New Scam

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by shawn_mertz, Jul 7, 2016.

  1. Photographers often require large deposits for jobs for god reason. But be careful it makes us an ideal target for scammers. At first suspicion check every detail they give you. Don't deposit money unless you are sure they are legit and for sure wait a long time before ever refunding money.
    Last week I was contacted by someone saying they were having a promotional event for their multi level marketing company they are independent dealer for and wanted photographs. Company not important. Anyway they took and accepted bid. sent deposit for full amount even though i didn't request one. Now of coarse today they cancelled event, and asked for refund.
    I'm posting because they were less obvious than most scams. Things that set them apart. They used a local number. Of coarse set up through mega data co. didn't say it was wedding or reunion. Were more patient and professional in their writing.
    Give aways. it was a too fast and easy. They kept asking if I had deposited the check. Check was from a real company but it didn't make sense who it was from.
    Just wanted to warn they are getting more clever. First day this appeared to be a real job, but red flags started popping up.
  2. Stopped reading after "multi level marketing"
  3. Good for everybody to be warned again. But this is not a "new" scam — it's been around for years.
    I was a target of it a couple of years ago (when I was still shooting weddings). Something about the customer's initial contact gave me the "uh-oh" feeling. Perhaps it was that they were looking for a photographer two weeks before the wedding, and I thought that even for a customer in a hurry, they were too easy. But I think it was also that they didn't ever speak to me by phone (although I don't see how that's particularly critical to the scam).
    Then they sent a check for much more than I had demanded up front. Around the time the check arrived I got an email apologizing for the too-large check and asking if I could pay for one of the vendors from the surplus amount in the check. I wrote back, offering to return the check and asking for check in the correct amount. And of course, never heard from them again.
    One interesting detail: The address they gave me as the wedding venue was a house in Mesquite, Texas. I'd done some small home weddings in the past and didn't initially think that was odd. But after the problem with the check, I looked up the address using Google Street View. It was a valid address — for a total wreck of a house out in the country.
    In my case, other than the disappointment, no harm was done.
    Anyway, pays to pay attention.
  4. Sounds like the classic scam. But one important
    detail is missing from the story: did you cash the
    check and successfully get the money? If not,
    return the check. If yes, check with he bank
    regarding how you should refund their money.
  5. no i didn't touch the check. It may have been the most alarming single thing. The check had a health care systems name on it for a city in Texas. Very real company but it was mailed from an address in Washington. From a different person than was messaging me.
    Another aspect of this is the mega company that provides free everything to everybody with little verification. Maybe it's time uncle sam gets after them. Then again the company probably 10 times as diligent about security than the state department.
  6. I get a lot of emails for job inqueries for family reunions and portrait jobs ect. The red flag for me is bad grammar but the main one is before anything their main concern is do I accept credit cards. I delete the email right away.
  7. I have the question, maybe it's not right to ask here, but - do you take deposit for driving fee? Do you add it to the package?
  8. Old scam, right up there with text messages asking if you'll shoot a family reunion and do you accept credit cards. Ignore.
  9. Did you report this to the police?

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