As hard as we all work to get ourselves out there, along with an extended web presence comes increased odds of becoming a target for scam artists.
Artists, musicians and freelancers are among the top groups that are vulnerable to scams. Since many of us work remotely or sell our work online, there are more opportunities for fraudulent interactions. The best thing we can do is share our experiences, which is why I’ve created the black list on CLW. If you have any of your own warnings to add, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As creative professionals become more aware of these fake-outs, more effort is put into cons. Just this week I was very close to working with a “new client” who was very savvy at the game. Below is her first email, we had about 10 emails back and forth including her letting me know she was sending a check out for the deposit and would return my contract.
I first became suspicious when she said she was going to send me 5 times the amount I asked for the deposit because she was sure the board was going to approve more projects for me to do. So began my researching... although with a generic name like Mary Sullivan and a new company called Life’s Good, it wasn’t easy. Eventually I found a thread that exposed the scam. This check did in fact come to me for $2,890. It seems if I had cashed it the scam would then be to have me wire back something - which I never would have done, but falsely having the funds I am sure I would have wasted a lot of more of my time on the design project.
We are making a banner to create awareness, it's a newly open foster home and the website is under construction.
Here are the details that is going to be on the banner
Business Name: Life's Good.
Address below: 800 E. 3rd st. Calexico, CA 92231
Slogan which will be on the banner ( every child deserves a second chance)
We can print it locally if you can just do the design. Size is 8 Feet by 5 Feet in rectangle shape.The color will be Blue and White...Background will be white and font will be blue
I want you to make illustration of kids or stock image
I want it back in 28 days and let me know the total cost.
Am ready to send a deposit of 50% so you can start and payment will be
through check.Awaits your favorable response.
They even called and left me a voice message when I asked to speak about the logo concept. After calling her out on this she emailed "I really am shocked at your accusations is there a number I can call you on?” - instead of calling I emailed her the link I found... that was the end of that. She knew she had lost out on her payday.
As frustrating as this was, it reminded me that taking the time to vet new clients is essential. And if any part of it seems to good to be true, it likely is. Please tweet or share on facebook, linkedin to help stop this scam artist.