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08-05-2008
  1
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BetteT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Los Angeles
Gender: femme
Posts: 20,367
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
new-world-talent-agency.webs.com

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. Theefore, 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!

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Bette
** It's All in the Details! **
http://www.musecube.com/BetteT/
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08-05-2008
  2
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smartarse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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great thread, BetteT.

this is so unfortunate and no doubt it's the norm in and around cyberspace.

i also would like to add...
  • it is of great caution to model members if anyone emails, pm or asked to take pictures of you, or offer a "job" etc.. to a) do not reply or b) tell them to contact YOUR agency.

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NatashaYarovenko.EditaV.ToniGarrn.KarmenPedaru.AliStephens.Sigrid.Selezne va.ChiaraBaschetti.
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09-05-2008
  3
windowshopping
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: New York
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Posts: 23
I just got this on Thursday and when I asked for a contract...they sent it! I'm glad I signed back on here and saw this. It did sound rather too good to be true. I also emailed the place in the UK and they said they never heard of the designer "Greg Tann" or his so called new boutique. Thanks for posting chickie. Makes life a little better know there are wonderful people like you out there!

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11-05-2008
  4
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BetteT's Avatar
 
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Thanks but I think we all would do this once we know about it. Warn everyone on any board you are on where freelancers gather ... please!

I just spoke with a very established celeb photographer tonight who is not a member ... and he googled the Greg Tann thing and found this ... and stopped dead in his tracks ... good for him. And a stylist who is a member PM'd me and said she got the email too. Thank goodness some people do take time to check it out. It's all the others that I worry about.

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** It's All in the Details! **
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Last edited by BetteT; 11-05-2008 at 10:36 PM.
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11-05-2008
  5
windowshopping
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: New York
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Posts: 23
Further Information

They sent me their website, which alone, looks fake. Then they are using a Yahoo address which any agency I've ever done work with before, never uses. They will use their business dot com. I contacted where "Greg Tamm" is supposed to be opening his boutique and they never heard of him. On top of that, they claim to have worked with ANTM Furonda, Nicole L & Jade....all false. When I requested information regarding the designer and then the crew for the shoot, they asked for my paperwork first, which I will never send until all information is verified.

I love working with new clients and it's great to travel all over and make wonderful money and connectons. But for those out there that are new, if you don't have an agent that handles everything, then you have to research it very carefully.

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13-05-2008
  6
loaded and locked
 
mishahoi's Avatar
 
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Go with your instincts, too! If these people had bothered to spell-check, or consistently use the same name (changed from Jusitine to Justine to Justin) I would have not looked it up so thoroughly and come across the fact that it was a scam.

I have even received HAND WRITTEN letters from scam artists looking for my bank acct info to deposit unclaimed money from whatever country they say they are from.

So sad to doubt, but these peolpe are getting better and better at this--watch out!

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13-05-2008
  7
windowshopping
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Beverly Hills, CA.
Gender: homme
Posts: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by BetteT View Post
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
new-world-talent-agency.webs.com

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. Theefore, 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!
Hi: I was also contacted May1st., by a supposed Modeling agency, Itgo.Liveagency.com , and said they were the Agency handleing this account, Greg Tann Boutique at a UK address.
They also offered me 22,000 UK with a 50% deposit to Shoot for 10 days all over the U.K. expences paid plus two assistants @ 9000 pnds each. But I had to act fast since they demanded a U.K. work permit. Which would be difficult to do, except they said they had a attorney that would do it in 2-3 days.-----I got a hunch to look up the 'Boutique' on Google and found the Posting done by Beete T that said " Beware ' etc. Thank you !
Thank You so much for that. So also BEWARE of the Scam, they disguise it in other ways. Best To You All ! Harry


Last edited by harry langdon; 13-05-2008 at 12:33 PM. Reason: Misspell
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14-05-2008
  8
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.francesca's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: montreal
Gender: femme
Posts: 3,988
the same thing just happened to me, last week - i knew it was a scam but i just ran with it for a while to see how far they'd take it. i even researched UK work visas and came back with what i'd found out and how it totally contradicted their story, and they still pushed it.

"justine" got in touch with me too - did you notice bette how this person's name went from justine to justin in a matter of emails? he actually CALLED me and it's not a justine. it's a justin.

more info on this and other scams here:

http://aphotoeditor.com/2008/04/28/photographer-scam/

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15-05-2008
  9
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BetteT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Los Angeles
Gender: femme
Posts: 20,367
Yeah ... I noticed that, too. Thanks for sharing the link about scams.

It's not only photographers they go after ... it's anyone who works freelance so we are all getting these. And look at the lengths that they go to to try to get our trust .... phone calls, hand written notes !

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Bette
** It's All in the Details! **
http://www.musecube.com/BetteT/

Last edited by BetteT; 15-05-2008 at 08:11 PM.
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