Illustration by Max Fleishman

How one woman’s ‘sugar daddy’ advice blew up a scammer empire

'Send pictures, get money.'

Feb 29, 2020, 4:28 am*

Internet Culture

Jay Hathaway 

Jay Hathaway

A typical sugar baby-sugar daddy arrangement involves a woman who offers companionship or sex to a (typically older) man in exchange for regular payments of money and gifts. The most famous “sugar baby” on Twitter right now does it a little differently, though, and people are clamoring for her guide to scamming dudes out of thousands without ever meeting them or revealing your real identity.

Tram, a.k.a. @meIaninrise, tweeted out her instructions for getting a sugar daddy, and, according to people who’ve seen them, they actually explain how to catfish men into sending you money for fake photos.

We’re forced to rely on secondhand accounts of the now-infamous “sugar daddy thread,” because Tram has deleted it and asked people not to share screenshots. But that hasn’t stopped dozens, maybe hundreds, of people who missed the original thread from begging others for a copy:

 

Twitter

 

The deleted thread has truly become a Twitter phenomenon. Tram has gained thousands of followers and millions of views, plus the attention of Twitter’s most famous con artist and “messy bitch who lives for drama,” Joanne the Scammer.

So, what was in this sought-after deleted thread? Judging by the responses on Twitter, step one was to find some photos for sale:

And if you’re having trouble finding nudes, Tram’s got you—and you often don’t need more than foot photos, anyway: She recommends @PURESKlN. There was also apparently a list of apps to use: SeekingArrangement to find men, TextNow to anonymously communicate with them, Photo Vault to store your stash of stolen photos, and PayPal to get paid.

And, according to various scammers, it works:

Tram has been bragging on Twitter that her followers have already made thousands of dollars using her now-deleted advice. The sugar daddy scheme spread like wildfire through Korean pop music Twitter in particular, and now it’s turned into a full-blown side-meme: #kpoptwitterisscammingsugardaddies.

When you send the nudes to the wrong daddy#kpoptwitterisscammingsugardaddies pic.twitter.com/0d1iHlIor1

— 송영재 (@Sung_Youngjae) June 29, 2016

When he gives you 300$ but he still requesting the photos #kpoptwitterisscammingsugardaddies @KeNNyBoySlay pic.twitter.com/pFbAEulmek

— Val(=゚ω゚)ノ (@vilevalerie) June 29, 2016

When he find out where you live… #KpopTwitterIsScammingSugarDaddies pic.twitter.com/R7KjTsTf2V

— Marie (@Hobiecakee) June 29, 2016

me on the inside: GIVE ME UR MONEY FATTY #kpoptwitterisscammingsugardaddies pic.twitter.com/uOvDABNGzd

— Lays left buttcheek™ (@yoonseokish) June 29, 2016

i love it when daddy thinks that i’m a freaking biology book 😍🔥💯 #KpopTwitterIsScammingSugarDaddies pic.twitter.com/e8f7nB4fVA

— daria☆彡 (@HIGHKSOO) June 29, 2016

#kpoptwitterisscammingsugardaddies
That moment when you send a fake pic but he takes it. . . pic.twitter.com/ISTJRpC9II

— Aki Tachibana (@AkiTachibana1) June 29, 2016

#kpoptwitterisscammingsugardaddies
“I’ll give you a raise if we Skype” pic.twitter.com/dYgK7MbKJG

— Morgan (@ayeee_morgan) June 29, 2016

Although it’s been a revelation to a bunch of K-pop kids on Twitter—many of whom claim to be under 18 and running the catfish scam anyway—this advice to would-be sugar babies is nothing new. There’s a very active Tumblr tag on the subject, where girls share tips for staying safe while scamming and brag about the stuff they’ve bought with their daddies’ money.

You don’t need a “sugar daddy thread.” You need to be resourceful, you need common sense and you need a tumblr.

— sugar baby ☁️ (@doublelifesugar) June 29, 2016

the sugar daddy thread is highkey basic information im kinda surprised

— lina (@hunghoseok) June 29, 2016

The problem, from the sugar babies’ perspective, is that Tram’s Twitter thread was too popular, and now too many cooks are spoiling the pot. (This cliché is apropos here because “pot” is also sugar baby slang for a daddy who offers steady payments.)

So many people have started trying to run the scam that they’re encountering each other on Omegle:

@meIaninrise LITERALLY OMEGLE AND SEEKING ARANGMENTS IS FULL OF SUGAR BABIES WHAT DID U DO

— chris (@voidsunlight) June 29, 2016

And potential sugar daddies on Seeking Arrangement are starting to suspect something is amiss. There’s also, of course, the small problem of this whole business likely being illegal as hell. But hey, that’s just the #ScammerLife. And even if Tram’s deceptions are rendered ineffective due to their sudden popularity, the sugar daddies and sugar babies of the world will doubtless find each other once again.You might even call it destiny.

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*First Published: Jun 30, 2016, 8:30 am

Jay Hathaway

Jay Hathaway is a former senior writer who specialized in internet memes and weird online culture. He previously served as the Daily Dot’s news editor, was a staff writer at Gawker, and edited the classic websites Urlesque and Download Squad. His work has also appeared on nymag.com, suicidegirls.com, and the Morning News.

Jay Hathaway