Email Scams Targeting Wedding Photographers
Since the beginnings of the web there has been and likely always will be scammers out there targeting consumers and industry professionals and the threat continues to rise. Scams are just a reality of the internet and that's why we want to bring to your attention some examples and techniques these scammers use so you can familiarize yourself with them to avoid becoming a victim.
One critical piece of advice to remember: always be cautious when asked for personal information, financial information, or payments of any kind to people you do not know personally.
Long distance inquiries
Use caution with long distance inquiries, especially from foreign countries. There are numerous scam attempts that have been reported involving people located in foreign countries.
Requests for personal and or financial information
With identity theft on the rise, it is a good general rule to provide your personal/financial information sparingly, and only to trusted sources.
Requests that you send or wire funds Although this seems obvious, you should never agree to accept and/or wire funds for anything you did not initiate.
One well known example of a scam is when the scammer poses as a bride or groom, sends a deposit check to you for more than the agreed amount and requests you to refund the excess. You refund them, then the scammers check bounces and you have been scammed out of the money you sent to them.
Scam Example #1:
Examples of Actual Email Scams
Date: Fri, 28 Dec 2012
Thanks for keeping in touch with us. Here is the services we will like you to render to us, we will want you to send us your price for just four hours with high quality images, we will also need high quality images for future references and i'm sure we could browse through your website for more prints in future after the wedding event.
Also, we want you to know that we are having two locations for the wedding in the same area, that is from the church to the reception, as soon as we have the wedding locations we will have the full information sent to you for future reference. Get back to us here with the price for your service(four hours) so that we can have further discussions in calculation. The wedding ceremony/reception starts by 12pm. Get back to me with your full name and address so that I can issue out the (check) payment asap.
Scam Example #2:
From: Regina Simpson
Sent: Saturday, June 09, 2012 1:24 AM
I got your contact via wedding photo USA, i am delighted to let you know that i will require your bridal photograpy services on my wedding day which will come up on the 4th of August, 2012 in your city, having gone through your gallery .I understand you can provide me pictures that will last for a life time.
Presently am away from the states to do some shopping in the London,United Kingdom and also plan for my honey moon holiday in Madrid, Spain.
Please, kindly forward to me the cost of the bridal photography service that will entails the below specification
· 5hours of photography coverage on the wedding day
· Unlimited portraits and group photograph
· some photos artistically edited
· Two DVD\'S of all wedding Image with copyrights
I shall patronize you, photography services charges reasonable and attractive,Kindly quote me in US Dollars.
Am looking forward to your reply by e-mail, you can e-mail me directly to email@example.com
Ms Regina Simpson
Scam Example #3:
From: Robert Brown
Sent: Thursday, February 09, 2012
This is Robert Brown . I hope this email finds you well? We're currently in the middle of putting things together as we plan on arriving back home to the states by next weekend .
And I'm so glad to inform you that the deposit check payment has already been sent out to your mailing address . We're having an associate send it ( via fed ex courier and from a US bank ) . So it should be fine as we are seriously considering you book the date for us. However, we've had a little problem with the check payment having been issued out to you for the wrong amount. I trust it will be fine as this was sent out to you for a little more than you're requesting for the deposit . What we're asking is to kindly return back the remaining difference of the money to our booking agent in Florida as that funds would have been sent directly to him for the deposit of the hall reservation where the wedding ceremony will be taking place . I hope this is clear to you ?
As soon as you have gotten the check payment , we will want you to take it to your bank and deposit into your account . And then take out the remaining differnce of the money to the nearest western union location around you to send him for the booking of the hall .
With that been said, I will like you to confirm the receipt of this email . Just so I know for sure we're currently both on the same page. Thank you .
Scam Example #4:
Sent: Mon, 11 Jul 2011 22:19:47 +0800
Subject: Footage Inquiry
Hope this message finds you well; I saw your contact info on www.weddingphotousa.com and I think you really doing a great work. I am writing you this mail to ask if you will be available for booking for either Video graphic and photographic work at my awesome daughter (Mariah) birthday party at the end of the month. We will be relocating to your city in couple of weeks to come. Kindly mail me back here firstname.lastname@example.org if you're not occupied.
Scam Example #5:
From: Gor Yudilewich(email@example.com)
Sent: Tue 10/12/10 11:55 AM
We would like a photographer present for the morning, the ceremony and after. From about 12 pm until about 4 or 5 pm (times not finalized yet). In the morning the photos will be of the bride getting ready and then the ceremony. After the ceremony we would like formal group photos and some of the bride and groom alone. We are not overly keen on pushy photographers who take millions of photos of just the bride and groom! We do not want the guests to be waiting hours while we have photos done. We will not be needing evening photos.
We shall probably just get the photos on a Cd's and not in an album at this stage as most of our families live abroad and we will love to send some copies to them. But we may change our mind if the price is right!
Scam Example #6:
From: Patrick Emmerich [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Sunday, October 17, 2010 12:56 PM
Subject: Photographer Request.
We have a project to cover for our client and we are able to contact you through ""weddingphotousa", we need a photographer to work with us for a 5 day gig. The client needs new faces to update her catalog with the new season release fashion outfits, lingerie e.t.c..
The shoot will take place in the United States, Washington on 11th of next month, We have great packages for you in which is included: paid traveling cost, hotel reservation for the period of the shoot e.t.c we will also list your contact details on the Catalog... I will let you know the studio location which we will use as soon as we finish the arrangement with the owners.
If you agree to work with us, your contact details will be forwarded to the client to process it for sending you your payment.
The Payment will be sent to you two (2) installments. The first will be before the commencement of the show and it will be in the form of a check which will include your payment for the first day of work, traveling allowance and hotel reservation funds. You will get the check cashed and deduct your own part-payment and have the rest forwarded to an agent at the location which we will provide for you. The agent will be responsible for helping you make reservations at the hotel and also be responsible for booking your flight for you.
The payment details will be relayed to you though us via email. After that, all subsequent payments will be given to you on location after each day's work. If you're interested, get back to us and let us know your charges. Instruments to be used will be provided before the project or if you prefer to work with your own instruments, let us know.
Email us back with this details:-
1. Your full name (to be written on check):-
2. Company Name:-
3. Physical address:-
4. Your age:-
5. Previous working Experience:-
6. Contact phone number:-
9. Zip Code:-
Your quick response will be appreciated, hoping to hear from you soon. Take care and have a nice day ahead.
Scam Example #7:
From: Eric Traylor [email@example.com]
Date: September 22, 2010 1:53:19 AM MST
Subject: I URGE YOU TO BOOK THIS DATE FOR MY WEDDING
Good to read from you , Am sorry for my late mail, i was very busy .I'm Eric Taylor 36year old, I'm from Seattle, WA,i work in an oil merchant while my fiance Miss Janet Davidson 28 year of age, a project consultant,she's from Graves Ave Santee Ca, we are having our wedding on the 25th Feb, 2011. I am looking for a good photographer who will come and do the snap shots on D-day,after looking at your credentials, & description i was impressed with your services and i decided to contact you. I want to know the below Quote, not as an attached file cos i am finding it difficult to asses any file on my PC.
I'm having the wedding ceremony and reception at the same venue in your state,but am still holding talks with many of the parish halls, ( I'LL GET BACK TO YOU THE SPECIFIC VENUE CHOSEN SOON)the wedding is taken place on 25th Feb, 2011 at 10am to 4pm,i'll be very glad if the date is till open, i hope their will be no travel expensive since the event will be taking place in your state .i want the date book for my wedding ceremony, least i forget ,we want the best services from you, and I want the pictures neat and nice,Because we are having it forwarded to an agent of a Publisher Magazine Company, so they could feature it in their celebrity journal, because our wedding day is supposed to be a day to be remembered for many years to come, if their will be any contract,no problem all will be provided . I will be making the payment by means of a cashier Check.Kindly get back to me asp.
Scam Example #8:
From: Rev smith Loggan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sent: Tue 10/26/10 1:56 PM
My name is Rev Smith Loggan. My wife Linda and we are planning to have our wedding on December 18th, 2010 in the state FL, I am looking for the best photographer who will come and snapshot on the D-day and when i came across your advert Online i was impressed. Let me know your charges for your required services if you are to work for at most 5 Hours on that day.We want about 80 copies of different photos in both black and white and in coloured both in the church and reception and of both the bride and the bridegroom,their parents,the officiating ministers and our guests.
We will want you to work for at least 5 Hours at the occasion and if you are out of State,we will pay the transportation charges to and from the party venue so indicate in your email if you are out of State what it will costs either via Plane or through Car transport to get to the party event. Also,we will have the photographs snapped at the wedding forwarded to the Publisher of a Magazine Company in Cairo so they could feature it in their celebrity journal. At this moment,my wife and i are on our way to United Kingdom for a 2 weeks p rewedding honeymoon and will try get in touch with you personally when we return.
However,my mode of payment will be by Money Order, Let me have your full details Like this:
FULL NAME ON CHEQUE:
FULL CONTACT ADDRESS :
More so, the Hotel accommodation will be provided for by me.Waiting to read from you soon as regards this.
Scam Example #9:
From: Larry Saverin (email@example.com)
Sent: Tue 11/09/10 3:14 AM
I need a professional wedding Planner/coordinator or venue who can plan and handle a civil wedding and ceremony arrangements for my clients in your country.I need to know what you can offer as they have budgeted about $30,000USD for the whole events, but this amount includes funds for every arrangement that we might approve for you to provide for us.
The items includes; Venue, video, photography, make-up/hair artist, food and drinks, fireworks if affordable.etc.The wedding will be taking place within the 29th January,2011 and we are expecting a total of 38 guests which includes 16 VIP's and 4 bridesmaid. Kindly get back to me if you can organize this event well by a return email.
More so, Payment will be by credit card Visa Or Master card and we will require a 3* or 4* hotel nor bed and breakfast guesthouse. Hope to hear from you.
Steacy Walker - firstname.lastname@example.org
Scammer Email Addresses
Regina Simpson - email@example.com
Larry Saverin - firstname.lastname@example.org
Rev smith Loggan - email@example.com
Eric Traylor - firstname.lastname@example.org
Gor Yudilewich - email@example.com
Patrick Emmerich - firstname.lastname@example.org
Glen Smith - email@example.com
Julie Fox - firstname.lastname@example.org
If you get any inquiry (email, contact form, phone call, text, etc..) and it smells too good to be true, or not quite right, or you can't speak with them in person or over the phone at a minimum, it is probably a scam. Trust your instincts.
Who to Contact for Possible Fraud
For more information, or to report a scam check out The Internet Crime Comlaint Center (IC3) at www.ic3.gov/default.aspx IC3 is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National White Collar Crime Center, and the Bureau of Justice Assistance.
Another great resource to learn about and test your ability to understand if something is a scam or not is: www.lookstoogoodtobetrue.com This site was developed and is maintained by a joint federal law enforcement and industry task force. Funding for the site has been provided by the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.