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My experience with SCAMMERS on Bookstagram

Times are truly sad if this is what desperate people have turned to.

Online scamming has always been present, however in the year 2020 it has increased exponentially in the Bookstagram community. In the last couple of months I was impersonated a total of 5 times on Instagram. It is an infuriating and disheartening moment, to see how low a human being can go when they are hopeless.

What is their strategy and how do people fall for it?

  1. A TARGET: The scammers choose to impersonate big bookstagrammers who host giveaways for big prizes. Usually ones that are for money giftcards and have a visual calling on the photo of the giveaway.
  2. A FAKE ACCOUNT: The scammers then proceed to create a fake account with a very similar handle and bio to the original bookstagrammer, as well as the same profile photo. They take screenshots of the most recent photos from the bookstagrammer’s feed and post these on the fake account, including the giveaway post.
  3. A FAKE WEBSITE FOR PRIZES: They create a fake website using photos of the bookstagrammer and the giveaway post. Their strategy is to lure people to this website to register and give them their bank information.
  4. ATTRACTING VICTIMS: They start to follow people who entered the giveaway on the original bookstagrammers post. They want people to believe they are the original bookstagrammer and to lure them in to their scam. Their strategy is to get people to click the link (either sent via DM or in the scammers bio) by making them believe they have won the giveaway prize.

Scammers use malicious links to obtain your bank account or credit card information!

Never click any suspicious links!

Message from a fake scam account

How to recognize a fake scam account?

Recognizing when an account is fake is not always easy, however there are some signs to look out for:

  1. FOLLOWER COUNT: The bookstagrammers they are impersonating usually have thousands of followers. The first thing you will notice is a very small (usually less than 1k) follower count.
  2. NUMBER OF POSTS: Scammers don’t have the patience or time to go and screenshot 500+ photos and post them all. They usually have small number of posts.
  3. BLURRY PHOTOS: Scammers screenshot the bookstagrammer’s photos which makes them blurry, easy to see that the photo they posted isn’t the original.
  4. THE ACCOUNT IS NEW: These fake accounts are created on the same day they hope to scam people. Real and big influencer accounts have been around for years (I will show you how to see this information below).

Fake scam account impersonating me. You can immediately spot the small number of posts, followers, blurry photos and the obvious scam link in the bio.

Besides those four main signs of fake accounts, other ways to identify is: when a person DM’s you with a link asking you to register for a giveaway, usually they have grammar mistakes (they are nervous and in a hurry), they don’t have any stories or highlights (they don’t have the time to put these up they want to scam a few people and bring the account down fast before someone notices it).

Another way to clearly identify who is the real account and who is the fake account, is by clicking on the “3 dots” on the top right corner of an account, as shown on the images below for my profile. Then select “About This Account”. You will then be able to see when this account joined Instagram under “Date Joined”.

My next blog post coming this weekend will cover the following topics:

  • How to report a scam account
  • What to do if you are being impersonated on Instagram.

Book review: Space Between us, by Jamaal Aflatooni

| Gifted | Sci-fi |

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The space between us begins with Darwin, who is getting ready for his first day of school. Darwin has a skin condition where white spots mark his skin. Because of this, he feels a bit out of place and gets bullied quite a lot by one particularly nasty boy. Soon he discovers a new ally: Tyler. He has moved here from Washington DC, and they quickly become friends. I loved their witty remarks and funny conversations, you can really see their friendship bloom. 

I enjoyed the plot twists at the end and I am very curious for the sequel!

Darwin has had these dreams in which he finds himself in an alternate universe, but he finds it difficult to know what to do with them. The inner struggle is put onto page beautifully, and you immediately wish you could help him figure it out.

The story really starts to become mysterious when a man keeps popping up at Darwin’s school, and starts to follow him. You do not want to put the book down, trust me, you will want to keep reading this alluring story. I can highly recommend this book, even if you’re not a fan of sci-fi.

You can check out more about the book and the author here.

Book review: The Diseased Ones, by Danielle Harrington

| Gifted | YA dystopian |

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The Diseased ones tells the story of Hollis set in a dystopian world in the year 2647. The world-building is captivating! I love the entire concept of the “diseased ones”; a mutation of the blood that gives whoever possesses it unique abilities. I also find greatly intriguing how society established what is the norm for behavior of its citizens, who are not allowed to show emotions or any type of feelings, which are characteristics of the Diseased Ones. Hollis never imagined she would carry the gene of the Diseased Ones. She wants nothing else then to be a perfect obedient member of society.

Cover of book 1!

I enjoyed the plot twists at the end and I am very curious for the sequel!

Her life is turned completely upside down, the government is after her and who she thought was the enemy has taken her in. Worst is, she has a very dangerous and rare ability, which makes her one of the most powerful Diseased Ones. Can she control herself or will she give in to this dark power that calls to her? The story reads fast paced, I practically binged it! The plot has so much potential, I really love the side characters, they are all very well developed. Hollis however makes so many decisions that frustrated me that drove me to not like her. Although I understand her reasons, she is dragged away from home and is told that everything she knew up to that point is a lie, she was still very naive.

You can check out more about the book and the author here.

Book review: The Kingdom of Another World by V. Vent

. tata.lifepages | Gifted | YA fantasy |

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This novel pulled me in right away and kept my eyes glued to the page! It has all my favorite tropes: arranged marriage, chosen-one, enemies to lovers, royalty… It was a very enjoyable read that had me feeling completely satisfied at the end. The story follows Kiara, a beautiful and loving princess, loved by all, who to her father’s dismay was not the chosen one as predicted by the prophecy. She feels the king distance himself from her as his disappointment is clear, she was not to be the savior of her kingdom. He forces her hand on an arranged marriage, to the very rude lord Kollen who bumped into her, she wants nothing to do with him.

So captivating!

I loved the bickering between these two characters, it was fun to watch Kollen try to win the princess back after ruining her first impression of him. The story picks up speed as soon as Derek and his cunning sister Nora, appear. They are in disguise, the poor Kiara and her father have no idea they have lured the enemy right into their very palace. What Derek was not expecting, was to fall head over heels with Kiara. Thus a love-triangle begins, and who will get the girl? The characters are one of the elements I loved of this novel, they are all super fun and intriguing! Their development is great, including the side characters like Emmett and Sprout, I loved reading about them.

photo by @tata.lifepages

The world building was a bit hard to grasp at first, specially the magic behind the portals between worlds, however as the story progresses it becomes clearer. The romance and chemistry between Derek and Kiara was breathtaking, and I found myself giggling and blushing like a little girl who was smitten. I love it when I fall for these bad boys alongside the main character. I am anxious for the next book in the series! I have grown fond of these characters and I want to read more about them!
You can check out more about the book and the author here.

Book review: Akelarre in New York, by M. H. Gorostiza

. tata.lifepages | Gifted | fantasy |

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I went into this book blindly, not knowing exactly what I would encounter, and boy was I surprised to discover in the first chapters that Lilith, our beautiful and alluring main character, was in fact an immortal creature that requires blood for living. I was not expecting that! The author writes in such an original and unique way, containing texts, emails, lyrics, thoughts and even different timelines mixed together (present and past flashbacks). The past timeline interested me the most, I was intrigued by Lilith’s history and how she came to where she was today.

Such a fun cover !
I'm not in love
So don't forget it
It's just a silly phase I'm going through
And just because I call you up
Don't get me wrong, don't think you've got it made
I'm not in love, no no, it's because

The first half of the book I had a bit of a hard time to grasp the timeline of events and who was descendant of who exactly, however by the second half everything is explained and magically clicks to a point that you go “Ohhh that’s why!”, I love those revelation moments! I finally discovered how good it is to have representation in fantasy books, I was overjoyed that the story included a Brazilian character, Fernando. This is the first time I see Brazilian culture represented in a new adult magical novel and the author definetly knows the culture, which made my latin heart super happy!

photo by @tata.lifepages

I was delighted to see mention of the current global issue, climate change, it even mentioned the Paris Agreement! My engineer heart was utterly happy by the amount of accurate historical details and awareness included in the novel. Sometimes the historical facts were a bit too much for me to follow, but you can definitely see the amount of research and time the author has put into her work. There is also beautiful artwork included at the beginning of each chapter which I loved to see.
You can check out more about the book and the author here.

Book review: Beyond, by M. C Winkkle

. tata.lifepages | Gifted | sci-fi |

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Beyond is the first book in the adult sci-fi series Black Tears, with elements of thriller and a little bit of romance. I really enjoy reading dark and intense novels, and this one was no exception. It is definitely a book with a bit of a psychopathic touch, as the synopsis states. It follows the story of Stella, a girl with special gifts who is abducted by the CIA. The government hopes to use her abilities to win the war against the aliens. They treat her like a prisoner, and she is tested on, restrained and humiliated during her captivity. In this regard, since the synopsis mentions trigger warnings, I think the biggest to point out is Stella’s suicidal attempts. As a girl who already suffered from anxiety, her mental health is stressed to extreme levels

So alluring !

The story follows two other characters besides Stella: The Commander and Abigail. At first, it would seem there is no connection between these three characters, but the more you continue reading, the more it is clear where the story is going. I love romance, so I enjoyed reading the one between the alien leader and the human he falls in love with. I found it especially interesting reading The Commander’s perspective. We see him slowly learn how to feel like a human and give himself to love, but also struggling with his duty to his people and everything he has ever known.

photo by @tata.lifepages

You can check out more about the book and the author here.

Book review: Darkwind, by Renee Dugan

. tata.lifepages | Gifted | fantasy |

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Darkwind follows the story of Cistine, a young princess who decides to take matters into own hands to avoid war. She sails north with her closest companions in hopes to strike a deal with a land that was once her kingdoms enemy. What she didn’t expect, was to be taken captive by a band of dangerous outlaws. What I loved most about this story was the elaborate set of characters. Wow! The author develops a masterful and complex set of characters with unique personalities, motivations and backstories! The band of outlaws, the cabal, reminds me of the dregs from six of crows, you will fall in love with every single one of them.

So stunning!

In the first half of the book it took me a bit to grasp the world building and all the names and settings, but after that it was much clearer! I was glad to see that Cistine was not a fighter or strong princess like we usually encounter in fantasy novels lately, she has a lot to learn still to lead, it made her relatable. It is an action-packed dark fantasy with amazing character development, I felt connected to them like I knew them in real life. The ending made me eager to pick up the sequel. This plot has so much potential I am eager to continue following this unlikely group that I have grown very found of.

photo by @tata.lifepages

You can check out more about the book and the author here.

Book review: Daughter of Lightning, by Anna Logan

. tata.lifepages | Gifted | YA fantasy |

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The story follows Talea, a humble laborer girl that hides a dangerous secret: she can control lightning. Talea and her family work hard to survive and make a living as laborers, until one day when she discovers a boy that holds the same ability as her, as well as mysterious masked men stalking her. The novel has this dystopian vibes that remind me of The Hunger Games in the beginning, with her family obviously suffering to make ends meet living through strict rules of the government and mandatory drafts of the men to the army.

I love this cover!

The story has a lot of potential to develop into an amazing series, the world building flows perfectly and is easy to grasp. I am hoping for a more romantic side-story development in the subsequent books (you guys know I need some romance) however since the main character is 15 I’m not sure if that will be the case.

The pages flew in my hands, its very intriguing and fast paced. I am eager to read the following books in the series! 

photo by @tata.lifepages

You can check out more about the book and the author here.