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Email Scams in the World of Wedding Photography

March 18, 2012

I should have known better and realized if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

I was so excited to receive an email inquiry for my wedding photography services the other day.  It sounded a little strange to me, but I quickly brushed aside those fleeting bits of suspicion.  I responded with an enthusiastic YES!  I was available, I was willing to travel and my rates were negotiable.  After a couple of days, the potential client responded they were willing to hire me and requested a contract.  I tweaked my documents and quickly sent them off awaiting a reply.

Well my retired police officer husband burst my bubble when he said it sounded too fishy.  Working in law enforcement myself  (civilian accounting tech), I knew he was probably right.

So I googled the email host name and our suspicions were confirmed.  This was indeed a SCAM!  Fortunately for me I discovered this well before any deposit checks were cashed or strange requests were made of me that would have eventually caused me significant financial grief.  Although I am certain I would have put a halt to this fiasco well before that.

I had no idea the possibility of a wedding photography scam even existed.  Needless to say, I will be VERY CAREFUL when responding to and considering inquiries from strangers and will most likely resort to personal referrals for quite some time, if not forever.

So to all my wedding photographer friends, BEWARE of strangely worded emails from Kelly Brown or Mike Campbell with the following email address hpharaon@outdoormedias.com.

From → 6. Detours

2 Comments
  1. Kiki permalink

    To my fellow photographers: please also beware of any emails from “Charlotte Hughes” they are coming from the same hpharaon@outdoormedias.com address. IT IS THE SAME SCAM this time asking:

    “Hi, I’m Charlotte Hughes . Found contact on PDNONLINE . Tim & I will be getting married in less than 3 months time . We’re asking for a package list which includes 6-8 hours of shooting time amongst a few other items . Package to exclude the engagement/ bridal sessions. Please let us know if you will be available for Saturday, JUNE 23rd, 2012.

    Please email back confirming your availability. Thank you
    Charlotte Hughes.
    hpharaon@outdoormedias.com

  2. Also beware of “Alicia Smith.” I’ll bet I wasted 4-5 hours emailing details of our wedding plan, etc. with dear “Alicia” before she (the “she” is probably some sleazbag in Nigeria) sent me an email this evening which said a check had been sent, but by mistake it was more than I asked. . .you know the rest. I will play this out, and if I can get the fake check, I will get in touch with the FTC and FBI fraud divisions.

    So far, I have heard different names associated with this kind of scam, but have not read anything from any photographers admitting that they actually fell for it and sent the money. Go ahead, Alicia. Keep wasting your time!

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