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The free trip to Indonesia becomes a nightmare: Digital: Wild Wide Web

The bad languages ​​would probably have started the story this way: for a long time it seems that the influencers were the great fraudsters of the 21st century. But now it seems that the wonderful lifestyle gurus are active Instagram more and more victims of their search for likes and holidays for free.

Influencer activity is usually managed in this way for an uninitiated: someone who is handsome, athletic or traveling and has a number of social media fans receive products and / or money from a company for advertise these products. This can be just about anything from nail polish to living in an exotic luxury resort. In the past, this has best led to fun photos or even successful advertising campaigns, at worst for envy or resentment.

But now the stories of increasingly insecure influencers are multiplying, calling attention to the real scammers. The story of Carley Rudd and Henry Wu tells of a so elaborate Blöff that you almost want to pay tribute to the heads behind it. Both were contacted by a person who pretended to be Wendi Murdoch. The alleged business woman and former wife of Rupert Murdoch invited more than a hundred photographers and instagrammers to Indonesia and Malaysia.

$ 1400 for a photographer's license

Interesting in this case: the victims describe the fraud as almost perfect – everything seemed real. The e-mails, the confidentiality agreement, the briefings, even the phone calls. The Instagrammern was promised a payment and reimbursement of all travel expenses. But then it became fast enough.

"I feel abused, naive and humiliated."Victim of fraud Carley Rudd

The day before departure, Rudd, one of the victims, learns that he should pay $ 1400 for a photographer's license. What worried her was only the first point in a series of disagreements that had to occur. The driver stops at a repair shop to deliver the $ 1,400 and is no longer able to find the next day, and the photographer has to break through with her husband traveling. In the middle, there are regular calls from the alleged Mrs. Murdoch and her assistant, who serve under pressure on Rudd. In the end, the contact with the wrong Wendi and her assistant had completely stopped: the young American woman had been betrayed. On his blog, he says, "I feel abused, naive and humiliated".

Was this photo taken during the journey of horror? Indonesia from its beautiful side.

Incidentally, Henry Wu, who also describes on his website how he became a victim of criminals, refers to a report by "Hollywood Reporter" last summer. Apparently, freelancers in the media industry have been playing with this scam for quite some time.

Henry Wu also takes care of the theft on his Instagram account – with a nice picture, of course

Others who have tried to milter influencers have already had to pay for this: the American businessman Billy McFarland and rapper Ja Rule had decided to organize a luxury festival on the island of Great Exuma in the Bahamas. He referred in particular to the influencers with the promise of fine dining, a luxurious lifestyle and musical performances, and attracted them with names like Kendall Jenner or Bella Hadid. Festival visitors paid the amounts in the four-digit dollar range for tickets and found on-site instead of noble huts and star-shaped kitchen curtains and sandwiches. The prowess led to several charges and ended in October for McFarland with a severe court ruling: he was jailed for six years and reimbursed the stolen 26 million dollars.

$ 500 for cheap shoes

A little more harmless are the fashion influencers who have been fed up with a shoe retailer at the end of last year: the Payless brand, which sells cheap shoes in the United States, has opened a fake luxury store in Los Angeles , probably as a publicity stunt offered their cheap shoes for several hundred dollars. Some of the influencers who had been invited in a special way got busy – at the end of the "social experiment", as the company called it, they recovered their money and were allowed to keep their shoes.

The persistent influx of influencers also requires less intent contemporaries – in a sector that does not yet have fixed rules and reliably measurable numbers, it is not surprising. Sometimes, as the story of Rudd and Wu shows, financial damage occurs here. All those who love to make fun of influencers, joy remains. (Tamedia editors)

Created on: 18.01.2019, 16:32 clock

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