If you're a photographer that's been around for any length of time, you've likely received The Text. By that, I mean the request to shoot a reunion. Oh yes, it's a sign that you've "made it" once you get the spammity-spam scammer texts! But what is this scam all about and how does it work?
Usually, I ignore the classic text scam, but recently decided to play along and see how it works. Essentially, this is a classic over-payment credit card scam where the perpetrator tries to get you to run a credit card, take out some cash to pay another vendor that doesn't accept credit cards, and keep your portion. The end result is you are left holding the bag for the full card charges because the information is stolen.
It may be enticing, especially for those just starting out and desperate for work. This is where the scammer tries to play on your greed - you could quote any price for the job, they are more concerned with getting money from the stolen card.
Some red flags to watch out for if you suspect the Reunion Scam:
- They will ask if you accept credit cards as payment right away
- Usually bad grammar and typos in their text
- Vague about locations and dates
- Scammer will note they prefer communicating by text, often stating that they have a hearing impairment
- Sense of urgency, they may claim having a surgery in a few days (they actually only have a short window of opportunity to use the card before the theft is discovered)
- Strange phone number as the area code may be nowhere near you area, OR they my be mirroring a seemingly local number by using an area code before the local call.
In this latest scenario, the scammer provided me with copious amounts of credit card info. I immediately called the credit card company to report the stolen card, and was assured that the legit cardholder was contacted. In this case, the issue was resolved and hopefully I saved someone a lot of headache!
My main point is for people to be careful. These scammers are ruthless. If you do encounter a text scam like this, just ignore it and carry on. However, if you do decide to play along, please do as I have and report the stolen card. Be a good person and save someone's day!