Twitter’s Favorite Mess, Joanne the Scammer, Just Got Scammed

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Photo: Instagra/IAmBranden/Instagram

Terror struck Twitter this weekend as social-media folk hero Joanne the Scammer suddenly and unexpectedly became Joanne the Scammed.

If you haven’t heard of Joanne the Scammer, you have an extremely fun hour or so ahead of you as you search through her Instagram. Joanne Prada, a.k.a. Joanne the Scammer, is the well-known alter ego of Branden Miller, a Florida comedian.

Over the past five years, Miller’s become an internet phenomenon, racking up hundreds of thousands of followers for his wig-filled videos, tweets, and memes: glimpses at, and advice from, a (fictional) life of stolen credit cards, frivolous lawsuits, and besotted sugar daddies. In the words of Joanne herself: “I just want to let you girls know that I’m a real messy bitch. A liar, a scammer. I love robbery and fraud. A messy bitch who lives for drama.”

But it’s hard to fully explain Joanne using words. Watching her is the only way to really get the experience:

But last week the scammer became the scammed, Fusion reports, after someone pretending to be a Twitter employee took control of Miller’s Twitter account and took it offline.

The impostor promised Miller Twitter verification (that highly sought after and deeply misunderstood blue check mark next to certain accounts) if Miller followed their instructions. From there, Miller requested a password-reset code from Twitter (real) and sent that code to the Twitter employee (fake), who promptly locked Miller out of his account.

From Fusion:

The first thing that [the scammer] told me was that he changed the name of the account,” Miller said. Then he told me that he was from Africa and he wanted an Amazon gift card for $500.

It was a shocking turn in the ongoing life of Joanne, but a fittingly poetic one. Miller says he’s working with Twitter to regain control of the account and isn’t worried about the temporary loss: His follower count on Instagram comes in just under 200,000, compared to the few thousand fans he had on Twitter. Joanne will certainly live to scam another day.