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Fun on Friday: Don’t Be Fooled By a Fake Bruce Springsteen

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I really shouldn’t have to tell you this. But if Bruce Springsteen gets in contact with you and asks you to help him ship his stash of gold home from Dubai, you might want to be a little suspicious.

Seriously. Be suspicious. Just a little.

A few weeks back, I told you about a scam involving a couple of characters who talked a hapless victim into buying gold from them at a self-storage facility. I warned you to be wary of things like that. Legit gold brokers don’t generally want to meet you at seedy motels or must self-storage places.

In that Fun on Friday post, I mentioned that I am a pretty skeptical person. It’s going to be hard to scam me. That’s certainly not to say it couldn’t happen. Scams can be pretty sophisticated and fool even the wariest. But I can emphatically tell you I’m not going to Joe’s U-Store-It to buy gold.

My cynical nature means I have a hard time understanding how people fall for these scams. But I try to be charitable. After all, even I sometimes get caught up in the moment and suspend my rationality. But this scam – I’m sorry – I don’t understand how you fall for it.

Here’s the headline.

Fake Bruce Springsteen, claiming troubles with ‘gold stash,’ reportedly scams woman out of more than $10G.

Wait. What?

Yup.

A woman told CBS Chicago that she fell victim to a man in a “brilliant” Bruce Springsteen disguise who was impersonating the singer online. She lost over $10,000. The crazy thing — this woman apparently wasn’t alone.  According to the FTC, similar impostor scams cost victims a combined $328 million throughout 2017.”

So, get this. Bruce talked Mary into helping him, and it started with her sending iTune gift cards. Here are the details courtesy of Fox News. I can’t be any funnier than this straight news story.

She says the ruse started after she commented on a Bruce Springsteen Facebook page and someone messaged her back claiming to be the real Bruce. The pair swapped messages and pictures for around a year and the tone eventually became flirty, the woman said.

Then, the fake Bruce told the woman he was getting a divorce and his wife was holding his bank accounts hostage. In short: he needed cash.

Mary says in addition to sending over iTunes gift cards that the impostor requested, she also sent $11,500 through MoneyGram, Western Union and a cashier’s check to someone in Dubai. The fake Bruce reportedly pleaded to her in a text message that his stash of gold was stranded in the Middle Eastern city and he needed help in getting it back to the streets of Philadelphia.

So, let’s back up the truck for a second.

The fake Bruce wasn’t wearing a disguise. This was all online. He sent her pictures. Does Mary not understand that you can pull pictures of Bruce Springsteen off the internet? Guess not. Anyway, I don’t get where the “brilliant disguise” part of this story came from. But whatever.

Here’s another question: if my bank accounts are all tied up and I need money, why exactly am I going to ask for an iTunes card? I’m Bruce Springsteen for heaven’s sake. I can pick up a guitar and play all the music I want. I just can’t fathom how this didn’t set off warning bells, sirens and flashing red lights. Just say this sentence to yourself. “I’m going to help out poor Bruce Springsteen by sending him iTunes cards.”

And this scammer led this poor woman on for over a year! I’m sorry. If you’re flirting with me online. We’re meeting face to face before a year passes. And before I send you any money. Or iTunes.

Apparently, it’s not just Bruce Springsteen imposters scamming people. A 78-year-old woman claimed to have lost around $10,000 to someone impersonating country singer Kenny Chesney.

According to the FTC, imposters scams were the biggest source of fraud in America.

So, here’s my advice to you. If a celebrity tries to befriend you, don’t believe it. Celebrities don’t want to be friends with you. In fact, they really don’t want to know you. They don’t need you. They have plenty of friends already. If you get a message from Bruce Springsteen – IT’S NOT REAL.

That is all.

You’re welcome.

You know who you can call and trust that you’re talking to the real deal? A SchiffGold precious metals specialist. If you call 1-888-GOLD-160, you’ll talk to a genuine expert in precious metals. They can explain how you can get gold – real gold – not the fake stuff at Joe’s-U-Store-It. And I promise they won’t ask you to send an iTunes card.

Fun on Friday is a weekly SchiffGold feature. We dig up some of the off-the-wall and off-beat stories relating to precious metals and share them with you – with tongue firmly planted in cheek. Click here to read other posts in this series.

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About The Author

Michael Maharrey is the managing editor of the SchiffGold blog, and the host of the Friday Gold Wrap Podcast and It's Your Dime interview series.
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