For a little while now, I’ve been hearing about fake bloggers, meaning people pretending to be either specified bloggers or just pretending in general to have a blog. There are even people who have a ‘shop window’ or the pretence of a blog, with virtually no posts sending out lists (and long ones at that) of products they would like to try. I’m looking at one of these faux blog sites right now; they’ve posted exactly ten times since last October, and in another window I am looking at an email they sent to a brand demanding a bike to be sent with a stash of beauty products ‘for review’.
They are not bloggers. They are scammers.
I can almost understand the ‘chancers’… but what I really, really don’t get are the ones that turn up to events pretending to be someone else. It happened last year to LibertyLondonGirl, where someone claiming to be her ‘assistant’ tried to blag their way into a few fashion shows, and again this year when someone claiming to be her got themselves a fantastic MAC make-over and swiftly left.
The worst case I have seen happened to a lovely blogger, Bubblegarm, who has been blogging for a very long time now; someone set up a false email address very close to Bubblegarm’s own and started emailing PRs asking for product. It was thanks to an eagle-eye’d PR who noticed that the address was different to Bubblegarm’s usual address who raised the alarm. In fact, the scammer even went as far as to explain why she’d done what she’s done. I won’t give her the airtime here, but enough to say it was an overdose of self-entitlement.
So back to the list-senders. People who send long lists of products they’d ‘love to try’ are not bloggers; they’re chancers. Real bloggers just don’t do that.
There is a little bit of nervousness in some PR offices to say no. The justification for that is that their clients might get some badmouthing. So what? You need to explain to your client that in some instances saying no is the right thing to do. Every single blogger worth their salt will agree with you. PRs with great blogger relationships will even find themselves totally supported. It’s really okay to say no.
Yes, I expect to observers that it might sometimes look like it’s raining free make-up out here in blog-land, but it really isn’t. Sometimes there are plenty of samples for bloggers and sometimes there aren’t – that’s in the lap of the clients, not the PRs. But bottom line is, that sadly, you need to be blogger savvy. Look at their site to see how often they post, look to see if there are any like products to your own, look to see what their Twitter activity is and if they send you a list, file it in the BIN. If a blog has no Twitter icon, no Facebook icon and no links to other blogs in the form of a blogroll, there’s a clue right there.
Quite how you identity check, when people are claiming to be someone else entirely, I am not quite sure. But, bloggers if you asked for identity, the scammers who give us all a bad name are why you are being asked. As for the scammers with the blog store front, but absolutely no substance behind the window, I do not Adore that.
*all products are sent to me as samples from brands and agencies unless otherwise stated. Affiliate links may be used. Posts are not affiliate driven.