The New Journalism Scam Resurfacing

How The New Journalism Scam Works

The emergence of cryptocurrency has been a blessing and a curse to some people. On the one hand, several people have benefited from the decentralized nature of the digital asset, thus benefiting from the frequent price volatility. On the other hand, persons have had to contend with losses not from price crashes or poor trading decisions but Imposters or scammers.

Tales of failed attempts and various tactics of imposters spread across the Internet. But this particular tale caught our eyes, and we decided to share.

On January 31st, a Telegram user with the name Danny Nelson sent Karla Vilhelem (a PR professional) a rather mouthwatering message.

He pretended he was a CoinDesk reporter and told Vilhelem that he would publish a post for any of her clients on the platform, as long as she can pay a small posting fee of $600.

A mouthwatering proposition that anyone would consider given the exposure that CoinDesk guarantees. However, Vilhelem was skeptical. After a number of years in the industry, she accustomed to some of the tactics of Imposters in the crypto industry. Over the years, she had advised her clients not to pay for any exposure from so-called journalists. Now here she was with a so-called journalist asking her to pay for coverage.

“I have always known that CoinDes doesn’t ask for money. So it was strange seeing this message,” Vilhelem said.

Another hint that Danny wasn’t who he claimed to be was his grammatical errors and laughable mispunctuating of the brand name.

How The New Journalism Scam Works

Excerpts of the chat between Karla Vilhelem and the Impersonator

Vilhelem was quick to catch on to his antics, and she played along to see how everything will unfold.

journalism scam

Source: Karla Vilhelem

Despite his attempts to sound convincing, Vilhelem could see through his acts. She refused his offer, put on her Sherlock Holmes hat went to do some investigating herself. She searched from the real Danny Nelson on twitter and contacted the CoinDesk team. She reported the fake Danny Nelson and shared a screenshot of their chat with the team.


Vilhelem emerged victorious from the exchange, but we can’t say so for others who have fallen for the antics of such imposters.

The actions of impersonators in the crypto industry are like a plague. More than three startups have come out of the wrong end of situations similar to what Vilhelem experienced. Scammers usually come in different shapes and sizes. However, one of the most common scams experienced in the industry is the journalism scam.

The Journalism Scam

The scam is one of the oldest in the book. Someone poses as a representative of a major media outlet, offering you an opportunity to get media exposure for a price.

This scam has been on-going for ages even before the advent of the Internet. The perpetrators will go to great lengths to come out as genuine outlets. They often use anonymous payment systems to ask for payment.

Imposters will go to great lengths to appear legit. So before you pay for anything, kindly confirm your source. Most media outlets do not ask for money to cover your brand.
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