I am listed on a booking site. People can book appointments with me, as well as email me about my services. A while back, I heard about a scam going on where a “client” would send a message asking if the MUA was available for a large bridal party. The client would state that she wanted to insure that the artist took credit cards and that she wanted the artist to travel to the site to do makeup. A driver would pick up the artist.
The scam? The client would ask to pay in advance (hundreds of dollars). This should be a red alert to anyone but some people see dollar signs and nothing else. Once the client sends the money to the artist, they say the driver had some mishap and needs “help.” At that point, the client would ask the makeup artist to front the driver some money (i.e. his car broke down, he’s stranded, etc) and the artist would get their money back once they arrive at the site to do makeup. Of course, no driver ever shows up, the “money” that was sent disappears, and the makeup artist is out of a couple of hundred dollars.
Recently, I received one of these “requests” but I shut it down before the person could even start talking about the “driver” and his or her issues. I knew this email was a phishing/scammer type of email based on the following:
- Poor grammar and a lack of punctuation suggests that the person is a low-level scam artist.
- After being told that any client of mine would need to meet ME in person with a valid photo I.D., the person changes the subject.
- The person discusses a date of March 3rd (no year) as a POTENTIAL wedding date and wants makeup done for 8 people within a 3 hour time frame.
- The person was made aware that I do not own a shop (I am freelance and travel TO clients) yet “she” keeps insisting that she bring this large wedding party to my shop.
I was laughing while simultaneously shaking my head. The email reminded me of those “Good Day Madam. You have just received a $50,000,000.00 inheritance BUT you must send a check to (some person in Africa)…..” It is a shame that people try to take advantage of others. There are some gullible people who fall for these scams every year. Makeup artists are often in a vulnerable position if they don’t enforce certain things, like having a contract for their clients, or making sure that people have to pay a deposit before they receive full services. Makeup artists have to treat the business as a real business to help curtain the foolishness that I incurred earlier this week. Had I not been trained on how to conduct business, I could have easily been swayed by this person who was desperately trying to make me feel like I would be missing out on a “great opportunity.”
Artists, be careful and always trust your instinct. If it sounds too good to be true, it IS too good to be true. No amount of potential cash is worth the headache that comes from being scammed. Be safe.
Until next time,