Paddy McGuinness duped by fake charity scam

Paddy McGuinness says he did not have a good start to 2018: Getty
Paddy McGuinness says he did not have a good start to 2018: Getty

Television host Paddy McGuinness has been conned out of £600 by someone posing as the actor Derek Griffiths on Twitter.

The Take Me Out host apparently believed he was paying for a charity dinner with the former Coronation Street actor with the proceeds going to an autism charity.

The account from which the fake Derek Griffiths had been tweeting to McGuinness and other celebrities was verified – meaning it had Twitter’s blue tick used to indicate authentic accounts of public interest.

After believing he had sealed the deal McGuinness tweeted on 26 September last year: “I’ve only gone and got myself dinner with @DerekGriffiths I bid on eBay, all money to autism charities, everyone’s a winner! #Legend.”

But on 2 January, McGuinness tweeted: “Morning not a good start to 2018”, after he realised he had been duped.

“I paid over £600 to a supposed Autism charity.” He added: “Next stop for me is @gmpolice to report this scumbag.”

A spokesman for Derek Griffiths said the actor has never been on Twitter. The fake account was suspended on Monday evening.

eBay has also suspended listings for charity lunches with Griffiths.

Several other people have come forward to say they were also scammed. Duncan Young said he donated £250 after seeing the events advertised on Twitter.