Actor Sam Heughan has had his identity used by scammers to con Outlander fans out of their life savings.
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Fraudsters posing as the Scottish actor, who is best known for playing Jamie Fraser in historical drama series, have targeted several female fans over the last few years after successfully convincing them that they were speaking to the real actor.
One woman from New York was scammed out of her life-savings of £34,000, which she was fooled into believing she was investing in Heughan's whisky brand Sassenach Spirits.
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Another woman, a 56-year-old nurse from Florida, handed over £36,500 to a scammer over two years and was convinced she was in a secret relationship with the TV star. This included more than £22,000 which she was pressured into investing in Bitcoin and £7,000 for the delivery of a surprise present the scammer claimed to have sent her. She then spent another £7,000 in what she believed were transportation 'fees' to receive the gift, which never arrived.
The woman said she began chatting to 'Sam' after she entered a contest to win a date with the Outlander actor. "The Sam I was speaking to started using the screen name Sammy Roland alongside a picture of Sam on his profile," she told The Daily Record.
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"Roland is Sam's middle name and he said he was using that name because he didn't want anyone to know it was the real Sam."
She added: "We talked on Google Hangouts and developed feelings for each other. He would send me lovely cards and handwritten notes. I thought we were in a relationship but we never spoke on the phone – he was always busy."
A third Outlander fan revealed that she was also approached by an Instagram user claiming to be the actor after leaving a comment on his official social media profile but recognised the message was from a fake account.
Sam plays Jamie Fraser in the historical drama
She said: "Shortly afterwards I got a message saying, 'Thanks for your comment. It's my fans who have got me to where I am now.' I replied saying I knew it wasn't the real Sam but he came back assuring me it was.
"I told him I'd messaged his Instagram and asked if he could tell me what I'd said. But he said he couldn't access his account. I asked him to send me a video but he told me he couldn't do that either."
It is not known whether all three women were tricked by the same person. Heughan has previously released a statement on social media warning of fake accounts posing as him.
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