callikoa-tiktok-scam

@jadebyjulia/TikTok | @callikoa/TikTok

‘She was the first influencer I was ever going to work with’: TikToker says Callikoa scammed her after promising to swap crystals for video

She hopes other small businesses learn from her mistake.

 

Elizabeth Rose

Internet Culture

Published Dec 25, 2021   Updated Dec 27, 2021, 10:07 am CST

Julia Schwarzinger, who runs a business that sells crystals, was excited to work with influencer Calli Hynes.

“I was just a fan of her,” Schwarzinger tells the Daily Dot of the woman known online as @callikoa who boasts 1.2 million TikTok followers. “I watched her videos whenever she would post them.” 

But after Schwarzinger posted new videos on TikTok chronicling their interaction, well, lets just say she’s not a big fan these days.

She originally commented on a video Hynes posted talking about her crystals. Schwarzinger let the influencer know about her small crystal shop business, Jade by Julia, and told the TikTok star to check her out. 

Soon she had a DM saying, “Hey it’s Calli from TikTok.”

Schwarzinger sent a message offering her a discount on some of her products and even first pick at some new inventory. 

Screenshots on @jadebyjulia’s TikTok show Hynes reply, “Would you wanna send some with no charge in exchange for a promo video?” 

@jadebyjulia

Reply to @thewitchespitstop #greenscreen btw this is back in MAY #SCAMMER #influencerdrama

♬ original sound – Jade By Julia

Schwarzinger agreed. It seemed like a good move. Hynes had over a million followers and climbed her way to fame with makeup and hair videos as well as some explaining how she makes money sitting at home talking to sugar daddies. 

“She was the first influencer I was ever going to work with,” Schwarzinger told the Daily Dot. “I was a bit nervous you know because it’s money coming out of my pocket.”

In her TikTok, she goes on to explain that she asked Hynes if she would be willing to sign something agreeing she would keep up her end of the deal and make a video on the products she was sending for free. 

Hynes replied, “[I]s this agreement necessary?” 

Against her gut feeling, Schwarzinger agreed to send crystals without an actual signature. 

Hynes sent a full list of the crystals that she wanted from her shop, and Schwarzinger complied. 

The influencer gave many excuses, all documented via Instagram Messenger of why she hadn’t done the video.

But after months of waiting and requests, the video never came. Eventually, Hynes even stopped replying. 

Hynes didn’t live up to her end of the deal, so Schwarzinger asked her just to pay for the inventory—but once again after obtaining the business’ PayPal, the influencer went quiet and the money never came, she says.

@callikoa has since gone private. Last week her comment section filled up with people backing the small business asking her to pay up. 

“I thought maybe she would make a video or something to apologize or explain the situation,” Schwarzinger says. “Rather than just avoid it by turning off her comments and making her Instagram private.”

But a few days ago, Schwarzinger finally did hear from the influencer and did receive payment, though apparently Hynes tried to get her to agree to another deal. 

She wanted her to take the videos down in exchange for payment. 

“She said ‘I paid you, I want to handle this privately,’” Schwarzinger explains. “But she didn’t handle it privately for the past few months when she kept ignoring messages.” 

Schwarzinger says she won’t be taking down the viral videos because she thinks they are a good warning for other businesses like hers. 

“I made the video because I was sick of seeing her brag about all these designer products and her making all this money a day and like, just blowing me off and pretending that she wanted to help my business,” she says.  

Her biggest advice before working with a small business: “Trust your gut.” 

And while her battle with Hynes caused a big headache, her video explaining the situation has been great for her business. Many people have reached out wanting to support her including buying her products. 

“Right now I’m pretty much out of stock,” she explains. “It’s amazing and I imagine when we restock I’m going to be sold out right away.” 

We’ve reached out to Hynes for comment.

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*First Published: Dec 25, 2021, 8:32 am CST