Scamfluencers

By Wondery

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Subscribers: 1365
Reviews: 9

kb
 Oct 31, 2022

60hrs+/wk
 Sep 19, 2022
S1E3, 33:20: "YES, plot twist, WOMEN work more than men!" I hate sexism, racism and other discriminations, from either sides. I have no need for your podcast.

Ryan
 Aug 5, 2022
Unintelligent and grammatically unnerving. They explain their puns, their jokes, they over explain information that is simple to digest. They claim that references Annie Oakley is a "boomer joke". Knowing history is considered a "boomer"?

Jane
 Jul 10, 2022
It's like two amateurs at a coffeeshop having a casual back and forth about random people without knowing there's a microphone running. Sounds nothing like a well produced, researched, professional, or well narrated podcast.

entertaining but...
 Jul 7, 2022
entertaining show but sometimes the production isn't great. I can occasionally barely hear the hosts above the background music.

Description

You never really know someone…especially online. In today’s world, the power of influence can be the quickest path to money and fame, and it often ends in ruin. These are the stories of the world’s most insidious Scamfluencers. And we are their prey. On Wondery’s new weekly series, join co-hosts Scaachi Koul and Sarah Hagi as they unpack epic stories of deception from the worlds of social media, fashion, finance, health, and wellness. These influencers claim to be everything from charismatic healers to trusted financial insiders to experts in dating. They cast spells over millions. Why do we believe them, and how does our culture allow them to thrive? From Black Swan Murder to a fake social media influencer to an audacious Hollywood Ponzi schemer, each season will take the listener along the twists and turns, the impact on victims, and what’s left when the facade falls away.

New episodes come out every Monday for free, with 1-week early access for Wondery+ subscribers. Listen ad-free on Wondery+ or on Amazon Music with a Prime membership or Amazon Music Unlimited subscription.


Episode Date
ENCORE: The Hollywood Ponzi Scheme | To Live and Lie in LA | Part III | 11
00:39:48

Zach's fake business deals and lies are starting to catch up with him. The money has stopped flowing, and entertainment bigwigs are hounding him for answers. But like everyone else in Hollywood, Zach thinks he's just one box-office smash away from solving all his problems.

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Jan 30, 2023
Wondery Presents: Frozen Head
00:03:45

Hosted by Ash Kelley and Alaina Urquhart from the hit show Morbid.

When 90-year-old Laurence Pilgeram drops dead on the sidewalk outside his condo, you might think that’s the end of his story. But, really, it’s just the beginning. Because Laurence and others like him have signed up to be frozen and brought back to life in the future. And that belief will pull multiple generations of the Pilgeram family into a cryonics soap opera filled with dead pets, gold coins, grenades, fist fights, mysterious packages, family feuds, Hall of Fame baseball legends, and frozen heads — lots of frozen heads. From Wondery, comes a story about life, death, and what comes next.

Follow Frozen Head on Amazon Music or wherever you get your podcasts. Binge early and ad-free by subscribing to Wondery+ in Apple Podcasts or the Wondery App. 

Listen to Frozen Head: Wondery.fm/FH_Scamfluence

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Jan 24, 2023
ENCORE: The Hollywood Ponzi Scheme | Once Upon a Crime in Hollywood | Part II | 10
00:38:58

Zach Horwitz is finally living out his movie star dream. He even has a new stage name. The call sheet has him listed as Zach Avery. But behind the scenes, he's starting to break character as a businessman. His Ponzi scheme disguised as a production company is beginning to fumble. If Zach plans to continue fooling his investors, he'll need to keep the cash flowing.

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Jan 23, 2023
ENCORE: The Hollywood Ponzi Scheme | The Talented Mr. Avery | 9
00:40:54

To kick off the new year, we’re revisiting one of our most ambitious scammers to date: Zach Horwitz, the juice bar owner turned high-rolling Hollywood mogul… or so it seemed. The first episode in this three-part series, which originally aired in April of 2022, follows Zach’s savage journey into the heart of Hollywood — and the wallets of some of its biggest players.

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Jan 16, 2023
The Bitcoin Bamboozle | 8
00:42:44

When a major cryptocurrency exchange gets hacked in the summer of 2016, billions of dollars worth of Bitcoin go missing. The stolen crypto sits unspent for months, and the hack seems all but impossible to trace… until two surprisingly savvy federal agents begin investigating on the black market. As they follow the money, it leads them to two of the wackiest, and tackiest, international cyber-criminals the world has ever known.


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Jan 09, 2023
Fine Art Fugitive | 7
00:42:19

When Inigo Philbrick opens his own art gallery in London, he’s immediately seen as someone to watch. He’s well connected and has a knack for “flipping” art, or buying influential pieces only to turn around and sell them for a handsome profit. Before long, he’s selling shares of paintings and raking in money from investors all over the globe, all while becoming known for his jet-setting and expensive taste. But when he makes too many promises he can’t keep, this notorious art dealer will lose it all.

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Jan 02, 2023
The Shady Bunch | Part II | 6
00:42:59

The Chrisleys are riding high on their hit reality show and several spin offs, but the cracks are starting to show in their all-American family. Tax fraud allegations have the Feds circling, and some of the Chrisley kids are starting to spill the tea about what’s really happening behind the scenes. When the gossip starts flying, things get ugly real quick. But it’s all a big distraction from the bombshell drama playing out in a federal courtroom. 


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Dec 26, 2022
The Shady Bunch | Part I | 5
00:39:08

Todd and Julie Chrisley paint the picture of a lavish Southern lifestyle on their over-the-top reality TV show Chrisley Knows Best. They show off their massive home in suburban Atlanta, their kids drive luxury cars, and Todd makes frequent trips to Beverly Hills for haircuts. But behind the scenes, everything isn’t all glitz and glamour. The real story involves an extramarital affair, blackmail, and fake financial records that threaten to completely upend their reality TV empire.

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Dec 19, 2022
There’s Something About Martin | Part II | 4
00:43:10

After breaking a big story about Martin Shkreli for Bloomberg, journalist Christie Smith wants to dig deeper into the man who’s become the face of corporate greed. She begins following him everywhere, and she decides he’s not the villain the press has made him out to be. As Martin continues to come under fire for his unhinged antics, Christie’s admiration for him only seems to grow. When their relationship finally comes to light, the damage will already have been done. 

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Dec 12, 2022
There’s Something About Martin | Part I | 3
00:40:00

With his uncanny gift for shorting stocks and predicting the market, Martin Shkreli becomes a finance wunderkind almost right out of college. He experiments with hedge funds and eventually starts his own Pharma company, raising millions of dollars from high-profile investors. But when his Twitter antics and social media trolling begin to raise red flags, Martin’s reputation tanks. And after he price-gouges a life-saving drug, he goes from finance bro to the most hated man in America.

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Dec 05, 2022
The Fitness Faker | 2
00:43:50

After years of struggling with an eating disorder and poor self esteem, Brittany Dawn decides to reinvent herself: as a body-positive influencer. She launches her own online business as a personal trainer and fitness coach, and she sells “personalized” plans to help others who are struggling with the same issues she did. But when her clients discover their plans are not at all what was advertised, they decide to team up – and uncover the truth about Brittany’s business. 


If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, here are some additional resources: 


National Eating Disorder Association: 1-800-931-2237

National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders: 888-375-7767

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Nov 28, 2022
Intercontinental Con Man | 1
00:48:03

 When a Colombian teenager survives an hours-long trip inside the wheel well of a plane, he becomes an instant celebrity. A local family in Miami decides to adopt him, in the hopes of giving him a better life in America. But they quickly realize he’s not who he says he is, and he’s not even a teenager at all. In fact, this is just the start of his journey into becoming one of the world’s most charming, cunning, and completely untraceable identity thieves. His speciality? Sophisticated hotel heists all over the globe.

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Nov 21, 2022
Reality Show Scammer: Live From Obsessed Fest | 9
00:37:01

In the early 2000s, hopeful reality show contestants in the U.K. sign up for what they think will be the opportunity of a lifetime. In exchange for a year of living their lives on camera, they’re offered a chance to win £100,000, plus a shot at fame and stardom. But when the contestants start asking questions and putting the pieces together… they realize the show they’ve agreed to is a complete sham. Scaachi and Sarah tell the twisted tale in front of a live audience at Obsessed Fest in Columbus, Ohio. 

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Oct 31, 2022
Prep School Perpetrator | 8
00:36:18

After being humiliated and exploited at her elite New York City prep school, Danielle Miller sets out to reinvent herself. She ends up befriending a group of young socialites in Los Angeles, and before long, she’s flying on private jets, picking up pricey dinner tabs, and running her own P.R. firm. But when Danielle is arrested crossing into the U.S. border from Mexico, the source of her money becomes more clear — and her life slowly begins to unravel. 

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Oct 24, 2022
Superstar Sports Scammer | Part II | 7
00:43:45

As Alex Guerrero comes under scrutiny for fraud allegations and FTC fines, Tom Brady doubles down on his good friend and business partner. Together, they open a sports center, publish a book, and promote their own brand of supplements. But as their popularity grows, some of their most troubling beliefs will come to light. 

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Oct 17, 2022
Superstar Sports Scammer | Part I | 6
00:45:01

When superstar NFL quarterback Tom Brady gets badly injured on the field, he turns to his secret weapon, an unlicensed “body coach” named Alex Guerrero. Together, the duo become unstoppable, creating their own company together and even peddling their own products and philosophies. But their questionable partnership will prove more than controversial… maybe even dangerous. 

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Oct 10, 2022
Serial Killer Grifter | Part II | 5
00:41:50

By the 2000s, Stéphane Bourgoin isn’t just writing books and making documentaries about serial killers – he’s also influencing cops, prosecutors, and judges. He’s gained a group of devoted fans who watch all of his interviews and study his work. But when his fans begin to notice discrepancies in his stories, they band together to investigate a new subject: Stéphane himself. What they uncover will be even more disturbing than some of Stéphane’s own true crime tales. 


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Oct 03, 2022
Serial Killer Grifter | Part I | 4
00:41:00

 In the late 1970s, a French horror fan named Stéphane Bourgoin becomes obsessed with serial killers. He manages a used bookstore specializing in crime fiction and begins writing articles on the topic, fashioning himself into an expert on all things morbid. And his career really takes off when he scores the opportunity of his dreams: to interview actual serial killers in prison. But the more influential he becomes, the closer he’ll get to being found out: as the ultimate fanboy and a total fraud.

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Sep 26, 2022
Gossip Girls | Part II | 3
00:39:19

The Matharoo sisters have gone from globe-trotting tastemakers to detained prisoners. Stuck in an airport hotel without their passports or phones, they decide to take matters into their own hands – and hatch a bold escape plan. Before long, their story goes from local gossip fodder to an international scandal.


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Sep 19, 2022
Gossip Girls | Part I | 2
00:38:35

In 2016, a mysterious apology video surfaces online. In it, two jet-setting sisters from Canada, Kiran and Jyoti Matharoo, claim they’re the masterminds behind a vicious gossip site that’s been stirring up scandal and controversy in Nigeria. The only problem? The video is a fabrication — and the truth is even stranger.

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Sep 12, 2022
The Book Bandit | 1
00:48:17

When a seemingly sophisticated phishing scam preys upon some of the biggest authors, publishers, and agents in the world, it throws the book industry into chaos – and turns everyone involved into an amateur detective. Rumors about the scammer’s identity – and motives – abound. And as the scammer gets bolder, his targets become determined to crack the mystery wide open.


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Sep 05, 2022
Golden Age of Scammers: An Interview with Evan Ratliff | 9
00:38:42

Ever wonder why it feels like we’re in the golden age of scammers? In this special episode of Scamfluencers, hosts Scaachi Koul and Sarah Hagi sit down with fellow journalist Evan Ratliff, the host of Persona: The French Deception, to discuss our culture’s rabid obsession with conning. They dig deep into Ratliff’s investigation into Gilbert Chikli, the prolific con artist whose bold telephone scams netted more than $50 million, and discuss how influence can make — and break — a scammer.   

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Aug 15, 2022
Desperate Housewife | 8
00:42:37

On Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City, Jen Shah drives a Porsche, throws lavish parties, and brags about her $50,000-a-month shopping sprees. But when she gets arrested on camera and charged with serious federal crimes, including conspiracy to commit money laundering, it becomes clear she’s been leading a double life. Now, this drama queen is getting her own reality check. 

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Aug 08, 2022
The Billionaire Gucci Master: Part II | 7
00:40:00

Hushpuppi is expanding his business with some new partnerships, including with the North Korean cyber criminals who hacked into Sony. He’s becoming one of the most elite Internet scammers in the world, and he’s well on his way to pulling off a massive, multi-million dollar money laundering scheme… If only he could stop posting about it on the gram.

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Aug 01, 2022
The Billionaire Gucci Master | Part One | 6
00:44:10

On Instagram, Hushpuppi flaunts an extravagant international lifestyle. He wears head-to-toe Fendi and poses next to Bentleys and private jets. His millions of followers know him as the former “Yahoo boy” — a Nigerian email scammer — who transcended poverty and now calls himself the Billionaire Gucci Master. But his haters, including more than a few rappers, all want to know: Where is his money coming from? 

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Jul 25, 2022
The Yoga Hustler | Gurus Gone Wild | Part Two | 5
00:39:38

As Guru Jagat starts spewing dangerous conspiracy theories, her followers become determined to expose her for what she really is: A fraud. Their revelations, coupled with explosive new allegations from other members of the kundalini yoga community, force everyone to choose a side: Guru Jagat or… reality.


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Jul 18, 2022
The Yoga Hustler | The Notorious G.U.R.U | Part One | 4
00:39:06

Ever since childhood, Katie Griggs has been searching for her purpose in life. When she discovers kundalini yoga, she becomes convinced she’s finally found it. She follows her vision and decides to start her own yoga studio in Los Angeles. RA MA Institute attracts celebrities, garners glowing press, and expands into a global yoga empire. But behind the scenes, the woman who now calls herself Guru Jagat isn’t nearly as enlightened — or as trustworthy — as she seems.

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Jul 11, 2022
Coachella Con Artist | Festival Of Lies | 3
00:39:38

Chinese real estate executive Serena Shi appears to be living the American dream. She’s wealthy, glamorous, and runs a business showing other Chinese investors how they, too, can cash in on California real estate. When she announces her latest project — a luxury resort she plans to build in Coachella Valley — she quickly nets millions of dollars. There’s just one problem: Her dazzling desert property is nothing more than a mirage.

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Jul 04, 2022
Fake Saudi Prince | We’ll Never Be Royals | Part Two | 2
00:38:53

Anthony Gignac, masquerading as a Saudi prince, is finally living the life of luxury he’s always dreamed of. But of course, it’s not enough. He’s planning his biggest scam yet. He’s going to buy one of Miami’s most iconic hotels. That is, until a billionaire real estate magnate starts digging around… and discovers a trail of lies.

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Jun 27, 2022
Fake Saudi Prince | Catch Me If You Scam | Part One | 1
00:45:21

Prince Khalid bin al-Saud is an international playboy from an ultra-wealthy Saudi family. He's posted hundreds of photos on Instagram showing off his lavish lifestyle, complete with private jets, designer bags, and a diamond-encrusted jaguar-shaped bracelet. But there's one problem -- he's a fake. His real name is Tony Gignac and he's from Detroit, Michigan. And he's about to pull off a series of daring cons from Dubai to Miami.

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Jun 20, 2022
Brazil's Supermom | Bad At Dying | Part Two | 8
00:40:50

Suspicion builds around Flordelis and her mega-sized family as the investigation unfolds and the horrifying truth comes to light. When a suspect is arrested and Flordelis’ children begin to turn on her, it becomes clear that her saintly facade may have been the greatest con of all.


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May 23, 2022
Brazil's Supermom | Mommy Dearest | Part One | 7
00:44:36

Beloved gospel singer and congresswoman, Flordelis dos Santos de Souza was revered in Brazil as the “Mother of the Nation” for adopting 55 children. But when her husband is killed during an armed robbery -- everyone in the family becomes a potential suspect. The investigation unravels a deception so twisted it shocks the nation. Is Floredlis a superstar or super-criminal?

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May 16, 2022
Dr. Teen Love, MD | Master of Deception | 6
00:44:19

Malachi Love-Robinson, a sickly teenager from South Florida, has dreams of becoming a doctor someday. The only problem? He doesn’t want to wait. With just a white lab coat and a stethoscope, Malachi transforms himself into “Doctor Love” and launches a medical career. Unfortunately, as with all good scammers, he gets too ambitious, raising the stakes higher and higher, until one day, the “Doctor” meets the wrong “patient.”

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May 09, 2022
The Hollywood Ponzi Scheme | To Live and Lie in LA | Part Three | 5
00:41:14

Zach's fake business deals and lies are starting to catch up with him. The money has stopped flowing, and entertainment bigwigs are hounding him for answers. But like everyone else in Hollywood, Zach thinks he's just one box-office smash away from solving all his problems.

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May 02, 2022
The Hollywood Ponzi Scheme | Once Upon a Crime in Hollywood | Part Two | 4
00:40:30

Zach Horwitz is finally living out his movie star dream. He even has a new stage name. The call sheet has him listed as Zach Avery. But behind the scenes, he's starting to break character as a businessman. His Ponzi scheme disguised as a production company is beginning to fumble. If Zach plans to continue fooling his investors, he'll need to keep the cash flowing.

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Apr 25, 2022
The Hollywood Ponzi Scheme | The Talented Mr. Avery | Part One | 3
00:41:14

Zach Horwitz owns a sandwich and smoothie shop in Chicago, but dreams of moving to Hollywood to make it as an actor. Luckily, Zach knows a thing or two about creating high-stakes fantasy worlds, just like in the movies. So he crafts an opportunity of a lifetime out of thin air that lands him and his girlfriend, Mallory, in Los Angeles. Mallory is his biggest supporter, and for a while, it seems like Zach is finding fast success… until he bites off more than he can chew. Over the next three episodes, Scaachi and Sarah will explore the meteoric rise of a Hollywood wannabe best-known for his headline-making arrest.

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Apr 18, 2022
Ballet's Lethal Start-Up | Pointe and Shoot | Part Two | 2
00:35:05

Dancers go unpaid as American National Ballet struggles to stay afloat. Behind the scenes, Ashley and Doug Benefield's marriage takes a turn for the worse. What starts as a dream will end in murder.

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Apr 11, 2022
Ballet's Lethal Start-Up | Black Swan, Inc. | Part One | 1
00:43:09

What happens when a former ballerina and a shady businessman try to revolutionize the world of dance? Welcome to the Fyre Fest of the ballet world. In this two-episode series, power couple Doug and Ashley Benefield use their money and influence to launch what appears to be a groundbreaking ballet company. One that champions diversity and inclusivity. The only problem is, none of that is true. Because as dancers put their careers on the line for this new company, it all begins to spin out of control — just as Doug and Ashley’s marriage falls apart.


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Apr 11, 2022
Introducing: Scamfluencers
00:02:04

You never really know someone…especially online. In today’s world, the power of influence can be the quickest path to money and fame, and it often ends in ruin. These are the stories of the world’s most insidious Scamfluencers. And we are their prey. On Wondery’s new weekly series, join co-hosts Scaachi Koul and Sarah Hagi as they unpack epic stories of deception from the worlds of social media, fashion, finance, health, and wellness. These influencers claim to be everything from charismatic healers to trusted financial insiders to experts in dating. They cast spells over millions. Why do we believe them, and how does our culture allow them to thrive? From Black Swan Murder to a fake social media influencer to an audacious Hollywood Ponzi schemer, each season will take the listener along the twists and turns, the impact on victims, and what’s left when the facade falls away.

See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Apr 04, 2022