SCAM ALERT

So I got this email from the following address:  stevenwalter16@gmail.com  I did report the email address to google.

This person claims that he was coordinating a family reunion and was looking to hire a photographer and wondered if I took credit card payments. Obviously the individual didn’t visit my website since it clearly states that I do.

Hello,I’m Steven Walters, How are you ? I’ll like to know your free available date in September for my family reunion (5 hours coverage). Also i want the family portraits done for the all the families coming together for the reunion and do you accept credit card payment? 

Thanks

I provided my free dates and he selected a date

Thanks for getting to me ,i want to book  September 23rd. If you have a date open i want you to work on the estimate cost for the 5 hours photo coverage from 11am-4pm, and 6-16×20 prints family photo portraits because we have 6 families coming together for the reunion event. The event will be held locally here in the state about an hour drive from your location, i will cover the travel expenses. I got your information on the internet and i hope you can handle this event. I’ll be making the full  payment in advance with my credit card to book the date also i will forward you the event venue once the event planner book the hall. I will be looking forward to read from you with the estimate ASAP.

Regards,

Notice the composition and use of English?  Also, he doesn’t know where I’m located since he says “… here in the state about an hour drive from your location”, OK I’ll play along.  So I asked him what city/state the event will take place.

ROCHESTER, NY so can i have the total estimated now ??reunion

Getting testy ain’t he?  Since I’m in the Rochester, NY area why would I need to drive an hour  to get to the event? O.K. I’ll continue to play along. I provided the cost of my services, cost of the 16×20 prints and even state & local taxes. I also stated that I needed a physical mailing address so that I could send the contract that will need to be signed and returned to me before I will accepts any payment.  Obviously the person doesn’t read very well, here’s the response. You’ll notice there’s a hardship story in it along with a slight problem that I may be able to fix.

I have my credit. card available for the payment . But first I want you to pay attention to this . I have just undergone surgery and regarding to this. I have been advised to take a long rest for an easy and fast recovery, hence the reason why I need your favor. I haven’t payed the sound band that we will be using on that day and he does not have credit card facility and i will like us to work something out on that end ??

So what then is a sound band?  I’ve heard people hiring musicians, a band, a DJ, etc., but never a sound band. Funny, he’s hiring me because I take credit cards but he hired a “sound band” who doesn’t?  So I responded.

“I’m sorry for your medical misfortunes. What do you propose?”

Now the fun begins. Here’s the response along with a bit more sob.

I am perfectly okay with the total cost does that include processing fee + tax cause i would need you to do me little favor cause i have a little issue with the payment of the sound band manager told me she didn’t have a credit card machine so i will need you to do me the favor to add her fee together with your fee she has to receive $1,750 for the booking of the sound band so i will like you to get back to me with the total cost so that i can make the payment today.  Below is the final break down of the total charges i will be authorizing you to charge on my credit card.

your service : $1000
sound band fee : $3,750
Tips & Gratitude : $150
CC &Transfer charges : $3%

 In view of this i want you to get back to me with the grand total and i will provide you with my credit card details to run through ASAP.

i would have been happy if we could meet,as i told you earlier my daughter said i should take a long rest and that is what i am doing because i am out  the state right now for my medication and i will be back 2days to the reunion that is why i want to book everything ahead and make the payment also with my credit card and that is why i told you to charge extra fee for the soud band, all he need is just the fees please reply un time so i can give you my credit card to charge for the grand total amount,i hope you understand the reason my friend

I suggested that because of my accounting software, it would be difficult for me to charge him then pay the “sound band”. I suggested that the manager of the sound band contact me and I would be happy to sub contract the band . Here’s my offer.

“Unfortunately,  because of my accounting software, I am unable to process the payment as you requested.  If you provide me with the contact information of your sound band manager (name, phone number, email), I can sub-contract them as a service. Once I get the signed contract from them I can bill you. Once I receive your CC payment and have it verified, I can then cut them a check for their services. I assume the band is local to the Rochester area so contacting them should not take too long and we can have the contract and payment issue resolved within a day or so. Once I have their signed contact I can add their cost to the estimate and invoice you for the full amount.”

While the previous responses came within a few hours this one took 2 days. Well, surprise surprise, the band is coming from New Jersey and apparently there’s really no way to contact them. I decided I didn’t want to play this game any more. I said that I needed a signed contract and contact information (phone# & address) before I would consider the job. It’s been 3 days now and there has been no response. I wonder how many photographers have jumped on this “opportunity” out of desperation.

Anyone else go one of these???