This was somewhat disappointing.
This chap contacts me, seemingly wanting permission to repost our Instagram images. His personal info has been removed.
We have reviewed your page and we truly loved your work!
We’d like to repost your pictures on our profile. Our account is [redacted] and we have over 200.000 followers. If our followers see your work a large number of them are extremely likely to follow you.
I hope this sounds great to you since we are convinced you are going to receive a lot of new fans from this.
Would you like to be published on our page?
All the best,
I realize this was a form email but I thought: how courteous that they ask permission first. So many just steal your work. I felt they should be complimented on doing the right thing.
Thank you for reaching out but we must decline your offer. Our work is licensed for our use only, and we cannot permit it to be reposted. We truly appreciate your asking us first and for doing the right thing.
Seems their email system is set up assuming that all replies are positive, because I next get this:
I appreciate you getting back to us!
We have delivered many sponsored shoutouts and the results were always terrific. When we saw your Instagram profile we were confident you would get the same results. You can choose the photos for the promotion yourself or we can help you out with that.
We guarantee at least 500 new followers with just one picture. With 3 published photos you will get at least 1500 new followers, and with 7 – more than 3500 new followers! If we don’t deliver these results, we will issue a full refund.
1 shoutout – $39
3 shoutouts – $79
7 shoutouts – $159
And it goes on.
This doesn’t deserve much more than:
I don’t know if you read my reply at 11.31 a.m. UTC—it seems like you haven’t. It’s a no.
And a block of the schmuck’s domain on our server, plus two reports from us on Instagram for spamming.
I know you’re thinking: why did you even bother replying in the first place?
Well, usually when people send me unsolicited emails, they’re not so stupid as to not read the replies. This Instagram scammer, whose followers are probably all fake anyway, had automated everything, and took things to the next level of laziness. And he’s a greedy bugger as well, wanting to use your work and charge you for their using it!
This is a sure way to ruin your reputation, and if you feel public policy would be served by my revealing their identity, I’m very happy to do so.