How Internet Scammers Use Celebrity Impersonation to Defraud Fans


In the age of digital media, celebrities often find themselves vulnerable to impersonation by online scams designed to exploit their fans. A vivid illustration of this can be seen in the case of Yudan (”鱼蛋”), a talented and rising singer from Guangdong, China, whose experience serves as a stark reminder of the dark side of internet fame.

Yudan 鱼蛋, a talented and rising singer from Guangdong, China

Who is Yudan?

Yudan, a devoted and skilled musician, graduated from the Xinghai Conservatory of Music and has become well-loved for her unique voice and heartfelt songs. Her music, characterized by its emotional depth and strikingly beautiful lyrics, spans a variety of styles, attracting fans from across China and beyond. Notable songs like 《故事还长》, 《最好一切》, and 《破碎的梦(治愈版)》 have garnered widespread acclaim and high streaming numbers on 抖音 / YY直播 / 汽水音乐 and Spotify.

The Rise of Impersonation Scams

However, Yudan’s rising popularity has also made her a target for scammers. The regulation in China which limits access to many international social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok, has created a loophole that malicious actors exploit. Scammers impersonate Yudan by creating fake profiles on these platforms, where they post her songs and videos, stripped from her authentic profiles on Chinese platforms like Douyin.

These counterfeit pages mimic official artist pages to a disturbing accuracy, often duplicating every possible detail to appear legitimate to unsuspecting fans. The scammers then engage with fans, cultivating a following by leveraging Yudan’s name and her works.

The Scammer’s Play

The deception doesn’t stop at just creating fake identities. These scammers actively solicit support and donations from fans, claiming the money goes towards Yudan’s music production or charity causes she supposedly supports.

Identifies herself as an artist and that is her official YouTube page:

They might also sell merchandise, concert tickets, or exclusive fan experiences, none of which are real. The money, once sent by hopeful fans, ends up in the pockets of scammers, with no benefit to the actual artist.

During a conversation in WeChat, Yudan responded that these pages do not belong to her:

Yudan wechat
Yudan official Douyin page.

The Impact on Fans and Artists

For fans, the betrayal of finding out they have been cheated can be heartbreaking, particularly as they believe they were supporting their favourite artist. For the celebrities themselves, like Yudan, these scams can damage their reputation, alienate genuine fans, and result in financial losses.

Protective Measures and Fan Education

Combating such impersonation scams requires vigilance from both fans and celebrities. Artists need to constantly monitor their online presence and report impostor profiles. Fans, on the other hand, should verify the authenticity of any profile or website before making donations or purchases. They can do this by checking for verification marks, comparing the content with the artist’s confirmed channels, and adhering to links provided on the official websites.


The case of Yudan is just one among many, where internet scammers have manipulated the love and trust of fans against them. It underscores the necessity of online vigilance and due diligence by internet users worldwide. As the digital landscape evolves, so do the tactics of scammers, prompting an ongoing battle between technological advancement and cybercrime.

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