Why is Booba accusing influencers of fraud?

Rapper Booba and influencer agent Magalie Berdah clash on social networks over a very specific topic: the links between influencers and online fraud. Here are some of the reported scams.

Driving licenses put up for sale on the Internet, collections of dubious NFTs, health-threatening beauty products, never delivered packages or even training in making investments with cryptocurrencies… Since July 20, a whole group of influencers has been accused on social media networks of knowingly have shared scams with their subscribers. It is this practice, dubious at best, large-scale fraud at worst, that Booba condemns.

The story primarily pits rapper Booba against Magali Berdah, known for managing the activities of some of France’s most popular social media stars. The first criticizes the second for sharing with the personalities she accompanies several scams or attempted scams on social networks with a large number of people. Accusations, however, are accompanied by messages published by the rapper, otherwise more questionable because they encourage his fans to cyber-harass the manager, who explained that he had received insults and death threats.

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Numerama here is only interested in publications that have been accused of being scams for several days. This is in no way to justify the cyberbullying that Magali Berdah and others have faced, but to focus on the content that is being denounced as fraud by a growing number of people on social networks who follow Booba’s messages – and some of those were pointed out by the rapper.

This list is not exhaustive: as Numerama regularly reminds us through articles and surveys, fraud is very numerous on the Internet. Whether it’s completely fake anti-radiation products for phones, influencers not declaring their paid partnerships, or reselling fakes, these kinds of attempts and questionable practices are very common on the part of influencers. Including those whom we think we know – wrongly – because we follow their activities on such a platform.

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Some French influencers are accused of creating scams – here they are // Source: Canva

Crypto Scams and Fraudulent NFTs

In addition to Magali Berdah, Booba attacks the practices of several influencers and influencers. It is personalities with hundreds of thousands of subscribers, or even a few million for them, that are the most prominent. In fact, this controversial content has been seen and shared by a very large number of internet users.

One of the most frequently mentioned scams is related to cryptocurrencies: this is called ” copy trade “. The influencers and influencers involved allegedly started by promising their followers that they could easily earn large sums of money by investing in cryptocurrencies, and then invited them to download trading apps. All they had to do was follow the instructions. by experts who allegedly told them when to buy and when to sell their cryptocurrencies to cash in on profits.

The method, which is supposed to pay big dividends, represents a significant monetary loss for the victims most of the time – but not for the influencers. Some have actually partnered with these trading apps, and influencers are suspected of receiving a bonus for each new person signed up with a referral code and affiliate system.

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An Instagram post from an influencer accused of copycat fraud // Source: Screenshot

Besides copy trade, another mentioned scam involves NFTs. That non-fungible tokens corresponds to a certificate of digital ownership, to acquire virtual files, and which has been a real phenomenon since the beginning of 2021. Some NFTs have even sold for record sums of several million dollars – and these sums have attracted the covetousness of many. fraudsters.

There are at least two different collections of NFTs here that have been highlighted by several influencers. The two social media stars would have used the same technique: they advertised their project to their subscribers, claimed to be associated with stars or luxury brands, and sold the NFTs at a high price. Once the tokens were sold, the influencers would have removed all mention of the project from their social networks, closed the Discord groups and would have walked away with all the collected amounts (which would have reached several million euros in total).

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One of the NFT collections denounced as fraudulent // Source: Screenshot

CPF fraud and fake driver’s licenses

CPF (professional training account) scams have become extremely common in recent months – and some influencers would not hesitate to promote this kind of trickery themselves. This is particularly the case for several individuals targeted by Booba: the influencers would have promoted various training courses that would have allegedly been eligible for CPF.

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An example of one of the driver’s license scams condemned // Source: Numerama screenshot

The scammers allegedly lured some of their subscribers by telling them that the government would cover 100% of the education costs and even that a virtual reality headset could be offered to them. The theme of the courses varied from influencer to influencer. Thus, some would have claimed to sell training on the metaverse, while others would have stated that they offer advice on entrepreneurship.

One final theme would come up regularly in these scams: the sale of fake driver’s licenses. These were sold by at least two influencers who would have had “ contacts well placed in the prefectures. These contacts would also have provided false sick leave, or even false parking passes for people with disabilities.

What should you do if you see a scam?

There are other scams than those mentioned here. The criticism that Booba loudly formulated against Magali Berdah and her network illustrates the need to always be careful on the Internet before buying products recommended by influencers, even if you have followed them for a long time and appreciate what they and they are.

If you ever spot a scam, you can report it to DGCCRF, the Directorate General of Anti-Fraud, on a dedicated website. Don’t hesitate to contact us to let us know if you see anyone.

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Credit: Sammy Williams -- retouched photo

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