Virgin CEO Richard Branson, 67, opened up recently about an impersonator who tried to con him of $5 million around six months ago while making up a story about a kidnapped British diplomat. Branson also spoke of a related incident where he, himself, was impersonated in an attempt to extort almost $2 million allegedly to assist victims in the British Virgin Islands, affected by Hurricane Irma.

Conman impersonates U.K. Defense Secretary

As noted by Fortune, Branson said on his blog that his assistant had received a note, written on what looked like official notepaper and asking him to call Defense Secretary Michael Fallon.

On calling the given number, he spoke to a man who reportedly sounded exactly like the U.K. Defense Secretary, saying he was asked to help in the alleged kidnapping of a British diplomat who was currently held hostage by terrorists.

The impersonator told Branson there was a particularly sensitive reason for wanting the return of the diplomat, but that under British laws, the government is prevented from paying ransoms. The Fallon impersonator went on to say he normally concurs with the decision not to pay ransoms but stressed that in this case, it was important to get the diplomat back from the kidnappers.

The impersonator went on to say that for this reason, they were confidentially contacting various British business people to step in and help out with the finances needed for the ransom.

Branson was asked to contribute $5 million towards the cause, which the impersonator said the British Government would eventually find some way to pay him back.

Branson said he was sympathetic to the plight of the British diplomat, but decided to check out the story. He contacted Fallon’s office and spoke to his assistant, who confirmed that Fallon had not spoken to Branson and that there was no kidnapping.

Branson then realized this was a scam and explained what had happened, while the matter was handed over to the police.

Conman impersonates Richard Branson for $2 million

Branson went on to explain that another conman, who he believes to be the same person, had impersonated him and had conned a U.S. businessman out of $2 million, intended to help Hurricane Irma victims in the British Virgin Islands.

The victim of the scam told Branson they had received an email a person claiming to be his assistant and asking to arrange a phone call with him.

On making the call, the businessman said the conman did a very accurate impression of the Virgin boss, spinning a story about Branson needing a loan towards mobilizing aid for the Irma victims in the British Virgin Islands. As reported by BVI News, the scammer claimed he (as Branson) was lacking communications due to the storm and couldn’t contact his bank, adding that all he could do was handle a satellite call with the businessman in question.The con man said he needed to borrow $2 million on a three-week repayment basis.

Branson said the victim was extremely gracious and handed over the $2 million without question, which then disappeared.

It was only when the scam victim called Branson some weeks later that he found out the truth. The person asked Branson when he would be paying back the loan, while Branson had no idea what they were talking about.

Huge rise in online scams and cons

The Virgin boss went on to speak about a huge rise in online scams, asking people to watch out for them and to report any they spot. However, he did add that it isn’t just on the internet, as scammers are targeting people over the phone and even face to face.