Leave it to none other than the inventor of Favorite Things herself, Oprah Winfrey, to send out a personal fraud alert extolling the dangers of dubious social media scammers and Instagram fakes. Every holiday season, plenty of shoppers scramble away to nab those holiday deals for any last minute presents, but every holiday season, the hurried shopper tends to be more susceptible to scams, especially older shoppers (there’s even an entire tip section on AARP‘s website to warn about the dangers of holiday fraud).
Oprah took to Instagram to advise everyone to shop safely and keep their eyes peeled for the person (or bot) that has been fraudulently posing as her online in an attempt to scam people out of their cash this holiday season. Standing in front of her Christmas tree, Oprah announced, “Somebody out there is trying to scam you using my name and my avatar on social media, asking for money if you sign up for an OWN account on Instagram.”
“It’s a fraud, it’s a fraud, it’s a fraud!” she shouted in her signature singsong announcement voice typically dedicated to broadcasting gifts for her talk show audience. “Don’t believe it! Don’t give up any of your bank accounts or personal information to anybody posing as me, or anyone else for that matter,” she warned before wishing us all a Merry Christmas.
What sort of grinch would think they could successfully get away with using the OWN network creator’s identity to rip off some strangers’ bank accounts? Upon further reflection though, Joanne the Scammer has kept things pretty low-key for the last few months (with an appearance at Frank Ocean’s birthday party in October being an exception), but it’s doubtful that even someone as skilled as Joanne would try to scam the queen of all media. Besides, why would one of the richest women in America (who also hasn’t been to the bank in years) need to steal your money?