Scammers using American Idol in mail fraud; “Idolize yourself” using mall backdrops

Scammers are using American Idol‘s name, logo, and producer’s name in mail fraud, but malls are hosting American Idol‘s logo to help promote the show’s new season.

A warning posted on AmericanIdol.com says “a mail fraud scam using sweepstakes award letters printed on what appears to be ‘American Idol’ letterhead and allegedly signed by creator and executive producer, Simon Fuller[,] … notifies recipients that they have been selected as a winner of a sum of money and contains fraudulent checks and a phone number to call to claim the fake ‘prize’ checks.”

It is not real, and producers “are investigating this mail fraud in conjunction with local and national law enforcement agencies”; they encourage recipients to report such fraudulent letters.

However, if you spot American Idol‘s logo at your mall, do not report that as fraud. Instead, take your or your friends’ pictures and post it online and help advertise the show for free. Yes, from Jan. 5 to Feb. 2, several malls across America will host backdrops that you can stand in front of and take pictures that you can upload to the show’s web site for who the hell knows why.

If you’d like to go “Idolize yourself”–which I read as “take ironic or otherwise amusing pictures”–locations are listed here on the “Share Your Voice” section of the show’s site. Then upload them to reality blurred’s Facebook page, and make us laugh.

American Idol Scam Alert and Share Your Voice [AmericanIdol.com]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.