More About Safety on Facebook – Fashion Scam

It was only two days ago when I published a post about online safety. What do you think happened to me today? Scam! Clever and convincing – but nevertheless scam. So here I was, confidently giving other bloggers online safety advice – and two days later I fell for it myself. Must have jinxed it.

The good news is that this time no one tried to hack my account. Which in itself is a relief. There was no harm done either. Thanks god for that.

So, to the point. As mentioned the other day, I have lately been receiving a fair number of (random) friend requests on Facebook. Amongst those was a friend request from someone who got my interest immediately. A fashion designer. Quickly referring to the mighty power of Google, I found out that he is a high end fashion designer – quite famous, apparently. Wow. Friend request accepted. This is how dreams come true, isn’t it: maybe I have been spotted??

Ha ha.

scam

In my defense, I must say that I am not that naive. My blog is followed by a few (genuine!) fashion brands. I have also received a few productive partnership proposals so far, and none of them were scam. More about this – in good time, but two companies manufacturing tall fashion products have been in touch with me regarding reviews of their shoes and clothes. They are serious businesses and I do trust them.

So why did I fall for today’s scam? I can tell you why. Those of you who have seen ‘The X-Files’ will know what I mean by saying that I want to believe. Yes, it is too good to be true. But who knows, it may actually be genuine?? No harm trying to find out, is it!

Today, trying to popularise my blog (as I do), I posted some links on various tall women/fashion groups. I decided to post a link on this designer’s timeline, too. Minutes later he messaged me: ‘OK, how tall are you?’ Obviously caught his attention, I thought, and happily replied. I, then, decided to dare and ask how he’d found me. I was told that he has a team of people whose job is to look for plus size and tall women to be their models. This is how I was introduced to him, so he added me on Facebook. So far sounds logical – do you agree? I quickly browsed their page, and yes, there were a few photos of plus size models there, so all tied up.

He then went on to ask about my measurements. Nothing too personal, I thought, so happily replied. Then he asked if I could do a Skype interview, like, there and then. Hm – a bit too keen. I couldn’t, but he accepted my suggestion to do it in half an hour. Someone called Dave was going to interview me on his behalf. Which, again, seemed logical, as the boss wouldn’t get involved in interviewing, would he. I was still puzzled: what do they want to interview me for?? After all, I am the blogger, so would make more sense for me to interview them.

The answer was beyond my expectations. They wanted to see if I could be a model for them. Oh wow. Feeling my growing power, I decided to confront him a bit further: they are an American company, while I am based in the UK, so what modelling are we talking about?! The answer was that I would be a home model: I wouldn’t have to move; their team would come to me to do the shoots of me wearing their clothes, which would then be published in magazines and websites.

I know: too good to be true.

So we exchanged Skype ID’s and he did ring me at the said time.

Before that, suspicious like hell, I quickly gathered my Facebook council. Two of my friends with fashion experience helped with advice. I was assured that such a thing as home modelling does actually exist, but it pays less than ‘regular’ modelling (as if I would hope for high rates, anyway).

The most important advice, though, was to trust my instinct. Which, I must say, told me something smelled a bit fishy. I couldn’t put my finger on it – but, remember: I wanted to believe. I still do, actually. Not because I madly want to be a model. Who am I kidding, at the age of 40+ there is no such thing as starting a modelling career. I am not that naive, remember. But I do tend to trust people a bit more than I should.

As it happens, there were some technical issues with Skype, so we agreed to repeat this in the evening when I got home. The person I saw on Skype did look like the designer himself (so it wasn’t that Dave guy, after all). And all he wanted me to do was stand by the door – obviously to see how tall I really was. So I’ll give him that, there was nothing offensive or rude. I decided it was all good. I wanted to believe.

Until an hour later I checked my messages again – to find that this user no longer existed. Most of his messages were removed, as apparently had been ‘identified as abusive or marked as spam’. So the Big Brother had been watching again, Facebook protected me. Oddly enough, it didn’t protect me from men sending me photos of their intimate parts – but protected me from innocent messages asking my measures! The messages have been removed temporarily until the sender’s account can be verified.

Boom.

So, here I was in a dilemma: to pretend I didn’t notice this and still do the interview, or to try and find out what the hell was happening. A typical Scorpio, I don’t do patience, so decided to drop him a quick message on Skype: ‘Did you deactivate your Facebook account, by any chance?’ To which he, actually, replied: ‘Too many botherings’.

This is where the story ends. I did decide to go through with it and turn Skype on after work. Who knows, after all, it may all be a genuine partnership request. I was actually late for the appointment (about 8 minutes). He didn’t respond to me. He didn’t respond to a message I sent him half an hour later. I decided not to ring him either – why ask for trouble…

I am still baffled. What the hell was this? Why would you come up with such a strange type of scam? A weirdo who lures women into modelling career hopes, so he can get them undressed on Skype? This is all I can think of.

Strangely, though, he is still on my Skype – and hasn’t been any trouble at all. Could there be a chance he is genuine? Or do I just want to believe??

30 comments

  1. This was clearly a well thought out plan/ con. Only him knows what he was after! I have never come across this sort of thing before but one thing I do know is that designers are way too busy to conduct interviews on a whim! Probably a guy that likes looking at tall women! Count yourself lucky that it wasn’t more than it was! Always trust your instincts, They never lie!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If you do the interview I don’t think it would hurt to ask why the facebook profile has been suspended. Do you have your real name on your skype profile though? I know in your last post were talking about privacy. It may be too late for him but it could be something to alter since you don’t want your personal info out there.

    Liked by 2 people

    • This is a good point actually, thank you! I do keep my Skype totally private, so have no concerns there. But if it turns out he is genuine and we do the interview, I’ll definitely be upfront about the removed messages. Thanks for reading my posts so carefully, much appreciated!

      Like

  3. This whole scenario has my “danger” radar sounding like mad, but it sounds like you are questioning the situation enough to exercise caution. Take care, and trust your instincts. if it seems off then it’s best to leave it for a better opportunity.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, that’s right. I guess sometimes it is easier to judge a situation from the outside than being in it… But I managed to stay out of trouble, so only damage left was wasted time and emotions.

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  4. Well, if his profile has been suspended, that means he was doing something suspicious, doesn’t necessarily has to be to you Angie, may be he starts always in a nice and convincing way, then he reveals his real intentions later!! then people report him or block him, or why his account was suspended?
    I like that you give things a try as long as there is no risk or danger, that is a positive spirit. Many people lake this way of thinking.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sounds weird,, but it also sounds like we all need to remind ourselves of the difference between being fished by weirdos–which leaves us with a creepy, nasty feeling, and which I’m not at all dismissing–and danger, which is a whole other level of problem. Sounds creepy but not dangerous.

    Thanks for posting this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I agree. Just a waste of time, really. Worth giving his Skype ID to the real designer maybe, to make them aware that someone is representing himself as their company… Not worth my time though.

      Like

  6. I agree with the “go with your gut” remarks and the “creepy but not dangerous.” However, creepy sometimes does turn into dangerous, and there are a lot of weirdos out there. I’d just forget the whole thing, if I were you, and delete him from your Skype. What sounds too good to be true usually is neither good nor true…..

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for your post..it sometimes feels as if the whole internet has become the “bad part of town”…some days I feel safer walking through San Francisco’s Tenderloin District then I do logging into my email..:)

    Liked by 1 person

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