The Event Is Usually A Family Reunion, The Scam Is The Same Overpayment
Mesa County, Colo. -- The overpayment scam is circling the the communities across America right now, with one local photographer letting us know she was contacted by email. The scam can start with a phone call or email, requesting a photographer for an event, usually a family reunion. Whatever the large scale event the consumer is requesting services for, they end up connecting the business with an "event planner" to continue the transaction.
A large payment is made to the photographer, they are asked to take out the payment for their services and then forward on the remaining overpayment to the event planner. The sample email below outlines a recent email solicitation that likely was the beginning of an attempt to complete an overpayment scam. Notice the many grammar errors, like the period in the name signature, family is capitalized, the "I" is lower case, etc. These are initial red flags and should immediately cause the recipient to be cautious in further contact.
In the end, the legitimate photographer/business makes a deposit into their account and passes along the excess payment to the third party, before the photographer finds out the original payment was bogus. When this scam is successful, the third party who received the overpayment is long gone and identifying a suspect is nearly impossible.
Idaho Better Business Bureau recently did a news highlight of this type of scam, click here to watch the three minute news segment. In this video clip are also great tips on how to vet potential customers/scammers.
SCAM EMAIL SAMPLE
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of Krystal Collins
Sent: Wednesday, June 3, 2015 5:04 PM
Subject: Family Reunion Event
My name is Krystal Collins. My Family reunion is coming up and i want you capture the memorable event. Also, do you accept credit card as a form of payment?