Thousands of famous names have fallen victim to impostors, including Britney Spears, Foreign Secretary David Miliband, the Dalai Lama and even the Queen.
This summer, Mr Miliband was forced to deny quotes widely attributed to him after the death of Michael Jackson. The comments had been written on a seemingly plausible Twitter account under his name.
One blogger claimed to be jailed record producer Phil Spector, writing from his prison cell. Among the fake Spector’s comments were: ‘People ask me for my opinion of American Idol. It’s a total insult to music. Not my thing.’
A phoney account under the name of film star Christopher Walken and bearing his picture is still regularly read by more than 90,000 people.
And in March this year, actor Ewan McGregor’s spokesman claimed the star was considering legal action to remove a fake Twitter account that had attracted 20,000 followers.
The Mail on Sunday’s own Piers Morgan has also been targeted by an impostor who has accumulated a following of 17,650. One of the more recent postings has the Britain’s Got Talent judge saying: ‘Well done everyone for backing Susan [Boyle], such a talented lady.’
Jonathan Ross recently unmasked an impostor claiming to be comedian Jack Dee. The BBC presenter phoned Dee to check if the postings were really his.
A fake account in the name of Girls Aloud singer and X Factor judge Cheryl Cole was so convincing that Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles was duped into becoming one of her more than 31,000 followers.