Why is Booba accusing influencers of scamming?

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

Driving licenses for sale on the Internet, collections of dubious NFTs, health-threatening beauty products, never-delivered packages or even training to invest with cryptocurrencies… Since July 20, a whole group of influencers have been accused of social media networks that willfully knowingly sharing scams with their subscribers. It is these practices, dubious at best, large-scale scams at worst, that are being denounced by Booba.

The story mainly pits rapper Booba against Magali Berdah, known for managing the operations of some of France’s most popular social media stars. The first criticizes the second because, with the personalities she accompanies, she has shared numerous scams or scams on social networks with a large number of people. However, reprimands accompanied by messages published by the rapper are further questionable as they encourage his fans to cyberbully the manager, who explained that he had received insults and death threats.

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Numerama is only interested here in publications that have been accused of scams for days. This in no way justifies the cyberbullying that Magali Berdah and others have faced, but rather to focus on the content that is being labeled a scam by a growing number of people on social networks following Booba’s posts – some of which were noticed by the rapper.

This list is not exhaustive: as Numerama regularly reminds us through articles and surveys, fraud on the Internet is very numerous. Whether it’s completely fake anti-radiation products for phones, influencers not reporting their paid partnership, or the reselling of counterfeits, these kinds of attempts and questionable practices are common among influencers. Also those we think we know – wrongly – because we track their activities on that and that platform.

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

Crypto Scams and Fraudulent NFTs

In addition to Magali Berdah, Booba attacks the practices of various influencers and influencers. These are personalities with hundreds of thousands of subscribers, or even a few million for those who are most prominent. In fact, this controversial content has been seen and shared by a very large number of internet users without necessarily knowing what to expect.

One of the most frequently mentioned scams is related to cryptocurrencies: this is called the ” copy trade The influencers and influencers involved allegedly started promising their followers that they could easily earn large sums of money by investing in cryptocurrencies, then invited them to download trading apps. They should then have just followed the directions. from experts who reportedly told them when to buy and when to sell their cryptocurrencies to make a profit.

The method, which should bring big profits, usually means a significant loss of money for the victims, but not for the influencers. Indeed, some have partnered with these trading apps and influencers are suspected of receiving a bonus for every new person registered with a referral code and an affiliate system.

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Usually people who do copy trading lose money. // Source: Maxim Hopman / Unsplash

In addition to the copy trade, another scam mentioned involves NFTs. The non-exchangeable tokens are the equivalent of a certificate of digital ownership, to acquire virtual files, and have been a real phenomenon since early 2021. Some NFTs have even sold for record numbers of several million dollars – and these amounts have attracted the greed of many scammers.

There are at least two different collections of NFTs here that have been flagged by different influencers. The latter are said to have praised the merits of the projects in order to convince their subscribers to buy them. Once the NFTs were sold, the creators and influencers would have left with all the funds raised (which would have totaled several million euros), without ever delivering what was promised to internet users.

CPF scam and fake driver’s licenses

CPF (Professional Training Account) attempts have become extremely common in recent months – and some influencers wouldn’t hesitate to promote this kind of cheating themselves. This is especially the case for several people who have been targeted by Booba: the influencers are said to have promoted various training courses, which allegedly qualified for the CPF.

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

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Some influencers offered contacts to get fake driver’s licenses. // Source: Canva

A final theme would regularly come up in these scams: the sale of false 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 tickets for people with disabilities.

What to do if you see a scam?

There are other types of scams than those listed here. Booba’s criticism of Magali Berdah and her network illustrates the need to always exercise caution on the Internet before purchasing products recommended by influencers, even if you’ve been following them for a long time and appreciate what they and what they make.

If you ever discover a scam, you can report it to the DGCCRF, the General Directorate for Fraud Repression, on a dedicated website. Don’t hesitate to contact us to let us know if you see anything.

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Credit: Sammy Williams -- photo retouched

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