Happy Thursday, glorious readers!
I thought I’d bring a little levity to the end of your week. Much like everyone else on the planet, photographers often find their inboxes loaded with spam. We also are the target of some scams. One of the most common ones involves a fake inquiry, often from a suspicious overseas IP address that doesn’t match up with the sender’s location. The goal of the scammer is to either obtain your banking information to access your account, or to send you a fake international money order. They will “accidentally” give you more than they intended, and ask for a prompt wired refund. By the time your bank lets you know their money order was a fake, they are long gone with your money. Because these scam emails are so obvious, I usually delete them and go on my merry way. But this morning, I was feeling a little snarky. Let me share with you what I believe to be some of my finest work. Disclaimer: I do not advocate corresponding with obvious spammers or people who may be looking to scam you. If you do, make sure you are smart about protecting yourself and your online accounts and never share any personal information in the exchanges.
First up, the scam email from my new friend Dr. Rafael:
Subject: Enqiry About Your Service!!!!!
Good day to you.I and my family (my wife with 2kids)will be on holiday trip at your city on November 1st and i will like to know more info about your service and sessions.
Kindly let me know your charges and details if you offer Family and Children Portraits,Urban and Studio Session.
And i will like to know your session availability of any of this date 7,8,9,10 and 11th of November or you can just let me know your own schedule.so that i will book ahead before coming.
Can our 2yrs old Shih Tzu pet be included in our photoshoot and will it attract extra cost?
Await your reply.
Dr Rafael William
Which brings us to my response. Rather hilarious, if I do say so myself. And I do.
Greetings Dr. William!
I would be delighted to offer urban family portraits for your family, children and shih tzu. I have some really fabulous ideas brewing. Can you all walk like Egyptians? This will be critical. If not, there will be an additional $250 fee for dance lessons so that I can teach you.
Since your Shih Tzu is only 2yrs old, there would be an extra fee of $500. It probably doesn’t really know how to sit and stay yet, and that yap yap bark makes it hard for me to work. If you could find a 5yrs old Shih Tzu that looks like your dog that we could use in the photos instead, I can waive the fee. Or I have a poodle that could be a stand in. If we put a wig on him, I don’t think you would even notice the difference.
I will like to learn your feelings on this so that we can arrange for the deposits.
With Bangles in my heart,
Enjoy! And if anyone wants to do a Walk Like an Egyptian themed session, I’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse! And I’ll throw in the wig wearing poodle for free.
Update! Update! Some are asking if I got any response back. I did. The final correspondence (sadly, Rafael has not gotten back to me since) is below:
From the dear Dr.:
Thanks so much for your quik response and acceptance of the pet.Am very much happy to read about your availability and the session charges,Kindly calculate the total amount for 2 urban session(9th and 10th) for the selected date and any additional charges that may incur or you can let me know your own arrangement.
Kindly get back to me with the following details so i can instruct my associate to make half or full advance payment IMMEDIATELY.
1: Your Full Name to be on the payment
2: Your Address and zip code
3: Your cell phone number
Again I will like to have an idea on printing price for the listed size below:
Hope to read back from you soon.
Await your reply.
I got back to him right away because I just can’t wait for the Shih Tzu session!
I’m guessing you are going for the full Walk Like an Egyptian/Shih Tzu package? That will be a total of $1,050. Also, the prints that you have mentioned will be $500. In addition, I require an Internet Fraud Fake Money Wiring Scam fee of $3,942.15. Please use the contact information below for payment:
FBI – Chicago Branch
2111 W. Roosevelt Road
Chicago, IL 60608
Phone: (312) 421-6700
You’ll noticed I pulled out my evil alter ego Harkness for these emails. She’s nothing but trouble.
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