Tom Hanks is hitting back after his image appeared on a fake endorsement for a CBD company in an ad that’s circulating online.
The advertisement shows a photo of Hanks with a false quote: “The advances Doctor Oz has made in the CBD industry are remarkable,” the ad incorrectly quotes Hanks as saying. “I wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t had the chance to try it out for myself.”
Hanks took to social media Monday to tell his fans he didn’t say that and definitely did not endorse the “CANNAPRO CBD” product.
“This is a fake and intentional hoax,” he wrote on Instagram. “I’ve never said this and would never make such an endorsement. Come on, man!”
He slammed an almost identical misleading ad last year as a “FRAUD! INTERNET FAKE!”
His representation declined to comment beyond the social media posts.
TV host Dr. Mehmet Oz — who is mentioned in the false advertisement — also took issue with it on Monday, tweeting he couldn’t agree more with Hanks.
“This is a fake and misleading advertisement intended to take advantage of consumers using false claims and our likenesses illegally,” he tweeted. “I am not involved with any cannabis companies.”
Back in December, Oz posted a video criticizing similar fake endorsements for keto and diet pills as well as anti-aging creams.
“These ads are made by con artists. They are scamming us, using our images illegally,” Oz said in the video. “And they’re scamming you, taking your hard earned money.”
He added the scammers make millions a year, and their products could be dangerous.
“Most importantly, they could be putting your health at risk,” he said.
Those online scams have cost victims more than $1.3 billion in the last 10 years, according to the Better Business Bureau.
In November, actress Sandra Bullock fought back aggressively against multiple false ads for beauty products. She filed a lawsuit, along with TV host Ellen DeGeneres.
Their lawsuit claimed the two are targeted by scammers "because of their age, their unimpeachable reputation for honesty and having worked hard at maintaining a healthy and youthful look, which con artists believe will attract and dupe unwitting customers."
"TODAY" co-anchor Savannah Guthrie has also battled the same issue. A company called Liva Derma created a fake ad last year using her likeness and falsely claiming she was leaving the show to start her own skin care line.
“When I saw the articles, I could see why people believed it because it looks really real,” Guthrie said at the time.
The companies involved in the scams often have no contact information available and if they’re caught by police, they simply switch names — like the two different companies in the Hanks scam. That makes it challenging for authorities to shut them down for good.
“There is a whole army of people who are difficult to find that are using changing sets of hyperlinks that may only last for a couple days but they're all there to avoid detection,” Steve Baker from the Better Business Bureau said. “Even if a link no longer works that doesn't mean that the same claims aren't being made for the product somewhere else.”