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During the peak of every holiday season, consumer fraud reaches an all time high. Celebrities can fall victim to petty scams just like the rest of us regular degular folks. Oprah, however, isn’t having it. Over the past few days, folks on Instagram have been noticing a suspicious looking account baring the media queen’s name. The page promises a holiday giveaway of $5,000 to the first 100,000 fans who follow its OWN media network Christmas page. Those who follow the instructions are later asked for money. Comedian Lil’ Duval was the first to call out the bogus page on Instagram, since a few gullible people out there had taken the bait.
Oprah promptly hopped onto her verified Instagram page (appropriately with a very opulent Christmas tree in the background) to set the record straight. “I just wanted you to know somebody out there is trying to scam you using my name and my avatar on social media by asking for money and to sign up for an OWN account on Instagram,” she announced to her 11.3 million followers. “It’s a fraud, it’s a fraud, it’s a fraud! Don’t believe it, don’t give up any banking or personal account information to anyone posing as me or anyone else for that matter.”
Online fraud is on the rise, according to loads of research that’s been published as of late. Data from ACI Worldwide found that in 2016, 1 out of every 97 transactions surveilled was a fraudulent attempt. Fraud attempts in general increased by 31% year over year. Moral of the story: don’t get caught slippin’.