Date: 12/16/18
Synopsis: It has been a while since I’ve posted a writing publically beyond teaching in a while. Well, recently I’ve experience an interesting new turn in Social Media. Yes, I’ve played with fire, and gained more valuable information that I would like to pass on to all people who are Social Media fanatics. There are clear signs of fakers, cat fishers, scammers, and fraudulent pretenders. Just remember, there is a blue verified check mark for a purpose and reason.

 

Background:
Recently, I’ve gotten back into country music. I listen to a lot of music and have found a few artists. I’ve been on Social Media for 15 years in January since the first original Facebook platform.  What I am writing about is a new experience that I had not experienced. Social Media scammers, fakers, and cat fishers. So, this comes from an angle of research, reliance on others, and getting to know the person who is being ‘faked’.

The Story:

My experience started when I denied a Nigerian kid money.  I proposed many different solutions to his ‘problem’. However, all he ever did was demand money from me to solve his problem. First of all, I am not someone who tosses money to people. I have found that it appeases one’s conscience and creates monsters out of people who do nothing to earn that money. From my work with homelessness, and poverty, I have learned to provide alternative solutions to the problem.  So secondly, I know that when they deny assistance or refused to use what is given, they are not in need of assistance, they’re greedy and want free money.  So, this kid believed he could con me out of money…

Why did I mention country music? Because I like Chris Young, and recently really started to like his music.  A few of my favorites are Aw Naw, Heartbeat, and his entire Christmas album.  However, I am not some ‘groupie’ desperate for attention. I didn’t even follow Chris Young until a faker and scammer started following me. That led me to wonder who is this person, so I followed the verified account on Instagram and Twitter. So, I do say thank you to the scammer for leading me to follow a great guy on social media.

This inkling of mine led me to research and find information about Chris Young. I read news articles, listened to interviews, and just found out more about the man behind the music. Not to obsess, but to prevent this scammer. I found, that just like me, Chris despises the scammers and fakes who are trying to use his identity.  But then I decided to make one comment on one photo that Chris had posted…and chaos ensued. In one work week, I had 150 fake accounts on Instagram and about 35 on Twitter follow me. From just commenting or liking Chris’ photos and videos from his tour! Good grief, no wonder he hates them. But what saddened me the most were those fans who believed the fakers and scammers over the blue verified account.

So, I took to social media to ask fans to be more thoughtful, and recognize the blue check mark as the only legitimate account. Chris has done this himself from several different outlets and media publications that I thought maybe a fan’s perspective will help. Nope. Nada. Just more scammers and fakers following me. I just wish people would believe the celebrity when they warn them not to take heed to the fake accounts. So, now, I am writing a blog.

Listen, I’m not some famous person. I’m just a first-grade teacher in Washington state. I’m not some ‘big deal’ and I have no desire to be a ‘big deal’. I want to do what is right and kind.  But I am scientific minded, and need proof before I believe. On top of that, I have been hurt by online dating and other people on line. I am a soft-hearted person, but I have grown walls up to keep from being hurt, as wisdom or prudence have made necessity. Thus, when I am suddenly followed by a famous person after blocking a Nigerian kid, I become fully alert and suspicious of their activities. Below are some helpful tips to keep yourself safe and enjoying life.

  • Trust the Blue Check Mark, block and report all others as inappropriate accounts based upon impersonation or spam.

Social Media has been dealing with this problem for a long time. The Blue Verified Checkmark tell us that this person is the real deal.  The fact so many fans still follow and believe nonverified accounts makes me loath them. They’re the reason these people think they’re so great. They’re giving them what they want: attention, money, and feeding them power.

  • Research the personality of the celebrity.

I did my research, and I am not an expert because I haven’t met the man directly, but I know enough to know the difference between a scammer and a fake. Plus, I am musically and artistically inclined. So, I recognize tonal differences and personality differences.

  • Know the signs of a scammer.
    1. Scammers seek attention, power, and money.
    2. When confronted they come up with cheap lies and half-truths.
    3. They know as much as you.
    4. Language differences. Most nonnative English speakers drop the pronouns I and me. Watch out for that.
    5. They all use copy and paste very well. And they’re good at cropping, editing, and altering public photos.
    6. They’re good liars and cheats. Learn to be wary of things too good to be true.
    7. When their goal is not fulfilled they have two reactions:
      1. Belligerent anger and rage that is abusive.
      2. Overly and overtly romantic language that implies a nonexistent relationship They waffle back and forth between these personas easily and try to manipulate the target.
    8. It’s a game to them, so play wisely and demand physical proof.

Scammer will not be able to meet you directly. They will always fail to hold their word of meeting up. And if you do get a photo of them and post it to the verified account so they can take legal action. But believe me, no scammer will ever meet up. They’d lose everything they’re trying to manipulate for.

  • Remember you’re not alone. Know you’re self. Do not go past your own set boundaries. Do not let your emotions get the better of you, that’s what they want.

I have my own way of dealing with things, but I talk to my mother who is my best friend. IF she feels unsettled, then it is a fake. She is also someone who is an editor for a scientific magazine. She uses a detector to spot altered and photo shopped photos. If you need someone like that, please let me know. I’ll be glad to get you help investigating.  I had my limits, and I did not ever go past them. I never promised them I’d love them. I never said I love you to the scammer. I never promised a date. And I never promised anything. All I ever said was: It will be determined upon meeting face to face. I stood by my demand for proof, and did not sway. NEVER GIVE IN. Don’t let loneliness dictate to you the desperation for conversation or attention from someone else.

 

  • Change your social media profile pictures. Your face attracts them, do something else. I am currently use my photos that are Christmassy or something I’ve painted or illustrated. It has kept most of them at bay, and only a few daring requests. ALWAYS BLOCK and REPORT them when they do.
  • And like always, never give them your personal information. If the scammers are asking you for money, credit card information, address information, email or anything like that do not give it to them. Everyone says it all the time, because it’s a risky business to give the information. People can have their identities stolen, paycheck redirect deposited to other accounts etc. You have to protect yourself.
  • BE SUSPCIOUS! Do not trust people at word level only. Words without deed or action are just words. Even if they say I love you. Their actions will dictate that they really do. Remember that always. There are signs, even online that are telltale of liars, and scammers are most definitely that.

Remember, the internet is not the most reliable place to meet people. It has made the area of relationships more grey than black and white. The fact that anyone can pose as anyone makes this world ultimately an environment rich for fakes, liars, and cheaters. No matter if they’re famous or not. You must ultimately protect yourself. Do not isolate yourself. Include others into your ‘interested’ party. Also, trust the blue check mark on celebrity profiles, and if it is missing report that account. You’re stopping the problem, and helping to make it harder for the scammers, fakes, and frauds to con others. As you take care of yourself, you’re helping others. Being skeptical, or suspicious is not a bad thing. It’s good to be guarded, and protective of yourself. And if you’re reporting non-verified account label them as spam/suspicious because that alerts the Social Media site to possible fraud.  This kind of behavior impacts people on so many levels.

So what happened with the scammers after following Chris Young? After using the above steps, I’ve lessened the quantity of followers that are false accounts. I only get 1 or 2 now when I comment or like his photos and videos on IG or Twitter. However, in the long term, there are still fans out there that are feeding these people. It makes me sad for them and Chris because it hurts the fan emotionally, and hurts Chris’ reputation. As many famous people have to struggle with this, it seems as though he’s got it worst because he’s such an open honest guy. Beware that your trust and feeding of a scammer will make them harder to stop. And so many people desire to be famous or seek attention, that being a scammer/faker is easiest way to get money, attention and gain some influence.  The scandal with the kid has stopped, but there are still many more fakers and scammers trying to be Chris Young. I honestly feel like we, as humans, need to respect each other, famous or not. Every person’s actions have intended and unintended consequences. Famous folks are still people, and deserve to be respected and have their reputation unblemished as much as possible because the public eye is always on them. And let’s be honest, how many of you really think that the person you’re talking to is legitimately the famous person? Doesn’t also show a sign in us a person that we crave that attention as well. But in order for things like this to stop, people need to be more skeptical about online interactions.

And a side note, Chris Young also hate the fakes and scammers a lot. If you’re a true fan, respect this and stop them by just following and interacting with the verified account or Porter’s IG. You can trust those are really Chris. Same goes for ANY famous person.

In conclusion, as we go into the holiday season, and loneliness can become more powerful, remember to not trust non-verified accounts and go with your gut in suspicions. Report all suspicious and fraudulent accounts. Help make social media less grey.



Dear Chris,

If you’re reading this, I just wanted to let you know that I don’t blame you for the scammers. I think you’re truly an amazing guy, which is partially why I am so easily perturbed by these scammers and fakes. But I also appreciate your standing up for your fans.  Thank you for being yourself, and being honest. I am so sorry that you’ve got to deal with a bunch of people taking your identity and misleading your fans. But the fans are also responsible for this epidemic of fakes and scammers in your name. Please remember you’re wonderful! I wish I could meet you in person, and get to know you. But, I’m afraid that seems like a groupie and that’s not me. I’ve grown up knowing and understanding that people with fame and fortune are human as well. I don’t see them as particularly different from me, but circumstance and chance have favored them in different areas.  I hope you have continued success and continue to be that warm-hearted man.  I feel like our stories are similar, and we should talk sometime if you’re ever down for a cup of coffee and cake in the PNW. And yes I really do teach first-grade. May your have a very merry Christmas, and a blessed and happy New Year.
Yours Truly,

 

Rachael Davis

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