As an internet photographer, I’m sure you’ve heard of many scams that people try to pull off. Some of them are trying to steal your money, and some of them want to hack your account. And sometimes it’s both.
Unfortunately, these things keep happening, and photographer Michael Trimboli just spotted a new scam circulating on Instagram. If you are a photographer or videographer, this one is specifically for you. So, be very careful and increase your skepticism to the maximum.
Michael described the scam on Reddit, as the scammers approached him directly in hopes of getting his money. He received a direct message from “Anna Bryse” who “lives in Hawaii”. They asked Michael to do a video slideshow for their daughter’s birthday the following week and offered him $300 for the gig. “Although I thought it sounded a little suspicious, I played along,” Michael writes. He said he would be happy to do so, but only if they pay 25% upfront.
Shortly after, “Anna” told Michael that “they accidentally requested an e-check from their ‘account manager’ for $3,000 and they can’t request another check for another month.” I already see a flashing red light and hear a siren sound in my head. But there is more. They wanted to send the check for $3,000 as is and Michael would send them “only” the difference. “At this point, I’m on high alert that this is a scam,” Michael writes. Still, he decided to tell that person to send him his email address so he could send an electronic invoice that could be paid by debit or credit card. Unsurprisingly, the person said the check was the only option. It was then that Michael told them there was nothing more he could do. He reported them to Instagram as a scam and blocked them
“I know I’m not the first person and won’t be the last to be targeted by this kind of scheme,” Michael writes. “I just want to make sure other people are aware that these people are out there. We all work hard for our money and don’t deserve to be ripped off by people trying to play on someone’s naivety.
This type of scam is relatively common, and luckily it is also quite obvious. You just need to believe your intuition; it will show you the red flags very quickly. However, less experienced or very young people might still fall for something like this. So, I want to encourage you to educate yourself about the different types of scams and to be vigilant and skeptical when approached with an offer that doesn’t seem fair to you.