Nickelback fans have had it tough.
First, they’ve needed to defend their favourite band from jokesters on the web who’ve mercilessly mocked the group for years.
Now, they’re getting catfished.
Devotees of the Canadian rock group are being contacted by profiles pretending to be band members Chad Kroeger, Ryan Peake, Mike Kroeger and Daniel Adair. Some are in search of love; others cash within the type of Bitcoin or iTunes present playing cards. None of them are actual, however dedicated supporters reply anyway, on the off likelihood their movie star crush is on the opposite facet of the display.
It’s gotten so unhealthy that in July, the band tweeted out a message to remind followers to maintain their guard up. “Friendly reminder that the only official Nickelback Twitter account is right here, along with Mr. @TheDanielAdair,” they wrote. “Look for the blue checkmark to know it’s the real deal on all social networks. Report any accounts that are claiming otherwise.”
Queens resident Nicole Godja has been contacted by a number of profiles pretending to be frontman Chad Kroeger since final yr, on Instagram, Facebook and Google Hangouts. She follows the band on their verified Instagram account, and was a part of a Facebook fan group, the place a number of different members have been contacted by faux accounts.
“Thank you for following my page and for the love and support you’ve all showered on me and the whole of nickelback team I hope you never stop supporting us and listening to our songs,” a profile with the deal with @chad__robert_kroeger_ messaged her in October. (While that account now not exists, a minimum of a dozen phonies have popped up as a replacement.)
The translator, 48, was instantly suspicious. “There were red flags,” she instructed The Post. The account wasn’t verified, it had no profile image and solely 70 followers. Still, she stored up the dialog, interested in the one that had contacted her, whoever it might be. “I had doubts that it would be him, so I asked him basic things about him,” she stated. “It didn’t add up.”
The account was “flirting with me from the beginning,” and even stated that he liked her, stated Godja, who’s single. “This guy can have any woman in the world,” she stated of Avril Lavigne’s ex-husband. “Why would he go online and look for weirdos?”
Kroeger and Nickelback didn’t reply to requests for remark by press time.
Though Godja stated that she by no means believed she was speaking to the true Kroeger, she was involved with the account virtually day by day till New Year’s, when she determined to interrupt off communication. The faux Chad wouldn’t ship photos of himself, get on the cellphone or do a video name with Godja, claiming it was in opposition to his supervisor’s guidelines to speak to fans.
He’d additionally tried to solicit cash from her: Both the Facebook and Instagram accounts claimed that he wanted her to pay practically $13,000 in Bitcoin so he may ship a trunk he wanted to her home, and the Chad on Hangouts wished iTunes present playing cards from her, saying his managers forbade him from “making money on the side,” stated Godja. Knowing she was being scammed, she declined.
“I feel like a good rule of thumb is that if somebody is employing a manager, they don’t need your money,” Gabrielle Bluestone, writer of “Hype: How Scammers, Grifters, and Con Artists Are Taking Over the Internet—and Why We’re Following,” instructed The Post. “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”
Though it’s unclear why Nickelback fans particularly are being focused, Bluestone stated age might play a task. After launching in 1995, the band’s reputation peaked within the late aughts. “People who haven’t grown up on the internet are a bit more susceptible to scams. Older people in general make better targets for scammers,” she stated.
Their devotion to the group can be a key issue: Online fan golf equipment give scammers “a pool of potential victims that respect the band and want to help them out,” she stated.
And regardless of clear warning indicators, die-hard fans usually unconsciously need to disregard them. “Everyone wants to be the exception to the rule; people can talk themselves into anything, especially when it’s something they care deeply about,” stated Bluestone.
While verified celebrities like Ben Affleck and Matthew Perry are contacting fans on courting app Raya, the rip-off knowledgeable says it is best to at all times be in your toes: “There is the technology to make a fake Ben Affleck video,” she stated. “Unless you’re seeing it face-to-face with your own eyes, there should always be a dose of suspicion there.”
The accounts have since reached again out to Godja, and he or she continues to talk to them day by day, hoping they’ll reveal their true identification to her. She’s reported the Facebook and Hangouts account, and a few have been taken down, although the catfish retains creating extra.
“I feel bad that they give a bad name to the band,” stated Godja, of the scammers.
“I’m really sad. I will never know [Nickelback] personally, but I don’t think these people deserve that.”