Sophie Kasaei fans swindled out of thousands after Geordie Shore star promoted rogue trader on Instagram

SOPHIE Kasaei fans claim they've been swindled out of thousands of pounds after the Geordie Shore star promoted a rogue trader on Instagram.

Pals Clare Radford, 32, and Jade Swift, 27, coughed up more than £1,000 to a foreign exchange trader appearing as Bethany McCarthy on Instagram.

The scam is almost identical to the one plugged by Katie Price, who encouraged her followers to invest in a “friend” of hers called Josh Chandler.

Clare and Jade, who live in Nottingham, fell prey to the con in June after seeing Sophie Kasaei's plug for a trader's now deleted account.

In a video posted to her Instagram story, tagging the woman, Geordie influencer Sophie had said: “You might have heard of a girl called Bethany who is helping so many people right now.

“She is well-known in the industry, she can help you earn money from home no matter what you need to do.

“She can give you all the tips, all the tricks to earn money from the comfort of your own home.

“So if you want to find out more she’s actually opening spaces for you to get involved. She is really well-known in the industry.”

Bethany claimed she could help grow her followers' cash from hundreds into thousands if they sent it her way.

The scam appears to work by lowlife crooks posing as Foreign Exchange traders on Instagram and contacting celebrities to plug them online – with some of the celebs even calling them their “friends”.

The scammers are then contacted by followers of the celebs who think they are above board, and willingly hand over hundreds – and in some cases more than £1,000.

At least five followers lost hundreds of pounds and Jade sent Bethany £1,026 in total – almost her entire month’s pay cheque.

“I thought it was legit because a well-known celebrity was promoting it, but Sophie got me into this mess," she said.

“Now I’ve got probably half a week’s worth of wages to live on.”

Clare explained how she and Jade were more than happy to cough up £100 each when they were promised they could get back £2,250.

The girls contacted Bethany on Instagram who explained how it worked and sent them a chart showing how much they could “earn”.

It showed you could get a £12,950 return from a £1,000 investment.

Clare said they transferred the initial £200 putting up half each and sending it from Jade’s online banking account with Lloyd’s.

Bethany then came back a few hours later and told them that they had turned their investments into a whopping £2,450.

But to pocket the cash, the girls would need to transfer over a ‘release fee’ of £926, this time to a different bank account, Bethany told them.

Jade coughed up the cash and Clare transferred it through her banking app again.

But then Bethany came back again and said the girls’ money had somehow doubled, and they now had more than £7,000 waiting for them – they would just have to cough up another release fee of more than £1,000.

The lowlife even pressured Clare to borrow the cash from family and friends if she couldn’t afford it, she said.

Clare said: “I was just like absolutely no chance, no chance in hell am I going to send anything more.

“I said to the person ‘This is a scam.”

Growing suspicious, the girls asked a pal to contact another account that appeared to belong to a Foreign Exchange trader called Josh Chandler – recently plugged by Katie Price, whose fans were conned out of thousands as result.

They had noticed him on Bethany’s profile, along with several other accounts.

The accounts all claimed to trade in ForEx and had similar bios and pictures, the girls said.

The conversation their friend had with Josh was “word-for-word” what Bethany had said to them.

Clare said she was also sent a screenshot of Josh claiming to be Bethany’s “colleague” by somebody else fearing they were falling victim to the scam.

Fearing the worst, Clare demanded the money back in the next 30 minutes – but had no luck.

She scoured through Bethany’s page and began to suspect she was using fake pictures.

A snap of a boarding pass to Turkey showed a different name and the selfies on her profile actually appeared to be of several different people on closer inspection.


When she confronted her in an Instagram message, Bethany replied: “Oooh shiver mi timbers.”

Clare and Jade are yet to get their money back, but have reported the incident to Action Fraud and Clare’s bank.

Clare now faces a gruelling wait as her bank assesses whether she will get Jade’s £926 back, as well as the extra £200 the girls originally put up.

They are also both furious with Sophie Kasaei.

Clare said: “You just don’t think to doubt when someone says someone is a genuine person. It doesn’t cross your mind."

A spokesperson for Sophie Kasaei’s management team said in a statement the post went through the “usual company checks without any cause for concern,” which include: “Company registration check, director background, credit rating, Instagram account review, relevant director and business searches and who else they have worked with.”

The spokesperson did not address how these checks were completed against somebody using a false name and pictures.

The spokesperson added: “The account in question had worked with Sophie’s Social Media Management before across different clients, as well as other influencers and celebrities across social media.

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“After Sophie had posted she received a direct message from a follower relating to the account in question which raised concern, and immediately deleted her post.

“The post was live for less than 2 hours between 10pm and midnight.

“Sophie is upset to hear of any alleged scam and does not wish to be associated with anything of this nature.”

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