MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Heartache from love and an empty wallet. It almost sounds like lyrics from a country song, but many people are reporting being duped online by a person claiming to be country superstar Toby Keith.
The scam targeted the mom of a Memphis woman, and she has a warning to fans.
Singer Toby Keith is literally and figuratively one of country music’s biggest superstars. The 6-foot-4-inch Keith has sold millions of albums and has legions of fans, like Cyndie Fogarty.
“I think about his great music. I’m listening to his CD right now,” Fogarty said. “However, I do think that he is associated with a lot of scams going on.”
Just do a web search for Toby Keith and you’ll see how women, especially seniors, have fallen victim to online scams.
In fact, the superstar even posted on his social media sites a warning to his fans about imposters.
“Remember, there’s only one Toby Keith. If a message comes from an account without a blue verified check mark, it’s not real!” Keith said on his verified Instagram account last year.
Fogarty contacted WREG about how a scam targeted her mother.
“She started telling people that she was befriended by Toby Keith and that he was going to pick her up and take her California,” she said.
The imposter also wanted money. Fogarty said she found about $700 in Apple gift cards that were used by the Toby Keith imposter who was scamming her mother.
“She has written a couple of checks to a man claiming to be an agent of Toby Keith’s,” Fogarty said. “The apartment that she lives in, luckily, intercepted those and let me know, so those didn’t go.”
The Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South says the scam is widespread.
“Toby Keith is one of the biggest names in county music, one of the biggest celebrities around. He’s also usually associated with some scams, some impersonator scams,” said Daniel Irwin of the BBB.
He said there a few things fans should always remember.
“Don’t ever give money or personal information to strangers online. That includes people who pretend to be celebrities,” Irwin said. “A celebrity doesn’t need your money and they don’t need your contact information.”
Right now, some fans long for the day a country song can be written about the Toby Keith imposter, who preyed on elderly women for love and money, being locked away in a jail cell.
“I hope that y’all can help get a hold of him and help put a stop to this, and maybe let justice serve,” Fogarty said.