Tom Hanks is hitting back after his image appeared on a fake endorsement for a CBD company in an ad that’s circulating online.
The advertisement shows a photo of Hanks with a false quote:
“The advances Doctor Oz has made in the CBD industry are remarkable,” the ad incorrectly quotes Hanks as saying. “I wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t had the chance to try it out for myself.”
Hanks took to social media Monday to tell his fans he didn’t say that and definitely did not endorse the “CANNAPRO CBD” product.
“This is a fake and intentional hoax,” he wrote on Instagram. “I’ve never said this and would never make such an endorsement. Come on, man!”
He slammed an almost identical misleading ad last year as a “FRAUD! INTERNET FAKE!”
His representation declined to comment to TODAY beyond the social media posts.
TV host Dr. Mehmet Oz — who is mentioned in the false advertisement — also took issue with it on Monday, tweeting he couldn’t agree more with Hanks.
“This is a fake and misleading advertisement intended to take advantage of consumers using false claims and our likenesses illegally,” he tweeted. “I am not involved with any cannabis companies.”
Back in December, Oz posted a video criticizing similar fake endorsements for keto and diet pills as well as anti-aging creams.
“These ads are made by con artists. They are scamming us, using our images illegally,” Oz said in the video. “And they’re scamming you, taking your hard earned money.”
He added the scammers make millions a year, and their products could be dangerous.
“Most importantly, they could be putting your health at risk,” he said.
Those online scams have cost victims more than $1.3 billion in the last 10 years, according to the Better Business Bureau.
In November, actress Sandra Bullock fought back aggressively against multiple false ads for beauty products. She filed a lawsuit, along with TV host Ellen DeGeneres.
Their lawsuit claimed the two are targeted by scammers "because of their age, their unimpeachable reputation for honesty and having worked hard at maintaining a healthy and youthful look, which con artists believe will attract and dupe unwitting customers."
TODAY's own Savannah Guthrie has also battled the same issue. A company called Liva Derma created a fake ad last year using her likeness and falsely claiming she was leaving the show to start her own skin care line.
“When I saw the articles, I could see why people believed it because it looks really real,” Savannah said at the time.
Even former TODAY anchor Katie Couric has had similar experiences, she commented on Hanks’ post Monday.
“Yes and I never endorsed any wrinkle cream although I could probably use some,” Couric wrote, adding the hashtag “#ridiculous.”
The companies involved in the scams often have no contact information available and if they’re caught by police, they simple switch names — like the two different companies in the Tom Hanks scam. That makes it challenging for authorities to shut them down for good.
“There is a whole army of people who are difficult to find that are using changing sets of hyperlinks that may only last for a couple days but they're all there to avoid detection,” Steve Baker from the Better Business Bureau told TODAY. “Even if a link no longer works that doesn't mean that the same claims aren't being made for the product somewhere else.”
The Better Business Bureau says you should be sure to check the social media profiles of celebrities to verify an endorsement is real before buying, and if you see something suspicious, you can report the ad to the Federal Trade Commission. That could help law enforcement track down the companies.
If you do get duped and see unauthorized charges appear on your credit card, call your credit card company — many of them will refund the money.