Wonder why all your fake friends have lost their blue check marks?
Well, because they are all actually “real” frauds—as you probably always expected. Google your doctor’s name and find out he is a DJ? Or do a quick search of your favorite nightclub friend and discover they are a top streaming artist on Spotify? The good news is you aren’t going crazy—and the really good news is now Meta is cracking down on these fake blue checks and pulling back the coveted mark. The extra good news? Blue check marks are now worthless as a result.
At the center of this scandal, Miami-based aspiring DJ and would-be crypto entrepreneur Dillon Shamoun. His former business partner Adam Quinn shares with FACTZ that Shamoun masterminded a major Instagram verification extortion scheme.
Shamoun verified clients by creating fake Spotify or Apple playlists— claiming they were artists even though the music was purchased from stock sites.
“He would claim a Spotify account or an Apple account and create a website under his own name. Then, he would bot the streams and use Facebook panels he had access to and submit [his clients] to get verified,” Quinn says. “These are not artists, he would buy them press and he would use the same five press links.”
Quinn says the hard cost to do this was around $1,500 to get somebody verified. Shamoun was charging $20,000 to $50,000—and another “client” even paid $150,000.
Allegedly, the reason why Shamoun would create all the fake profiles under his own name is because if he ever had beef with [a client], all he had to do was just remove their Spotify link, remove their Apple link, remove their websites, pull back their verification badge and that gave him all the control.
How he pulled it off?
Shamoun has Facebook panels linked to his music label through which he would then submit musicians for verifications.
“There’s a rep on the back end who approves them. They’re employees of Meta and then they work for the Meta’s music department,” Quinn says.
FACTZ has identified two of these reps as Julia Killer and Kate Tetley.
“Meta employees gave him a creator partnership under Rumor Records,” Quinn says. “They were getting paid on the side.”
Quinn, who previously ran social media giveaways for celebrities, got involved with Shamoun when he needed a source to get clients verified. He sent him $150,000 and then Shamoun asked him if he wanted to partner up. Quinn continued to give Shamoun 50 percent upfront.
“We were doing like 30 people a month from my side. He got 50 percent of my business. And then I don’t know what happened. All I know is that by the third month, he owed like 32 clients of mine verification. He had like $350,000 of my clients money,” Quinn says. “I’m like, ‘dude, you owe me $500,000 If you don’t get these people verified, I’m going to expose you on my Instagram.’ He’s like ‘I’m not refunding you’ and we got into an argument.”
What resulted was a very public battle waged in screenshots on Instagram, which resulted in both of them getting banned by Meta.
But it doesn’t just end there, this is only the tip of the blue-check-mark iceberg.
In the second part of the scheme, Shamoun would use hackers to delete the Instagram accounts of the rich or of OnlyFans models and then go out claiming he could get their accounts back—verify them and give them a shield to protect their account.
More fake blues developing …