Social media can be a great way for fans to interact with their favorite soap stars, whether on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. However, there is also a growing number of scammers out there who are taking advantage of the anonymity of the internet to prey on gullible and unsuspecting victims by impersonating their favorite actors.
Scott Clifton — who between his roles as Liam on THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL, Schuyler on ONE LIFE TO LIVE, and Dillon on GENERAL HOSPITAL, has been in the industry for decades — is extremely concerned about this growing problem. He even recorded a video in his dressing room to address his fans about it.
“I have to talk to you about something a bit grave,” Clifton began, “which is not fun and not what I want to be using Instagram for, but here we are. Some of you may recall I uploaded a post, kind of like this, just me talking to the camera, about this increasing imposter problem on social media. Where any anonymous [jerk] can create a profile, slap my face on it, put my name on it and then start DM-ing or otherwise engaging with my followers claiming to be me.
“And either catfishing them — which is to say, starting a phony romantic relationship with them — or offering them some sort of business proposal, asking them for money, I mean, there are a million different ways that my fans, my followers, have been scammed,” he continued. “And this doesn’t just apply to me. This is a widespread thing. Other actors are experiencing this.”
Clifton expressed that sometimes, the consequences of getting involved with these scam artists can actually ruin people’s lives as they give away savings, sever relationships, or worse. He mentioned the recent news story of a Massachusetts woman who was accused of poisoning her husband at the urging of someone online claiming to be Thorsten Kaye (Ridge, B&B). “Thankfully, he’s okay,” the actor sighed. “But it goes to show you this is getting scarier and scarier. This is a very real, very dangerous problem.”
Obviously, with an issue like this, there is no simple, immediate solution, so Clifton urges all soap fans to protect themselves. “I will not reach out to you as a fan in any capacity like that,” he declared. “I’m never gonna ask you for money. I’m never going to start a romantic relationship with you over a private message. Please know that and arm yourselves with both skepticism and an education on how to tell reality from fiction in social media.
“Please, protect yourself, and don’t let someone take advantage of you,” he concluded. “Don’t let them trick you. I just want you all to know that I’m thinking about you and I’m working on it. But in the meantime, godspeed. Protect yourselves. And I appreciate all of you.”