Fans of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" are finding themselves in the crosshairs of a particularly nasty Facebook scam promising a guest spot on the comedienne's talk show.
The messages, which appear to come from Ellen's manager, Eric Gold, tell victims they've won an all-expenses-paid trip to appear as a guest on the show, and will receive a $3,000 check in advance of their appearance.
The Hollywood Reporter published the content of one such Facebook message, grammatical errors included. "You have been selected from members of the Ellen DeGenere's [sic] Facebook Fan page to be on her talk show because of your comment on the 'Halloween edition'. If you are interested in attending, this offer is an all expense paid trip from Ellen in appreciation of being a fan of Ellen. You are required to reply as soon as possible because we have limited time."
The chance of a lifetime, right? And all you have to do, the message goes on to promise, is reply with your name, address, cellphone number and email address, and you'll receive the $3,000 check "to cover travel expenses."
To those who fall into the trap, the scammer then tells them they are the "ninth person to say yes but that only eight people will be picked." The fake Eric Gold says he will make an exception if the victim, instead of waiting to receive the $3,000 check, immediately wires that same amount via Western Union.
Seems like it defeats the purpose of an "all-expenses-paid" trip, but apparently it was enticing enough to cause some problems among Ellen's Facebook faithful and to force Telepictures, Prods, a producer on the show, to file a lawsuit on Tuesday (Dec. 13) against an anonymous party for perpetrating the malicious Facebook scheme.
Telepictures is seeking damages for "malicious, oppressive and fraudulent actions," as well as a permanent injunction against the defendant from falsely representing the "Ellen" show.