PSA to other photographers, if you receive this email it is a scam.
Have you received a job offer that just seemed to easy to be real? Did the potential client offer you the job straight away? Did they seem very trusting in you and offered to send payment in advance? Sorry folks, it's a scam. This scam has absolutely nothing to do with Hypebeast, Photoserve, or any other legitimate company. From reddit, here's a summary of how this scam works.
(1) The scammer sends you a very real looking, but fake, check (often it’s a fake “cashier’s check”).
(2) You deposit the check into your bank account, and within a couple of days your bank makes some or all of the funds available to you. This helps trick you into the false belief that the check was real. (Note that by law, under most usual situations, your bank must make some or all the funds available to you within a few days, BUT THIS IS NOT the same thing as the check or the funds being “verified” or the check “clearing” the bank.)
(3) For various and often complicated reasons, depending on the specific story line of the scam, the scammer will ask you to send someone (who is either the scammer themselves using an alias or an accomplice of the scammer) some of the money by Western Union, or MoneyGram, or even gift cards like iTunes gift cards.
(4) Usually within a couple of weeks (but it can take as long as a couple of months) your bank will realize that the check you deposited was fake, and your bank will remove the funds that you deposited into your account and charge you for a bounced check fee. If you withdrew any of the money that you deposited, such that your bank account balance goes negative when the bank reverses the deposit, then you will owe that money back to your bank, and your bank may charge you an overdraft fee.
This scam is also very popular on Craigslist in which a buyer will offer to send you money. In our case regarding a photography gig, the scammer will get in touch with you about an upcoming gig. Maybe it's a shoot for a popular website such as Hypebeast or maybe a wedding, anniversary, birthday party or bar mitzvah. They will offer some details about the shoot to make it seem real. They will give you some possible dates and specifics about the images.
Here's a sample text of the email they send. They might also claim to be working with Highsnobiety, and any other number of sites.
I saw your portfolio on photoserve.com and would like to learn more about your services. I’m looking for an experienced photographer to work with on an ongoing blogging and articles. I blog for various online platforms and would love to collaborate with photographers on genre such as beauty, vintage, art, lifestyle, and outdoor.
I am compiling shots for hypebeast.com “fashion page” segment and the online fashion magazine is looking for professional and reliable photographers who want to create stunning images- Hypebeast is particularly looking for outdoor and urban looks.
If you’re interested this project, it is important to understand few details about the project. These are:
You will be required to work with 2 models.
There will be 3 outfits per model, 5 looks for each outfit, which totals 30 looks/images.
Outfits/Wardrobe will be supplied by us.
Location, date, and time will be fixed by you.
We want 30 professionally taken pictures in High Res Digital Copies.
Delivery date: August 21.
Compensation: $2000 ($500 upfront and $1500 final payment).
You will hold full image right (Licensor)
As the photographer we want you to handle other aspect of the gig and dictate the creative direction. If you can handle this, please reply with your full name (Business name), phone number, and address (to be written on your check and contract). Click of the link for a sample of my work: https://hypebeast.com/2017/7/pam-2017-fall-winter-froglife-collection-perks-and-mini. I will forward a contract to be signed by both parties.
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