Travel influencer Johnny Jet has disclosed that he fell victim to a scam that caused him to lose access to his Facebook account, which has tens of thousands of followers. The scammers began by contacting him and asking if he would be a guest on their podcast.
“The shocking part is they were offering $3,000 and said they would pay in advance,” Johnny Jet writes. “I was skeptical and was going to delete the email but when I mentioned it to my wife, she did a quick search and thought it seemed legit. The email said the podcast was sponsored by Lululemon, thus explaining the budget to pay guests. I figured, ‘What the heck. Who couldn’t use an extra three grand?’”
The scammer’s email was convincing and detailed, outlining scheduling details and technical guidelines. The email added, “To express our gratitude for your participation, we’re delighted to offer you a compensation of $3,000 USD for each podcast session. We want to make the payment process as convenient as possible for you, so please let us know your preferred method of transaction. We offer multiple options, including PayPal, Zelle, Venmo, Western Union, and bank transfer. Payments will be made in advance within 24-48 hours of your scheduled session, adhering to industry standards.”
The scammer told Johnny to join a Zoom meeting before the podcast so they could iron out any technical issues.
“David, who had a thick South African accent, didn’t do the video portion of the call,” Johnny Jet writes. “He started walking me through how to set up Live Events and when I couldn’t find what he was telling me to click, he said, share your screen and I can walk you through. It was a red flag but I wasn’t going to let him control my screen, just see it. I can’t remember everything he did but I do remember he was a whiz with his cursor, showing me where to click. Then he had me create a new handle using my Facebook ID and called it Johnny Jet Los Angeles. It was all so fast and seemed legit. But a red flag was that he kept saying I was going to be on the podcast ‘tomorrow’ when it was really the following day.”
Johnny Jet later realized that during this process he had unknowingly been directed to change settings that granted the scammers control of his account.
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Johnny Jet has the story.