I don’t know what it is about my Instagram account, but I seem to attract a lot of scam artists. I suspect it may be due to the fact that I’m too nice. When someone follows me (Doesn’t matter who) I always follow back. This means, I probably have a fair amount of scam accounts following me that I follow back.. I’m probably on a list somewhere for scammers to look through so they know who to follow.
What kind of scams do I see? well..
. The Bitcoin guys who try to get me to invest
. Profiles (Usually with no pictures or even a profile picture) that sends me a message asking for my PayPal email so they can send me $1000.
. Someone claiming to be a member of the Illuminati who will ask me to pay $10,000 to join this society so I can learn top secrets on how to become a billionaire.
. The guy from an African country who has lost his wife and has to take care of his daughter (Sometimes son) all by himself and needs money for food or to pay a medical bill for his daughter. This one usually tries to befriend you first, maybe even flirt with you so that he can earn your trust.
. Finally, there’s the worst one of all! the one who pretends to be someone you already follow and know fairly well (In an online setting)
For me, the latter usually poses as a Tarot reader I already follow and they ask me if I want a reading. They of course want me to send $30 – $40. I got one of these recently. They had the exact same name as the genuine profile but they’d added an underscore at the end.
When I visited the scam account, they had all of the same pictures, only they had all been added that very day rather than one each day like the genuine profile. They hadn’t used any hashtags on the pictures.. because they don’t really care about getting likes. They had the same Instagram bio and the same profile picture as the original genuine account.
As soon as I saw all that, I knew it was a scam, but instead of doing the usual and blocking them and then reporting them. I decided to test this person out a bit.
“Yeah sure, I’ll have a reading.” I said. I noticed how quickly the person then began typing.
“Thank you love, please make a small donation to my paypal and I’ll begin.” she replied.. By the way, if a Tarot reader ever messages you and uses words like ‘Grand Rising to you’ or refers to you as ‘Love’ or ‘Dear’ then it’s probably a scam.
“How much should I send you?” I asked
“Usually people donate $30 – $40 anything will do my love.”
“Before I pay, I’d like to know what Tarot spread you intend to use and which deck you’ll use for the reading” I replied
The scammer was suddenly stuck, she/he was no longer frantically rushing to reply, they’d read the message but obviously didn’t know how to respond… minutes went past so I started doing something else, but I periodically checked my phone to see if I’d got a reply.
Eventually, they replied after about 20 minutes. They’d sent me two pictures taken from the original account. Both pictures were of different Tarot cards, one was ‘The Hermit’ the other was ‘The Tower’ She then asked me which deck I’d like.
I thought this was an interesting way to get round their issue of not knowing anything about Tarot cards. With he/she taking such a long time, I wondered if maybe they’d contacted the head of this scam operation to find out how they should respond to my request. I’m assuming they couldn’t figure out the name of any Tarot decks (Even though a quick Google search would have given them plenty of names.) so they went with sending pictures instead.
I imagine this scammer was very pleased with themselves, rubbing their hands together in glee after they had successfully replied with what they thought was the best method to get me to part with my money…
The only issue was, the cards in the pictures were from the same Tarot deck. I can’t very well pick the deck I want, if the pictures are of cards from the same deck! This person had also failed to tell me what kind of reading I would receive (Love, career, general) and they still hadn’t told me what spread they’d use. I wouldn’t pay $40 for a one card reading for example.
I then had to ask ‘Do you ever successfully scam anyone? I mean you know nothing about Tarot cards. Your profile looks fake, I mean does it ever actually work on anyone?!’
I really wanted them to answer that question honestly. I wanted to know if anyone really did fall for it because even though I use Tarot cards daily and know a fair bit about it, in my experience, most of the customers I’ve had knew basic things about Tarot cards and readings too, and even though they very rarely asked what deck I would use, they always specified what type of reading they wanted and what they wanted it to be about.
I didn’t get an answer. They did what I probably should have done as soon as they messaged me, they blocked me.
In a way, I do regret bothering with this person, the amount of scam profiles following me has increased. I may not have fallen for the scam but I’m still on their list as someone who at least replies to the scammers. I’ve changed my tune though, I don’t just follow everyone back anymore. I even remove fake profiles from my followers list now.
It’s kinda sad that no matter what you do, you always have to be on your guard, looking out for people who want to do you harm, take advantage of you or fool you. It’s supposed to be easy to be nice, it requires less thought to be friendly, nice and polite.. but in this modern world of social media, being nice means putting a lot of effort into not being taken advantage of.