I got scammed!
I got scammed!
Like, not really. But they tried. Now, I'm not going to blast the platform on my blog, but if you watch my IG stories, you will know what platform this is all stemming from. Unfortunately I have no way out and I'm bound to a one year contract.
This blog is specifically going out to my fellow photographers AND clients! You never know when someone could be trying to scam you.
It all started with a 50th birthday party in early January, 2021. If you know me, you know that I don't do birthdays. But #SlowSeason . This gentleman wanted to pay by check and being the nice, understanding person that I am, I thought he was just older and set in his ways. NOPE! I sent a contract that never got viewed (thank you HoneyBook for having read messages) and two days later I got an email stating that the check was made out for too much money and I would have to send them money back asap so they could pay their event coordinator.
That's all well and fine but I was not sending any money back until I got a check and it cleared.
Roughly two weeks later I got another inquiry. This time, a wedding. The wedding was happening in less than two weeks. Fishy. Normally when you're planning a wedding one of the first vendors you hire is your venue and photographer. Once again, they were asking to pay by check because someone else was gifting them the cost of the photography. I sent them an explanation saying that no services would be fulfilled until the check cleared. Then.. ghosted.
This last scam artist actually sent a check. They were having a wedding for over a month out. (Which by the way- planning a wedding with such short notice during a pandemic is not a bad thing and does not raise red flags. It just heightened my suspicion. DO YOU BOO!) They insisted on paying by a check and said that their boss was gifting them the money. This was my first red flag. WHOSE BOSS pays for their photographer? Maybe a mother in law or friend but not a boss. Anyways, I sent a contract that was unread. #Typical . I gave him the PO Box to send the check and then almost immediately I was getting emails harassing me to check my mailbox. Not only was this suspicious but this was a local wedding happening and they were emailing me at 7PM saying I needed to watch for the mailman. The mailman comes to my house at 2pm. AND I gave him a PO Box. NOT my address!! This was another red flag because I don't know anyone that would email someone at 7PM saying to watch for the mailman. That just tells me that you don't live in the area and maybe are on a different time zone.
I got one more email DEMANDING me to check my mailbox to which I replied " Jennifer (the scammers name), As we speak and get to know each other, I don't think we are a great fit. It is very important to be able to connect with your wedding photographer in a personal way. I don't feel as though we are doing that and I think it is best if you find a different photographer that you vibe with better." End of story. Point blank. They knew I was on to them.
The next day I checked my PO Box and received a check. An actual check. I was not surprised at all but opened it anyway. No return address, Post master stamped the envelope as coming from Alabama. Check was from Kentucky, the signature was fake AND in the memo part, all they put was "available funds". A normal person would put "wedding photography".
So what did I do? Deposit it... JUST KIDDING! I called my bank and explained that I had a check and what was going on. They advised me to call the bank listed on the check and see if they would check that the money was available. Well, the number on the bank (with the correct address) led me to the department of education in Lebanon, KY. They stated I was yet another person calling about that same issue and that it was in fact a fraudulent check and a scam.
Nice try scammers,
But seriously- stop trying.