The "Con Queen" might sound like a title given out to the most popular cosplayer at your favorite convention — but in this case, it's not exactly a title you'd want to win.
The FBI is seeking information on the "Con Queen," a con artist who has swindled hundreds of people into giving them money with promises of Hollywood jobs. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the scammer has impersonated such high-level executives as Marvel's Victoria Alonso and Lucasfilm's Kathleen Kennedy to trick victims into flying to Indonesia on their own dime, paying money, and engaging in sexually explicit phone calls. It might sound like a story straight out of a Hollywood movie, but for these victims, it's all too real.
Since 2013, the FBI has been investigating the scammer, but now they've set up a website where additional victims can provide details in hopes of finally capturing the con artist. Alonso discovered the scammer was impersonating her this past April and spoke with Disney lawyers who were also investigating the scam. She spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about how she's been impacted.
“It’s a horrible, horrible thing," said Alonso. "I’ve had an unimpeachable 30-year career. That somebody is claiming I have done these things — I’ve spent many, many sleepless nights.”
According to one victim, the scammer impersonated Marvel casting director Sarah Haley Finn and sent him an email to set up a call with Alonso. The fake call with Alonso turned sexual and the victim ended it.
“She was absolutely convincing,” victim Brandon Wengrzynek told The Hollywood Reporter.
While the FBI continues their investigation and seeks more information, the "Con Queen" is still out there potentially tricking more victims, so Alonso is speaking up to spread the word and clear her name.
“This person is preying on people’s dreams,” she said. “If something happens to you, report it. If it feels wrong, it is. Walk away.”