November 17, 2018

Social Media and Online Manipulation: L.A. Band Threatin Faked a Fanbase To Land a European Tour No One Attended

Filed under: Scams — Tom @ 8:10 am

I know I shouldn’t be enjoying this (too much) — and I do feel the victims’ pain — but to quote the late Robert Palmer, this story is “Simply Irresistible” for its sheer audacity:

Talking up your own band a little bit to make it appear that you’re more popular than you are is a rite of passage for young acts. We’ve heard of plenty of bands that’ve exaggerated sales or live show numbers to land a gig or two, or talked themselves up to national media for some press attention. It comes with the territory, and it’s usually harmless.

But the Los Angeles band Threatin have taken that idea to a level previously thought unimaginable: the band was able to book an entire tour of Europe despite having no fanbase whatsoever, and it’s all in the process of crashing down around them.

To do it, the band’s frontman and leader, Jered Threatin, posed as a nonexistent booking agent / promoter to land the gigs, used faked live footage of allegedly packed shows in L.A., bought Facebook likes, event RSVPs and YouTube views and lied about ticket sales numbers to swindle venue owners and talent buyers into taking on the shows.

Of course it all came crashing down, as was inevitable — which leads one to wonder what “Threatin” (if that’s his real name) was thinking.

The bigger message is that you can’t presumptively trust those whose only claims to fame comes from online “sources.”

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