Meet Instagram scam queen Caroline Calloway and how she exploited 850,000 followers

Caroline Calloway was a self-confessed Instagram scam queen who exploited her 850,000 followers by making them believe they were her friends. She was the world’s worst Instagram influencer and BBC is doing a documentary on her titled My Insta Scammer Friend.

Are you also fascinated about social media influencers’ lifestyle? Beware! What’s shown on social media is not always true and your fascination may make you fall victim to a scam. This is exactly what Instagram influencer Caroline Calloway did to her followers. In fact, she even referred to herself as an Instagram scam queen. Tagged as the world’s worst Instagram influencer, Caroline exploited her 850,000 Instagram followers making them dream of being her friend and be a part of her glamorous lifestyle.But in reality, she turned out to be a scammer who lied about her life to build a cult-like following on Instagram.

Who was Caroline Calloway?

Caroline was known as “the first Instagram Influencer” to cash in on her “fairy-tale life” online. The 30-year-old was from Falls Church, Virginia and studied at the University of Cambridge. She used to document her time studying creative writing at Cambridge University with beautiful photos and captions.

Her massive following on Instagram helped her to bag a book deal worth $500,000. She was even paid 30% of the advance which is $165,000. She was just 23 then. However, her memoir never got drafted and publishers canceled her contract and asked for repayment after which she admitted to having spent all of the money and the house of cards she had so assiduously built came crashing down.

In a bid to repay her publishers she announced a US tour where she talked about spending time with her fans, making flower crowns and talking to them during a six-hour “creative workshop”. She sold tickets for $165 each but later backtracked on meet-and-greet tour dates.

Her fans slammed her for being a “scammer” and she herself shamelessly adopted the title as saying, “Scamming is my brand right now, but it’s a narrative I would like to be excluded from.” Eventually, Caroline refunded those who were not able to attend her event.

Though she has left social media and deleted all of her posts in 2021, her life is being retold in the BBC Three documentary My Insta Scammer Friend.

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