About a month or so ago — I got this agency invite to a popular influencer/up-and-coming group of young 20 somethings working their way into Hollywood. In the midst of that, someone dropped a link to an “influencer marketing service” I had never quite heard of. That resulted in the curious journalist in me to investigate the link to find out if it was actually real or a very intricate scam.
First and foremost, I’d like to start out by saying this. The site markets itself for influencers established or not. I am already somewhat an established influencer with a large Twitter following and an even larger newspaper following. But what I discovered in the payment section of the site indicated something a little more sinister.
First. All I did, in the beginning, was sign-up as instructed and it seemed fine for a few days. I shared my links in this very newspaper; on my Twitter (where I have tens of thousands of followers), and on my Instagram where I have almost 10k followers. You could say attracting attention to something is a fairly easy task using my social media pages. Within hours according to their website, I clocked in clicks; referrals, and the like worth hundreds of supposed dollars.
By the 3rd day, I suspected that something was wrong because they then tried to. require me to sign up for those pay-style scam sites that offer gift cards out of the blue.
A look at their “Task Wall” where they require users to sign up for various different so-called “gift cards”. I’m here to tell you this is the biggest part of the scam. They’re collecting your data and selling it to third parties. I used a dummy phone number to test it out — and have been getting text messages from all sorts of people and scammers. None of these “deals” are accurate. Weirdly enough, they’re eerily similar to literal pyramid schemes.
This is where the scam began to unravel. In order to get the “first payout”, users must complete at least two of these so-called offers and then a number of referrals; and a number of clicks. With the number of loyal readers and followers, I have online — it didn’t take long at all to hit the required number for cash out.
I didn’t even realize I had hit the required cash out a second time. I logged in again tonight for the first time in a few weeks after having left it alone to see what happened. Weirdly enough, I got flagged for alleged fraud when all I did was exactly as they told me to do — share the links and refer my friends.
So after the discovery, I did a little digging to try and find an apparent customer service point of contact. That journey in itself had me feeling pretty nostalgic considering I haven’t used Skype in years (not since Whatsapp took off!.) As you can see in the next screenshot, an alleged woman named Jenny is my “account manager” and asks people to contact her by Skype for faster service.
Altogether, I would recommend avoiding this website all together. I’m getting strong Russian/European scam vibes from this and I wouldn’t be surprised if it later came out that that is actually the case. Their WHOIS information for the website is hidden, although I’m currently trying to unseal at least some kind of information about these people.
Do not under any circumstances provide Influencercash.co your information; phone numbers, social handles, payment info etc. This is not a drill.