Published Apr 29, 2019Jason Statham's stern, stubbly look has led a number of brilliant action franchises over the years, but it turns out his macho mug can also be used for more sinister means. After all, an online scammer has used Statham's likeness to grift a British woman out of "hundreds of thousands of pounds."
As the BBC reports, a woman from the North West of England said she lost her fortune after being targeted by an online fraudster. "I'm quite a strong person but obviously certain things get to you and you let your guard down," she said, asking that her name not be revealed.
The victim added that she was contacted by someone posing as the star on a Facebook page dedicated to The Fast and the Furious. "I thought 'Oh, that's nice of him, talking to his fans.' I might have been star-struck then, I don't know," she said.
The woman added that it was a vulnerable time in her life after her mother and fiancé had recently passed away.
From there, the person posing as Statham asked the woman to switch from Facebook to WhatsApp and started an online relationship with her, sending her hundreds of messages over the course of a few months. After building trust, the person posing as Statham asked for a series of payments.
When asked for the exact amount of money, the woman said, "It was a substantial amount, which would have made a difference to my life and my family."
British police officer Craig Moylon told the BBC that fraud is a huge epidemic. "We all know it's the tip of the iceberg," he said. "The amount of people that report fraud are probably about 5 to 10 percent of the amount of people who actually are victims."