Wine Consumer

Magazine

Social Media Wine Scams: FaceBook, False Identity, and You're Liking It

Wine Consumer Magazine, Sean Piper
04/14/2014

(UPDATE! After you read the article, read the update at the bottom. Thanks!)

 

Dear Wine Consumers,

I am writing you from sunny San Francisco where I won't be interviewing Sommelier, Bruna Matarazzo.

I understand, you're probably thinking right now: that's a strange way to open an article about social media wine scams (And you're right).

As much as I love to interview intriguing wine people, this article isn't about an interview with a Sommelier; it's a story that begins with intrigue, graduates to false identity, and only gets more twisted from there.

The fact is that Bruna Matarazzo is not a real Sommelier. Nope. She isn't even a real person...

If she doesn't exist, what is she? She’s one of the 87 million fake Facebook profiles.

(click here to check out her fake profile: this account should now be closed, thanks to all.)

 The Intrigue:

 If Bruna does exist, then it’s only in the imaginations of the multitude of men who follow her FaceBook persona. She—if she really is a she #IRL (evidence points to the otherwise)—engages a large crowd of males with ferocious appetites for young, beautiful models...and wine. Through her creative visual exploits, she "newsfeeds" the frothy intrigue of this wine/babe-seeking demographic with picture-posts of her adventures in prime wine regions around the globe, bottle shots of the priciest rare wine, and daily recycling of her profile images. She frequently re-posts the same handful of provocative photos as her “Profile Image” because it is a guaranteed notification on the newsfeed of her followers. All the while, with each post, she collects hundreds of likes and comments from an adoring (primarily) male audience.

(she makes sure to source photos from the web that resemble her fake image)

(her recent trip to Italy for the VinItaly event is documented in this album, complete with web-sourced photos)

(but look closely and you'll see Bruna looks like a man)

False Identity:

 I became aware of this fake profile at the request of a close wine industry friend who found more and more male Facebook friends succumbing to the irresistible allure of an international bombshell Sommelier of mystery. I checked into Bruna’s profile and found that… I…WAS ALSO HER FRIEND! She’s that girl! I took one look at her timeline and photos and it suddenly made sense—this girl wasn’t real. I had to investigate. I mean, how many of my friends were following this faker? Wait… she calls herself a Sommelier, what if she is scamming my friends, or worse, what if she’s preying on them “Catfish” style? My mission was clear: search and destroy.

According to Facebook’s 2013 estimates, between 5.5 percent and 11.2 percent of all profiles on the network are fake. 

Facebook’s policy prohibiting fake accounts states: On Facebook people connect using their real names and identities. We ask that you refrain from publishing the personal information of others without their consent. Claiming to be another person, creating a false presencefor an organization, or creating multiple accounts undermines community and violates Facebook's terms.

The social network’s terms: (3.10) You will not use Facebook to do anything unlawful, misleading, malicious, or discriminatory.

Bruna is not the person in the pictures. Bruna is not a Sommelier. The person who created this account has clearly violated Facebook’s terms and policies.

Here’s where you report fake Facebook accounts: Report Fake Accounts

I collected Bruna’s photos and reverse searched them on images.google.com…they are sourced from all over the web, but made to look as though they are her globe-trotting and taking pics on her journeys. It’s rather funny to see her choose just the right off-angle blonde subjects to represent her image, but never anything face-forward to prove she was there. For a world-traveling Sommelier, it’s quite odd that there’s not a single picture of her actually drinking wine.

(this photo is attributed to Fanny Lyckman, not Bruna. Hmmm)

(but she's not without a sense of irony)

Bruna’s profile photos are apparently connected to SuperBellas, Clovis Perozin, and the model is Day Santos. Here’s the facebook page: (NSFW) Superbellas Fotografia

There are at least two other fake Facebook accounts connected to Bruna’s, perhaps even maintained by the same mysterious person.

The Twist:

After a very thorough investigation, I found all the proof I needed, I confirmed my findings, and I freed some souls along the way. This charade was ending.

Through the course of my discovery, a mutual friend relayed my inquiries and I actually arranged to have an interview with Bruna. Yes, she actually agreed to meet me in San Francisco in two weeks from now. Her only stipulation was that I would not ask any questions about her VERY wealthy family. It was just way too much!

The real twist in this deception is the reality that an intriguing foreign super-model Sommelier might actually be making money from her fake social media persona. All she would have to do is get enough of a following where she could build a client list of rare wine seekers willing to trust a beautiful model to acquire wine for them. This scenario isn’t that far from what happens in the real world. However, I’m not going to let my fellow wine consumers fall for this kind of dishonest and unethical behavior—it’s downright deception. No one who is that twisted should be allowed to prosper.

So, to all you wine imposters out there, if you’re listening… I don’t know who you are, but if you impersonate a Sommelier on social media, I will find you and I will expose you. On behalf of wine consumers everywhere, I consider this my civic duty.

 

Cheers,

Sean.

 

UPDATE!: After I published this article, Bruna messaged me on Facebook about 50 times. She said she felt bad for hurting people but refused to apologize and proudly stated that I wasn't hurting her with my article, that all she had to do was change her name.  As you can see, she's twisted and willing to scam other people. She's got skin in this game...literally. Well, at least, she had skin in it; all the suspect blonde model pictures were removed from her photo albums the day after this article published. I'm not sure if "Brurna" is a real name. At any rate, she's not deleting her account...yet. I will update this page whenever I get new info on this scammer.  Her new profile name is Brurna Wine (click to check it out and report her). Account subsequently changed to "Bruna Wine." 

4/19/14: the fake account is now confirmed CLOSED. Thank you for reporting it. Keep a diligent eye out for other fakers.

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