JACKSONVILLE, Fla – TikTok is warning people to watch out for scammers who pretend to be other people, sometimes even celebrities.
A Hilliard woman experienced it firsthand and said It was very frustrating.
Someone impersonating country singer Trace Adkins on Tik Tok told Stephanie Coltrane she won a big prize through a direct message. The impersonator told her she won $150,000 and a brand-new truck which she believed at first.
Coltrane admits she thought it was too good to be true, and of course, it was.
“Shame on you,” said Coltrane. “Shame on you because you are messing with people’s feelings. I was angry that was made because my husband is a disabled veteran, and we are involved with the Wounded Warrior Project. So is Trace Adkins. So, I thought this was legit.”
But things started to seem fishy, and Coltrane said what the scammer did next was a big red flag.
“[The scammer] persisted for my address and my phone number,” Coltrane said. “[They] kept saying, ‘Hey. I want to come to your home. I want to do this personally.’ He wanted to personally bring it to me at my home.”
The scammer persisted and kept asking for her phone number, but she ignored them and reported the account.
Stories like this are why TikTok launched its #BeCyberSmart campaign In November 2021. It is an effort to build fraud awareness and education.
A few recommendations for users are to verify accounts. If you get an enticing offer like Coltrane, go straight to the company’s website to confirm. Also, look out for bad grammar or misspellings.
Monitor your devices for unauthorized activity and protect them by consistently upgrading software to avoid scammers from easily hacking accounts.
Coltrane said she is thankful she did not lose anything valuable, but she is warning others to be careful. She called out her scammer on her own TikTok account and she also sent messages to Trace Adkins’ website officials.
In that process, Coltrane found more than 50 other scammers who created accounts in Trace Adkins’ name.
“All of these other accounts, TikTok needs to take them down,” Coltrane said.
TikTok removed the original account that scammed Stephanie and more than a few dozen more this week.
A TikTok spokesperson said people should always report accounts like that as soon as possible.
Coltrane said after the person insisted on trying to come to her house to drop off the “prize,” she messaged them the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office’s address, with hopes of luring them away.