By the grace of God or some special angel who is watching over me, I recently was diverted from fraud that found me via Instagram. I’m new on Instagram. I joined it to see videos and pictures of my first great-grandchild who is almost five months old and watch her grow.
Then one fine day, a musician approached me on Instagram with his “official” site. I ignored his comment for an entire month and then, for whatever reason, I answered his first greeting while wondering why he’d personally write to anyone. We discussed music, tours, tickets and the things you would expect to be proper topics. He asked if I am married and I said I am. I said he was, as well, which he confirmed. I added the fact that I am old enough to be his mother or possibly his grandmother. He’s in his early thirties. After asking me what my favorite song of his was, I had to look his songs up on iTunes, which I told him. I love country music, but wasn’t familiar with him. I was surprised to discover he is a huge country super-star. I had no idea.
When I had to end the first day’s conversation, he noted he has a foundation he wanted to talk to me about. It turned out to be an orphanage in India for homeless little ones. I sort of cringed at that remark, but gave him the benefit of doubt.
I started having messages from him waiting from the time I turned my phone on in the morning until I had to cook dinner. I knew he was supposed to be on tour in New York at one point, so asked him if he wasn’t supposed to be on a stage somewhere. The concert was to begin at 7:00 p.m. ET and it was 5:00 MST. He replied it had been earlier in the day and he was finished. This is a super-star country musician with crowds in the thousands, so that seemed really strange.
I told him I knew he wasn’t the real person and he hit the fan. Obscene language, the whole nine yards. Odd for a devout Christian as this star is. I asked how I knew he was really who he claimed to be and he sent me one of those disappearing photos of himself that you can only open one time and view for a couple of seconds. Folks, I bought it and thought it really was him.
He began to pressure me to make a donation to this orphanage, but not directly to them, only through him via Western Union or MoneyGram. The recipient was to be his female “agent” in Michigan. It became almost all he would talk about, so I agreed to contribute. I’m ashamed to admit that, but it’s important to my story.
Long story short, MoneyGram refused to send it and told me it was due to other complaints from people who’d been victimized this way. Immediately, he asked me to send a check directly to his female “agent” in Michigan. I didn’t. The part that struck me strange is all his agents list as being in Nashville, so why would he have one in Michigan? He lives in the south, not too far from Nashville.
Earlier he’d asked me to come to one of his shows and the only one near us is Country Jam in June. That’s a four-day huge event in Grand Junction and advertises as the biggest country blow-out in Colorado. He asked to remain friends till then.
When my husband (42-year law enforcement officer) heard the deal about donating, he said the only way I was going to do that was to put it into his guitar strumming hands at Country Jam and no other way. I relayed that to him and he had a real outburst with lots of the F-word being flung about and raging. He demanded I donate and do it now and exactly the way he told me. That’s when the alarm bells finally rang loudly in my head.
I told him I am an adult professional woman and the only person who decides what I will do with my money is ME. I added there will be no donation. That just did it for him. You talk about a fit! I told him I knew all about his female “agent” and her background, which I did by this time. The last word he got to say to me was, “Lies!”
This ended with me blocking him and deep diving into investigating the name of the woman who he said was his Michigan agent. She is apparently a complete loon and scamming innocent people via a fake account as this musician. She really is in Michigan. I found her on Twitter and she had my Twitter author’s profile right up there on the top of her page, along with other country stars. Her attraction to me was the author factor. People think all authors are filthy rich, which is laughable in reality.
The person she was using to scam me with doesn’t appear on her page at all, except in one group shot with four other famous country stars and she had re-tweeted it. She appears to be some sort of deranged groupie. I found the picture she sent to prove she was him on his real page. You know, the one with the check mark beside his name on Twitter. Instagram should do that, too. She simply copied the picture and sent it to me with just a quick glimpse possible. Devious doesn’t begin to describe her behavior. Anger doesn’t begin to describe how I feel
To be honest, I never expected to have a woman do something like this to me. I’m very careful to not allow men to friend or follow me, unless they are other authors, someone I know, we have mutual friends or they have some sort of credible credentials to present. That’s really difficult when you are putting yourself out there to the public as an author.
In hindsight, before I blocked her all over the place, I wish I had gotten on Twitter and sent her a private message (or public), simply saying, “Can you spell fraud?”
So, as my numerous LEO friends say and I used to say to my husband as he went on duty, BE CAREFUL OUT THERE AND WATCH YOUR BACK!
(Hope you’ll leave a comment for me, if you stop by, especially those of you who are LEOs.)