A catfisher posing as Jason Statham conned a woman out of money. Initially emerging from Guy Ritchie’s hit debut Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels in 1998 into an action-movie career, Statham has since become a respected and prominent name in the genre, particularly for his role as Deckard Shaw in the Fast & Furious series.
Most recently, Statham will take the Shaw character to new heights, when the spinoff Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw arrives in theaters this summer. The new film will see federal agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) join Statham’s Shaw as the two struggle to get along while taking on a cyber-genetically enhanced terrorist. Statham and Johnson’s onscreen relationship had apparently played a major role in Universal’s decision to take the long-running, highly successful series into new territory, and should Hobbs & Shaw hit the right mark with audiences, a brand new degree of notoriety is sure to come Statham’s way.
At present however, it appears that Statham’s notoriety has been more than enough for a catfishing scam artist to find success in England. As reported by the BBC, a woman from the North West of England has revealed that she lost a “substantial amount” of money after meeting who she thought was Statham online. The victim, who doesn't wish to be identified and wouldn’t reveal the exact amount she lost, said that it had been enough to make a difference to her and her family’s lives.
After visiting a Facebook page dedicated to Statham, the victim was contacted by someone claiming to be the Fast & Furious star. At the time, it didn't occur to the woman that it was strange for someone of Statham’s stature to be contacting fans via Facebook. Rather, she simply believed that it was kind of him to be talking to fans online. As an online friendship between the two began to grow, the Statham imposter sent hundreds of messages via What’s App over the course of several months. Ultimately, the imposter told the woman that payment from a film he’d done had been delayed and that he required some help with financial difficulties. This request resulted in a series of payments, numbering hundreds of thousands of dollars. The source of the scam is believed to be operating outside of the United Kingdom, and the woman is not expected to get her money back.
For some, the idea of someone like Statham contacting a fan online and hitting them up for a loan is absolutely ridiculous. However, it's important to note that the victim of this scam was dealing with the deaths of her mother and fiancé at the time, perhaps resulting in her temporary lack of sound judgement. It’s unfortunate that unscrupulous people will take advantage of a celebrity's fans in this manner, but it’s an important lesson to learn and hopefully this story will serve as a reminder to others to tread with caution when meeting people online - especially when they claim to be well-known film stars.
- Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) release date: Aug 02, 2019