Millions of Americans struggle with debt every year. Between student loans and credit card debt, it’s a genuine crisis faced by a large portion of the country. That’s why debt relief companies can attract quite a bit of attention from consumers in need of assistance.
But not every debt relief company is acting in good faith. Many are scams, and some manage to grab customers via social media with the help of slick, pay-for-play celebrity endorsements. Tap or click to learn how you can get custom greetings from celebrities online.
But now, a celebrity-backed campaign on Facebook is using Snoop Dogg, among other celebrities, in its marketing tactics. Unfortunately, Snoop Dogg doesn’t have any direct connection to this service, nor does it really relieve debt. Here’s what it actually does, and why you should steer clear of these tricky scammers.
Snoop Dogg says: ‘Sign up now!’
If you see celebrity endorsements for debt relief programs on your timeline, you might want to avoid checking them out. According to reports from Vice, a popular deb-relief platform featuring a video endorsement from rapper Snoop Dogg appears to be nothing more than a front for a referral service.
The company, called Debt Council, portrays itself as a generous debt relief organization that can help you “qualify for a program and get you thousands of your dollars back [with] a 15-minute phone call.” It claims to harness a government loophole to help users qualify for debt relief, but this appears to be untrue.
Unfortunately, Vice’s investigation revealed Debt Council actually behaves like a referring agent that harvests customer data and “connects” it to “qualified agents.” In this case, these “agents” are third-party companies interested in selling financial products like loans to consumers.
In other words, it’s a total scam with a veneer of authenticity thanks to an “authentic” celebrity endorsement.
Does Snoop Dogg actually endorse Debt Council?
Yes and no. The video testimonial posted by Snoop Dogg definitely endorses the service and explains its supposed benefits. But the video appears to have been a product of another service: Cameo.com.
Cameo lets you request pre-recorded messages from celebrities, who maintain their own profiles and rates. Tap or click here to learn more about Cameo.
Another rapper, Jermaine Dupri, also appears in ads for Debt Council. Unlike Snoop, he left the Cameo.com watermark on his recordings. Still, both rappers maintain a large presence on the platform, with unique rates for testimonials and shout-outs.
This incident just underscores how much fake stuff is floating around on social media. Even with real-life celebrities attached, services like Cameo further blur the line between fake promotions and real ones. Tap or click to see what percentage of online reviews are fake — this information may shock you.
With Deepfakes getting better and more accurate every day, we may not even need to pay celebrities to promote products and services anymore. Tap or click here to see how Deepfakes are being used to blackmail people.