Nowadays, everyone can become the victim of a fraud or scams — such as photographers. New scams are being devised all of the time on the internet. However you will find 4 scams which target the photography world especially, so I thought I’d clarify how they operate, and what you could do in order to prevent falling for them.

1) The E-Bay Yield Scam

The way it functions:-LRB-***********)
A few dishonest individual has a camera (or lens, strobe unit, notebook, etc.) which, for some reason, is broken. Until it broke, perhaps it was used by them for a little while. They found it busted at a garage sale. They visit auction categorized sites for the same thing and sites like E-Bay, and purchase it with a payment service.

()When the package arrives, the purchaser alarms the vendor that the product is broken, and they’re sending it back and expect a complete refund. They place the camera (or lens, strobe device, laptop, etc.) to the box and ship it back.

()You get the merchandise and realize this isn’t the exact same person you sent, so that you refuse to repay the money. However, PayPal is complained to by the buyer, reveals evidence PayPal refunds their money, and they returned the product, paints you as the party that is unethical.

()the way to protect yourself:-LRB-***********)
be certain that you have documented evidence that the thing you sent out isn’t the exact same one which was returned. Take photographs of the numbers and include them at the article . From attempting to pull on the scam on 23, this will not prove the amount, but also discourage any crooks.

2) The Fake Photo Assignment Scam

The way it functions:-LRB-***********)
A hard-working honest independent freelancer photographer understands an email through their site offering them the opportunity to shoot a mission. It might be even a portrait session, or a wedding ceremony, and it may involve some traveling — of which costs will be covered. Wonderful! The man is functioning in another state or nation — they’ll prove themselves who’s usually busy or important to do themselves, on behalf of somebody else.

()They’ll offer to cover you up front, through cashier’s check. (Initial red flag only went , correct?) After the check arrives — it’s bigger than the quantity you agreed upon. So the individual will be contacted by the photographer that is fair, and they understand they sent you the quantity of another service, or money for your bride, or the place. (Secondly red flag!))

()They will then request, if it is not too much problem, to simply send the overpayment into the florist/venue/other party. (Red flag #3!)) This is the older (and broadly known) fake cashier’s check scam. If you deposit this test, your lender will initially accept it great. So folks forwards educated and would go ahead. A week after, the cashier’s test comes back as imitation, and they eliminate that amount from the bank account.

()The florist/venue/other celebration was really these, and they vanish with your money.

()the way to protect yourself:-LRB-***********)
Before you reserve a mission from an unknown individual, attempt to get as many details as you can. Just where will the shoot occur, and if? Should they give this advice to you, call to confirm. Should they prevent providing this information — then something is fishy.

()Before you take a mission, it is a fantastic idea to request a 50percent payment up front, and leave yourself lots of time for your payment to clear through each of the banks (not yours). If at all you can, do not accept any cashier’s checks — and NEVER EVER consent to ship the overpayment to somebody else.

3) The Fake (or Poor) Photo Contest

The way it functions:-LRB-***********)
A photographer enters a photograph contest that seems like it comes out of a really legitimate organization. There is a money prize for first place, as well as some money for next location. The advantage is that of the winners get printed in a publication that’s offered all around the world! A photographer can use this kind of vulnerability, so that they hope for the best and send in their pictures.

()Shortly after they get a note that they obtained 2nd or 3rd place, and also their photograph(s)) will be showcased in the publication! Superb! The note also says that they’d love to incorporate the photographer’s biography at the book — for an extra fee of roughly $40. And, clearly, they are going to want to purchase a copy of the publication — that could cost up to $100.

()The photographer dictates the publication and waits. And waits. Finally the book arrives, and that is if the photographer realizes he did really win a 2nd or even 3rd place — combined together 100 or so other men and women. Basically, everybody who enters is a “winner”

()This kind of action isn’t illegal — it is really a smart (and sneaky) way to market books. You aren’t required to purchase the book, however they prey on a photographer’s vanity and pride to market books to a captive audience.

()What about these money prizes they discuss? They might actually be creating a actual payment on the sole individual to win a primary location from the publication, but in lieu of money, second place winners might wind up getting a commemorative coin from the email they assert is well worth the sum of money initially stated previously.

()Another variant of the concentrates for parents, who will pay a $20 commission and also input a photograph of the baby to a competition where winners will be printed in a publication of “America’s Most Beautiful Babies” All entrants are “winners” and virtually every one the entrants wind up purchasing the book. 1 such competition boasts 2.8 million infant photos entered because they began 2006. That means they have earned $56 million dollars in entrance fees !

()Another variant occurs when the provider finds among your photographs on the internet, and also alerts you via email your picture was chosen to be included within an high quality publication. So that it can be replicated correctly if you react, they will request a variant of the picture. They then create a sales pitch, where you are able to get this book.

()as soon as the novel comes, and you look carefully, you might realize that the page was glued in position — and also the only variation of the book with your photograph is the one that you bought.

Again, these businesses are doing here isn’t illegal — but in my estimation, it is very sketchy and deceptive. Because of this, I’ve decided to not mention the titles of those organizations.

the way to protect yourself:-LRB-***********)
The world wide web is your friend here. Be sure to research the history of any company holding a photo competition. Is your company a recognized advocate for the business, having a history of encouraging photographers and great photography, and so worthy of respect over the business? Or are they a personal company that the does not care about quality? Start looking for the previous winners of the contest, and ask yourself by being recorded one of them, Can your career as a photographer get a rise?

()Should they need an entry fee and request your bank account info rather than paying by credit card think twice about entering. Paying via credit card may always be reversed, and firms with credit card merchant accounts are held to certain standards of behavior — or they lose their skill process credit card payments.

()Also, read the fine print and be sure to consent to everything. Be particularly cautious about (and on the watch for) entering into some “rights-grabbing competitions” The act of inputting these types of competitions provides that the right to do whatever that they want with your pictures to the competition organizers — such as using them re-publishing them re-selling them. “Rights-grabbing competitions” are often made exclusively for the purpose of amassing a inexpensive library of pictures to use for different ways, rather than for encouraging excellence in photography.

()And consider this: If they wish to use your photography at a publication, should not they’re paying you, not the other way round?


4) The Unethical Camera Store Scam

(b)The way that it functions:-LRB-***********)
Everybody likes a bargain, particularly photographers. Looking to decrease prices, the photographer makes the decision to utilize the world wide web to shop around for the cheapest possible price on a lens or camera or some kind of photo merchandise. Most costs are in just a few dollars of each other — until suddenly a super mad low cost is quoted (possibly on a site, or by a shop selling via eBay.) The photographer hasn’t heard of the specific shop, but their site looks professional looking and legit, and it’s a street address (typically at Brooklyn, NY) printed on their site (hence it has to be a true shop) — therefore they opt to wind up this fantastic thing.

()What happens next is going to be a set of efforts to get more money from you — beginning with a message to “call the store to verify your purchase” This strategy puts you on the telephone with an salesperson that precedes to function for every thing conceivable you. The price is for the camera strap — not the battery, battery charger, the camera just, the cover, the guide, software installers, or the box , they will claim. You’ll have to pay extra for all those items though they’re provided with the camera in the manufacturer.

Or, they will claim the lens you purchased includes a plastic lens (a lie), and also to update to the model using a glass lens, it is going to be 250 longer.

()Or you’ll end up in the center of a bait-and-switch scenario, where they attempt to sell you on something else rather than what you wanted in the first location.

()You should also anticipate hefty delivery costs. And when you open the box, then do not be shocked if a poor product is indoors — trusting you won’t detect (or will not be bothered with all the hassle of returning .) If you choose to return the product, you need to expect to pay a “restocking fee” that will go as large as 25percent of their purchase price.

()Recall you get what you pay for. Attempting to opt for the too-good-to-be-true very might bring about paying-through-the-nose at the long term.

()the way to protect yourself:-LRB-***********)
Just deal with camera retailers that are known and reliable. Take recommendations. Adorama, B&H Photo, Samy’s Camera, Amazon.com, and Calumet are cases of trusted retailers whom I’ve personally done business with.

()it is also possible to use ResellerRatings.com to help do some background research on a merchant. A word of caution on ResellerRatings so you need to take things — people like to bitch and moan about anything and everything. Even great shops have less than perfect scores . What you need to be searching for are shops which have evaluations of 1 from 10 or under.

()Consider entering their street address into Google street perspective and see what shows up. If you are taking a look at even a PO box, or an alleyway store, or someone house — take that as a warning.

()Also keep in mind that a number of those companies change their names often in an effort to run out of the terrible reviews. Let that function as a warning if a business does not have reviews to their title. Check out this source of camera merchant storefronts at Brooklyn, Manhattan, and other places from Don Wiss.


()Have you got some stories to tell, or words of caution, about frauds and scams targeted at photographers? In that case, please donate to this story.