“Teen Mom 2” star Chelsea Houska is in hot water with followers after she appeared to participate in a data collection scam targeting her fans.
It all started when Houska posted a phone number to Instagram and encouraged her fans to text her.Critics claim that those who text this phone number will have their data collected by a marketing firm which could sell it to others.
A “Teen Mom” community on Reddit pointed out the shady tactics involved in apparent marketing techniques like this one.
How does it work? As subreddit community members speculated, the MTV reality star may personally read and respond to a few of the text messages, but most of the responses will be automated.
The alleged real purpose behind this post? To gather the phone numbers of fans and send them text messages about upcoming product promotions. The marketing firm behind it all will store the data collected for later.
Many commenters have been skeptical about Houska’s use of this apparent marketing technique, especially because many of her fans may be children or unaware of the potential consequences.
This is not the first time that Houska has allegedly participated in controversial marketing techniques.
For instance, Houska encouraged her fans to participate in Young Living, an essential oil multi-level marketing plan that many people describe as predatory.
In another instance, Houska’s deal with a company called Itzy Ritzy was also steeped with controversy. The company was sued for copyright infringement in 2017, though the cased was dismissed a year later. Another lawsuit alleged that the company stole personal information from a former employee.
Houska has also been criticized for “Chelsea’s Choices,” a website she was selling jewelry on. People ordered items through the website and claimed that they never received them. While the jewelry was inexpensive, fans made purchases through the website so that they could buy something from a reality star they liked.
Not only did fans allegedly not receive their purchases, but many who ordered claimed that Houska simply did not address the fact that they felt they’d been scammed out of money and ignored.
Currently, Houska’s show is off the air, and MTV has yet to announce a date for the next season. In the meantime, the reality star and her husband have been building a home they plan to move into in the near future.
Houska reportedly wanted to build a new house after she felt uncomfortable living in a home that had been burglarized. Houska has posted photos of her new home on social media along with progress updates on the build.