Talking to the Instagram scammer impersonating me

by admin
Talking to the Instagram scammer impersonating me

I’m not including all the screenshots of the conversation here — it’s long — but the fake me, obviously eager for that $100 payment, says things like “I really thought you were all set” and “You guys need to be professionals. ” It sucks! I feel sorry for anyone who got their hopes up and was let down, and I also feel sorry for anyone who assumed that was how the music press worked. Is not! The music press can be screwed, but it’s not that screwed up. (Pro tip: If you see me calling someone “bro,” it’s not me I tried using “bro” a few times, if only because that term now oddly seems less gendered than “dude” or “guy,” but it sounded unnatural, so I stopped.)

I have reported this fake account on Instagram several times and nothing has come of it. My colleagues have also reported it. I don’t know how common these types of scammers are on Instagram, but apparently it’s very difficult to get in touch with someone from the company to stop their activity. I’m also applying for a verified account, which feels ridiculous when I don’t actually post on the platform. (Maybe I should start? I really don’t want to start posting crap on Instagram again. I already spend enough time looking at screens.)

People have used my name online before. Such things happen when you are only the tiniest part of a public figure. When I wrote some angry stuff about BTS Army and chart manipulation a few years ago, I got a barrage of angry tweets from fans, and I’m pretty sure someone started a Twitter called “Tom Breihan Sucks” or something. It didn’t last long. But this fake version of me amassed several thousand followers, including my friend and fellow music journalist Mark Hogan. (Hi Mark!) Looking now, most of these followers are probably bots or scammers themselves, but the thing it seems legal. Is not.

A few nights ago, when I couldn’t sleep, I tried something else. I DMed the fake me on Instagram saying, “You need to stop doing this shit.” I didn’t expect to get a response. Last night though, I saw I got a reply and spent a few minutes exchanging DMs with the fake me. (I could just post screenshots, but I think it’s funnier to format it as an interview.) Here’s the unedited conversation:

You need to stop doing this shit

FAKE ME: ok bro
i will stop

FAKE ME: I just need something from you

You gotta stop, asshole

Are you seriously trying to hit me for something?

FAKE ME: I need money for my school
If you can help I will stop

FAKE ME: But if not, I’ll keep going

FAKE ME: Even if this account gets banned, I will create another one and continue to use your profile

FAKE ME: Until you become wanted

While I’m what now?


FAKE ME: You know you get in trouble with people because of the boogie

FAKE ME: Make hate speech, man

(Note: In February 2020, I wrote a rap column titled “A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie Fucking Sucks.” I went back and read it again to see if I “made hate speech” there and I feel confident that I didn’t. It’s pretty scathing though.)

Is this for boogie? Jesus

FAKE ME: That wasn’t nice of you, man

Even more pathetic than I imagined

FAKE ME: Well I will continue to tarnish your reputation idc


Look at yourself

FAKE ME: I can stop if you want

I want you to think about who you are and what you want to do in the world

Who you want to be

If that’s what you really want to be then I’ll just keep trying to shut down your fake scammer accounts

But I feel sorry for you

FAKE ME: I can also get yours to turn off jsyk


FAKE ME: lol

Who is this anyway?

I’m just curious

FAKE ME: Someone you don’t know

Yes, no nonsense

FAKE ME: I am working on verifying my account soon
So you will be the fake one 😂😂

Okay, have a blessed day

FAKE ME: Ok my brother

FAKE ME: You should be happy that someone wants to be you

FAKE ME: I can find you artists to write about

Keep trying

I don’t hunt

FAKE ME: Whatever you say

FAKE ME: I make great money on your behalf

Strange things! It’s really weird having a conversation with someone impersonating you, with your own picture popping up next to their replies, and being told that you’re about to be your fake self.

Stereogum is a music website and this entire post is not about music. However, we hope this clears up some confusion about how this website works. Hopefully it clears up some confusion about how the rest of the music media works as well. I can’t imagine how hard it is to be a musician starting out with no connections, who doesn’t know how to break through the noise and get noticed. (Even when we do post things on this website, it can be hard to tell how much actually connects with someone.) But you shouldn’t pay writers, real or fake, who promise to write for you. You just have to keep making music and hope someone notices – someone other than this incredible bottom-feeding piece of parasitic shit.

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