This week I was nearly the victim of a scam concerning a request for choreography for bridesmaids. I had read about this scam on a newsletter from the IDTA and some time had passed. Then we received a request to choreograph for a group of bridesmaids. It was a large group and I started deciding what was the appropriate charge and thinking about the choreography. Somewhere in the middle of the night following many emails I lay awake and thought about the content of the emails I had received that evening. In an instant I knew it was a scam.
I got out of bed switched on the computer and re read the email from the IDTA. The words used were almost identical.
Apparently the email works like this. A request is made asking for a group of classes for choreography. The price is reached and the scammer pays by cheque. Before the cheque can clear something happens and you find yourself needing to give a refund to the group. You refund by cheque ,only to find that that the original cheque you had has bounced and is returned to your bank unpaid. It also works with a dodgy credit card.
I do not think I came close to accepting a cheque for all the work and would never give a refund unless the original had cleared but I have been in business a lot of years. It is a shame I have turned into a cynical old devil. Please spread the word about this scam. It has been used extensively in the US and now seems to be doing the rounds here in the UK.
I have copied the newsletter from the IDTA. Let’s all try to look after each other and remember that if something seems to good to be true, It probably is.
AT THE HEART OF DANCE
The IDTA would like to advise you about these current dance related
scams that are doing the rounds of inboxes everywhere.
Scam 1: Pre-booking a large number of lessons for an event
(wedding, birthday party, etc).
You’ll receive an opening email similar to this:
Hello, This is NAME. i would like to know if you're available to do dance
lessons. I'm organizing my daughter's wedding and i want you to teach
the Bridesmaids choreography. Let me know if you can do this. I await to
read from you.
Best Regards, NAME
If you respond, the scammer will ask how much they need to pay you and
send a cheque that looks completely innocent. The scammer will wait a
few days for you to deposit the cheque and then email you again and
cancel, asking for you to send a refund. As you no longer have the cheque to tear up you will have to send the refund out of your own money. After you have sent the refund
you will no doubt discover the original cheque to be fraudulent and will be
out of pocket for the amount refunded. You can read more about this scam here:
Scam 2: Payment by credit card only
A similar scam to the one above. You will receive an email similar to this:
Hello, My name is NAME. I got your information online for dance classes.
I’m organizing a surprise dance (like flash mob) for my daughter’s wedding
So I want you to teach the Bridesmaids choreography. Let me know if you
can do this.
If you reply to this scammer then they will discuss details with you and offer
to pre-pay for the lessons via credit card. If you don’t offer credit card
services then they insist that you setup an online payment facility for
accepting credit cards so that they can pay you. Presumably this is a
similar scam whereby the credit card is fraudulent and you are asked to
refund or make a payment to somebody else before the amount has
cleared into your account properly.
You can read more about this scan here:
Well done to the IDTA for keeping us so well informed.