When I googled the words “photography scam” what I expected to pop up in the search results is the Photo Stealers website. It’s website dedicated to outing “photographers” who are caught red handed stealing hard working real photographers work and claiming it as their own. It’s a great site that catches people trying to pass themselves off as real professional photographers misleading those who are simply looking to hire a real photographer.
What is more alarming is what really pops up in the results…..countless examples of a scammer looking to hire a photographer to cover their event. The event is usually a family reunion shoot or a wedding. The scammer as expected has very poor grammar skills and usually cuts right to the real question of “do you accept credit cards?” I personally have been on the receiving end of this scam twice via text message. I’ve heard other reports of this scam happening over email too. Usually a real photo client will reach out by email so a random text message as their choice of correspondence is somewhat of a red flag to begin with.
The 1st time I got the scam I just blew it off. The second time I got this scam I trolled the scammer a bit for info to see if they would slip up. This time I decided to troll the scammer hard….making up outlandish stories that would send any real client running far far away from any consideration of hiring me. The initial idea was to see just how long I could keep the outlandish stories going. I had plenty of them lined up by the second day. At the third day I thought the scammer had caught onto my trolling, but somehow I reeled them back in for a bit more fun. The ending of this isn’t as grand as I had originally intended….but the process was a blast. Originally I documented the events as they unfolded on my personal Face Book page that I keep for friends only. I often polled my friends who were following along giving choices of which way the story should go. Many suggested they wanted the story to be public so they could show friends. For your enjoyment at many requests I present to you 3 days of crazy fun trolling the scammer in an effort to give them less time to bait someone else who might become a victim.
Carolina “the scammer” in yellow chat box.
Me “the photographer” in the blue chat box.
DISCLAIMER! I have never been in trouble with the law and certainly have never been on parole. My dear grandmother passed away 20+ years ago. No dogs were harmed in the process….just pics taken from the internet or borrowed from friends.
On with the show! Enjoy!