Lakewood and Osteen are asking that people encountering these scam profiles report them to Facebook.
Andrea Davis, director of media relations at Lakewood, says that they have been reporting at least a dozen fake Osteen pages a week on Facebook for the past year. “It’s a routine now,” Davis says.
“Older folks on Facebook who aren’t as savvy as younger users think that it really is Joel or Victoria (Osteen) reaching out to them,” she adds.
Neither Osteen or his wife have a personal Facebook profile. His official Facebook fan page now has over 3.6 million followers.
An elaborate hoax in April targeting televangelist Joel Osteen, told his many followers that he was denouncing the Christian faith. Awebsite posing as Osteen’s official webpage unveiled a “special announcement,” claiming the pastor of the Lakewood Church in Texas was leaving the Christian faith and bashed the Bible for being a “fallible, flawed, highly inconsistent history book.”
Osteen spoke with ABC News overnight and said he found the entire hoax mildly amusing.
“You know, I’m really not angry. I don’t feel like a victim,” Osteen said. “I feel too blessed, that life is too short to let things like this get you down.”
It should be noted that the young man, Justin Tribble, who pulled off the prank told ABC News:
“I didn’t want to hurt the guy, didn’t want to defame him, ”I’m actually a big fan of Joel Osteen. I like him. I listen to him. I enjoy his sermons.”
Do you think people will take notice of the warning?
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