Tennessee Attorney General and Secretary of State’s Offices Warn of Scammers Using Celebrities Names and Likeness to Solicit Money

Skrmetti and Haggert

Tennessee’s secretary of state and attorney general’s offices warn Tennesseans of a “significant rise” of scammers attempting to use celebrities’ names and likenesses to solicit consumer money.

“Sadly, we’ve seen a significant rise in scammers attempting to utilize the name or likeness of celebrities to take advantage of consumers,” Secretary of State Tre Hargett (pictured above, left) said in a statement. “We encourage all to remain vigilant and report any questionable communications to us or the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office so we can prevent Tennesseans from being victimized.”

The Tennessee Attorney General’s Division of Consumer Affairs is urging consumers to be aware that celebrity scams may take various forms, including creating sham charities, promotional posts, and investment opportunities to solicit money.

Scammers are also known for creating fake social media accounts, sending direct messages and emails, or even setting up fake websites pretending to be celebrities to obtain credit card numbers, account information, and passwords from consumers.

When it comes to suspicious charities, consumers are urged to use the website Charity Navigator, which is an online research tool specifically for identifying legitimate charities and organizations.

The Division of Consumer Affairs also notes that consumers should be aware that a Tennessee charity asking for donations must be registered with the secretary of state’s office.

In addition, organizations should be able to give consumers their Employer Identification Numbers if it is tax-exempt through the IRS. Consumers can also use the IRS’s website to find information about an organization’s tax-exempt status and filings.

“We love that Tennessee is home to lots of celebrities who generously give back to our communities,” Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti (pictured above, right) said. “It’s reprehensible that scammers would exploit a celebrity’s name to deceive hardworking Tennesseans who want to help their neighbors. My office is glad to collaborate with the Secretary of State to expose these fraudulent schemes and ensure that those responsible are held accountable.”

Tennesseans are encouraged to report scams, including celebrity scams, to the Federal Trade Commission and the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office.

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Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Follow Kaitlin on X / Twitter.
Photo “Jonathan Skrmetti” by Tennessee Attorney General.




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