New Year, Same Scammers: What to Know About Fake Complex Accounts

If you spot a fake, report it. Don't get got.

Image via Getty

Typically, I’d start an article like this with a long and arguably convoluted intro that may or may not have all that much to do with the assigned story. But in this particular case, it’s best we get right to it:

No, Complex writers do not accept money in exchange for coverage about your song, mixtape, album, video, etc. 

For some time now, fake accounts on Instagram, and elsewhere, have tried to trick artists looking for a way in the proverbial door by scamming them for money under various false promises. Namely, such a scammer, who often operates using the actual writer's profile image and bio info, will feign interest in a smaller artist's work before introducing a price they allege will ensure coverage.

To be clear, this is false. Any money given to such an individual will not result in coverage. Simply put, it's a scam, meaning the only people who stand to gain anything are the scammers themselves.

If someone messages you claiming to be a Complex writer or employee, then initiates a conversation about you paying them to write about you or your work, please note that this is false and does not originate from our team.

To avoid such scammers, keep in mind that they all largely operate using the same tactics. For one, the username is usually a sign. A scammer might add an extra letter, or a number, or even intentionally misspell the name of the individual they are attempting to impersonate. Furthermore, any introductory praise that precedes money talk is usually vague enough to apply to anyone, allowing the scam accounts to target multiple potential victims at once.

So, if you or someone you know feels like they're being scammed, what should you do? First of all, take a look at the impersonated person's official Complex author page, where you can often find links to their social media accounts. If the account messaging you is not the same one listed on their author page, please note that this is false and does not originate from our team. Secondly, be sure to report fake pages you come across to help signal to Instagram and other providers that the relentless scammers are indeed relentlessly scamming.

To reiterate, Complex writers do not ask for or accept money in exchange for coverage of you or your project. Full-fledged sponsored content, meanwhile, will be disclosed as such.

Don't get got.

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