Infographic | 4:41 min read

Understanding and Avoiding Influencer Scams  


Are your influencer dreams coming true or is this a security threat? Let’s find out!

With millions of followers interacting with their content, influencers have become modern-day celebrities, shaping trends, opinions, and consumer behavior. However, as the influence of these online personalities continues to grow, so does the prevalence of influencer scams.

Have you ever received a notification from a social media platform and found it’s from an account proposing you become a brand ambassador? Or perhaps you've gotten an offer to have a mural of yourself created after someone saw your “jaw dropping feed”? These are frequent alerts that influencers receive from scam accounts aiming to obtain their personal details and steal their financial information.

How Influencer Scams Work

Many scams will start out with a “recruiter” or “artist” reaching out to you, offering you something in order for you to promote their product. This could be free products from the brand, an all expenses paid trip, a commission code to share with your followers to make money off their purchases, and even a substantial amount of money. Their offer sounds amazing, and is almost always too good to be true. Becoming a brand ambassador or getting added to your favorite brand’s PR list sounds nice, and you may think this is your way into the influencer scene. However, if an account asks for your personal information and financial details early in the conversation, beware. This is a tactic scammers use to steal your information and disappear.

Messages from scammers can come in any form, but one might look like:

“We are launching our newest products and we noticed you have been a fan of our work and we have observed your profile. We will be sending you our free PR packages every month, this means you will get to show off our newest items completely free with no catch! , for the first delivery we will only cover for 70% of the delivery fee and you will cover for 30% of the delivery.

Please let us know if you’re interested in collaborating with. Kindly respond with your official. Name and country to proceed with your contract document.”

Notice the grammar errors and the charge for delivery!

Influencer scams graphic

Two common influencer scams are artist murals and portraits:

In the mural scam, you receive direct messages or comments from an 'artist' account expressing admiration for your content. This 'artist' feels inspired to create a mural featuring your images and offers good compensation for your collaboration. The portrait scam is very similar: an 'artist' floods your comments and messages with compliments, praising your artistic eye or beauty. They explain that they want to celebrate your platform by creating a portrait free of charge. In either scam, the account expresses such gratitude that they offer to compensate you for your images. To move forward, they request personal and banking information, but then they ghost you after obtaining what they want.

Here are some tips to help protect you:

  1. Never Give out Personal Information
    Many scams will start out by asking for further information, such as your full name, cell phone number, and even bank account number. They say they ask for these things in order to move on with the process and ensure they can pay you. However, their true intention is to scam you—or to possibly steal your identity and money! Never give away personal information without knowing its legitimacy status.
  2. Research the Company
    If you are debating whether or not someone reaching out to you is legitimate, research the company they claim to represent. Many times scammers will make up a fake company. A reputable brand or a famous person will never ask for your financial information immediately. A simple Google search, such as the company name followed by “legit” or “scam”, can help you determine if your offer is safe to continue on with.
  3. Contact the Supposed Company Directly
    Sometimes scammers will pretend to be from well known organizations or companies in order to seem more credible. They often create fake email addresses with the company's name in it to seem more legit. Remember if a well established company wants to work with you, professional communication is standard. Reputable brands will not send out messages containing misspelled words, run on sentences, or emails that feature crazy fonts. They also would not contact you solely through social media comments, and definitely not from an un affiliated account.  Scammers can be convincing, so contact the company's customer service to verify legitimacy. If it's a scam, share the scammer's information so the company can take necessary precautions.
  4. Check for Fake Followers
    Most scam accounts have a very uneven follow to following ratio. Since their platform is for fraud, they will not have many genuine followers, they will buy all their followers, or fake accounts will follow them. The amount of people they follow will be a very large list, because they try to follow as many people as possible in hopes they’ll get a follow back. Fake accounts will also have very few posts. If they do post, the content will most likely be all posted at the same time. Finally, check their comment section, likes, and tagged posts; they will have very low engagement. If there are comments, they are likely from other scam accounts often commenting the same thing.

If you receive any of these scam messages, it’s important to report them and block the account. Social media platforms make it easy to report accounts by providing a pop up notification when they believe fraudulent activity is being displayed. Additionally, if you think you may have given them too much information, change your passwords, as well as notify your bank and any other financial institutions you use.


The information provided in these articles is intended for informational purposes only. It is not to be construed as the opinion of Central Bancompany, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and does not imply endorsement or support of any of the mentioned information, products, services, or providers. All information presented is without any representation, guaranty, or warranty regarding the accuracy, relevance, or completeness of the information.