Are Troy Becker And Paul Zimmer The Same Person? An Investigation Of This Bizarre Influencer Scam

Are Troy Becker And Paul Zimmer The Same Person? An Investigation Of This Bizarre Influencer Scam
Entertainment And News

Are Troy Becker and Paul Zimmer the same person?

These days, an influencer is far more than a person (or brand) that influences the actions of others. Influencers can become celebrities in their own right, actually garnering a fanbase, endorsing products and doing all the sorts of things that pre-Internet notables did to make a lucrative living.

Per the Federal Trade Commission, it is the legal responsibility of influencers to disclose when they have been compensated for the endorsement of a product. In the exact words of the FTC: "Your endorsement message should make it obvious when you have a relationship ('material connection') with the brand." A “material connection," per the FTC, can include "a personal, family, or employment relationship or a financial relationship" and can be as simple as a discount.

Not all influencers are known to play by the rules, and one of them known for having done such is Paul Zimmer. However, Zimmer is currently making headlines for an entirely different reason. After a hiatus from social media, he has returned to the spotlight — only this time under a new presumed alias.

While not yet confirmed that Zimmer is also the person behind the accounts of Troy Becker, below are six thoughts we know about Zimmer and/or Becker.

RELATED: New Details About Paul Zimmer And Jamie Rose From TikTok, Their Strange Relationship And Why They Disappeared From The Internet

1. Zimmer first found fame through TikTok predecessor Musical.ly.

Originally known as Musical.ly, TikTok is a popular app primarily used for the uploading and viewing of lip-synch videos. Many influencers have used TikTok as a forum for growing a fanbase.

Zimmer is one of those influencers, eventually gaining around seven million Musical.ly followers. Beyond lip-synching on Musical.ly, Zimmer had a penchant for showing off his ripped abs within his shared videos. 

2. Musical.ly was also responsible for the downfall of Zimmer.

Musical.ly eventually grew to offering more services to participants than just hosting uploaded videos. One of these services was Live.ly, which enabled users to solicit "digital gifts" — actually paid for with currency — from fans. Live.ly was eventually shut down as a separate entity in June 2018 with its features being absorbed into the Musical.ly app.

Zimmer was rightfully soliciting said gifts from fans via Live.ly in exchange for promised videos and other personalized content. However, it was later discovered that he was not fulfilling his promises in exchange for the gifts received.

3. Musical.ly was not the only social media used by Zimmer.

The success of Zimmer on Musical.ly also led to the growth of his social media accounts on YouTube and Instagram. Furthermore, users of other social media networks were helping to make Zimmer more popular by creating "best of" videos of his Musical.ly uploads.

When it was discovered that Zimmer had not been fulfilling his promised services in exchange for the compensation received, he was widely viewed as a disgraced influencer. Feeling universal backlash, he deleted all content from said YouTube and Instagram accounts, from which he had around one million followers.

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4. Are Troy Becker and Paul Zimmer the same person? Zimmer's sudden return to social media involved mention of Becker.

Following his mass social media account wipings in 2017, Zimmer was not heard from on social media for almost two years. His return to social media was an October 2019 posting — which has since been deleted — in which he stated: "This actor @TroyBeckerIG kid literally looks like a younger sexier version of me. I don’t even use social media anymore but had to post this hahah."

The posting tagged the Instagram account of Becker, which did not have many Instagram followers. The Instagram account, which has also since been deleted, had then stated that Becker was “blessed to be filming my TV show.” 

5. There's an IMDb account and an official website for Becker.

When searching IMDb for "Troy Becker," a listing for the same individual linked from Zimmer's October 2019 Instagram posting comes up as the top result. The biography on that IMDb page describes Becker as "an all American actor" who "has been acting from a very young age and has received high praise for the charm and realism he brings to his characters." It also noted him to have recently "moved to Los Angeles to take his career to the next level."

The IMDb listing links to an official website for Becker. It does not show any confirmed credits, past or present, even though his bio had noted him to be "acting from a very young age" and the Instagram profile of Becker had stated him to be filming his own television show.

The website shows an e-mail address for Becker and a short biography. Its video reel, as linked from a YouTube video upload, is currently unavailable. Becker's website does not link to any social media accounts, nor does it contain any direct references to Zimmer.

6. There are many noted similarities between Zimmer and Becker.

Zimmer's October 2019 Instagram post referred to Becker as a "younger sexier version" of him. Another since-deleted post by Zimmer referred to Becker being "15 or 16 years old." At first glance Zimmer looked to be substantially older than Becker due to Zimmer having a beard, in contrast to Becker being clean-shaven.

Stated age and facial hair aside, the two not only have similar hairstyles and hairlines within publicly-available photos, but also similar writing styles within their social media postings. Internet users following this situation closely also located photos of a "Troy Becker" on a Los Angeles acting school's Instagram account just months before Zimmer's reappearances on social media.

While Zimmer could have denied that he is the person behind the Becker persona, he refused to comment when the New Statesman sent him an interview request. In turn, between the lack of available information about Becker, the disappearance of social media content published by Becker and the lack of public comment by Zimmer, many believe Zimmer and Becker to be one and the same.

RELATED: The (Allegedly) Disturbing Side Of YouTube & Instagram Beauty Influencer James Charles's Behavior​

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Darren Paltrowitz is a New York-based writer, editor and author. He is also the host of the Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz podcast, as co-produced with PureGrainAudio.com.

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