Exploring & exposing the Instagram scam “Influencer” accounts

I got the idea for this post when I posted a new picture on my Instagram and within seconds I received a pretty standard spam comment “Hey lovely we were scrolling through and think you’re absolutely gorgeous 😍 Dm us we’d love to collab!✨”. These comments wind me and the majority of other bloggers that I’ve spoken to about this up. Most of these comments appear within seconds or minutes of you uploading and tend to be quite generic.

I get comments like these on SO MANY of my posts and have in the past reached out to find out some more info, but thought I’d share some of the responses I received. You might wonder why I’ve titled this post “exploring and exposing” and if you’ve not come across these kinds of accounts, you’ll not be familiar with them or understand why they’re exploiting people, but I’m here today to explain how and why.

Basically, they’re Instagram accounts that look for accounts to “collaborate” with, but don’t want to do so in the traditional sense.

In the blogger world, a collaboration is a company sending goods in exchange for exposure on your social media channels – I’ve done a few of these and am happy with how these have worked out. For these other companies, they are looking for the “influencer” (not a fan of that term, but we’ll roll with it) to purchase one of their items at a “discounted price” or for postage, who will then be supplied with a discount code to share on their social media channels once the item arrives. Once they share their photo on Instagram, the idea is your content will be shared on the main account for more exposure.

View this post on Instagram

This ones slightly overexposed due to the blaring sunshine in London this morning! It’s been an overwhelming, emotional and happy day today – I went to see the specialist in London about my leg tremble and finally after over a decade have a diagnosis! I’ve got some more tests to be done, but having the validation that I’m not mental has made this a brilliant day for me. I’m going to writing a full post on the blog about it as it’s not something you can explain in a caption, so make sure to stay tuned for that! #balmainsunglasses #clarks #petitegirl #petitefashionblogger #petitefashion #petiteblogger #missselfridge #missselfridgejeans #hmblazer #hmstyle #hm #michaelkorsbag #balmain #clarksboots #ukfashionblogger #stylebloggeruk #ukstyleblogger #fashionbloggeruk

A post shared by TheFashionFauxPasOfGabrielle (@gabrielleannealbon) on

This isn’t a real way of collaborating with a brand and not something I’m going to be throwing my money at (especially as I’m quite sure that these companies aren’t ethical or environmentally friendly) – however I did reach out to a few. The crux of it is; they’re conning people into buying their products with fake promises and shitty products. As a helpful guide for anyone that’s thinking of getting involved with these companies, I’ve put together a list of a couple of things you should know about collaborating with brands;

  • You should NEVER have to pay a fee to become an affiliate
  • You should NEVER have to pay upfront postage (unless you need to return a product to a company for whatever reason) for products
  • You shouldn’t NEVER have to pay for products if you’re a brand ambassador

I’ve screenshotted a couple of the sites I was directed to after enquiring with the main account (most of the comments come from smaller accounts with around 4-5 posts and a couple of thousand followers – can I get a “bot account” call?!);

BIG promises right?! I’ve listed a few of the regular commenters below and linked on to some stories from other people that have had first hand experience with them;

Let me know in the comments below if you’ve had any experiences with brands like these and how it was! I know I won’t be parting with my cash, that’s for sure!

Until Next Time

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4 thoughts on “Exploring & exposing the Instagram scam “Influencer” accounts

  1. I can not stand these Instagram accounts. I get a comment like this at least once every post. If not then a DM with some shitty scheme to ‘Collab’
    lol blocked, byeeeeeeeeee!

    I feel for this once when I first started blogging because I thought it was genuine! I was offered a 30% discount on a set of brushes to ‘promote’ Stupidly spent £19 on a brush set I never actually wanted or needed. Funnily enough, I never got reposted or contacted again after that.

    Liked by 1 person

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