There's a well-established agreement between brands and influencers: We send free products, you post about them on Instagram. Often it's a happy arrangement; influencer feeds fill with promotional material, followers click and merchandise sells. But sometimes the posts never appear.

When this happens, the brand's representatives may assume the "entitled" influencer has either kept the product or tossed it disapprovingly without so much as a "thank you." But now another possibility has emerged: The brand might have been defrauded by an impostor.

Scammers, using throwaway email accounts and fake websites, are pretending to be influencers (or their assistants), requesting free

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