More followers = More Money
Growing on Instagram and flaunting a thousand followers has always mesmerized the youngsters. Some people do it organically and some buy followers from unauthorized sources like some applications and websites. Some people often buy followers from random people on Instagram and Facebook too.
These activities have become common ever since the boom in influencer marketing. But this never has been legal and safe. There is a 90% chance of losing money to fraudsters and scammers or the worst - Accounts getting blocked or reported forever!
Paid 400 to get 0 Followers!
Adrija Mitra, a lady from Kolkata became a victim of one such scam. One fine morning while scrolling through her Facebook timeline, Adrija saw a post by a random guy named Aryan Padap. What caught her attention was that he claimed to increase followers on Facebook and Instagram and charged a very nominal amount for that in return.
Adrija pinged him immediately and asked him to tell her more about how he worked. He replied with all the requested information and also quoted the price of a certain amount of followers. Adrija was convinced until he started talking about money and deposits.
Payment over everything
Throughout the conversation, Aryan kept asking Adrija for the money while she was interested in knowing more because she had never seen somebody selling followers at such a cheap price. He even tried to trap her by quoting about all his previous customers and how he helped them grow on Instagram.
Aryan kept on insisting on the payment and Adrija, still unconvinced decided to take a risk and deposited a sum of rupees 400 in his account. She even shared her bank details with him through a screenshot.
She sent him a screenshot and patiently waited for her followers to grow. The next morning she woke up only to see that Aaryan had blocked her after checking the screenshot she sent. She tried messaging him through some other accounts but it did not work.
She had hopes and kept waiting for a few days for Aryan to message her but she never heard from him again. She took to Facebook to share her story in a group where she got a lot of responses from people who were scammed in the same way.
Blinded by the LIGHTS OF FAME!
Everybody wants to grow on Instagram and become an influencer to earn money. But the light of success should never blind people to an extent that they end up losing money to fraudsters.
What happened with Adrija could have been avoided if she was aware enough of the frauds happening around. But what should have been done?
What can be done?
- Firstly, buying followers on Instagram is unethical and should not be practiced.
- A way out of this problem could have been - paying through Vouch. In that case, on not getting the followers, Adrija could have got a refund.
- Think thrice before you share your bank details with strangers on the internet.
This is Fraud Chronicle#13. Check back here for more fraud chronicles and frauds that you can protect yourself from.
Safety is not just about protecting your credit or debit card number. It's about getting paid for your hard work!
Note: This is a good-faith initiative to educate the world about how to avoid frauds like these. Do you have a fraud that you would like to report? Please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org