Scammers Are Among Us: Family Reunion
Scams have been going around forever, but scammers are continuing to try to become more relevant and believing to people of specific trades.
Scammers, at times, can be very believable. The more information they give you, the more believable they become.
Whenever you get a message from a possible new “client,” be very cautious in proceeding. Pay extra attention to the details of the conversation.
The “client” should not be asking you to do anything odd for them.
The most the “client” should ever do is inform you what they need as far as your services go and request a quote based on the information given.
If there is any talk of becoming the middleman for someone else they can’t pay or if any personal or credit card information is requested, stop replying immediately.
If you feel uneasy or unsure if the “client” is real or not, do not follow up.
To give you an example of a scam that has been attempted on us recently, I have posted the back and forth with the scammer over our e-mail below:
I'm Richard Thomas, How are you doing? I'll like to know if you're available on the 26th of September for my family reunion party (5 hours photo coverage), or you check your availability between October 1st-31st .
Also i want family portraits done for the all the families coming together for the reunion.
Do you accept credit card payment? I got your contact information from the internet.
If interested kindly get back to me via email at:firstname.lastname@example.org or 872-213-2419 thru text.
I am available that day for the shoot.
Where and what time of day?
Also, we do accept credit cards!
Chris, VP of Boomshot Studio, Inc
Thank you for getting back to me,
I'm very happy to hear from you i want you to work on the estimate cost for the 5 hours photo coverage from11am-4pm,
and 6-16x20 prints family photo portraits because we have 6 families coming together for the reunion event.
The event will be held locally 13903 Clubhouse Dr Tampa, FL 33618 and i will cover the travel expenses.
I got your information on the internet and i hope you can handle this event.
I'll be making down payment in advance with my credit card to book the date also i will forward you the event planner's contact info once they book the hall.
The event is going to be both indoor and outdoor. And i will need an unlimited candid shot that will be in a DVD or USB with the right to prints anytime.
The 16x20 will be a group photo for individual family.
Meanwhile I need you to know I'm in the ICU just recuperating from an ear surgery i undergo which i was advise to stay off phone for a while and the easiest way to reach me is via text or email,
I will be looking forward to read from you with the estimate ASAP. Looking forward to your service.
I am capable of handling this event and I would love to do it!
Here is what I will supply:
-5 hours at the event taking photos, candid and some group shots of the families.
-Many hours spent processing the photos, which will be uploaded to an online password locked gallery for your unlimited use. Note that Boomshot Studio owns the photos, but you do have rights to use photos for printing, social media, and marketing purposes, but do not have rights to present the photos as your own work/sell the photos. I can provide the photos on a USB drive if requested, although the Online Gallery method is easier and more convenient for you.
-I will also provide the 6-16x20 prints as requested.
Here is the layout of the cost:
$1125 for 5 hours at event for the many hours spent processing.
$100 for 6-16x20 prints. ($120 dollar value)
Total cost: $1,225.
Down Payment: $350. I will need to receive the other $650 upon arriving at the event.
Click here to pay the Down Payment with your credit card online and I will see you September 26th! I'm very excited for this event!
Chris, VP of Boomshot Studio
Thanks for the email,
I'm very much satisfied with the total estimate, quite affordable .
Here's an exclusive just to show some seriousness and dedication to secure the booking for me, I am willing to pay up the sum of $350 your service charge so that you can secure booking and date reservation for the reunion.
I have my credit card available for the payment, But first I want you to pay attention to this .
Like i said in my previous email i am in the ICU just recuperating from an ear surgery i undergo and regarding to this I have been advised to take a long rest for an easy and fast recovery, hence the reason why I need your favor.
I haven't pay the "Event Planner" in charge of the reunion as they don't have the means to process my credit card because they don't have credit card facilities at the moment.
Regarding this fact,
I will be giving you my credit card for the sum of $1,300 So $350 for your service, $100 for yourself as tip for helping me and the remaining $850 will be sent via cash deposit to the "Event Planner" in-order to book hall and put other things together for the reunion.
Be rest assured you will be charging every token on my credit card including the 3% credit card charges.
Below is the final break down of the total charges i will be authorizing you to charge on my credit card.
Total Cost For Your Service: $350 Event
Planner's Fee: $850
Your Tips & Gratitude: $100
Grand Total: $1,300
Kindly get back to me ASAP so i can give you my Credit Card to charge thru and authorize the charges from my end, Also let me know the credit card merchant you're using.
Await your prompt response.
That's when I stopped responding.
If I had kept going I would have fell victim to the scam and lost out on money, or even been involved in criminal activity and the scammer would have got away unscathed because I was the one who used the credit card information.
This does not only go for photographers, but for anyone who is trying to make an honest living. Be careful out there.
We have to have each other’s backs. Like and share this post to get the word out and leave a comment below with a scammer encounter you have experienced.
Chris Morgan, VP of Boomshot Studio