Kate Beckinsale reveals ‘freaky’ catfish experiences that forced her to move out of her home

‘During lockdown, several men had been catfished to the degree that they flew to Los Angeles from out of state,’ she said about the incidents on Instagram

Amber Raiken
New York
Wednesday 19 April 2023 20:10 BST
Related: Kate Beckinsale slams reporting of high IQ remarks

Kate Beckinsale has spoken out about the jarring catfishing experiences she’s had, which forced her to move out of her home.

In an Instagram post shared on Tuesday, the 49-year-old reflected on incidents she said happened during the Covid-19 lockdown in 2020. The post featured a video of comedian Jimmy Wyngarde’s improvisational scene, in which he was catfished by someone he met online who was pretending to be Beckinsale.

Beckinsale applauded Wyngarde’s “funny” scene in the caption of her post before revealing that there actually were several incidents where scammers pretended to be her and messaged different men.

“During lockdown, several men had been catfished to the degree that they flew to Los Angeles from out of state, had been given my home address, and arrived on my doorstep late at night (on different nights, over a couple of week period) thinking we were in some sort of relationship,” she wrote.

The Underworld star shared that she had to move because of these catfishing incidents.

“My boyfriend at the time and I were completely freaked out, the catfished guys were humiliated and some of them arrested, the scammers weren’t caught and I ended up ultimately having to move house,” she wrote. “So long story short, if you think I’m messaging you, it’s not me.”

Elsewhere in the caption, she also noted how she wanted Wyngarde’s clip to make it clear to her followers that she’s not sending her information to people online.

“Can this please be the definitive answer to anyone who thinks I am messaging them or talking to them on Google Hangouts or asking them for money or sending pictures of my passport or driving licence,” Beckinsale wrote. “Or that my personal assistant is messaging them on my behalf or anything in that vein.”

She sent a warning to anyone receiving messages from fake accounts, adding: “It’s absolutely NOT me and you are being horribly taken advantage of and please report and block anyone doing this to you.”

In the comments of Beckinsale’s post, many of her followers praised the video and claimed that they’ve been contacted by people who were pretending to be the actor.

“Sadly I’ve actually had maybe messages from ones on here pretending to be you and select others (now if a fake Clive profile pops up???) and Facebook, even used your profile photo to try and lure me, but I was smart and thought now damn way in hell,” one wrote.

“I absolutely love this. Nicely done. I’ve had about a dozen fake Kates in my inbox after commenting on your IG posts and it’s frightening that some people can be taken in like that,” another added.

A third claimed: “I get too many messages from people claiming to be you. Think I deleted about 50 accounts that followed me.”

Many people emphasised how they could relate to Beckinsale’s story and shared their experiences where scammers have reached out to them.

“This video is funny. But so real. I have had people message me pretending to be Hugh Jackman, Hans Zimmer, endless names really. I always laugh at those. Common sense prevails,” one wrote. “However, it’s harder when it’s just an ordinary person. Catfishes are everywhere. I’ve had my own picture stolen and created weird accounts over and over. And I too have come across ordinary catfish. You need to question so much.”

“So crazy how much of that is actually going on. I get several requests a day from those folks. And when you call them out they still think they can sway you into their game. Love you, favourite fan forever,” another added.

Over the years, the FBI have reported a rise in romance scams, which is “a situation in which a person creates a fake online identity to gain a victim’s affection and confidence, fostering the illusion of a romantic or close relationship”.

The investigation previously revealed that in 2020, “​​over 23,000 victims reported over $605,000,000 in losses” due to romance scams. There was a rise in scams in 2021, with over “24,000 victims across the United States” reporting over $1 billion in losses.

While the FBI noted that the 2022 data about romance scams has not yet been released, the organisation is expecting an increase in reported losses for that year.

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