This Morning presenter Holly Willoughby is the most exploited celebrity by scammers after her photo was used for a £265,000 investment fraud.
NatWest has published its Scam Super League Table featuring the top ten highest value fraud cases where well known stars have been unknowingly exploited by criminals.
Holly tops the list with one customer transferring over £265,000 to a fraudster as part of an investment scam using the star’s image.
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The advert appeared on Facebook and linked through to a fake AOL.com article which falsely featured her endorsing an investment scam.
Second place on the list is taken by former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson whose face and name were used to swindle a football fan out of £250,000 and Holly’s This Morning co-host Phillip is in sixth.
After seeing a fake advert featuring the presenter, one customer claimed to have been scammed out of £137,000.
Investment scams often advertise online and are especially common on social media sites.
They use images of well-known celebrities to help create an impression of legitimacy and convince potential investors they are authentic. The celebrity will be unaware their image is being used and is also a victim in this type of crime.
To make their scams appear more legitimate, fraudsters place adverts on social media sites with links to spoof media and newspaper websites with fake articles featuring celebrities endorsing an investment.
The scams have been addressed by money saving expert and regular This Morning guest Martin Lewis, who has also seen his face and name used for fraudulent purposes and is at number 4 on the Natwest list, behind Holly, Sir Alex and Dragon’s Den star Deborah Meaden.
Martin was used to dupe a customer into investing £220,000 into a fake fund while the highest value case involving Deborah’s image was £250,000.
Other big names on the list include Jeremy Clarkson and Alan Sugar.