Freelance photographers are getting targeted by a new con. Scammers are posing as potential clients and fooling photographers into paying thousands of dollars. It's a new twist on the classic overpayment scam.
How the Scam Works:
You are looking online for freelance photography jobs. One post looks particularly promising, a family in your area is hiring a photographer to take family portraits. You send a message to the email provided, but, in their reply, the potential client has some odd requests.
First, the client doesn't want to meet or talk on the phone. He or she only wants to communicate by email. Second, the family is amazingly flexible with their time. They give you a huge window in which they are available for photos. Finally, there's the biggest red flag of all. The client wants to send you a check for far more than your fee. You are supposed to deposit it and transfer the difference to an "event planner" or other third party.
Don't take the job! A version of this scam is targeting freelance photographers across the US and Canada. The exact scenario given may change, but the central scam remains the same. If you deposit a fake check, the money will appear to be in your account. But if you transfer the funds before the bank officially clears the check, you are responsible for the difference.
How to Spot a Freelance Scam:
For More Information
Thanks to the Better Business Bureau Serving Connecticut for their work identifying this scam. Learn more about this scam here.
To find out more about other scams, check out BBB Scam Stopper (bbb.org/scam).