One Sons of Anarchy fan was scammed out of thousands of dollars by a man impersonating series star Kenny Johnson.
According to Mirror, Sharon Brown was scammed out of nearly $50,000 over the course of three months by a conman posing as the actor, who starred as Herman Kozik on S.O.A. and currently stars as Dominique Luca on the CBS crime drama S.W.A.T.
The ordeal began after Brown followed the real Kenny Johnson on Instagram. While his account boasts 140,000 followers, in November, she was contacted by another Kenny Brown, hekenny_johnson, with only 80 followers who claimed to be the real actor, writing her a message that read, “Thank you for all your love and supports.”
Although she initially ignored the message, a second message sent just three days later asking her if she had watched S.W.A.T. prompted her to engage in conversation.
“We started talking, but I thought it couldn’t really be him,” she said. “He told me I was an amazing fan. Then he gave me an email address so we could talk on Google Hangouts. I saw a video of Kenny on his bed. His mouth was moving, but there was no sound. It convinced me he was genuine.”
In the days and weeks that followed, the man fabricated a story in which he had orphanages in the U.S., Turkey, and Africa in order to scam Brown, who first sent him a more than $200 donation to different accounts, including one in Nigeria.
The man then alleged that he was making a film titled The Desperate Adventure, but needed money for a new camera as his had broken when a movie vehicle crashed. Brown took out a more than $13,000 car loan and borrowed more than $25,000 from her 91-year-old uncle, telling him the money was a start-up loan for her work in the film industry. She sent the money to a Turkish account on Jan. 17, transferring an additional $5,000 from her credit after the conman alleged his supplier needed that amount for shipping.
While both of Brown’s daughters had warned her against sending the money and had even called the man’s antics a scam, it wasn’t until another Kenny Johnson messaged her on Facebook that she realized she had fallen victim.
“I realized I was being targeted in exactly the same way,” she said. “I feel terrible as I’ve let down myself and my family. Now I want to warn other women about the fraudsters out there.”
After word of Brown’s story spread, even reaching the ears of the real Kenny Brown, the actor said he felt “terrible” for the ordeal she had been put through.
“It’s horrible. So many scam artist feeding off innocent victims,” the real Kenny Johnson tweeted. “If you don’t see a blue official blue mark don’t respond. 100s if imposters do it to every celebrity. It’s so sucky and I feel horrible.”