April 28, 2021 8:28 AM   Subscribe

I get moderately frequent comments on my instagram posts (mostly from fashion brands/sites I've never heard of) asking for me to collaborate. Some of these have a decent follower count (100k+), so they aren't throwaway accounts. But I only have somewhat under 500 followers, so it feels like these are likely some sort of scams. Does anyone have first-hand experience with/knowledge of these they're willing to share? (My instagram is linked on my profile if that helps)
posted by Tabitha Someday to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
Best answer: They want you to sign up as an "ambassador" where you'll get a small discount off their shoddy merch and have a personalized discount code to share with other people and you'll potentially get a small percent of those sales. Not quite an MLM but it's a way to get sales from people who probably wouldn't look twice at their wares otherwise. Oh, and you'll be encouraged to post with what you bought from them, providing them with some free advertising.
posted by Fuego at 8:56 AM on April 28 [10 favorites]

Yeah, I think their actual ad money is probably going to buying followers (literally- I learned about this from
the HBO doc Fake Famous) to lend them credibility, and so they can then leverage that following to convince legitimate people to promote them for free.
posted by moonbeam at 9:00 AM on April 28 [1 favorite]

I would agree with Fuego. If you google the brands/sites, do they seem even vaguely legit, or are they essentially fronts for fast fashion/resellers? You're really good at taking clear, good pictures, both of your face and full-body, and you use tags really well, so perhaps that helped. Or (maybe more likely) they're just doing a spray-and-pray, and messaging *everyone* who uses a certain tag or something.
posted by kalimac at 9:00 AM on April 28 [2 favorites]

Fuego’s right. I’ve gotten these for my pup’s modest account, and they send you a flattering spam message asking you to buy their dog sweaters etc at a discount and post the pics in exchange for a repost on their insta. Little do they know that my dog is a committed nudie who will stare you down with sheer contempt if you so much as tie a colorful bandanna on her.

I always just delete them.
posted by mochapickle at 9:27 AM on April 28 [5 favorites]

Hi, please do marketing for us in exchange for a small discount on our overpriced crap.
posted by theora55 at 9:34 AM on April 28 [3 favorites]

If you use similar hashtags often then these pages pop up and spam via bots that search those hashtags. I block and report all of them. (There’s one Alternative brand that I swear has created hundreds of accounts.) You can also go into your settings and there should be an area to restrict comments with certain words. (Settings - privacy - comments - manual filters) I have common spam phrases like “colab, want followers, and check my page”. It helps cut down the spam comments.

But yeah they may or may not be a legitimate company that wants you to work to spam others or talk about the brand in exchange for a pittance of crappy merchandise or discount. (Discount still means you would have the honor of paying THEM to do work for them.) Their followers may also be fake.
posted by Crystalinne at 2:05 PM on April 28

Oh and since we are on the topic - a similar scam is “we would love to feature you on our page! DM us for more!” And it’s an account with a ton of followers (but little interaction because their followers are fake) and they want you to pay money for them to post your content.
posted by Crystalinne at 2:09 PM on April 28

I always report as spam, delete, and block these accounts.
posted by MexicanYenta at 2:44 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]

It's not a scam, and it's not an MLM, it's just affiliate marketing.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:36 AM on April 29

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