A British woman has been scammed by a Jason Statham impostor, costing her over $129,000.
On Monday, the Evening Standard reported an interesting twist on commonplace online fraud. The woman — who wishes to remain anonymous — claims to have been browsing a Facebook fan page dedicated to the Fast & Furious actor. She was then “bombarded” with a string of flirtatious messages appearing to come from Statham himself. Speaking to BBC Radio Manchester, she shared her thoughts at the time.
“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 said.
Seemingly under a false sense of security, the victim agreed to the impostor’s suggestion, as the bogus Statham allegedly suggested they take their conversation to WhatsApp, where a series of “flirty” messages ensued. “Will you love me and be the special woman beside me for the rest of your life honey?” was one such example.
The woman started volunteering payments after the impostor allegedly claimed he was owed money, mentioning a “delayed” movie. His messages suggest small but steady increments.
“Just send £20k this night and tomorrow you do the same then by Friday it’s already done.”
Over £100,000 ($129,000) was eventually handed over. According to the woman, this represented a “substantial amount, which would have made a difference to my life and my family.”
As of today, Greater Manchester Police has failed to “track” the alleged scammer down. He is, however, understood to have been “operating from abroad.”
With her identity kept under wraps, the victim’s only known details are her location – she is from the northwest of England. BBC has reconstructed screenshots of conversations between both parties. One shows a flirtatious message sent by the Statham impersonator.
“Send me a selfie of you… I would love to get a very decent smiles [sic] from your face right now”
While admitting feeling that she was “building a relationship” with her alleged conman, the woman has since reflected on the situation, saying that she didn’t “feel like I was in the right place myself because of what I’d been through”. Her vulnerability is made clear in BBC‘s report – the woman had lost both her mother and fiancé, although the dates of their deaths are not specified.
“I’m quite a strong person but obviously certain things get to you and you let your guard down,” she added.
She concluded that the purported fraudster had “no feelings” and that the incident has left her less able to trust those around her. Statham does not appear to have made any comment. The 51-year old actor, who is engaged to Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, is set to appear in 2019’s Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw.