scam alert to graphic designer

I really wish this was not a topic that I had to write about. I am angered and saddened that this is happening. I hear daily about scams of various sorts. The worst that I have heard of was yesterday which involved someone calling this gal in my state of Wyoming to tell her they had kidnapped her son. They not only had a kid who sounded like her child crying and saying mom but they then demanded money. Preying off of someone who is at their most vulnerable and scared state thinking their child is in danger. SICK. SICK. SICK. I am thankful my attempted scam was not this emotionally heavy and I realized it before who knows what would have happened.

GRAPHIC DESIGN COMPANIES…PLEASE BEWARE OF SCAMMERS ATTACKING YOUR BUSINESS!!

I’m writing this in hopes it will help someone who, like me this morning, googled “scamming a graphic designer” to see if what was happening was a thing. I came across this article and appreciate the author for writing it – and judging by the 120+ comments, it has been happening a lot.

I think what upsets me the most is that, as an independent graphic designer, my job is only as good as the jobs coming in the door. I don’t have a guaranteed paycheck…ever. Clients come and clients go. I DEPEND on clients coming in my door and trusting me to do a job for them. I have spent YEARS developing my business, trust and respect of my clients. I VALUE every person who wants to invest in me and in turn values the skills and talent I bring to their job. So, when this job came in recently, around Christmas time when everyone could use a little extra cash, it was a nice boost to know I had a fairly sizable job to count on.

What also upsets me is that my time is valuable. I have a LOT going on and I’m only one person. So any time anyone emails me or asks for a quote it takes my time. Time I may or may not get paid for. But it’s just part of the job so you do it. This took a couple hours of my time to deal with this fart nugget.

FIRST CONTACT

I got an email inquiry from my website about a job for website design. I emailed the guy back asking for some more details. I am going to copy and paste his response email because it seems that a lot of these scams have the same verbiage and if someone googles their own email verbiage hopefully this article will pop up to reference.

Thanks for getting in touch. I would like you to review the details and get back to me with any question you may have.

Here is the project details, well i have a small clothing business for both male and female which i run here in Nebraska, now am trying to expand the business and i want you to build an informational website for it for advertisement, drive traffic to my physical location, and to increase my sales rate..

so i need you to check out this site but i need something more perfect than this if it’s possible https://www.paolita.co.uk/ the  site would only be informational, so i need you to give me an estimate .The estimate should include hosting and i want the site to have not more than 5 pages ,since it is informational. I have a private project consultant, he has the text content, images and the logos for the site.

Note:

1. I want only English language
2. I don’t have a domain yet but i want the domain name as  Jnoblewears.com
3. You will be updating the site for me.
4. I will be providing the images, logos and content for the site.
5. I want the site up and running before ending of next month.
6. My budget is $2000 to $4000

Thanks,
James

MY RESPONSE

So from here I wrote up a proposal and quote to send to him which took time of course. He approved the quote right away and asked if I took credit cards. I said yes of course and that he also needed to sign my contact and pay 50% as a deposit, which I ask of any client before I begin any work.

SECOND CONTACT

All along I felt a little off about this job but kept thinking, how could this possibly be a scam if he is going to pay me by credit card? So I went along with it. This is the email I received today that made me hit the brakes and say oh no you didn’t, not today!

That sounds good. I just signed the contract now. Here’s what I need from you, I’m ready to make payment now with my credit card, I understand the content for this site would be needed so the project can begin asap. I am going to need you to send an invoice for the sum of $4025 plus 3% Cc company charges, you will deduct $925 as deposit for your service and you will send $3000 to the project consultant that has the text content and the logo for my website via cash deposit to his account, so once he receives the money, he would send the text content and logo needed for my website to you so you can commence asap, you can have the remaining $100 as tip for helping with the consultant’s fee. Sending of funds would be after money clears into your account and you will be charging my card for your balance upon completion. I need your help because the consultant doesn’t have facilities to bill credit cards at the moment and the project has to begin on time so we can meet the proposed deadline plus my present situation won’t allow me to other options. Kindly bear with me. I Look forward to your favorable reply.
Thanks,
James

THERE YOU HAVE IT

Thanks for wasting my time jerk face. Anyways…just protect yourself ya’ll. If your gut is saying something is off it probably is. As the author of the article I linked above mentioned – use a 3rd party payment platform such as PayPal. They will probably give you some excuse about doing this because they know their scam can’t work this way. Or you could just write an article about it and then send it to them while also telling them they need to go to church like I plan on doing lol!
Have you had an experience similar? Leave a comment below if you have, I’d love to hear your story.