General Hospital's Rebecca Herbst, who plays longtime fan favorite Elizabeth Webber on the lone ABC soap, has taken to Twitter/X to warn fans of an online imposter that the actress says has been impersonating her for years on Instagram.
Imposters are nothing new in the age of social media, particularly since the beginning of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. What's less common -- at least traditionally -- is when an account with a verified blue checkmark is cited as an imposter. But that's precisely what Herbst said in a message posted to the actress' official Twitter/X account over the weekend.
"Hey guys..just so you know the IG account RebeccaHerbst is not me nor has ever been me! I have no idea how it got verified and I've reported it several times, but nothing gets done. Super frustrating," the actress (@RebeccaLHerbst) posted from her official Twitter/X account.
The Instagram account that Herbst spoke of (@rebeccaherbst on Instagram) dates back to at least 2016 and features five photos, including selfies with GH co-stars Maurice Benard (Sonny Corinthos) and Kelly Monaco (Sam McCall).
Notably, all five photos from the account were posted to Instagram on the same day (May 3, 2016), a common trait among scammers and imposters. No other posts or photos from the account appear to have been published since then.
Herbst, who has spent the past 26-plus years on General Hospital, is unfortunately not the only soap star to have been inundated with accounts that claimed to be either the performer themself or someone closely associated with the performer.
In the past 18 months alone, GH stars Benard, Jon Lindstrom (Kevin Collins, ex-Ryan Chamberlain), and Marcus Coloma (ex-Nikolas Cassadine) have all shared public messages warning fans about scammers attempting to impersonate them.
Benard, in particular, has taken to his official Twitter/X account (@MauriceBenard) numerous times to caution fans about online scammers and imposters across various social media outlets, including Instagram and most recently TikTok.
Separately, Days of our Lives stars Peter Reckell (Bo Brady), Thaao Penghlis (Tony/ex-Andre DiMera), and Galen Gering (Rafe Hernandez) have also seen scammers try to profit off their celebrity in recent memory. In 2022, an Instagram account claiming to be Gering's "backup account" sent private messages to fans to ask for money for a purported tour of the actor's dressing room and various sets on DAYS.
As a cautionary tale to readers, no soap star, nor any other celebrity of any form, will ever have a "backup account" that they will use to seek out fans and to message them privately. Scammers often impersonate celebrities to ask for money in the form of digital currency or other items, including gift cards.
If you're unsure if an account is legitimate, you can do a Google search with the actor's name and the social media platform as the search terms.
An ABC spokesperson tells Soap Central that they are aware of the situation and are working to resolve it.
Meta, the parent company of Instagram and Facebook, recently changed its verification process to allow users the opportunity to obtain a blue check mark by paying a monthly fee. Soap Central has reached out to Meta for clarification on their verification process.
Have you ever been duped by an account claiming to be an actor's official account? We want to hear from you -- so drop your comments in the Comments section below, tweet about it on Twitter, share it on Facebook, or chat about it on our Message Boards.