15. Rishi Sunak, 0.8%
  16. 16. Rod Stewart, 0.7%
  17. 17. Simon Cowell, 0.6%
  18. 18. Prince Harry, 0.6%
  19. 19. Lewis Capaldi, 0.6%
  20. 20. James Martin, 0.6%

He continued: ‘The new Government has promised to ensure that tech companies have a clear obligation, and a clear financial incentive, to work with banks to prevent scams, identify fraudulent transactions and support victims.

‘We’ll be watching closely to see if it delivers.’

Mentions of cryptocurrency, investing, retirement planning and promises to get rich quick are particular warning signs to look out for in scam ads, MoneySavingExpert warned.

Claims about scandals involving a celebrity may also turn out to be scams. Website links connected to supposed scandals may take people to an investment scam.

Ticket scams are also rife, with scammers also trying to cash in on the popularity of Swift’s Era’s tour.

Martin Lewis is likely to be used in scams (Picture: Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock)

People should look to buy from official ticket selling or reselling platforms and be cautious on social media, MoneySavingExpert said.

Fans of Swift have lost out on an estimated £1 million since UK tickets for her tour went on sale last July, according to data published by Lloyds Bank earlier this year.

If someone believes they have been scammed, they should contact their bank and the police.

Many banks are taking part in a scheme that allows people to get in touch simply by dialling 159 if they receive suspect contact that could be a scam.

Those taking part in the 159 scheme include Monzo, Bank of Scotland, Barclays, Co-operative Bank, First Direct, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, Metro Bank, Nationwide Building Society, NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander, Starling, Tide, TSB and Ulster Bank.

People in England, Wales and Northern Ireland can report a scam to the police by contacting Action Fraud. In Scotland, people can contact Police Scotland.

They could also contact the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) about an online scam, in addition to contacting the bank and the police.

If someone has paid by card, they could try to get their money back under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act (which can be used for credit card purchases in some cases) or they could try to claim their money back via the chargeback scheme.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].

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