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Germantown woman sends thousands to scammer posing as Country Singer Luke Bryan

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GERMANTOWN, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A Germantown woman is out thousands of dollars after falling victim to an online scam. She thought she was sending money to help country singer Luke Bryan. 

The Germantown woman in her 30's got a message on Instagram from a person pretending to be Luke Bryan. According to Germantown Police, the scammer said his bank account was frozen because he was getting a divorce and needed money. Police say the same message could have been sent out to hundreds of people. 

"They'll put out as much as they can. If they take one or two to take that bait, that's the one they'll concentrate on," Detective Shawn Jones said. 

The woman sent about a couple thousand dollars to the scammer through gift cards and bank account numbers. Police don't know if she'll get her money back. 

"It's not a good situation and it's taking advantage of people's goodwill," Jones said. 

As social media grows, so do online scams, but there are some things you can do to protect yourself: 

  • Don't respond to solicitations or ad's online for easy money
  • Set your profile to private 
  • Don't include your phone number on your social media pages 

Jones says to trust your gut. If someone is pressuring you, hang up and do research to check if what the person's claims are real.

"Trusting yourself and knowing this doesn't feel right," Jones said. 

If you're on Instagram or Facebook, you can look for a blue check mark because that means the social media platform has verified the account and the public figure is legitimate. 

Look for the blue checkmark, like you see here Instagram

If you do fall victim to a scam, don't delete any messages or proof, something the Germantown woman did. 

"That's the worst you can do because that's limiting things that we could follow up on," Jones said. 

Germantown Police expect to see an increase in scams because they say criminals take advantage of tax season. They advise the public to let them know if you hear of a scan so they can warn the rest of the community. 

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