Martin Lewis warns Taylor Swift fans and says 'it's important'

Martin Lewis' Money Saving Expert has warned subscribers over a rise in Taylor Swift scams - with the Tortured Poets Department singer now second behind only BBC and ITV star Mr Lewis in terms of the most popular celebrity faces used by scammers and fraudsters.

MSE warned: "If you see an online advert, particularly if it features a celebrity, always assume it could be a scam. That's a warning from Martin Lewis after our exclusive analysis of Action Fraud data found that the MoneySavingExpert.com (MSE) founder, alongside Taylor Swift and Elon Musk, is the most featured public figure in reports to it."

The total number of scams featured in was 1151 for Mr Lewis, or 32 per cent, while Taylor racked up 771 mentions at 21 per cent. The top five was completed by Elon Musk, Adele and Holly Willoughby at 492, 97 and 80 mentions respectively.

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Mr Lewis, MoneySavingExpert.com founder said: "It's likely that the criminals pumping out these scam ads effectively use their own in-house dark-web digital marketing teams, researching which celebrities and advert types get the best click through rates, and honing the way they work to be able to attract more victims.

"Almost certainly they will be collecting data on each public figure's power to draw people in and how many people who respond to a celeb in an advert, then go through to part with the money. That’s why this top 20 matters. If someone is on this list, they're likely tried and tested by scammers, and therefore will keep reappearing. So, while it's important to be wary of the potential for all online adverts to be a scam, especially those with celebrity figures – if it has one of these 20, you should double and treble check it's legit via independent trusted sources before making any contact or commitment.

"And if it’s an ad with me in, it's always a scam, as I don't do adverts. Topping this list is about the worst compliment I’ve ever had. I find it deeply frustrating that after six years of campaigning, having both successfully sued Facebook, and lobbied to get scam adverts covered by the Online Safety Act, the online advertising market is still a wild west.

"Ofcom's draft proposals for the new laws on paid-for fraudulent advertising aren't expected until early 2025 and won’t come into force until 2026. Even then, these won't include regulation of the full online advertising supply chain, including display ads, which were due to be included as part of the long-awaited Online Advertising Programme.

"The new Government has promised to ensure that tech companies have a clear obligation, and a clear financial incentive, to work with banks to prevent scams, identify fraudulent transactions and support victims. We'll be watching closely to see if it delivers."