A Coronation Street star has issued an important scam warning to all soap fans.
Corrie newcomer Sam Retford has spoken out about ‘dangerous’ imposters trying to target fans.
Scammers have attempted to lure fans of the cobbles into meeting up with ‘stars’ – causing the actor to give viewers a stark warning.
The Weatherfield newbie, 22, was forced to delete his Facebook and Twitter accounts after discovering people were impersonating him.
He told the Daily Star : “I’m not very present on social media other than Instagram. It’s a place for me to post pictures of me – with trees.
“I got rid of Facebook and Twitter. It’s negative and takes a very strong-minded person to confront that every day.
“I had incidents of people organising to meet up with a fake me – that could be dangerous.”
Many top celebrities have been hit by imposters, with stars including Justin Bieber, Chris Pratt and Robert Downey Jr impersonated by fakers who try to get cash or make fans perform sexual acts.
Trolls also tried to bully Sam into responding to their messages – but he cottoned on and ignored them.
He continues: “Messages come in and go from being complimentary, when they see you’re not engaging, then it becomes malicious. You can see it’s there to spark a reaction.
“A lot of these people are doing this to get attention.”
The 22-year-old star has been making his mark on the cobbles since spring when Curtis, who works in the bistro, struck up a romance with Rovers barmaid Emma Brooker (Alexandra Mardell) – daughter of Corrie legend Steve McDonald.
He’s battling an as-yet-undiagnosed health condition, which has caused him to pass out, putting pressure on their relationship. And things are about to get harder.
Sam says: “There’s continued turbulence like we’ve seen already.
“Emma never seems to get an easy ride.
“With his condition as it is at the moment, to balance that and a booming relationship, is always going to be difficult.
“There’s lots to come, which is exciting.
“It’s a Game Of Thrones moment waiting for the script to come in.” Joining Corrie, which won Best Soap at the National Television
Awards last week, in the middle of the pandemic has been totally different to Sam’s previous experiences on shows including Channel 4’s Ackley Bridge and BBC favourites Death In Paradise and Casualty.
He adds: “Corrie is still socially distanced.
“It’s very alien to pretend to be with someone having never been within two metres of that person ever.
“When I was first starting we only took masks off on the takes.
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“I was meeting people and only seeing their face for the first time when the cameras were rolling and they took them off.”
Despite the challenges, Sam has received a warm welcome on the ITV show, which is renowned for making the cast feel like a family.
Sam says: “Everyone takes their time to welcome you here.
“I have some kind co-stars, who are always happy to help.
“I still get lost walking around the building. Everyone who can see I have no idea what I’m doing has taken me under their wing.
“I’m very fortunate – it’s lovely people on this job.” The actor is now using his platform to support The Diana Award and Nationwide Building Society’s The Big Anti-Bullying Assembly 2021.
Young people, aged between nine and 25 can earn a Diana Award, which was set up in the memory of the late Princess of Wales, for humanitarian work or their social action.
Sam says: “Schools can get involved and feel empowered to tackle bullying. The Diana Award carries Diana’s message through the hearts of these fantastic, talented young people.”
Born in New South Wales, Australia, Sam and his family relocated to Crewe in Cheshire.
And he can sympathise with anyone suffering bullying after initially feeling like an outsider.
He says: “When I came over to the UK I never felt like I fitted in. I wasn’t into playing football.
“People catch on to that and they like to jump on your differences and make out like they’re a bad thing.
“I quickly realised that our differences are what makes us who we are.
“If you can put up with that it helps you so much in the future.
“It taught me to have empathy for other people – and others who aren’t so kind in adult life as well because we encounter bullying in various forms every day.”
Alongside Corrie, Sam runs his own film company and is currently shooting the musical White Wedding with Spice Girls collaborator Eliot Kennedy soundtracking.
His next mission involves getting into the countryside to develop his film-making plans.
Sam adds: “I want to bring the amazing stuff we have in the UK to an audience that doesn’t necessarily know what’s on their front doorstep.
“We’ve lost that need to climb trees and build dens.
“So I really want to take the cameras into the woods.
“Not as extreme as Bear Grylls – I can be the PG version.”
* The Big Anti-Bullying Assembly from The Diana Award and Nationwide Building Society will be beamed into primary schools and homes nationwide on October 4 before being made available on The Diana Award’s AntiBullyingPro You Tube channel. To sign up, download free resource packs and for more information visit thebigassembly.com
Coronation Street airs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on ITV at 7.30pm and 8.30pm
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