It’s tough out there trying to land photography gigs at the moment. We understand that, but apparently so do online scammers who are targeting photographers with fake gig offers and then trying to swindle them out of some cash.
The examples above were sent to photographer Dennis Kwan, who kindly shared his screenshots with us to demonstrate how it starts. Typically a person reaches out asking if the photographer is available to shoot an event like a birthday party or a family reunion.
You can go back and forth the with person and they’ll eventually agree to your rate, but then they will throw in a curve ball and say they also need to pay a caterer or a florist. For some reason, they can’t pay directly and would like you to act as a middle man (for which you’ll be paid!). From there, it’s just a typical wire transfer internet scam.
Sometimes they come through email, especially if you have ads on Craigslist or other sites like that. Some people, like Dennis, are getting them via text message.
While the vast majority of you are probably hip to these tactics already, there are clearly some people out there who are taking this seriously and are, sadly, probably losing some cash on the deal. The excitement of a paying client can sometimes cloud good judgment.
So, as always, be careful out there.