May 14, 2017
Trolling a Photography Scammer
It's Mother's Day today, and like most Sunday evenings, I just like to hang with my wife and dogs. Because it's our only full day to spend with one another during the week, we rarely answer texts and calls. But when I received a text from "Maybe Elaine" hoping to find a photographer for the "family reunion party" I couldn't resist.
In this digital age everyone is vulnerable to spam, malware, ransomware, viruses, etc... And business owners are likely more vulnerable. I, like most, have my photography business plastered across the web. If you have a website, you know how important SEO can be to grow and maintain a healthy website. My business address, phone number and photographs litter the web with the hopes that my photo business will flourish among the clutter. This puts a target on my back for scammers like "Elaine" who hope that I'm just curious enough to take the bait. She seemed like such a nice person, but something was a little off.
Perhaps it was the fact that this person didn't have a specific day in May that they needed a photographer or the credit card payment at the end of the message that caught my attention. Nonetheless, I decided to respond with excitement. The person attempted to garner sympathy with a comment about being hearing impaired. I pivoted with a similar response of hearing impairment. The same banter continued on throughout the conversation that night and into the following day. I played stupid as long as I could until finally revealing that the jig was up. It didn't play well at the end, but I enjoyed trolling the person. You can read the entire conversation below.
In short, don't be fooled. This person wanted all of my information. Card, SS, DOB, Address - you name it! Just know that people wake up every day hunting for people who are desperate for business. Don't fall victim to this kind of scam just to get work. It's totally not worth it.
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