It’s been a long time since I updated my blog! My latest amusement/business is messing with romance scammers who approach me on Instagram. I avoided Instagram for a long time, but a friend suggested it would maybe help me promote my YouTube channel, but what it brought me was a new way to mess with scammers while raising awareness and laughing my head off.
These guys are ridiculously desperate and stupid. With my normal account, I had so many of them approach me even though my bio says I’m married, so I wondered what would happen if I made a decoy account aimed at attracting (losery) men. I got so many message requests, I could hardly keep up!
Lonely widows especially fall for these men (or maybe women) even though their English is terrible and they can’t carry on an interesting conversation at all. They convince them they’re in love, ask for iTunes gift cards or money to be wired, and I was just reading about one woman in Europe who gave a scammer thousands of dollars, realized it was a scam, tracked him down, then went to Nigeria and had him arrested.
I’m really frustrated with Instagram because it’s taking them longer and longer to ban these accounts when I report them. When they are banned, I don’t know if their IP is banned or if they just quickly make a new one. One thing these scammers pressure women to do is to immediately move the conversation to Google Hangout, What’s App, etc.. I’m sure it’s because they don’t want to lose access to their victims. If Instagram bans them, all their hard work goes to waste.
The majority of these scammers impersonate military personnel, claiming they are on a peace keeping mission in Iraq, Syria, or Afghanistan. Others says they are contractors on an oil rig and they make up reasons why they need gift cards like “I need to upgrade my phone and I don’t want to lose contact with you. My phone is getting worse and I don’t want to lose you.”
I’ve been talking to this particular scammer since October, except for the brief period we “broke up”. I have a series right now called “Dating Steve Mills” and new episodes post every Wednesday. Multiple people have said it’s better than anything on TV. Tonight episode 8 almost made a grown man pee himself. You can watch all of them if you go to my romance scammers playlist.
It’s getting harder and harder to bring more traffic to my channel because Facebook suppresses YouTube videos. I have over 800 Facebook friends and when I share any kind of YouTube video, I get maybe three responses. We’ll see what happens with blog posts!
Another issue is that I have 14,000 subscribers on YouTube, but a lot of my videos only get maybe a couple hundred views initially. I used to get 500 in a 24 hour period when I had way fewer subscribers. I get comments that people missed me because they think I stopped uploading, but either they didn’t tap the bell or YouTube had a glitch and untapped it for them. I feel like I’m depending on their recommended pages at this point.
Still, I’m going to keep plugging away because I believe it’s going to catch on more eventually. In fact, I’m going to be a guest on The Debra Rufini Show, which will air on January 11th at 9am PST. I hope many of you will tune in!
During the month of December, I also shared a lot of my singing videos, which was a very intimidating experience for me, but a positive one.
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Join in the fun! Please follow Irene and play along in the comments. My photos there give hints as to what I’m up to now and what lies I’m telling the scammers. Also please share this post! Thank you!