How a Texas photography scam affects you

By Greg Collier

It seems that scam artists are targeting wedding photographers in North Texas with a familiar ploy. The scammers are posing as wedding parties who are booking the photographer for a session. The scammers then send a check that’s more than the amount the photographer is asking. The scammers tell the photographer that the check was in the wrong amount and that the photographer should just deposit the check and send back the difference.

Long-time readers may recognize this as the fake check or overpayment scam. If any photographers have deposited these checks, they may find their bank accounts a lot lighter. Banks usually don’t receive notice that the checks are fake for a couple of days. By that time the scammers have their money and the victim is stuck with paying off the phony check to their bank plus any fees incurred. At least one photographer asked her bank to research the check before she deposited it, and the check turned out to be fraudulent.

You’re probably saying to yourself that you’re not a photographer from Texas, so why should you have to worry about this scam? The answer to that is this scam just doesn’t target one industry or one location. If you’re an employee, a business owner, or freelancer you could be targeted in this scam. If your position or business requires you to accept payments, you could be targeted in this scam. That’s not even considering that this scam has a long history of targeting individual consumers who sell items online.

If you ever receive a check that’s over the amount you’re expecting, either destroy the check or send it back. If a business or business owner were to deposit one of these checks you could see your checks to vendors start bouncing. That could end with your business having a negative reputation with your vendors that could take a while to rebuild.