Fraudsters claimed they represented the office of UAE Deputy Prime Minister
Two actresses who starred in the popular US TV series Baywatch have been the latest minor American celebrities targeted by scammers pretending to represent the office of UAE Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, according to media reports.
According to TMZ, the scam began when an agent representing actresses Donna D'Errico and Krista Allen were offered $300,000 to fly to Dubai to speak as a convention for small business owners on August 31.
The scam artists claimed to represent the office of UAE Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan and emailed formal contracts to attend the event and links to a website promoting the event.
The actresses signed the contracts to attend the event but their agent became suspicious when the alleged organisers claimed they faced complications transferring the funds and asked for additional personal information about the two women, according to the TMZ report.
The organisers also asked the actresses to donate some of the $300,000 funds, raising further suspicions.
Donna D'Errico starred in Baywatch from 1996 to 1997, while Krista Allen starred in the lifeguard-based show from 2000 to 2001.
Arabian Business has contacted the Dubai hotel where the business event the actresses were invited to speak at was allegedly set to take place and the events manager confirmed no event was scheduled to take place there on August 31. The website advertising the event and claiming to represent the Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation has been blocked by authorities in the UAE but is still active outside the country.
The fraud is similar to one that also targeted the American celebrity TV personality Duane Chapman – popularly known as Dog the Bounty Hunter – in July.
According to TMZ, Chapman was offered $430,000 offer to fly to Dubai to speak at the same alleged business event but became suspicious when he was asked to donate $250,000 of the fee offered.
Other minor celebrities who were also targeted as part of the scam include Madison Hildebrand, the star of American TV series 'Million Dollar Listing L.A.' and reality TV stars Jonathan Cheban, who has appeared on Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and Kim Zolciak, who has appeared in The Real Housewives of Atlanta series, according to TMZ.