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'Tis the season ... to be vigilant? Oprah Winfrey hopped onto Instagram Thursday afternoon to warn her followers about online imposters pretending to be her.
“Hi, everybody,” the media mogul said. “I just wanted you to know that 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.”
Winfrey then broke out into song. “It’s a fraud, it’s a fraud, it’s a fraud!” she sang. “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. And, have a merry Christmas.”
According to First for Women, an Instagram account was recently created with the handle “own_christmas,” and its first post was a screenshot of an alleged tweet from Oprah's verified Twitter account that read, “Since Christmas is less than 10 days away, I’m giving away $5,000 each to the first 100K followers that follow @own_christmas on Instagram.” There is no such tweet on Oprah’s Twitter account.
Though the original imposter account has been deleted, several copycat accounts have apparently cropped up.
The official Facebook account for OWN, Oprah's cable network, released a statement that read: “Please be aware that social media accounts promising money using OWN and/or Oprah Winfrey’s name are false. We have notified the social media platforms who are working diligently to deactivate these accounts.”