Crochet Scams: What to look out for & how to protect yourself

The online world is a fantastic place. There’s a space and community for everyone online, regardless of how popular or niche your interests may be. Especially for crocheters, our online community can be one of our favorite places. We can share our projects, ask questions, get feedback, meet new people and grow our skills. But there is a dark underbelly to the internet and, in our crochet communities, this rears its head as crochet scams.

If you aren’t familiar with how scams work, especially with how simple they can be to get what the scammer wants, it can be hard to identify a crochet scam (or any scam).

How can you identify scams? How can you protect yourself from them?

Let’s talk about the types of scams we can see online, how we can tell it’s a scam and how to protect ourselves from them.

This is a long post with a lot of good information. So get a drink, get comfy and let’s get started!

Being a designer in the crochet world and therefore having a platform in which I can reach many people, it’s my responsibility to open the dialogue of what scams can (and do) happen to us in online crochet spaces.

My online safety is incredibly important to me and your online safety is also very important to me.

I see crochet scams all the time. And worse, I see people falling for them. It’s easy to do if you’re not familiar with the scam, or if you’re not super familiar with the internet or with computers. It’s disheartening, to say the least.

I don’t want you to fall for these. I don’t want your friends or family members to fall for these.

I want our online crochet community to be safe, supportive and full of love. And in online spaces I can control, like my Facebook Group, they are to the best of my ability. But I can’t control every page on the internet, I can’t bat away every scammer for you – as much as I wish I could.

For this reason, it’s important for me to educate you about the scams I know of so you don’t accidentally fall for one.

Types of Crochet Scams

There are many types of crochet scams out there in what should be our safe and wholesome communities. A google search will give you tons of results of crocheters asking “Is this a scam?” on forums like Reddit.

I think, generally, a good rule of thumb is: If you question whether or not it’s a scam, it probably is.

But the issue really comes up when we don’t have a gut feeling that questions whether or not something is a scam.

This is because scams are structured so well these days that sometimes we can’t even tell.

So let’s go over the types of crochet related scams so we know what to look out for in our online spaces.

Note: I’ve included all of the scams that I know of but I am absolutely positive that I didn’t include them all. The nature of scams change all the time. So while this is a good starting point, you’ll still want to consider other things you may see online – I probably missed one or, if you’re reading this blog post much later, a new scam may have popped up.

1. Click Bait/Emotion Forcing Posts in Crochet Facebook Groups

This type of scam begins with a simple Facebook post that at first glance seems totally innocent, like this:

This picture does not belong to the person who posted it. They’ve stolen it from someone else who actually made the project.

Here’s what happens:

  • A profile joins a usually very large Facebook Group (typically thousands if not millions of members).
  • They post a picture of a downright gorgeous crochet project.
  • Text is included in the post that is designed to pull on your heart strings and draw a supportive comment out of you (this is called “engagement”).
  • The post may or may not include a link.
    • If a link is included, it’s a “masked” link, typically a “tinyurl”.com link.
    • In the example above, it’s pretty obvious that “” is not going to take you to the tutorial.

It’s relatively easy to identify these scams pretty quick based on the text. The text with the picture usually reads like an ad-lib:

“I crocheted (type of project) and I really (positive feeling) it. I showed my/tried to gift it to my (family member, friend, etc.) and they said (something super mean and derogatory). They told me (usually something like ‘never to crochet again’) because it’s (something horrible like ‘disgusting’). I’m really (negative emotion, like sad) and I’ll be giving up crochet.”

Or… “My (spouse, child – typically husband or son) is new to crochet and crocheted (type of project – picture is clearly an advanced pattern that a beginner probably wouldn’t be able to follow). He thinks it’s (something mean and derogatory) and his (friends, other family member) told him to stop crocheting. Can we show him some support?”

Did you know this is a scam? Regardless of whether or not the post has a link?

This scammer stole a picture from Woman Walking a Wire, a legitimate designer, and made up this sob story to get people to click on this masked link that WILL NOT take you to the pattern.

These posts are designed to elicit an emotional response from us which will later be used in a scam in one way or another.

Here’s what happens on our side in this crochet scam:

  • Being crocheters, we’re typically very supportive and compassionate people so we immediately feel bad for the person who posted. This bad feeling is intended.
  • We think we’re doing a good thing by posting a positive comment to reassure the person that their work is actually beautiful and their family/friend/husband/dog/fish/grandma don’t know what they’re talking about.
  • Thousands of comments flood into the post providing positive feedback and telling the person to not give up crocheting, that their work is beautiful.
  • Some comments ask for a link to the pattern, which will open the door for the scammer to directly message them and send them the “pattern” link which will not take them to the pattern.

Here’s what happens on the scammer’s side of this crochet scam:

  • If there is a link included, the link does NOT go to the pattern.
    • At best, it goes to a totally different pattern on a website that doesn’t feel like a designers website. This is because the scammer used a random beautiful picture of crochet and is trying to promote a stolen pattern by pulling on your heart strings and getting you to click the link.
    • At worst, it goes to a website riddled with nefarious links that look like they should take you to patterns but may actually download something to your computer that you don’t want.
  • If there isn’t a link included, the post is meant to drive “engagement” and the post will be changed to a scam later.
    • Engagement is when anyone other than the original poster likes (or reacts – such as heart, sad, mad, care on Facebook) and comments on the post.
    • This signals to the social media platform that this post is engaging and interests people, so the algorithm recommends to other people including people not in the group. It’s human nature to want to jump on the bandwagon and include our own thoughts of how wonderful this persons work is. This means even MORE comments and reactions come in.
    • Once the post has traction (such as hundreds or thousands of likes/comments), the scammer will edit the post to be something else. This is typically a real estate listing, such as a home for rent, that doesn’t actually exist and includes links, photos, etc. of a property and a link to apply to rent it.
    • Unsuspecting people notice the post has a lot of engagement and their curiosity gets them to engage by clicking the link to see the rental.
      • This can end up with people “applying” to rent somewhere, giving away important, sensitive information about themselves like their social security number or banking details, etc. Or, it may go to an obvious scam site.
    • The Australian Associated Press fact checked this and goes into detail of how this scam works.

What do I do if I notice this scam? Surely there must be something I can do?

The best thing you can do is refuse to engage with it. Do not comment on these posts, no matter how badly you want to reassure the “crocheter”. Do not like the post or do any of the other reactions.

Don’t even comment on the post that you know it’s a scam. When you do this, you’re still driving engagement.

Have you ever heard the saying “all publicity is good publicity”? It’s the same thing here: “all engagement is good engagement”.

By commenting at all on these types of scams, we are actively giving the scammers a platform and helping them reach other people to scam. If we feel we absolutely must do something, we can:

  • Report the post to Facebook, though they are notorious for “not seeing a problem” and refusing to remove the post. But if enough people report it they’ll start to take it more seriously.
  • We can block the profile that posted the scam so we don’t see them again – We will see others, though, so prepare to block a lot of profiles.
  • We can warn our friends about these types of posts so that they don’t engage with them either.
  • Reach out to the admin’s of the group to see if they’ll do something about these scams being posted there. Some admins are great and respond quickly. Others aren’t as engaged. Results here may vary.
    • If a Facebook group you’re in is absolutely riddled with these and the admins are not doing anything about it – leave the group. At best, the admin’s are checked out and don’t care for whatever reason. At worst, they’re either okay with this happening or have had their own profiles stolen and now cannot do anything to help the group.

Don’t feel bad if you’ve commented on one of these before – These posts are specifically laid out to force a response out of you and they can be hard to spot if you don’t know what you’re looking for – But do try to not engage with them anymore.

Not all posts that make you want to reassure someone on Facebook (or any other social media platform) is a scam.

With our online crochet communities being so open and supportive, we absolutely will see real people asking for help, for advice, for feedback, etc. You’ll see crocheters posting finished projects with the actual link to the pattern. You’ll see designers post their patterns with the links, too.

When trying to decide whether or not the post is real, you can do a few things:

  • Consider whether or not the text of the post seems like a person is actually writing about their experience or if it’s following an “ad lib”.
    • Unfortunately, some of us do have unsupportive partners or families and we may want to connect with others like us and that’s valid. Try to gauge whether or not what they’re writing is actually real experiences, worries and hurts or if they’re specifically trying to pull a response out of you.
  • Click on the profile of the poster. These profiles are almost always new profiles with no posts. Real users will have at least a couple of public posts, usually a profile picture change and they’ll have had their account for a while. If it doesn’t seem like a real person, it isn’t and the post is a scam.
  • When in doubt, don’t engage.

2. AI Images and AI Patterns

AI (artificial intelligence) is a hot topic in every industry. From people worrying they’ll lose their jobs as AI becomes more common place for businesses to artists (including crochet designers) having their work “scrubbed” by AI to create new art, it’s becoming something that most have had at least some concern about.

But what about in online crochet spaces? Is AI being used for crochet scams?

You bet it is. AI is used in a variety of ways to scam crocheters, including:

  • AI images are created by the software “scrubbing” many pictures, taking pieces of each picture and then putting them together to seem like one piece.
    • Typically these images are very obviously fake. The people in them do not look like real human beings, the stitches are not actual stitches and have massive gaps between “stitches”, there will be too many arms or legs, etc.
    • As people continue to use AI to make these images, though, the AI will become smarter and they’ll be much harder to spot.

This image is an AI image but at first glance my not seem like it. A closer look, though, shows that this is not crochet. Looking closer at it, it’s obvious. But when you’re just scrolling or maybe get excited about such a large amigurumi cat with such detail, it’s easy to click the link.

  • Patterns written by an AI algorithm that “scrubs” the internet for crochet patterns (like mine), takes a little bit from each pattern and puts it all together as a “finished” document. These “patterns” make literally 0 sense and do not turn out anything like the sample picture but are being sold as expensive PDF patterns.
  • Scammers have made AI images of “life sized” crochet animals like tigers or elephants with “people” standing beside them.
    • People engage with the posts saying things like: “Wow, so much work! I wish I could do this!”.
    • Then, all of a sudden, there’s a Go Fund Me where the scammer is asking for donations to reach a ridiculously high goal like $80,000 for an unspecified reason.

Right now, AI is fairly easy to spot. The software is in it’s early stages of learning and so, for the time being, these images and patterns are sometimes downright hilarious with how bad they are.

You can spot AI images in the following ways:

  • AI seems to mostly be used for creating images of crochet animals and it’s pretty easy to see that the animal is… just wrong. It may have too many legs, the ears might be weird, it has one foot but not the other, etc.
  • People in these pictures don’t look like humans. Maybe at first glance but a closer look reveals 3 hands, an extra arm, a weird elbow, a face that is just not a human face.
  • The stitches won’t be clear and will have big, weird gaps in them that don’t make any sense.
  • The project will be massive. Elephants that stand 3x the height of a person, for example. While this isn’t impossible, it’s very unlikely.
  • You will notice odd things about the image the longer you look at it. Things that just don’t make sense. A weird elbow, a hand with too many fingers (or not enough fingers), a weird blurry section where the AI software didn’t know what to make in that area, etc.

But the software will learn. The more scammers put in prompts to create these images, the more the software learns. The more designers have fun by asking AI to write them bad patterns and then they make fun of it on social media, the more the software learns. The more it learns, the better it will be. The better it is, the harder it will be to spot.

This is directly effecting artists regardless of niche, whether that’s Crochet Designers like me, 3D artists like my husband, digital artists that create beautiful images in photoshop, physical painters or even large companies such as Pixar.

Have you seen your friends post images of themselves as a Pixar character? That’s AI. The software scrubbed Pixar images to create an image that looks like a cute cartoon version of your friend.

While this may seem harmless, it really isn’t:

  • People can lose money by donating to Go Fund Me’s that are straight up scams based on a dream of a huge crocheted animal.
  • People may buy crochet patterns thinking they’re supporting an actual designer who worked hard to design an effective, beautiful pattern but they’re not. And the “pattern” is bad… Like really, really bad.
  • Similar to the clickbait Facebook posts, these types of posts bring in a lot of engagement (whether good or bad engagement) and it ends up reaching a lot of people. Then, the post is changed or suddenly a donation link appears.
    • Because there’s so much engagement, we automatically trust the link or donation drive and donate money.

What do I do if I notice an AI image or an AI pattern?

Just like the click bait/emotion pulling scams, the best thing you can do is refuse to engage with it. Do not comment on these posts, do not like the posts, don’t buy patterns you suspect may be written by AI (the image of the pattern will be AI generated and you can pretty much guarantee the pattern is, too).

We want crochet patterns designed by a real person. We want to be able to email the designer if we have a question or need help.

We want to support designers who actually put in the work of designing a pattern, not someone who asked ChatGPT to write them a crochet pattern in less than a few seconds.

3. Stolen Pattern Crochet Scams

One thing all crochet (and knit) designers contend with is our patterns being stolen. Unfortunately, it happens all the time. And, while we do our best to get our intellectual property back, it’s really not an easy thing to do.

And make no mistake: Taking a crochet pattern that is the intellectual property (meaning copyright) of a crochet designer and selling it on another platform is stealing. Taking a free crochet pattern from a crochet designers blog and listing it on a different blog is stealing.

Crochet patterns are stolen typically by the scammer purchasing the PDF pattern and then listing it somewhere else, such as:

  • On a new website that has a TON of patterns varying in styles and types. The pattern is sold for a much higher price than the original designer offered it for. For example, the actual designer may have listed it for $4 but the scam website lists it as “$9.99 on sale, discounted from $15” so we think it’s a good deal.
    • This is meant to drive you to purchase as fast as possible because it dips into the part of our brain that is scared of missing out on things.
  • In huge bundles of patterns that include hundreds or thousands of patterns for “only” $25.99 or “only” $11.99. These are stolen patterns.
    • The price of this bundle would be absolute insanity if an actual crochet designer listed hundreds of their own patterns for that price.
    • Also… thousands of patterns!? I don’t know any one crochet designer with thousands and thousands of patterns.
    • We will typically see these “offers” and “deals” on Facebook, though it’s not limited to that platform. Facebook allows business pages to run ads, which means that the owner of the business page can pay real money for the post to show up in the feeds of people who have engaged with crochet posts before.
    • The posts are written to specifically force our brains to think we will miss out if we don’t purchase this bundle of a thousand patterns. They’re designed to elicit a response and get us to spend money. (Trust me, I used to be a Sales Manager for a nationally recognized company that refused to use this tactic – I know how this works).
    • If you purchase these “bundles”, you may not receive anything at all. Or what you do receive is clearly a mass of stolen patterns from different designers. The patterns will all be laid out differently, branded differently, etc. Some of them may even be cropped so some information is missing with the intent to take out the designers branding.

The text on this image translates to: “Super Pack of more than 3 thousand patterns + incredible bonuses. -75% off from $796 to only $199 mxn (Mexican Pesos)” – The equivalent of $11.67 USD. This is a scam and all of these will be stolen or AI patterns. The scammer did 0 real work to put this together but will make $11.67 each time someone tries to purchase the “super pack”.

Notice at the top it says “sponsored”. This Facebook Page paid real money to Facebook to have this advertisement go out to people who often engage with crochet related posts.

  • On Etsy in a new shop and typically for a much higher price than the actual designer listed. You can spot these easily because the patterns listed in the shop just won’t make sense together. The styles will be different, none of the backgrounds will be the same, some of the backgrounds may look like they’ve been photoshopped in, etc.

This is an example of what I mean by the patterns don’t make sense together. They’re all different styles, different types of patterns. Some don’t have an actual image of the pattern at all (looking at you “minecraft pig”) and the patterns are clearly cut out of the backgrounds of the original designers photos and pasted on a fake background. Like in the top right, with a red arrow pointing to it. That rag doll deer is clearly not actually laying on the floor and who would take a photo that looks like that anyway?

  • And in many other ways that I probably haven’t even heard of yet.

Trust me when I say that as designers, we take this as seriously as we can but there’s only so much we can do. It’s frustrating for several reasons.

Not only will we be losing income we worked hard for (and deserve) but we also know that you may be receiving patterns of ours that have been messed with, cropped, or not receive anything at all despite thinking it’s coming from us. It isn’t!

What do I do if I notice a pattern that was obviously stolen or I think might have been stolen?

If you notice a pattern that you’re absolutely sure is stolen, let the designer know by emailing them or messaging them on their social media. We so appreciate when you help look out for us! Of course, the main thing you can do is not purchase a pattern if you think it has been stolen.

You can also help by:

  • Not engaging on social media (a running theme in this post!).
  • If you find a stolen pattern on Etsy, report it to Etsy as stolen.
  • Don’t buy patterns from questionable websites. When possible, go directly to the designers shop on Etsy or Ravelry to purchase a pattern. You can often find valid links to these shops through our websites.
  • Make sure the website name or shop name is exactly how it should be.
    • For example, I’m known as The Loophole Fox, not The Loophole Foxx, The Loopholle Fox, The Loophole Fox 1, etc. Slight misspellings are easy to miss and scammers count on you missing them.
  • Check the reviews. What do the reviews say? While we would all love for our patterns to be the best reviewed they ever can be, we can’t make everyone in the world happy. We are bound to have a couple of bad reviews that make sense.
    • A shop, website or post that only has stellar reviews or comments, all the reviews say something short and positive like “Great”, “Loved it”, “Fantastic” are fake reviews and are selling either stolen or AI generated patterns.
  • If you suspect a pattern might be stolen, try google searching it. If you have the name, search that. You can reverse image search on Google to see where else the picture comes up. It’s easier to find the original designer than some would make it out to be.

4. Pinterest Pin Crochet Scams

Have you ever seen a crochet pattern you just loved on Pinterest, like a blanket, but when you click the link in the pin it takes you to something totally different, like a beanie? Or maybe not even a crochet pattern at all?

This is a scam using crochet designer images to get you to click to a website that is not ours. It’s frustrating for you as much as it is for us. You want to go to the pattern that was shown to you, of course, and we don’t want our images used to entice you to click a link that is not associated with us.

For example, this Pinterest Pin is for my Casey Throw Blanket Pattern. If you see this pin on Pinterest and you click the link, it should bring you to the free pattern on my website. If you were to see this pin on Pinterest, click it, and it takes you to a website that is NOT, it’s been stolen.

Here’s what happens:

  • Scammers will take the images of our pins, upload them into their own account, copy our title and description but change the link.
  • The link will not take you to our pattern. It will take you to a different pattern or maybe not even a pattern at all.
  • Scammers do this because they refuse to do the work to design their own crochet patterns, build their own branding and following.
    • It is hard work, I’ll admit. They effectively steal our brand and the following we have built with trust and transparency by stealing our images but changing the link instead of doing the work on their own.
  • They find high performing pins (pins that get a lot of clicks) and copy them, knowing that the pin will perform and they will get a lot of visits to their website.
  • They do this to drive an insane amount of traffic to their websites to make an insane amount of money from ads.
  • While you aren’t directly being effected by spending money on a scam, you are still feeling the repercussions of this scam in the frustrations of not ending up where you intended to go.

What do I do if I find a Pinterest Pin that’s clearly been stolen and leads somewhere other than the intended crochet pattern?

If you’re positive that the link in the Pinterest Pin does not lead you to the actual crochet pattern, report it. Designers report pins when we notice them but you can help us!

Reporting a Pin on Pinterest is pretty easy:

  • On the Pinterest Pin, there will be 3 dots (typically horizontal) near the top of the Pin. Click it.
  • A drop down menu will appear and in the options there will be “Report Pin”. Click that.
  • Choose the appropriate reason for reporting the Pin and hit submit.
    • If you can, be sure to choose an option that relates to “scam” or something similar. If you have the option, include text stating that the Pin is misleading and taking you to a website that does not match the pin.

Once reported, Pinterest will take a look at the report and decide whether or not to remove the Pin. In my experience, they’re pretty good about this and they are one of the better platforms in terms of caring that their users have a real experience with other real people.

It just takes us reporting it in the first place for them to see it.

5. Comment “Yes” Scams

You’ve seen them… Posts on social media where the author of the post is offering something for free. Free money (always always always a scam), free bags filled with stuff from a certain store, etc. These can also happen with stolen crochet patterns or bundles made from stolen crochet patterns.

Can I just say… if the post has “no scam, this is real” in it… it is 100% a scam.
And while this image is showing a scam related to “gift (Walmart bag)” this absolutely happens with crochet posts, too. “Comment ‘yes’ to get the pattern”, for example.

All you have to do is “type yes” in the comments to receive your prize. These are scams.

Here’s what happens:

  • Unsuspecting people who feel they really could use that free money/free bag of Walmart goodies, etc., comment “yes” and maybe even include something like “I hope it’s not a scam.”
  • The scammer then either direct messages the person who commented “yes” or will respond with a comment that has a link. These links will either:
    • A) Have a form you “must” fill out to receive your prize. These forms usually include sensitive information that should not be given out, including but not limited to: name, address, social security number, banking details, etc.
    • B) The link will be a reset link for your profile but it is set up in a way that the scammer gets the reset, not you. You will lose your profile and it will be used to scam your family, friends and people in any groups you may have been in.
      • Typically, this link will be REAL and from Facebook. Facebook will think you’re trying to reset your password and will send you a code to your email.
      • The issue here is that the scammer says THEY need that code to verify your profile or something else that sounds mildly legitimate.
      • Once they have that code, your profile is theirs. You are very unlikely to ever get it back.

This is a simple scam. It baits people with what we perceive as something that could “change our lives”.

Free money? Of course that would change my life! But money is never free.

Especially for those of us who may be struggling a little financially or an extra bag of food from Walmart could really help us, it’s easy to fall into “hoping it’s not a scam”.

Unfortunately, it is. And while all scams disgust me, this one really takes the cake. It is cruel to use peoples needs against them, especially when they are already struggling.

Not So Fun fact – This one actually happened to someone I know who was struggling. And they gave up that sensitive information. What they did have in their bank account was taken from them. They did not get the money back.

Do not interact with these posts. Do not engage with them. You will NEVER get what the scammer is offering. As much as we can hope and wish it was true, it ISN’T.

6. Click Bait Messages

While these messages don’t always start with crochet related topics, they absolutely can happen in groups or in our communities.

Similar to the “comment yes” scam, this scam comes in the form of a direct message to you. The message can be from anyone, including your friends or family members who you trust. The issue is that their profile was “hacked” (the correct term is “phished”) and now a scammer is in the account, messaging you and using the trust you have with your friend or family member against you.

You will typically receive a message that reads something like “I’ve been locked out of my account, can you click this link to verify it’s me?” or “WOW! Look what you were caught doing on video!”

Here’s an example: I got this message (image below) to my personal Facebook account from someone who I know without a doubt would never send me something like this. The issue is… they got the message first, clicked the link, lost their account and now I’m getting the same message.

The same thing happens in this scam as with the “comment yes” scam. Here’s what happens:

  • Unsuspecting people who maybe are shocked that they did something embarrassing on video or who are just trying to help their friend click the link.
  • The link is some sort of phishing scam. Typically, it’s all to get into your profile so they can use your profile against people you know.
  • The link will almost always be a reset link for your profile but it’s set up in a way that the scammer gets the reset, not you.
    • Typically, this link will be REAL and from Facebook. Facebook will think you’re trying to reset your password and will send you a code.
    • The issue here is that the scammer says THEY need that code to get back into “their” profile.
    • Once they have that code, your profile is theirs. You are very unlikely to ever get it back.

Do not engage with these messages. Do not message them back. And do not, ever, click the link.

Crochet Designers Can Get Scammed, Too

Yep! It can also happen to us and using a lot of the similar methods described above.

We get messages that try to appear legitimate to our Facebook Business Pages, our Etsy Accounts, or Instagram profiles, etc. Typically these messages state that we’ve done something wrong, that we’ve violated a policy or even that we’re infringing on someone’s copyright. Here’s an example from one that I received not long ago:

This may look legitimate but it’s not. First of all, I take all of my own pictures; there’s no way I’m using someone else’s copyrighted photo (except for when I have permission from designers, such as in round ups like this one).

What I want to point out here is that this “file name”, which is really a link, could look real since it has “photo” and numbers, which is usually how photos are saved on our devices. But at the very end of the link, there’s .rar.

You’re probably not super familiar with what “.rar” is. This is the end of the link that points to a software called “WinRar” which absolutely does have it’s good uses but is almost always used by scammers.

This link is a zipped folder, which would need to be extracted onto my computer to see what is inside. In this case, this folder would have a virus that would take over my computer, get into any accounts I have and start scamming you.

Think of this as if you received a package in the mail.

You get a big ol’ package and you think something good and interesting is inside. You open it up and start digging through it to find what goodies you’ve received but there’s only a rotten potato. A rotten potato that’s going to take over your house and kick you out. You’ll never get your house back. It belongs to the potato now.

This is one example but designers are constantly batting away scams like it’s in our job description. Here are some of the ways people try to scam us (and by extension, you):

  • Direct messages asking us to click a link for whatever reason, which will cause us to lose control of our accounts.
  • Comments on our posts or we are tagged in posts from “Meta Verified Facebook” (or something similar) that say we’re in violation of policy and we must click a link to resolve this.
  • The second we post a new image, we get a flood of messages asking if our “product” is available to purchase. This will always end up being a PayPal scam where the scammer tries to get money out of you.
  • Scammers make duplicates of our business pages, usually with one letter off, pretending to be us and using these profiles to scam you.
    • This happens to so many online content creators that it’s honestly mind numbing.
  • Our patterns are stolen and sold on other websites.
  • Our patterns are stolen and sold in “bundles” of thousands of patterns from sites that are not something we agreed to.
  • Our images are used to get people to purchase what they think is the pattern but they actually get nothing (and then the person is mad at US for it).
  • Our patterns are used in the Click Bait/Emotion Forcing scams.
  • We get messages on Etsy from “Verified Etsy” asking us to turn over our account so they can “review it” along with messages from scammers on Etsy asking us if we have “this product” available but the link is not to our shop.
  • And honestly, the list is endless.

If you think you’ve come across a business page on Facebook or Instagram that is copying a crochet designer you follow and pretending to be them, let the designer know so they can take the appropriate steps to get the page taken down.

If you notice a designers Facebook page has a sudden shift in the type of posts, they’re posts like the scams we’ve talked about above, etc., the page has been phished and it is not the designer. The designer no longer has access to this account. You can report the page, unfollow it and block it.

How You Can Protect Yourself from Scams Online

All of the information above is pretty scary, right? It may seem that you can’t trust anyone online or that any link you’re going to click is going to scam you.

Where there ARE a lot of scams out there, not every person or every link IS a scam so it’s important to know what to look for and how to protect yourself.

Here are some things you can do to make sure what you’re interacting with is legitimate:

  • When in doubt about whether or not a post is a scam, don’t engage at all. The less we give these scammers a platform and engagement (remember: “all engagement is good engagement”), the less they’ll have a platform to do so.
  • No money is ever free. Posts offering you any amount of money “for free” are scams. Period. Do not interact with these.
    • The same goes for “type yes” to receive bags of food, a tiny house, a Play Station 5, etc.
    • No one ever gives away big ticket items for free. And they certainly don’t do it on Facebook.
  • Never give your financial information to anyone that you don’t know and, even if you DO know the person, be weary. Don’t put your bank details in a form, don’t believe it when scammers say they need you to “send a little bit of money to make sure your PayPal works” before they send you a bigger sum of money. They will never send that bigger sum of money and you will be out what you sent, if not more.
    • Online market places like Etsy and Ravelry are safe for you to use your payment details on, of course. But never fill out forms with your bank’s account and routing number, send that information to someone online, etc.
  • If you get an email from somewhere you have an account like Netflix, PayPal, etc., check that the email address sending you the email is legitimate. It should clearly be something like “[email protected]” not “[email protected]”.
    • For example, you will receive emails from me and my email is [email protected]. If you ever get an email from something like [email protected], it’s not me.
    • Below is a screenshot of an email I received “from Netflix” but notice that the email is very obviously not Netflix. This email is asking me to update my payment details… so that I inadvertently give the scammer my credit card or bank account information and they can steal all of my money.
  • You can usually tell scammers on Facebook and Instagram by how new their profile is. They will almost always be new profiles with no posts.
    • Additionally, they may be people who lost their profiles. Looking at their profiles, you can see a very obvious shift from what they used to post (when it was theirs) to scam posts (posted by the scammer).
  • If the page is a business page on Facebook or Instagram, go to the page and look at it. Does the person actually interact with comments? Does the profile say it’s a “video game company” which doesn’t correlate to crochet or being a blogger? It’s fake. You can report the page and block it.
    • You can also check the reviews on Facebook Business Pages. Some people do leave negative reviews on this pages to let others know the page is not real.
  • In crochet specifically, you can usually tell it’s a scammer because they use strange words that we don’t use like: “make a crochet”, “art craft”, “product”, “crochet item”, “particular item” and especially if they call you “my dear”, “dearest” or some other pet name that is unwarranted.
  • If the post has a lot of obvious misspellings, it’s a scam. Some of us aren’t great spellers and that’s okay but almost all platforms have spellcheck which we can use. For scams, words are misspelled on purpose so that they pass spam filters.
  • If the post has a TON of emoji’s to the point where you can barely even read it, it’s a scam.
  • If the link is “masked” and is a tinyurl link or or something like that, don’t click the link.
    • Only click links you know will take you where you want to go. You know will bring you here, will take you to Home Depot, will take you to Facebook, etc.
    • On computers, you can hover your curser over the link to see where it will take you. For example, here’s a link to one of my patterns. But that’s just blue hyperlinked text and you don’t know what the link is (This isn’t masking – this is hyperlinking which when used with integrity, like on this website, is safe).
    • When hovering over the blue text, down in the bottom of the window, the link appears:
    • You know this link will take you to my Avery Baby Blanket, a striped crochet baby blanket pattern.
  • If you’re a maker and you’re selling finished crochet items, you’ll know the person asking for a commission is a scammer if they don’t bat an eye at an incredibly outrageous price ($500 USD for a coaster, for example).
  • In messages, conversations will not flow naturally like they do with normal people. This is because the scammers are using a script and will almost always try to keep on script (though some are smart and will work with what you say).
    • When in doubt, if you even mildly think a message is a scam, do not engage. Not even to tell them off, which we all consider at one point or another.
  • If you come across a scammer at all, block them. Your block list may become very long but that’s okay. It’s important to be protected.
  • Let your friends know about scams you come across. Some people may not have heard of them and may be tempted to engage. The more we all talk about this, the less it will happen to people.
  • If you’re in Facebook groups filled with spam and the admin’s aren’t doing anything about it, leave the group.
  • When purchasing patterns online, try your best to go to the actual designers shops. Their blogs will almost always have links to their appropriate shops or their social media accounts will, if they don’t have a blog.
  • Check reviews on patterns. Are all of the reviews 5 stars? Do they all follow the same format? Do they all just say “great”, “beautiful” or similar? It’s a stolen pattern or an AI generated pattern.
    • While designers would never hope for a negative review, the reality is that we can’t please everyone. We look like legitimate businesses because we have a couple of negative reviews that are real.
  • If you suspect a photo of a crochet pattern is AI generated, it probably is. Don’t engage with it. Don’t give scammers more reason to use AI, which will teach it to be better and will be used to better scam us in the future.
  • Don’t engage with sob story Facebook posts. By commenting on these to reassure this downtrodden “crocheter”, we are actively giving the scammers a platform to scam other people.
  • For those of us who are a little more tech/internet savvy, remember: Private or incognito modes in your web browser DO NOT HIDE YOUR IP ADDRESS. Your IP address can literally pinpoint where you are. You may think you’re being safe by using an incognito window. You are not. The only way to hide your IP address is by using a VPN.
    • Incognito windows only hide your browsing history and do not have 3rd party cookies while you use that window. This is good for if you want to look up an air conditioner, but you don’t want to get ads for air conditioners all over the place. It does literally nothing else to protect you.

Final Thoughts on Crochet Scams (and Scams in General)

This type of nefarious business online is really frustrating. I personally cannot stand seeing them and I cannot stand seeing people fall for them even more.

It’s important that we do our best to protect ourselves against things like this.

The best case scenario is that we lose access to our social media accounts but even then our names, identities and trust with our friends and family will be used to scam them.

The worst case scenario is that we are drained of our financials or have serious, sensitive information about ourselves, like our social security numbers, stolen from us. This can destroy lives.

I did not write this post to scare anyone but the reality is we should all be a little worried.

We should all be worried about our friends and family members who don’t know about things like this. We should be doing everything we can to not engage and therefore not give these scammers a way to take from us.

I’ve done my best to let you know about current scams I know about, especially crochet scams, because this is the main community space I am in. As new ones pop up, I will do my best to update this post.

If you know of a scam that I didn’t list here that you think people should know about, please let me know and I will research and add it.

In my opinion, the most important take away from this post is this:

Protect yourself. Protect your family and friends. Let people know that scams are out there and that they can seem like innocent posts at first, but they really aren’t.

And mainly: Do not engage. The less we engage, the less other people will see the scam and fall for it.

Shannon | Designer & Editor

Shannon helps crocheters find their next project and build their skills with in depth tutorials and crochet patterns on her blog,

With more than a decade of crochet experience, Shannon knows that understanding why we do something matters just as much as how we do it. She teaches new techniques and crochet stitches in depth so you can crochet with confidence.


  1. Thanks so much for your very informative article. It really is a shame that this has infected our crochet communities and we have to be vigilant as we’re trying to enjoy a designer’s website or purchase patterns. It’s certainly better to be forewarned about these scams and hope that in the future there will be a way to curtail or eliminate these threats.

    1. It really is a shame. I don’t like that I have to warm people in the first place – I shouldn’t have to! Our communities should be safe and supportive but it is the reality. I’m hopeful that this information helps us all avoid them better.

  2. Hi Shannon,

    I have seen many of those that you’re talking about. I think I responded to a few and then later when I’ve seen more. I thought okay seems like there’s more and more of these sad sobbing stories are becoming a big lie In my thoughts and so I didn’t fall for anymore. I don’t think I notice anything strange with my facebook crochet groups or regular post. I have unfollowed several crochet groups that I have joined a while back that just wasn’t interested In any longer or other for maybe that same reason. I usually have a pretty good sense In some things that don’t seem legit. Thank you Shannon, for sending out a very important notice to be aware!! I appreciate that very much!! Have a great weekend, be safe!!

    Sincerely Donna ♥️

    1. You’re right – Once you’ve seen a few of them, they start to read more and more made up. That’s exactly what they are! It’s so frustrating to me because I know that I personally would want to give support to a person who was struggling. They way they’re written to pull on our heart strings is so cruel.

      There are many good Facebook groups out there and it sounds like you’re in those ones. I know some of the BIG groups with a lot of members (hundreds of thousands or millions) typically get targeted as the groups that they’ll go after. Luckily smaller groups where the designer/admin are heavily involved don’t seem to see as many of these problems. They have tried in mine but they get swiftly booted out.

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Donna! I hope you had a lovely weekend.

  3. Wonderful information, Shannon and you are so right! It is very beneficial Thanks for taking the time to put it all together!

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