PSA to artisans – Scammer on the loose!
It’s always flattering to have a blogger, magazine or celebrity ask to promote your brand. I give these items out for free in exchange for a review or promotion. So when I was recently contacted on my site by a self professed “celebrity” with over 10,000 Instagram followers, I was immediately intrigued. I love Instagram.
I heard you can purchase followers, but she sounded legit, and besides, why would she purchase them-she has no brand (unless you’re brand is solely for scamming, and that never occurred to me)?
Again, stupid on my part.
I checked her Instagram-she had the followers she claimed, so I agreed to send a few pieces. She had a Facebook account, Etsy acct, Twitter, etc. Hmmm, it’s curious that she has less than 150 on Twitter & FB, but maybe she was focused on Instagram (really? I just typed that)? Just look at those followers!
Stupid me, chasing a plastic carrot.
I mailed a necklace and 2 pairs of earrings, with the promise of promotion to her over 10,000 followers.
Her exact message read:
“Hello, my name is Kayla Harpring! I was looking at your products and wanting to make a deal with you. I have ten thousand followers on Instagram and I am very Internet famous. If you give me something free, I will promote your store on my Instagram. You may go check for yourself to see if I have 10 thousand, my username is @harpring7. I really think my followers would go crazy over your product. ”
After the items showed as delivered, I was so excited to see if her images were as fun & interesting as the pics & collages my customers and gift recipients all over Instagram had posted – for free.
So I checked back on those Facebook/Twitter/Etsy accounts. 2 out of 3 closed. Hmmmm.
I decided to tweet her and she stated she was super duper busy. I’m understand that most delinquent teens scamming the handmade community have a lot to keep up with in this crazy world-and to have to attend classes as well! The injustice…
I have nothing going on here with a jewelry business, family and you know…bills to pay. The difference is that I deliver on my promises. I have little tolerance for folks who aren’t willing to put an ounce of effort in but claim to be busy as hell. My first job was as a janitor at low income apartments at age 14. I walked along the highway picking up trash. We had to have the county sign off on the papers-and it didn’t get easier from there with 3 jobs in college and an 18 hour course load-but I digress. The point is that I know hard work my dear Kayla-and you do not. You instead choose to steal items from hardworking people.
To target those that require learning a craft to painstakingly create objects for a surprisingly young and crafty scam artist was a bit of a shock, and thankfully a wake-up call.
Soon after I sent products her way I checked back in to see if she had posted to Instagram. Nothing, and her twitter feed has become increasingly negative…I can’t wait to see what she tweets after this call out.
Instagram, however, is still alive and seems to be faring well, even though she’s only posted 19 pics. There used to be a pic of an item she received for free from another artist, but it’s since come down.
So Merry Christmas to the handmade community today!!! I hope my small gift is to save you any waste of time , effort, talent and love of your craft on Kayla Harpring (halpern7). Make your mama something pretty instead. : )
Oh and thanks Kayla. You’re my very first scammer!
The one deleted image from another sucker was the carrot, and I was dumb enough to bite. To the rest of you out there who create items by hand that take time, creativity and effort, take heed and don’t be a dummy like me – harpring7, Kayla Harpring or whatever she calls herself these days WILL NOT promote your brand as promised. The girl just wants a handout.
I hope you read this Kayla, and I hope you are embarrassed. You should be ashamed, and you should probably get a job to show you the value of time and actual work. I beg you to contact me if any of this is untrue.
UPDATE: This all happened in October-I gave Kayla Harpring plenty of time to snap a pic & post to Instagram. Several artists have come forward to say that they received the exact same message and had the same experience with her. Please reply in the comments if you had a similar experience, and as usual – you’re always welcome to post your side of this, Kayla. I know you’ve read this by now.