All Blacks superstar Beauden Barrett has become the latest victim of an online scam campaign.

Barrett's name and image is being used without his permission in Facebook ads that attempt to lure the general public into handing over money or precious personal information.

The ads link through to a fake news story that claims Barrett appeared on Mediaworks' AM Show, where he told host Duncan Garner he had discovered "a new wealth loophole" that could "transform anyone into a millionaire within 3-4 months".

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Barrett has, in fact, never made such an appearance on the AM Show, though there is a link between himself and Garner and the scam itself.

In August last year, Newshub reported that Garner had himself been the victim of a similar campaign which saw his likeness used to promote Bitcoin and "fancy cars" as part of elaborate spam advertisements.

"It's not me," he said. "They're not my cars, I don't do Bitcoin - I don't do any of that 'coin'.

"I haven't been on Facebook for a couple of years."

A screenshot from the fake news website that claims Barrett appeared on the AM Show to talk about money. Photo / Supplied
A screenshot from the fake news website that claims Barrett appeared on the AM Show to talk about money. Photo / Supplied

The same month saw Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking slam Facebook for not cracking down on eerily similar ads bearing his name and face.

The fake news posts used headlines such as "MIKE drops bombshell, producers forced to cut straight to commercial", and "Mike confirms allegations".

"My picture comes up in your feed, and there's a whole bunch of stuff ... you might see me spruiking some sort of product or service for you to join. This is all rubbish - it's spam, it's nonsense," Hosking told listeners.

"Facebook says, 'we don't allow these ads on our platforms, we have zero tolerance for people who try and use our platform for these ads'.


"Well, what crap, how do you explain me on them? It's spam, it's scam, and somebody's giving Facebook money to run these ads for whatever purpose."

The list of Kiwi celebrities caught up in similar scams is now a lengthy one with TVNZ presenters Hilary Barry, Hayley Holt, Jack Tame and Daniel Faitaua, along with ZM host Megan Papas, rich-lister Graeme Hart and even Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Previously, Netsafe chief executive Martin Cocker told the Herald that it's important to remember that the ad targeting tools of Facebook and other social media platforms are open to both legitimate businesses and to spammers. Cocker also warned that scammers are becoming more sophisticated in their development of online scams, making it difficult to immediately identify illegal activities.

Pretty much anyone with a credit card could set up a faux business and start targeting users with creepily specific details.

Users are encouraged not to enter their credit card details on any sites that seem suspicious.