UPDATE: The twitter account of @WhoIsFatal is now unverified. I may still be seeking compensation from the user of that account, but at least he’s not able to continue holding a fraudulent presence on twitter. That is honestly worth every penny that I spent on nothing…
I’m not gonna lie, sharing this story is terribly embarrassing for me. As a person who is always tweeting about how I refuse to play the role of a victim, I’m not happy to admit that I recently was one. I had always prided myself on not being a theft victim and I recently lost the ability to say that anymore. It was due to my impatience and I hope you can learn from my mistake.
If you’re unfamiliar with the twitter social media network, it’s a forum of user posted status updates that tends to connect account holders to similar interests. If a user is a higher profile member of society or the entertainment industry, twitter will place a blue check-mark next to their name. This is like a status marker, a verification of their professional legitimacy on twitter. Twitter and its users refer to it as a “verified profile.”
Being a long-time musician, YouTube partner and emerging entertainer, saying that I want a verified twitter profile is an understatement. It seems like a wonderful way to legitimize my business’s online presence. With twitter verification, I see myself being taken more seriously and able to avoid the annoying twitter question, “who are you?”
I used to look at verified twitter profiles as ones I could trust, until recently.
When twitter initially rolled out verified twitter profiles, they were understandably verifying only obvious candidates such as Britney Spears and Beyonce. As time progressed and the demand for twitter to verify more profiles grew, more and more lesser well known “artists” started receiving the infamous blue check-mark on twitter.
One of these unknown “artists” that I came across was Don Ortiz (twitter user @WhoIsFatal) aka Fatal or Don Perion. I had never heard of this “rapper” or his music before.
But he had the verified check-mark, so I knew he must of been somewhat legitimate. Right?
I followed him and he later followed me back. We tweeted each other a few different times and were cordial.
One day, I sent him a private message (known as a “direct message” on twitter) asking him about how he received his twitter verification. He explained to me that he had a friend with inside connections to twitter (which is how most unknowns are getting twitter verified nowadays) and that he could “guarantee” me the same deal for a fee.
Honestly? I was thrilled and completely willing to pay it! I’ve seen popular entertainment twitter accounts with over a million followers, who still have yet to receive profile verification. I thought about how wonderful it would be to have that process sped up. Granted, I feel confident enough in myself to know that I’ll receive verification eventually but who wants to wait? I certainly didn’t and paid dearly because of it.
I continued conversing with @WhoIsFatal and agreed to the deal. I sent him $600 via PayPal (proof provided in included pictures) plus credentials I was asked to provide. I was told that it can be a lengthy process and that I should expect my account to be verified within four months.
Four months passed and I was provided with the excuse that everything was still processing. Six months passed and I got worried.
Was I really idiotic enough to send an iPad’s worth of money to a complete stranger on twitter?
I was. The final time I approached him on twitter about our deal, he told me that it was in fact not guaranteed (as he had originally stated) and blocked me from being able to communicate with him again. I had officially been scammed. I was hurt and enraged. This “verified rapper” had not only taken my money but destroyed a dream of mine, in more ways than one.
As a YouTube partner who has been featured on the front page of my city’s newspaper for my online entertaining efforts, I have recorded various musical and video projects to rave reviews. I have a steadily growing fan base and have been hired by companies to promote their products. I have been invited to red carpet events, have been asked to be a social media correspondent at events I was invited to and have been paid to perform numerously.
I feel verified, I don’t have to prove it to twitter. Can @WhoIsFatal do the same?
After being scammed, I exhausted my efforts on trying to get reimbursed or to at least get some acknowledgement from twitter about this ordeal involving one of its verified users. To unlucky results, I’ve decided to simply share my story so that it doesn’t happen to anyone else looking for a quicker way to enhance the legitimacy of their business on twitter.
Obviously, everyone who’s verified on twitter isn’t necessarily verified offline. I did a background check on @WhoIsFatal and discovered that he still lives with his parents. Of course, that’s when he’s not busy promoting his laughable new acapella rap single.
If I’ve learned anything, it’s that nothing in life should be rushed. When you want something bad enough, it always seems to come to you the moment you stop pushing for it so intensely. I unfortunately had to learn that the hard way. I’m not even sure twitter verification is something I even want at this point anymore, since you obviously can’t trust someone just because your favorite social network tells you can.
I don’t need twitter to confirm what I already know about myself. And all of you unverified twitter accounts that are wishing for a blue check-mark should feel the same way…
(RETWEET AND SHARE THIS BLOG TO HELP SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT WHAT I WENT THROUGH AND TO SPARE POTENTIAL FRAUD VICTIMS, THANKS)
As far as I’m concerned, this isn’t over yet. Does anyone have any advice as to how I should go about pressing charges or getting my money back?