Welcome to yet another article on the heartfelt issue of scammer gift recipients. Since you feel with your heart but end up paying with your card, we continue sharing insights on protecting yourself in the digital gift-giving era. This article will tell you about the role of gifts for social media scammers. Before you start reading, go ahead and comment on this article by posting a picture of your latest gift. Just don’t forget to tag it #NotShowingOff.
The Social Media Scammers: (Your) Naïveté on (Everyone’s) Display
“Hello, yes, yes, I’ll be home at 5 pm!” she said excitedly, and the next moment, the courier heard her answer another call. “Tomorrow evening is too late for a manicure and pedicure session; wait, I changed my mind! It’s fine, I’ll be there. By the way, has John, pardon me, Jeremy ordered a fruit gift basket this time? That’s weird; I told him I’d worked too much and could use some vitamins. Thank you, bye!”.
“I’m sorry, my new iPhone won’t stop ringing!” said Lena, returning to the first call. “Oh, you won’t believe how busy I’ve been this week. Bouquets, chocolates, perfumes — they just keep coming. Can we actually schedule it for 4 pm? I want to make it quick and have some time for myself. Great, the door code is 7777. See you in a bit!”.
The person on the other side of the line is a florist who helps us deliver all kinds of gifts to the recipient’s city. He’s lost count of how many times he’s called this lady about a gift now from yet another admirer. He can’t help but feel a pang of curiosity. Who is this woman, and why is she receiving so many gifts? She must be popular on social media. A quick search by the name lands the florist on her Instagram page. Lena Sorin, here she is, a local social media influencer with tens of thousands of followers. Haha, here is a picture of her with a giant teddy bear we delivered two weeks ago. Alright, it’s time to arrange the “Shades of Pink” bouquet and the “Perfect Weekend” set. Hmm, roses and alstroemerias this time around. Something new it is, they usually send her tulips.
Behind those countless bouquets, gift baskets, and spa salon appointments lies a hidden truth, a secret life built on manipulation and greed. A life where gifts aren’t tokens of admiration but tools of a game she plays so skillfully.
Fake It Till You’re Fake
And Lena Sorin, or whatever her name really is, is just one of the many. She is in her mid-twenties and probably doesn’t have a degree, maybe working some ordinary part-time job so that society does not think something doesn’t totally add up here. People see she hates public transport and moves around in taxis exclusively. For over a year already, Lena has been able to pay for her trendy clothes and eat out in high-class restaurants that most from her block could not afford. It’s her neighbors’ guess what kind of job she does to live such a high life.
The secretly in love James, a shy guy from the block on the opposite side, is now completely lost and confused. Now, he understands he is no match for her more than ever before. All that is left to do for him is follow her social media like hundreds of other people who form her audience nowadays. Welcome to Lena’s flashy world, where photos scream she has it better than you. Our heroine is one of the modern-day individuals who’ve turned the art of online flirting into a fruitful life.
A 9-to-5 job is too boring and much less enjoyable for them. Having mastered the craft of virtual allure, Lena and alike are charming their way into the hearts (and wallets) of unsuspecting admirers across the globe. With a heart emoji here and a voice message there, they’ve transformed their lives into a never-ending parade of roses, chocolates, designer watches, and exotic vacations.
The Instagram page of one of the most frequent gift recipients looks nothing short of that. She has close to ten thousand followers and has become a local celebrity. The eyes of various small businesses, from sushi places to bikini manufacturers, are set on her because they see her as an ideal tool to promote their products this way. Every now and then, she gets freebies from them and, in return, tags those local entrepreneurs in her posts. She has built her life around gift-receiving. Every time you send her something, you contribute to her visibility online. Colorful bouquets, gourmet food, luxurious perfumes — you name it, she’s got it, and she’s not shy about showing it off. Thanks to unsuspecting patrons who have fallen into her trap more easily, she can also post vacation photographs.
The best description of her routine is as follows: she creates dating website profiles and populates them with photoshoot pictures. Unlike a different type of scammer that you can read about here, she’s not aiming to hide. She tells interested people about herself but downplays reality. This is where she mentions she does have a job and will say it is full-time. This will serve as her excuse for not always texting you right away. While you think she is a hardworking individual and thus deserves some treats, she tells someone else that she’s been wearing the same pair of sneakers for two years, putting out a feeler if someone else can change this. She doesn’t shy away from video calls, and her overall life narrative is shallow-ish, with her not really opening up.
Still, you won’t judge because you’re already happy she had accepted your ‘friend’ request, which makes you not question reality and brush the whole matter off.
She never asks directly to send her something; you make this choice floating on a cloud. This is exactly what she needs. When a gift arrives, she knows very well what to do and, believe her, it would be too prosaic just to enjoy it. Now, if she’s not flaunting her latest bouquet or designer watch on social media, did she even receive a gift at all?
She is comfortable getting the perks without engaging in your life or mutual goals and aspirations. She works to blind you, so the imbalance remains hidden. You’re falling more in love, while her primary objective is to keep getting all that attention that helps her feel good about herself. The gifts are flaunted online for viewers and likes, and the growing number of followers tells her she is doing fine. There’s popularity, tasty food, and expensive gadgets; why suffer the anguish of the ordinary job?
“Oh, that’s soo sweet of you. I don’t deserve this!” read messages our clients receive from such individuals, and their faces broaden in a beaming smile. Do you know what happens right after she sends that message? Your dreamboat places the gift where the light is good and takes a quick snap of it. If it’s a cash-containing gift, she might as well already be dreaming of planning a vacation. This back-breaking scammer activity is, at the end of the day, a job on its own! Much like the scammer’s efforts, the wallet of an unsuspecting admirer undergoes a back-breaking ordeal, drained continually to fund her glamorous lifestyle.
“Me, Me, Me” Means “Lonely, Lonely, Lonely”
While we haven’t had a chance to interview a scammer yet, their most probable answer would be this: “I think it’s your natural desire to share what’s happening in your life. You really appreciate everything good happening to you and want to show it off a bit.” This is where it becomes obvious: boastful scammer gift recipients think of themselves as ordinary people, which is why they are so comfortable living and earning things this way.
The reasons behind being a present poster are complex. It’s not just about showing off. There’s also a yearning to feel affirmed, to belong. Displaying a gift proves that we are liked and wanted, thus encouraging others to like and want us, too. Buying fashionable items is motivated to some extent by a desire to keep up with fashion trends. Uploading and sharing pictures of gifts they might be showing off, but they might as well seek a subconscious plea for your approval.
There’s a Line, and Sometimes They Cross It
Now, let’s return to our experience dealing with individuals like that.
Over the last five years, we’ve seen an increase in the number of this type of scammer gift recipients. They are not easy to track down: it seems their imagination works faster than our florists counting flowers for another bouquet and our couriers who run off their legs to make the delivery on time. The vivid and imaginative mind of such personas allows them to create different names; if you’re an expert in the field, you can tell they follow a pattern, but it’s not obvious.
When we suspect the recipient could be a scammer, we cannot be 100% sure, and we cannot cry foul every time we have these thoughts. As our client, you don’t expect us to deliver disappointment in any possible way; you’ve hired us to treat your recipient well, preferably with a bouquet, right? We have a whistle but don’t blow it because we operate on the premise that you know what you’re doing. Extinguishing your gift-giving desire would be wrong, and we hope you understand where we are coming from.
There is, however, an example that stands out among others. Some time ago, we stopped servicing a money-hungry recipient after we learned that all her family is in business with her. Her grandpa sometimes called us back to schedule the delivery time, and then her mother would accept the gifts. This skillful scammer literally went to all lengths. She would appear under a certain name on a dating platform, crying a poor mouth, attracting victims, and reaping the harvest. Then she would take a breather and would then come in sight again, under a different name that resembled the one we knew.
This activity wasn’t discovered in one day, and it seemed extremely alarming when it was. We decided to blacklist her, and since then, every time a new order for her is submitted, we email our clients right away that they are dealing with a scammer. Some customers are infinitely grateful; some become defensive, promising to sue us. “How dare you besmirch my girlfriend’s reputation just like that!” reverberates in our ears every once in a while.
While we know a customer will be very reluctant to give up hope about their almost secured girlfriend, this doesn’t tell on us as a company. Described below are a couple of cases when a scammer would kick up a fuss with us:
— They are very cooperative when contacted and smiling when receiving the bouquet. The courier barely leaves before the scammer calls us to announce the flowers are not fresh, broken, or wrong. Just so you understand, the flowers selected for delivery are always fresh and are handled with care. It should be a true exception that the bouquet arrives not in perfect shape. If it does, we require pictures of the gift to share with the florist, so they can assess the situation and resend the flowers at no additional cost. But in our practice, some of those sly and attention-hungry gift recipients abuse our service. They don’t provide pictures of the damaged flowers and sometimes ask us not to tell you about the issue. All with the aim of getting double the flowers!
— Other sly scammers tell us we delivered them the wrong gift. This is practically out of the question. Our local representatives check the order contents thoroughly and arrange the gift as described. Yet, when the gift is there, they say it should have been a chocolate gift set, not the fruits, and they demand that chocolate, you know! As if their life is already not sweet enough!
Now that you know all there is to know about the fortunate people drowning in fudge, what’s next?
- If you have that special someone who actually deserves to have life sweetened a bit. Never fear! We’re here to help you balance the scales; our chocolate gift sets, cakes, and sweet gourmet baskets are unrelentingly at your service.
- We have also created a methodical overview of scammers as a species, as well as looked in detail at one of the subspecies, the timid scammer, if you’re interested in a deeper dive in the muddy waters.
- Use the buttons below to share this piece of chocolate with your friends on social media.
Hey there, I’m Aleksei, a Customer Service Manager with a passion for soccer and a knack for dad jokes! I’m excited to share my customer service insights with you all. When I’m not at work, you can find me whipping up some crepes, reminiscing about the perfect Brussels waffle, or playing billiards in the real and digital worlds. Sit back, relax, and enjoy my articles seasoned with a dash of humor.