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Photography Booking Scam

By Michelle Ecker on December 03, 2015


The New York Institute of Photography is the world’s largest online photography school, and because we are, we often publish fun and useful photography tips on our photography blog. Please enjoy!

Photography Booking Scam

As amateur photographers eager to get a foot in the door as professionals, many artists are understandably enthusiastic when initially speaking with potential clients. However, in a response to a recent report of scams, it’s important for us to remind our students and all aspiring photographers not to allow said eagerness to distract from logical caution.

Check out this screen shot shared by MCP Actions photography studio. Do you see any immediate red flags? Maybe not, but here’s what they shared about the typical scamming routine:

Photography Booking Scam

Apparently, scammers often use credit card transactions to overpay photographers for their work. To make up for this supposed error, they then ask the artist to wire transfer the difference to a separate account- sometimes even offering to pay extra for the inconvenience.

However, if the credit card they originally paid with is fraudulent, the issuing card company would subsequently invalidate that original payment to you, but often not until you had already wired that surplus money to an unrecoverable account.

To avoid being swindled, it’s important to be reasonably hesitant when booking initial shoots. Be wary of clients who urge credit card payment and mention credit transactions early on. Additionally, it can also be settling for you to try to get to know the client somehow- consider searching them on Facebook or asking to stop by for a consultation before the day of the shoot. Any effort you can make to ensure legitimacy from the start is an effort than could prevent you from being taken advantage of in the future.

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