TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Scammers are preying on people's vanity and charitable hearts through a social media influencer ruse.
Here's how the scam works, according the the Better Business Bureau. Someone will message you on Instagram claiming to be with a charity. They'll ask you if you'd like to be a model or brand ambassador to promote the charity. Then, the person will send you what they claim is a discount code for a product they'd like you to wear for the promotion. They say the money from the sale also benefits the charity. Even with the discount code the price is high but you think it's for a good cause so you buy it anyway.
Better Business Bureau President and CEO Tim Maniscalo says, "You pay your money and nothing ever comes. So this is kind of playing of people's vanities, you know, saying, 'Hey, I want to be a Instagram influencer, I want to be a model for this brand and it's going to a charity, what a good thing to be doing on there, I could be famous and then also helping a charity.' You pay your money, you don't get anything."
To avoid this scam consider why someone would ask you to do this. Ask questions about the charity and do your research. The social media account contacting you could be fake or spoofing a real charity.
Remember to report issues to social media companies. You can also report them using the BBB's Scam Tracker.