The Fake Influencer Scam: How to Avoid Being a Victim

As customers, we are frequently affected in our decisions by the perspectives of those whose knowledge we see as superior to our own in a specific niche. A fake influencer, on the other hand, can skew our viewpoint.

In the course of our study on various products and services, we look for reputable review videos and blog articles written by notable persons.

Because of this, it should not come as a surprise that companies are increasingly recognizing the potential of influencer marketing to boost both brand visibility and consumer trust.

However, just like any other potentially beneficial endeavor, influencer marketing is not without its own share of potential pitfalls and negatives, one of which is the possibility of falling victim to influencer fraud.

Working with fake influencers is an example of influencer fraud, which may be incredibly detrimental to your campaign.

These false influencers do not provide any real outcomes because they do not have any legitimate impact over a genuine audience. In point of fact, they have the potential to push your campaign back by many stages by tarnishing the reputation of your business and exhausting your marketing budget.

Therefore, if you want to prevent yourself from being a victim of influencer fraud, you need to educate yourself on how to identify fake influencers.

That is precisely what you will learn about in this article, so keep reading. You are going to be educated on all of the dangers that are associated with dealing with phony influencers, as well as the methods that can be used to identify fraudulent influencer activity before it even occurs.

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What is a Fake Influencer?

Fake Influencer - Infographic

First things first: in order to learn how to recognize false influencers, you need to have a solid understanding of who these influencers actually are. This will assist you in recognizing the features that set them apart from genuine influencers in the industry.

Users of social media platforms who, to all intents and purposes, appear to be influential influencers are referred to as fake influencers. They publish photographs of a high standard that are not unlike in quality to those published by genuine influencers.

However, the most notable distinction is that the majority of their followers are phony accounts and automated accounts. To put it another way, they do not exert any significant impact over a genuine audience.

It’s possible that more than one person is hiding behind a single false influencer in the majority of instances. In most cases, this would require the creation of a phony account for a person who does not actually exist.

They would either utilize stock photographs or pay a model to appear as the individual in question. They would also purchase engagement and followers to give the impression that the individual is more prominent than they really are.

However, in many instances, there will be actual people hiding behind these fictitious influencers. This does not make them more authentic since the people who listen to them are not authentic.

The primary characteristic of a phony influencer is a following that is either fictitious or paid for in some way.

What is the impact of fake influencers?

Being a victim of fraudulent activity on the part of an influencer may have a lot of negative effects on the reputation of your company. The financial aspects of your brand are going to be one of the most significantly affected areas.

Fake influencers have the potential to drain your resources while contributing nothing of substance to your efforts.

It’s possible that a huge and well-established brand might be able to recover from this type of loss relatively unscathed. It’s possible that they’ll be able to recoup their losses in a matter of weeks without suffering any long-term consequences.

On the other hand, for newer, smaller enterprises and startups who have fewer resources, this might constitute a significant blow to their budget for marketing and brand development.

When one considers the ways in which a brand might have spent that money to have meaningful effect, this represents a twofold loss for the brand. On top of this, there is lost work when a marketing team spends hours attempting to design a planned influencer marketing campaign and collaborate with an influencer who turns out to be phony.

These fake influencers force companies to invest crucial time and money on a collaboration that does not produce any substantial return.

Fraud committed by influencers can not only hurt the reputation of your company but also undermine the trust that you have labored so diligently to establish. It should come as no surprise that false influencers do not have a very positive reputation when it comes to their reliability.

When people find out that you collaborated with an account that turns out to be phony, their perception of your trustworthiness is likely to suffer as a result.

How do you spot fake influencers?

False influencers are not to be confused with genuine ones. Rather, they are users of social media who wish to avoid the hard work that is required to engage a big audience, become an expert, and develop the skills that are essential to generate material that is captivating.

The majority of fake influencers operate on the assumption that firms would pay them to promote their products without investigating the validity of the influencer in question.

However, the ultimate effect is that brands are appropriated with little more than a pitiful amount of brand awareness to show for it and almost no conversions to show for it. In the worst possible scenarios, phony influencers are harmful to the online reputation of a firm.

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They have a sudden spike on the number of their followers.

A rapid increase in interaction almost often signals the purchase of bot accounts, which is a definite indicator that the influencer in question is participating in fraudulent activity.

It’s possible that an influencer hired fictitious social media followers to like, comment, and share their content in exchange for financial gain. The vast majority of recognized influencers establish a sizable following steadily over the course of a certain time period, with some outliers being possible.

An increasing number of followers as a result of genuine viral content continues to climb steadily even after the first surge that it sees. A false influencer will almost certainly see a large decrease in the number of followers they have since they will have relied on purchasing bot accounts rather than cultivating a dedicated following.

Before entering into a partnership with an influencer, it is important to do an investigation into the legitimacy of the account by looking at factors such as the number of followers and the percentage of followers who actively participate in posts.

Their engagements look fake and generic.

You will be able to ascertain whether or not the interactions are genuine if you examine the remarks in great detail. Comments that are irrelevant to the objective of the article and do not represent the purpose of the post are a clear sign that they are fraudulent and are merely there to make it appear authentic and interesting.

Fake engagements on a phony influencer account may merely consist of emojis or be of a generic nature. This means that anybody may use these fake engagements on any post, regardless of the brand.

Their audience look suspicious.

A person who is able to sway the opinions of a sizable number of followers in the direction of a specific product, point of view, or political leaning is referred to as a social media influencer.

This phrase was created to characterize this type of user. Because of this, the caliber of an audience may be used as a factor in determining the genuineness of a certain influencer.

You will discover that the audiences of the majority of false influencers are not diverse at all. The same user profiles employ the same engagement tactics for each and every post that is produced through the account.

This indicates that the same purported audience likes, comments, and shares each and every article without any fluctuation.

Established influencers generally draw a wide range of followers. A bigger number of individuals, each with their own unique perspective, compliments and critiques, respond to each post that is published.

As a consequence of this, if a dishonest influencer creates comments and likes by employing bot accounts, there may be discernible patterns that show the audience is likewise phony.

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How Can Real Influencers Help a Business?

Influencer marketing is exceeding sales targets for a huge number of firms, particularly direct-to-consumer brands with an emphasis on authenticity, despite the fact that the market is becoming an increasingly congested place.

It is essential for the success of your company’s influencer marketing campaign that you find individuals who have established themselves as trustworthy within their respective online communities.

In addition, marketers need to determine the characteristics of an influencer that are a good fit for their company.

And just as one poor influencer might have a negative impact on the return on investment (ROI) of your program, one excellent influencer can completely revolutionize your company.

It is definitely worth your time to put in the additional work required to locate the appropriate influencers in your field.

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