To all photographers, keep your eyes wide open and be skeptical as much as possible. Yet another job scam seems to have popped up offering you a real estate filming job. But of course there is a catch, and you could lose your money in an instant if you misread the red flags and fall for the trap.
Reddit user Jeff Harris posted about the email he received from “Shira Karney”. She told him that she was “a hiring manager” for a real estate investor. The first email was quite short and unspecified, indicating that she would like to know more about his photo services and that he should respond if interested. In my book, being this unspecified is the first red flag. However, I would still be interested to know more about it, if only to laugh at the pathetic scam attempt.
Jeff notes that he sometimes got legitimate jobs like this, so he decided to respond and ask for more details. Here is the response he says he received:
“I am very happy that you have decided to respond to my message. I am the GA consultant for the hiring manager and compile photos for the Triple Five group’s “real estate page”. Triple five Group is a real estate investor and owns properties throughout the United States and Canada. We are looking for professional and reliable photographers who want to create stunning images to showcase on real estate website and online magazine. We have scheduled a list of properties to work on in your area for the next week and I will email you the address of the properties as well as the real estate agent you meet to complete your tasks. You will be working in 1 or 2 hours during the scheduled period and you will be paid $ 1,000 for each assignment. and you will work 3 days a week depending on your flexibility. Compensation for this project will attract $ 3,000 per week. We want 30 professionally shot photos in high resolution digital copies. Upload the images via Dropbox, Drop send or any other file sharing platform you know. As the photographer, we want you to take care of other aspects of the concert and dictate the creative direction. If you can handle this, please respond with your full name (to be included on your check payment), phone number, address with postal code. Looking forward to a good working relationship with you.
I read the post twice and it didn’t sound too suspicious other than the slightly hectic style. Jeff also thought maybe he could give it a try, and they really did send him the check. And boom, there was the catch: the check was for $ 2,980 and he was asked to immediately pay a house fee. “They want you to pay right away before the check comes in for insufficient funds,” he explains.
Of course, he found this way too suspicious. The check was from the Jewish Community Foundation of Montreal. Jeff called them and they confirmed it was a fraud. “They were aware of the scam and an investigation is underway,” he wrote.
In addition, Jeff also called Triple Five Group Real Estate. “They also confirmed that it was a scam because they don’t advertise real estate,” says Jeff. After that he reported the scam to his local police, which was definitely a good call.
It’s a pretty old scam, but it seems to be starting over again. Even though Jeff would only have lost $ 20 in this one, it could have been more. In fact, scams like this usually ask for more. Sadly, this is just one of many scams targeting photographers, and some of them have made millions of dollars for people who have fallen in love with them.
“So be aware,” the photographer concludes. “I know times are tough for photographers now (when aren’t they), and a job like this can be very appealing. “