CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Being a brand ambassador, where a company pays someone to promote their products and brand on social media, has become a trend among young people.
But a 17-year-old girl says she knew something was wrong when a so-called cosmetics asked for nude pictures.
Catalina Gathagan thought she was connecting with a fellow cosmetics company on social media. She says when she heard the company “Kenzie’s Kozmetics” was looking for brand ambassadors on Instagram, she wanted to support.
According to its website, the company claims to be owned by Kenzie Ziegler, from the television show “Dance Moms.” On the website, it sells lip-glosses and other products. Gathagan says it also claimed to sell clothes.
Gathagan says she checked out the website and even reached out to a friend who worked with the company. She says when she emailed the company, they told her they’d send her $300 for reviewing one of their product packages.
“They were like okay well we have 3 video requirements and I’m like okay maybe they’re going to ask me to just kind of like introduce myself stuff like that,” said Catalina Gathagan.
The company asked for something else that shocked Gathagan. In a message exchange with her, they requested video of her breasts, claiming some of their shirts are sensitive and can cause irritation.
They also asked for a video of her entire body fully naked, specifically requesting she “show waist and butt to camera.”
“That’s when I was like this doesn’t really seem real,” said Gathagan.
Gathagan says it turns out, “Kenzie’s Kozmetics” seems to be fake.
“Who really has the time out of their day to send a package, make a website, start all this fake stuff and then pose as a famous star to lure girls in to sending nudity and nude videos and stuff like that. It’s crazy to think about,” said Gathagan.
She never sent the videos, but she says she knows a 14-year-old girl who did.
Gathagan tells 19 News, after she posted about the company on Instagram, other young girls have come forward.
“They weren’t telling the real scary part of the story and if someone doesn’t tell it people are going to keep falling for it,” said Gathagan.
Since Gathagan called the company out on social media, the pictures on the “Kenzie’s Kozmetics” Instagram page have been deleted.
She says she wants to make sure other young girls don’t fall victim.
“I have a little sister that’s 12 years old and it just scares me for girls around that age group thinking that companies are going to take them seriously and then this can happen to multiple girls everywhere,” said Gathagan.
Gathagan has since moved out of Cleveland, but tells 19 News she plans to contact Cleveland Police.