This Friday, July 29, the front page of Liberation looks like a poster for a reality TV program. In front of the Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai, three reality TV personalities captured Booba (real name Élie Yaffa) with the magic of a photomontage. The daily decided to return to a fight that was born in social networks and that has turned into a real judicial soap opera.
@Booba criticized the business of influencers
information @libo : reports and two criminal complaints have been filed, targeting the business and scams of several social media stars including @MagaliBerdah. Our investigation https://t.co/IiRVwwZS5L
– Freedom (@libe) July 28, 2022
A fake watch burns powder
And at first, the object of the conflict was none other than… a fake watch. The story begins in December 2021 when influencer and scoop hunter Marc Blata attacked the rapper Booba. The reality TV candidate, based in Dubai since 2019, launched the rumor that “The Duke of Boulogne” would wear during a shoot a fake watch from luxury watchmaker Richard Mille. The fuse is lit: Booba on his big white horse is on the heels of the influencer and his cryptocurrency and trading business. Because it is partly thanks to these activities that Marc Blata, and his wife Nadé, also an influencer, ensure a comfortable lifestyle under the palm trees in Dubai.
Influencers with lucrative businesses
To achieve this, the blogger bludgeons his millions of followers daily with his business 2.0 services. Between two stories where he shows his luxurious life on the other side of the world, Marc Blata invites his subscribers to join him in a messaging loop where he gives the best advice for investing in foreign currencies. But before becoming part of the “lucky ones”, you have to invest the amount of 500 euros by clicking on the link known to be integrated in your video. Nothing illegal so far. Apart from that, according to Booba and according to the testimonies collected by the Liberation newspaper, the people who invested will lose in a blink of the fingers the total amount paid. “I find myself dry eating pasta and rice every day” says a delivery driver who saw his 2,000 euros go up in smoke in the influencer’s business.
Questionable resale practices
After investigating the activities of Marc Blata, Booba discovers that he is not the only social media influencer who is deceiving his community. On his Twitter account, the rapper challenged other partners such as Dylan Thiry or Maeva Ghennam, who partly based their wealth on collaboration with drop-shipping sites.
.@Maevaghennam1 Fraud dropshipping is good but you have to go to manicure because that is not good!!! The product you promote costs 2 euros, you sell it for more than 30 euros and the packages do not arrive. sorry… pic.twitter.com/sxo1b7F4tq
—Booba (@booba) July 20, 2022
This increasingly widespread sales system consists of selling more expensive products, often of poor quality, that are bought on Chinese sites such as Alibaba or Aliexpress. Make-up, clothes, hair straighteners, shoes, gadgets: products of all kinds are presented by influencers using the methods of teleshopping sellers. “Besides having no talent, promoting a culture of emptiness, weakness, and not paying their taxes in France, they cheat citizens – especially teenagers – by selling them dirt” , confided in the rapper to Liberation newspaper.
The Booba-Magali Berdah feud turned sour
But the main target of the artist is none other than Magali Berdah, manager of the biggest influencers whom he accuses of being behind all this deception. Apparently targeted by the social networks of the former member of Lunatic, the “father of reality TV” has recently obtained the suspension of the Instagram account of Elie Yaffa, alias Booba, while no influencer account has for one time been subjected in punishment. “It was a crazy thing, deleting my Instagram account. I criticized the scammers and they closed my account instead of stopping them from stealing”, protested the rapper in the columns of the daily. “The whistleblower stature built by Booba only serves to mask his dark tendencies in cyberbullying.” considers part of this source near Magali Berdah.
From networks to courts
After launching the hashtag #influvoleurs, the translator of pit bull opened the “Influvoleurs2022” mailbox to collect testimonies from victims of this system. “It is very advanced, there are hundreds of cases, young people, mothers. It’s strong, there’s a big” suggests the artist launched legal actions. Marc Blata and Shauna Events, Magali Berdah’s company, are the subject of two reports to the Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention. The rapper’s lawyer, Master Klugman, also filed two complaints against Shauna Events and against X, for “deceptive marketing practices” and “organized gang fraud”.
On her part, Magali Berdah also filed two complaints against the rapper. One is for defamation and the other is aimed at his activism in social networks which is the beginning of the opening of a preliminary investigation.
The file, which has gone beyond the virtual boundaries of social networks, has recently found its way to the corridors of the most important state institutions. On July 19, the Ministry of the Interior called for maximum vigilance in dealing with online scams, recalling, as reported by Liberation, the existence. “a national anti-scam task force”.