We all would love to meet one of our favorite music or movie stars. So you can only imagine how an Amelia woman felt when her idol contacted her on Facebook.
Andrea Engel is a country music fan, who especially loves Chris Stapleton's music.
She went to see him in concert, at Cincinnati's Riverbend Music Center, and at the end of the show she "liked" his Facebook page. She also noticed his page allowed her to send a personal message.
"I went to the concert," she said, "and that's when I messaged him. I was like 'Oh wow, I can message him, this is so cool.'"
She was especially thrilled when Stapleton messaged her back.
"He said, 'Thank you so much, maybe you can purchase my meet and greet,'" Engel said.
Autograph hopes turn into much more
At first she said she was just hoping for an autograph and perhaps a chance to meet her idol.
But the more they chatted on Facebook over the next few days, she says, the more he started complimenting her, talking about her good looks and finally saying he might be able to help her financially.
Engel told him that she was dealing with huge medical bills from a number of recent chronic health issues, and Stapleton told her he would be happy to help.
He had one small request for her, however.
"I like to help people and I may ask you to do something, like donate to an orphanage for me," he told her via Facebook message.
He wanted her to give a few hundred dollars for the charity, and instructed Engel to buy iTunes gift cards for him.
So she did, messaging him more than $500 worth of iTunes card numbers.
"Star" takes money, disappears
That's the last she heard from the man she thought was a country superstar. The "Private Chris Stapleton" Facebook page she liked is now gone.
Engel had fallen for an impostor, just like the Chicago woman who recently sent $12,000 to a Bruce Springsteen impostor she met on Facebook.
She agreed to do a TV interview because she now wants to warn others about impostor scams.
"Be cautious," she said. "Most celebrities do not contact you."
Now, she nurses a broken halo, over what she thought was a celebrity willing to help with her financial issues.
"I was in tears so many times because I couldn't believe that somebody wanted to help me," Engel said.
Make sure a celebrity page is the real page, with several million followers, not a few hundred people.
And remember a movie or music star would never, ever, ask you for cash.
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