Fake Tim McGraw, Hunter Hayes Twitter accounts attempt to scam flood victims

Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - If celebrities private message you on Twitter offering you money, would you think it's legitimate or a scam?

"I received Twitter messages from supposedly Tim McGraw and Hunter Hayes," said Sandy Duplessis.

Duplessis' Gonzales home flooded in August of 2016. She said she could use some help to fix up things, but something about those messages did not seem right.

If you compare accounts of Hunter Hayes side-by-side, the real account has a handle of @Hunterhayes, while the clone's account handle is @ilovemyfans2017 and there's a major difference between both pages.

"I just noticed things weren't right, so I played along with them just to see what all they would do," said Duplessis.

Some of their messages back and forth included the fake Hunter Hayes account saying: "I am ready to bear all the cost, but you will have to pay for the form fee yourself. That's what he said." "He" being his agent.

When Duplessis asked how much it was going to cost, the account said the form is just $115. "Especially being Tim McGraw and Hunter Hayes, that's something you don't do to big stars like that," said Duplessis.

It's the same for Tim McGraw. The real account has a handle of @TheTimMcGraw while the fake account's handle is @The_TimMcGraw.

Duplessis even asked the fake account in messages if he was the real Tim McGraw. They responded with, "Of Course I am Tim. Why ask that?"

Lt. Col. Ward Webb is with the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office. "I think it's very rare or almost never that Tim McGraw or Hunter Hayes is personally going to contact someone that they don't know and try to get them to deposit money into an account to receive money back," said Lt. Col. Webb.

McGraw's fake account sent Duplessis an email saying she was approved for $50,000 U.S. dollars and to contact the "charter bank," but there's no account number. They also attached a picture saying it was coming from one of McGraw's foundations, the David Smith Foundation.

"Everything about it looks real," said Lt. Col. Webb. "Tim McGraw has sponsored the following charities listed on this site and there's a list of 32 foundations and none of them say David Smith."

Lt. Col. Webb even had detectives run a search about whether a David Smith Foundation even existed. His detective said they had never heard of it.

"I guess it ticks me off because there are people out there that will fall for this, that have fell for different things, especially elderly people that have an income and they take advantage of them," said Duplessis.

Officials warn the public, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

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