A Close Call

Recently, I had an encounter that highlighted the importance of staying vigilant in the face of potential scams within the photography industry. A desperate individual reached out to me through my website, seeking a photographer for a family event on short notice. Despite my hesitation to photograph events, their urgency and my aversion to turning down work made me consider their request. Little did I know that this seemingly genuine inquiry would turn out to be a carefully crafted scam.

The Ruse

The initial contact came in the form of a text message, with the person introducing themselves as “Steven.” Claiming to have hearing loss due to recent surgery, Steven explained that communicating via phone was not possible. While he provided details about the event such as the date, time, and hotel name, he conveniently left out his full name, only referring to himself as “Steven.” My suspicions began to rise, but I proceeded cautiously.

Red Flags

As our conversation progressed, red flags became increasingly apparent.

  • Steven expressed a desire to send payment directly to my bank or through a payment service, citing advice from his lawyers against using platforms like PayPal. This raised concerns about the legitimacy of the transaction.
  • Next, Steven proposed to send the full amount for the event and request that I, as the photographer, pay the event organizer directly. This is a classic setup for a scam, designed to exploit unsuspecting professionals.

Recognizing and Responding to the Scam

I took decisive action. I requested Steven’s full name, address, and phone number, as well as the name, address, and phone number of the alleged event organizer. This request aimed to gather information and expose any inconsistencies or potential deception. Predictably, Steven vanished into thin air, ceasing all communication and leaving me grateful that I didn’t fall victim to the elaborate scheme.


This experience serves as a powerful reminder for photographers and professionals in any industry to remain vigilant against scams.

  • Beware of suspicious inquiries that exhibit red flags such as unusual payment requests, overpayment scenarios, and incomplete or evasive personal information.
  • Always trust your instincts, verify details, and take steps to protect yourself from potential scams.

By staying informed and alert, we can ensure that our businesses remain safe and our clients are genuine, allowing us to focus on what we do best—delivering exceptional photography services.

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