Scam is NOT MY JAM! 5 Signs of a Con Artist
Some of you may have already seen my Instagram story, but I recently *almost* got conned out of $3,000. Luckily, I smell bull sh*t from lightyears away, so it was a nice try! I was very surprised to see the flood of DMs about similar experiences. Long story short, I wanted to try being a mystery shopper. I found a "company" on LinkedIn that seemed incredibly legit. They sent me an assignment, money to do it ($3k), and directions. I found it odd how large the check was and how little they looked into me. No background check, no phone call? I mean, I could just cash the check and run...SKETCH BALLS! Well, the check was fake and their goal was to get me to think the money went through, buy the gift card with money that wasn't actually there, send them the gift card info, unload that money off the gift card, then the bank would say HEY BRIA, YOU OWE US 3K, THE CHECK WAS FAKE!!!!!!
Here were some major red flags I found that you should also be aware of when handling business online.
1. TYPOS IN THE EMAIL: An occasional slip of a letter is totally understandable. Not knowing how to capitalize the beginning of a sentence and how to utilize the space key throughout the email was very concerning. This may come off a little snarky, but he also was using the font COMIC SANS. You may as well have green text messages too (don't @ me).
2. VAGUE & NON-RESPONSIVE ANSWERS: Before I sign onto any type of deal, I load tons of questions on you. With this particular guy, he would one-word me, ghost me, or change the subject every time I asked a legitimate questions. Boy, bye.
3. NO PORTFOLIO, WEBSITE, OR PAST WORK TO SHOW FOR: This one is for my models, bloggers and girlies that do photoshoots. I get a lot of emails with men pretending to be photographers and offering to pay me for photoshoots. When I ask for their portfolio work, and test them on industry knowledge, they give themselves away very easily. PLEASE if you take anything from me, take this. DO. YOUR. RESEARCH. 98% of the time your gut feeling is right. If you do a photoshoot with a photographer for the first time, take a friend and have your "find my friends" app on. I have unfortunately heard about incidents like this resulting in rape and sex trafficking. Don't be blinded by the $$$$, be cautious.
4. GENERIC NAMES: This may seem silly, but this was actually the first red flag for me. This guy went by "Michael Dean". A first and last name that are so stupid common that even if he was real, I would have a hard time locating the right one. May not always be true, but just something to consider.
5.SEEMS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE: If it seems like it's way too good to be true, it probably is. When I got $3,000 in the mail, I immediately knew it was BS. That tiny voice saying NAH, GIRL in the back of your head is real and right. Trust her.