Robert Downey Jr has warned fans not to fall for “scam artists” who claim to be him on social media and ask for money.
The actor wrote on Facebook that “one or more scam artists have taken to impersonating me online and asking some of you via private message or chat for ‘donations’ for various ’causes'”.
The Iron Man star continued: “If you encounter someone on a chat platform claiming to be me, they are lying.”
Hundreds of fans replied, many of whom have been approached by impostors.
Some said they had also been contacted by people claiming to be other stars like Ryan Reynolds, Ryan Gosling and Hugh Jackman – but the vast majority said they had quickly sniffed out the deception.
Downey Jr’s message added: “I will never ever communicate via private chat platforms, and I would never ask individual fans for money for any reason.
“Any communication from me will originate from my public, verified social media pages, and all fundraising is done via broad, public campaigns.
“I am constantly humbled by the incredible love, support, and generosity of our little community. Some want to take advantage of that, so let’s have each other’s backs.”
Fans responded with their own tales of being approached by fake Robert Downey Jrs and people impersonating other celebrities – and how they got their own back.
- Brittany Jeter: “They keep coming at me, well until I quizzed the one and he wasn’t you Robert Downey Jr. He failed that quiz on the first question and then got mad at me.”
- Ulrike Scherling: “Countless false RDJs I reported. Amazingly enough they turned into false Ben Stillers then and finally into a bunch of fake Elton Johns.”
- Phyllis Hall: “I’ve had several ‘famous persons’ that I follow contact me via messenger. I make ’em back off real quick with one simple request: Show me your face. And their responses are incredibly LAME. They can’t seem to do that, for whatever reason, so they get blocked…and reported.”
- Martha Holbrook: “I had an impostor Mark Rufflo try to scam me. I asked him a few questions about his career and politics. He didn’t even know basic movie questions about movies he was in. I blocked him.”
- Katherine Morrissey: “I once trolled a Robert Downey Jr imposter making him believe I believed it was him and then when I got bored, I informed Facebook about the imposter’s account and they quickly removed it. Was a little fun.”
- Tracy Madson: “This happened to me not long ago with someone claiming to be Hugh Jackman. It was hilarious that this person didn’t know 1/2 of the movies Hugh has made when I quizzed him. Idiot ppl out there, that’s for sure.”
- Cole Rife: “Happened with me and ryan gosling …I knew this kid was scamming me so I ran with it and finally said I was Donald Duck and you quack me up hahaha, he didn’t like that at all lol”
Earlier this year, country singer Brad Paisley warned fans about a similar scam.
Replying to a question about whether a request for cash was genuine, he wrote: “Come on people. Don’t fall for this… Don’t send money to anybody claiming to be me. Or anyone else either.”