Beware Celebrity Scams: Martin Lewis Issues Vital Warning

Martin Lewis has raised an alert regarding the widespread misuse of celebrity profiles in scams, with even the Money Saving Expert himself being prominently targeted.

Among the personalities frequently exploited in online scams are “The King,” Taylor Swift, Elon Musk, and Adele, according to data analyzed by from Action Fraud reports spanning 2022 and 2023.

The analysis reveals that public figures across entertainment, business, politics, and royalty have been victims of such deceptive practices. Figures like Jeremy Clarkson and Rishi Sunak have also been misused in these fraudulent schemes., founded by Mr. Lewis, noted that the data it analyzed is likely just a fraction of the total, as many individuals do not report scams to law enforcement.

Action Fraud provided data on reported scams based on a list of celebrities compiled by The website crowdsourced this list through social media, asking users to report instances of celebrities appearing in scam advertisements.

In their analysis, Mr. Lewis emerged as the most frequently mentioned public figure in reports submitted to Action Fraud.

Here are the top 20 high-profile figures whose identities have been misused by scammers, according to research using Action Fraud data, along with the percentage of total mentions in scams:

MoneySavingExpert reported that Action Fraud data shows victims have reported losing over £20 million to scams misusing Mr. Lewis’s profile in the past two years. The largest reported loss attributed to a scam featuring Mr. Lewis was £500,000.

Mr. Lewis commented, “It’s likely that the criminals behind these scam ads effectively use their own in-house dark-web digital marketing teams, researching which celebrities and advert types yield the highest click-through rates, and refining their tactics to attract more victims. Almost certainly, they are gathering data on each public figure’s ability to attract attention and how many people who respond to a celebrity in an advert ultimately end up losing money.”

He added, “If it’s an ad with me in it, it’s always a scam, as I don’t endorse adverts. Topping this list is probably the worst compliment I’ve ever had.”

Mr. Lewis continued, “The new government has promised to ensure that tech companies have a clear obligation and financial incentive to collaborate with banks to prevent scams, identify fraudulent transactions, and support victims. We will closely monitor to see if these promises are fulfilled.”

MoneySavingExpert warned that mentions of cryptocurrency, investing, retirement planning, and promises of quick wealth are specific red flags to watch for in scam ads. They also cautioned that claims about celebrity scandals could lead to scams, with links to supposed scandals potentially directing individuals to investment scams.

The article noted that ticket scams, capitalizing on the popularity of Swift’s Era tour, are prevalent. MoneySavingExpert advised consumers to purchase tickets from official platforms and to exercise caution on social media.

According to data published by Lloyds Bank earlier this year, fans of Swift have reportedly lost approximately £1 million since UK tickets for her tour went on sale last July.

If someone suspects they have fallen victim to a scam, they are advised to contact both their bank and the police.

Numerous banks are participating in the 159 scheme, allowing individuals to report suspicious contacts potentially linked to scams by dialing 159. Participating institutions 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.

In England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, individuals can report scams to the police through Action Fraud. In Scotland, they should contact Police Scotland.

For online scams, individuals can also report to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), in addition to notifying their bank and the police.

If payment was made by card, individuals may seek recourse under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, applicable in some cases for credit card purchases, or through the chargeback scheme to reclaim their funds.

MoneySavingExpert clarified that their research covers all mentions, including instances where multiple people are referenced. Action Fraud cautioned that while some unrelated reports may have been included, others related to scams may have been missed.

douglas sheppard rYfGsWRVo unsplash

Practical Strategies for Energy Efficiency at Home

Ariane with James Webb Space Telescope Prelaunch NHQ

European Space Agency (ESA) Celebrates Successful Sendoff of Ariane 6 Rocket