Major Scam Artists approaching Freelancing, tFS Members!
If you are a stylist, a makeup or hair artist, a photographer or a model (or anyone else that works freelance) and you have a link to your site in your signature or perhaps have mentioned what you do in your profile ... please read this to protect yourself!
I am aware of this type of scam which has been circulating in the freelance community for some time. Today ... I got one of their emails and they said they found my profile here, on the Fashion Spot. Fortunately, I am fully aware of the details of this scam ... sort of a web spin on the old "pigeon drop" which has been around for probably more than a century.
It is one of those "too good to be true" scenarios ... and it really is too good to be true.
Here is who approached me (this time):
Justine Fish form
However ... the name changes all the time ... one week it's Justine, next week it will be Joe Blow. So it's the scam that is important to recognize ... not the name being used.
Here is the "approach" in a nutshell:
They say they saw my profile or website and offer a huge job, sight unseen. The pay is huge 22,000 pounds sterling plus all my costs to get and stay there ... for a 12 day gig in the UK ... I am to bring 2 assistants and they will advance me 50% of the money so I can book airfares and hotels. This is very similar to other approaches I've seen ... sometimes it's a model or a celebrity, sometimes it's a bride with a huge destination wedding. It always takes you a long, long way from home so they can justify lot's of money. They alway need you within the next 2 weeks ... always urgent. They never ask for references ... they just find you on the net.
Here's how it works:
They send you this huge "bank" check, in advance which you deposit in the bank and book your flights, hotel, etc. Then a day or two after you make that deposit, they contact you with an sudden problem/emergency. It can be that they sent you too much money by accident and you need to return part of it, or someone's been in an accident, or it's suddenly been cancelled. However, they are "generous" ... and say you may keep a very large portion of the money but ask you kindly to wire the balance back, immediatley (it is an "emergency", after all ... one that usualy tugs at your heart strings). So, thinking that you got a bank check and that you are doing the right thing, you wire the excess funds back to them.
Here's where you loose your money:
The "bank" or "cashiers" check is counterfeit and it will be returned unpaid/ bounce! It is not a real check. Your bank gets the unpaid "bank" check back in about 7 to 10 days .. and takes the money back out of your account. Only one problem .... You have already wired part of that money back to the scam artists in some foreign country ... wires cannot ever be retreived or stopped. You loose the money that you wired back ... you have never been paid one cent, in all reality.
What Can you do?
It is amost impossible to prosecute these people who do this ... they are not even in the country they say they are in. US and laws of other countries do not cover this type of crime, in most cases. Often, it's another Nigerian crime sydicate preying on you. Therefore, the only way to protect yourself is to learn about these scams and not to do business over the net until you actually know the people involved.
If it seems too good to be true .... it probalby is! Don't Fall for internet scams!
** It's All in the Details! **
Last edited by BetteT; 16-05-2008 at 09:10 PM.
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