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Warning as well known Clare man’s image used in Facebook scam

THE face of Ennis journalist and television presenter Colm Flynn is being used by scam artists to target victims on Facebook, it has emerged.
Colm, who is currently based in Rome and working as the Vatican correspondent for a global news network, has warned people to beware of the scam which is being used to obtain people’s credit card details.
While the fraudsters have used the name ‘Colm Fllyn’ for the Facebook page, they have used a number of photographs of the real Colm alongside many videos of his various television reports in order to make the page seem legitimate.
Under the profile photograph the page states it belongs to the “broadcaster from Ireland based in Rome, Italy! I love people and their stories.”
The page goes on to state that ‘Colm’ wants to share his joy with followers on Facebook by randomly choosing somebody to win €1,000. It then urges people to follow a separate link to enter a draw, while providing credit card details.
The scam has been reported to Facebook, however the page is currently still active on the social media site.
Colm, who is well known through his television work both in Ireland and across the world, has described the page as a “complete scam” saying, “I would just hate if anyone fell for it.”
He tells us that he first became aware that his image was being used to fraudulently on April 1. The page has been actively posting video content featuring Colm’s image since early March.
Colm says, “A friend sent me a link to a Facebook page with my picture and using the name ‘Colm Fllyn’. When I clicked on it I saw they had shared a lot of my reports and broadcasts to give the impression it was a genuine page. Then I saw they were offering cash prizes of €1,000 if you clicked on a suspicious link and entered your credit card details to enter a draw. Now I like a good competition as much as the next man, but this was a complete scam. I put a post up on my real Facebook page warning people not to click on the link. I would just hate if anyone fell for it.”
He recalls seeing the page for the first time. “I was a little surprised when I first saw it, especially the effort the person had gone to in creating graphics with my picture and the prize money, etc, in order to make it look realistic.”
Colm fortunately isn’t aware that anybody has fallen victim to the scam. “I haven’t heard of anyone being affected. I did see someone had put a comment on the fake page with a screengrab of their entry. So maybe someone did fall for it, or that person too is part of the scam to make it look more believable.”
As well as reporting the page to Facebook himself, Colm is aware of around 20 others who have flagged the scam to the social media giant.
He is urging people not to be fooled by the fake page, as well as to be wary of any other potential online scams. “Many offers and competitions on Facebook can be shady. You should never need to give your credit card details to enter a competition. So always beware.”

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