How I Fell For a Medium Scam

Photo by Oleg Magni on Unsplash

A week ago, I got a hopeful message.

It was an offer of $3,500 for one of my medium articles. Excited, I told my family of the offer, ignoring the skepticism in my brain. I followed my heart, agreeing to each message and even signing up for their sketchy money transfer site, Nikwallet. (Also no, I didn’t give them all of my information, just an email and a password).

As days passed with no more information, I started to get concerned. Had my gut feeling been right? I researched the publication and found nothing reputable about it. A bit sketchy, right? The entire thing was riddled with red flags, all hidden behind jargon that may seem legitimate to a new writer.

I fell for it. Despite all of these red flags, it was too late. I had already signed up for an account (that you can’t delete, by the way).

I read up on multiple articles where other Medium users saw the same scheme. Each one captured each of my fears — that this was probably a scam.

I lost hope when I saw these articles. My mind finally won over my heart, realizing that although I wanted that $3,500 (what college student doesn’t?), it wasn’t going to happen.

Hank Edson’s Medium story goes over it best, and I highly suggest you read it — it goes over every message and details why it was such a scam.

Even the first message expressing the love for my article was the same as the message Edson received. When I first looked at the article he commented on, I was a bit confused because my article wasn’t that spectacular. It was an article about taking risks, and even though my Grandma said she thought it was worth $3,500, I now knew it was too good to be true. Taking this risk on giving into this scam was definitely not worth the reward of my paranoid checking of all of my accounts.

Yesterday, I looked for the messages on my article and they had disappeared. So had the publication and the “editor” sending around these messages. It felt like a victory when I realized that Medium had stopped these people from preying on the hopes of writers.

My regret in all of this is not following my instincts. After sharing my excitement with my family, all I wanted was for it to be real, even if I knew it wasn’t.

Yet, I’m not sad about “losing” this money. It was never mine, anyway. Because I felt that this situation was not right, I never let myself get too carried away.

At the end of the day, I write on here to grow as a writer. I write for myself. If I haven’t made thousands, it’s because I simply haven’t paid my dues.

In other words, no scam is going to rain on my parade.

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Journalism student at the University of Kansas | Ghosted in America Podcast Host

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Abby Peeler

Abby Peeler

Journalism student at the University of Kansas | Ghosted in America Podcast Host

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