- A woman sent hundreds of thousands of dollars to someone pretending to be English actor Jason Statham.
- She said that a person pretending to be Statham messaged her after she visited a Facebook page dedicated to him, and that she then messaged the person on WhatsApp for months.
- The Statham impostor asked for help with financial issues and said that he loved her.
- The woman said that she was vulnerable after her mother and fiancé died and that the experience made her “less trusting of people.”
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A British woman was tricked into sending hundreds of thousands of dollars to someone pretending to be actor Jason Statham after she visited a Facebook page dedicated to the actor.
The woman, who was not named, told the BBC that she was tricked after she received a message from someone pretending to the actor when she visited a fan page on Facebook, and thought that Statham was using the site to message his fans.
“I thought ‘Oh, that’s nice of him, talking to his fans’. I might have been star-struck then, I don’t know,” the woman, from the city of Manchester, said in an interview with BBC local radio.
She told the BBC that when the fake Statham got in touch with her she was “vulnerable” after her mother and fiancé died.
“I’m quite a strong person but obviously certain things get to you and you let your guard down.” The experience made her “less trusting of people,” the woman added.
She then messaged the person posing as Statham on WhatsApp for “several months,” before the person told her they loved her and asked for money.
The BBC reports that over the course of numerous bank transfers, the woman sent “hundreds of thousands of pounds” in total. She did not tell the BBC exactly how much money she sent, but said it was “substantial.”
It is not clear how the money was sent, although a WhatsApp message seen by the BBC shows the impostor asking for a transfer via Western Union.
Statham, an English actor, is known for his roles in action movie franchises like the “Fast and Furious” and “The Expendables.”
Detective Constable Craig Moylon, from the police fraud unit Manchester, told the BBC that the incident was one of around 1,000 similar cases reported to the city’s police every month, and said that the actual number of cases is likely much higher.
Moylon described the Statham case as the “tip of the iceberg, and said that the woman was tricked “at a very vulnerable time in her life.”
“When you see the relentless messaging that this lady got from this person and you see the grooming and the exploitation… the impact is extraordinary.”
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