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How to Plan a Trip So You Don’t Get Scammed by Influencers ( Lessons Learned from the Mary Jane Byarm Scandal)

Social media is one of the greatest gifts that’s we have and also one of the biggest curses. It’s been the source for a lot of us to make an income, make friends as well as pass around information. I mean how many new things are we learning from Tiktok? But one of the most disturbing things that have arisen are people being scammed by influencers left, right and center. The newest person to join the clan of scamming influencers is Mary Jane Byarm. Before her the biggest scam to happen had been Tanacon.

Many influencers have scammed people and got away with it. On that note, don’t trust influencers, period. Some people are speculating that maybe the axe is bearing down on Mary Jane so hard because she’s black. But I beg to differ. Tana Mongeau only got away with it because she used Shane Dawson before he was cancelled to shift all the blame for Tanacon to Michael Weist. Over here though the amount of money taken from people plus the fact that she operated everything herself leaves her with no one to blame except herself.

The person to have been scammed of the least money had $1,000 taken from her which she wanted back to pay her rent. And there’s increasing evidence to prove that she was targeting to scam women of color the most which is really problematic when you consider that women of color statistically earn less and work more than other races and genders. That’s why people are coming down on her so hard.

A lot of the women admitted that they wanted to travel with a “professional” traveler in order to feel safe in an unknown land that they didn’t want to go to alone. Mary Jane was apparently charging $2,500 for the package deal to travel with her to either Dubai or Egypt.

Parasocial relationships, relationships where you form a connection with someone that is unaware of your existence are what influencers bank on when they sell things to you. We tend to trust the person across the screen even without a valid base to honestly trust them. Because they make videos that brighten our day or vlogs that allow them to glimpse into our lives. It’s very rarely reciprocal as we notice that many times we might leave comments under their videos that even if they’re micro influencers, they never bother to reply to (I believe that’s why many influencers channels don’t grow, they want to be uppity to their less than ten thousand followers and not interact with them as though they’ve got large followings then ask for your engagement).

This psychological flaw lead more than 20 women to trust Mary Jane with more than a thousand dollars. Are they idiots? No, as humans we in many cases trust other humans to do right by us. So you can never blame victims for trusting even if it is naïveté. We have all been naive and in many times when we’ve made what would be considered bad choices we had good people that were trustworthy when it happened. These girls weren’t so lucky.

So here’s a few tips on how to plan a trip so that you don’t get scammed.

1. Google what you need to enter the country of your destination.

2. Check the embassy website

3. Google flights to the country according to your budget.

4. But plane ticket

5. Google accommodation according to your budget.

6. Get accommodation

7. Google costs of food and activities.

8. Set aside money for that and multiply it by two in case of emergency.

9. Go on your trip and follow safety tips found on Google and Facebook women travel groups to stay safe while traveling while female.

10. Don’t get scammed by Mary Jane.

This leaves me to conclude that the answer to not getting scammed lies in doing some of the work yourself or if you don’t hiring a ✨certified✨ travel agent to book your trip. Never trust a random person online with your money unless they have taken the steps they need to in order to legitimize what they’re doing.

And even if they take steps to legitimize what they’re doing…if they’re Tana Mongeau…you’re kind of asking to be ripped off…but anyway safe travel!

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