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A social media influencer who claimed she is the first woman to travel to every country in the world is being sued by a consumer protection group.
Cassie De Pecol, who boasts over 500,000 Instagram followers, reportedly claimed that she was the first woman to travel to every country in the world - despite several others claiming to have done so before her.
A lawsuit from consumer protection group Travelers United alleges that the 32-year-old used these claims to grow her audience and to cash in on sponsorships, according to The Washington Post.
Columnist Taylor Lorenz wrote: "The truth is that De Pecol is not the first woman to travel to every country. Nor is she the first woman to travel to every country alone.
"She is the first, however, to claim it on social media."
Travel influencing - where a content creator will jet off to another country and share their journey with their audience - is one of the sector’s most lucrative industries and is worth over $16 billion in 2022 alone.
Lauren Wolfe, counsel for Travelers United, has called for the Federal Trade Commission to tackle similar issues around influencer accountability head-on by creating a dedicated department.
Other women allegedly attempted to contact her when her content - and her claims - became popular.
The most travelled woman in Germany, Nina Sedano, has also visited every country in the world. When the 56-year-old attempted to reach out to the influencer via Facebook with questions about her travels, she didn’t receive a reply.
87-year-old Audrey Walsworth has also travelled to every country in the world. She told the paper she reacted by thinking “well for heaven’s sakes” when she spotted the influencer speaking about her achievements on the Today show in 2017.
Cassie De Pecol Is The First Female To Travel Solo To Every Country On Earth | TODAYyoutu.be
According to Guinness World Records, De Pecol did indeed hold two world records, however. She holds the titles of “Fastest time to visit all sovereign nations” for both the female and overall category.
On her website, she states she is the “first woman on record to travel every country in the world”.
In a statement to the paper, De Pecol said: “This complaint is yet another baseless attack on me and my accomplishments.
“I intend to vigorously contest what regrettably appears to be a rehash of the same untenable allegations that have been leveled against me in the past.”
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