Quick note about scammer customers

Scam targeting photographers

I’ve seen several types of scams directed at photographers, and I know that these go to other businesses as well. Hopefully I can stop someone from getting scammed. If so, let me know.


This scammer came from a website that refers clients to businesses. The site is “Thumbtack” and I’ve gotten numerous great clients from them. I’ve also received several scam clients from Thumbtack, and am glad that so far, Thumbtack refunded the amount paid for my leads. (Not this one yet, even though it was reported) My cost for those leads has gone up considerably since I started with them, but that is an different topic for a different time. Here’s the original lead from the client. Parts are hidden for obvious reasons, but I’ve tried to reveal as much as possible. I’m also going to cut and paste the verbiage, so people who search those words will find it easier to determine that they may be dealing with a scammer.

First message-

John Morgan, Abbott, TX 76621

Job type – Event Photography
Event type- Wedding
Number of attendees- 100 – 150 people
Customer role- Bride or groom
Indoors or outdoors- Indoors
Photo formats- Prints
Total budget for services and images
$1,000 – $2,000
When- Date: Fri Jan 27 2017  Time: 1pm    Length: 7hours

So far, nothing out of the ordinary

After paying for the lead, I received this from the prospective client-

How are you doing, Am John Morgan, I will like to know your availability day in Jan 27, 2017 just 4 hours service and did you accept credit card for payment…. Thanks,Morgan

Red Flags!!!

Several red flags here. Poor English, different number of hours needed, and several others. In case a scammer is reading this, sorry, you’re not going to get me to help you with your scam. The quick desire to see if I take credit cards is a red flag for sure. Normally they try to pass back checks or money orders, but I’ve had the credit card scam before as well.

Next reply from scammer-

“If the date is open with you that would be okay,also what is your accurate cost for 4 hours service ?,the eventName XXXXXXXXXXX address, my family reunion party photography service.Photo size I want you get back to me with the accurate cost.4x65x78x1011x1416x20 and 7 portriat of my family”


Honestly, prior to this I was 98% sure that this was a scammer. Once he gave me an address, it became 99.99% as a quick check of the address allowed me to determine the “venue” was in fact a double-wide mobile home. Obviously other issues were contained in the message.

The clincher-

“Yes good,I am okay with the cost of $4557.96 does that include processing fee + tax cause I would need you to do me little favour cause I have a little issue with the payment of the venue the management of the venue for the event the manager told me she didn’t have a credit card machine so I will need you to do me the favor to add her fee together with your fee she has to receive $9000 via Cash deposit for the booking of the venue so I will like you to get back to me with the total cost so that I can make the payment today.”

For sure a scammer. Here is how the scam works:

  • I process his (ripped off) credit card information for the $13,557.96.
  • He urgently tells me to wire the money to the venue owner (his accomplice?). (likely an out of state person)
  • Hours or days later I’d find out that his credit card was bogus, but my money ($9000) would be gone!

Like I mentioned, this could be a cashiers check, money order, business check, etc.

If you aren’t sure, ask the bank to verify that the money is legit. Even then, wait a few days to verify the money is good.

If you want to say thanks, please do.

I have the phone number off caller ID for this person.  224-218-0898  (224) 218-0898     Hampshire, IL

donations to my PayPal account will not be turned down –  rkdphoto@flash.net


I received a check today in the mail. Didn’t recognize the name, or amount, (over $2,000). Quickly contacted the business whose name was on the check, and sure enough, they told me that the check was fraudulent. They were thankful.

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