First it was rocker Karen Zoid, then rugby legend Naas Botha and comedian Trevor Noah.
Now singer and producer Francois van Coke is the latest face of an internet scam. Swindlers have been using unauthorised pictures of his face on false advertisements on social media.
“I was busy with rehearsals for [TV talent show] The Voice when [SA netballer and TV presenter] Vanes-Mari du Toit forwarded the ad that says, ‘Francois van Coke has been destroyed!’” Francois, who’s one of The Voice South Africa’s presenters, told YOU this past week.
According to the ads, “Francois” promises instant riches by, among other things, investing in cyber currency. Clicking on another of these ads leads one to the website of a “travel agency”.
“Scam, scam, scam. Don’t click!” he warned his followers on Facebook on 17 June.
“I know it’s happened to other celebrities – Karen Zoid, Trevor Noah and Naas Botha . . . They used Karen’s face for a false weight-loss ad,” he says about why he wasn’t shocked when it happened to him.
Francois confirms that he’s been on SABC3 breakfast programme Expresso – but definitely not because he’d been “destroyed”, as the advertisements claim.
“I’m completely okay, thanks,” he tells us.
“The scams happen to a lot of people. The bummer is that so many people still think it’s real. A lot of people have messaged me, asking about it,” Francois says.
“Sure, you can report it to Facebook but really I’ve just given up. There are so many of those ads out there,” he says.
YOU has reported the false ads to Facebook and are waiting for feedback. In Naas Botha’s case Facebook investigated and removed the ads.