BBB Scam Alert: Celebrity Impersonation Gets More Sophisticated With AI Tech – The Stanly News & Press

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BBB Scam Alert: Celebrity Impersonation Gets More Sophisticated With AI Tech

Published Tuesday, April 11, 2023 at 4:39 PM

From the Better Business Bureau:

Scammers first need to earn your trust in order to trick you. What better way than pretending to be a popular celebrity? Recently, BBB Scam Tracker received a number of reports about products that appear to be recommended by famous and trusted celebrities. With the rise of deepfake scams and advances in AI technology, these bogus endorsements are more compelling than ever.


I see a celebrity social media post endorsing a weight loss product, health supplement, or another product. The posts feature photos of celebrities using the products and videos featuring their testimonials talking about the amazing results they’ve seen. The story sounds too good to be true, but the photos and videos look so real. Also, the social media accounts seem to belong to celebrities.

For example, one consumer reported ordering “Oprah Winfrey’s Keto Gummy Bear Supplements” after seeing a fake endorsement. They explain:

I clicked the link and ordered. The next morning I received an email that my order had been processed for $198. The company refused to refund the customer and shipped the product anyway.

Upon arrival, it turns out that the gummies belonged to a company unaffiliated with Oprah Winfrey.

Double check your posts and social media accounts before purchasing. Photos and videos are most likely fake. If you buy, you will lose money (often more than you expected) on substandard or non-existent products.

How to Spot Fake Celebrity Scams

● Familiarize yourself with deepfake technology. Scammers use deepfake technology to trick people.

Take real video clips or photos of people and use them to create new video and audio clips. Deepfake images and videos are surprisingly realistic.

● Understand how AI-generated images work. With AI Image Generator, you can enter a few words to describe the image you want to create, and AI will generate the image based on your text. While this is a valuable technology, scammers can abuse it to create images that support their stories, products, or outright lies.

● Be aware that scammers often impersonate celebrities. Never assume a celebrity’s post, image, or video is legitimate until you’ve verified that it’s from an official source. Just because something is shared widely on social media doesn’t mean it’s real. For example, his AI-generated photo of Pope Francis wearing his jacket by designer Hug recently made headlines. Always use due diligence before buying or re-sharing anything you see on social media.

● Do business only with companies you know and trust. If you wish to purchase or donate products, please do so through a reputable business or non-profit organization. If you want to buy something from a company you don’t know well, do a good amount of research first. Look up company names, websites, and contact information. Read reviews on and do a general search on the company name and the word “scam”. This is the best way to protect yourself from fraud and impersonation.

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