Small business owner calls out influencer for allegedly trying to scam her

A small business owner based in Australia called out a woman who claimed her order was missing, only for the product to be featured in the background of her Instagram Story.

Aatikah Santos (@khaliabeautybar) owns the online makeup shop Khalia Beauty Bar. On the company’s TikTok account, Santos captivated followers with her response to a customer who claimed that an order that was marked as delivered never actually arrived.

“I haven’t received my order!” the customer’s email read, as shown on TikTok. “Can you resend it or refund it [?] Thanks.”

In her TikTok, Santos then plays a screen recording of the customer’s Instagram Story, where the influencer shows off two Louis Vuitton boxes. In the background, Santos zooms in on the unmistakable packaging that matches products from the order the customer alleged was missing.

“It was truly upsetting,” Santos told In The Know. “I put so much time and hard work into establishing my business to where it is today, and to see firsthand proof that they had been untruthful was very upsetting.”

Santos also added that she had accommodated the influencer already by combining two separate purchases into one shipment and refunding the influencer the cost of extra shipping.

“It was a horrible feeling,” she said. “I’m very new to collaborating with influencers and micro-influencers. Unfortunately, I’ve had my fair share of bad experiences, but those who I still work with are absolutely amazing and are very talented artists.”

Over 2 million people have watched the video, with hundreds of thousands tuning into Santos’ follow-up video, where she shared the reply she sent to the influencer.

“Your tracking number says it’s been delivered,” the email said. “You also posted this onto your Instagram Story, you may want to [check] the background before you post, our packaging can be seen in the background so I can only assume that you did in fact receive the order.”

“We don’t appreciate being lied to,” Santos continued.

Santos told In The Know that the influencer has not yet responded to her email.

“It’s been very quiet,” she said. “At the end of the day, she got the order she paid for. It’s water under the bridge for me.”

Commenters were stunned by the audacity of the influencer and excited that Santos was able to catch her in the act.

“Embarrassing,” one person wrote.

“This bothers me so much!” another added. “Small businesses get hit so much.”

“How do people lie to business[es] like this?” someone asked. “No shame.”

Santos says that she hopes the incident won’t discourage other small business owners.

“Don’t be afraid to defend yourself and [your] business,” she advised. “People often worry about the negative impact this will have on a business, but letting someone walk all over your business is not right! We need to speak up rather than just processing a refund to make the problem go away.”

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