A bombshell documentary is shedding new light on Instagram fraudster Caroline Calloway — three years after her deceits were exposed in a scathing New York magazine essay penned by her former best friend
“My Insta Scammer Friend,” produced by British network BBC Three, went to air in the UK Thursday night, laying bare the impact of the glamorous grifter’s deceptions in interviews with the women who were duped.
From the mid-2010s, Calloway, dubbed the “world’s worst influencer,” pulled off a series of schemes that might even make Anna Delvey blush: spending a six-figure advance for a book that never materialized, flogging tickets for writing seminars that didn’t exist and selling her own line of skincare shamelessly named “Snake Oil.”
“It was this sickening feeling,” former follower Abigail Scott states in the new documentary, describing the moment she realized she had been duped by Calloway. “A lightbulb went off… she was just looking at her fans as a way to make money.”
American-born Calloway first became an internet sensation back in the early 2010s while studying at England’s Cambridge University.
The pretty blonde — who hails from a wealthy Virginia family — garnered hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram, where she shared detailed posts about her majestic life abroad at the historic sandstone college.
Young and impressionable fans fawned over Calloway’s aesthetically-pleasing pictures and diarized posts about her fairytale romance with a fellow student.
In 2015, Calloway publicly announced that she had monetized her alluring Instagram feed, allegedly inking a $500,000 book deal with Flatiron Books to pen a memoir. The social media starlet stated that she received a 30% advance — or a whopping $150,000— as part of the agreement.
Then, in 2018, the savvy starlet set up an international “Creativity Workshop Tour,” promising to teach fans how to leverage their own life stories into a lucrative Instagram brand.
Seminars were advertised in a slew of cities, including LA, Austin and Atlanta, with fans forking out $165 a ticket. The workshops never took place, and several scammed followers are still scarred — as they illuminate in the new doc.
Calloway had a devoted army of impressionable followers and allegedly strung them along by occasionally “liking” their posts or sending sporadic messages to keep them engaged.
“I was 10 out of 10 obsessed with Caroline Calloway,” former fan Genevieve Wheeler states in the new doc.
“She would like your posts and it felt like Christmas morning, it was the greatest thing in the world,” another impressionable admirer, Caitlin Vickers, added: “I would definitely say I was addicted, I wanted to be living that life so much.”
Abigail Smith — also interviewed in the doc — was one of the young women who splashed cash on a ticket. She messaged Calloway on Instagram when details for the seminars didn’t materialize.
Smith says Calloway responded by promising a refund, before she immediately blocked her.
“When I realized the lack of planning, I was in disbelief. What Caroline promised, she failed to organize 99% of it,” Smith says in the doc.
Calloway — who was by that time living a glam life in the Big Apple and plastering it all over Instagram — subsequently apologized and pledged to refund tickets.
However, later that year, Calloway was sensationally called out in a lengthy takedown piece in New York Magazine, by her ex-best friend Natalie Beach, who claimed she had ghostwritten the influencer’s incredibly popular Instagram posts. She also accused her one-time pal of being emotionally manipulative.
The piece made news, including in The Post, and Twitter users called for Calloway to be canceled.
However, the starlet attempted to embrace her “scammer” status, intending to capitalize on her haters.
Her memoir with Flatiron Books never materialized, with Calloway instead vowing to pen a tome titled “Scammer.” So far, it has not materialized.
Meanwhile, the shameless star launched her own line of skincare cannily titled “Snake Oil,” with products retailing up to $250. It is now no longer in production.
In 2020, Calloway started an OnlyFans account, but that too was also short-lived. She has seemingly been inactive on the site since January 2021.
Calloway was not interviewed in the new BBC Three documentary, but those who were financially and emotionally manipulated by the influencer lay bare the toll of her grift.
Her Instagram account is now deleted.