Ah nothing like a graphic design scam to start this morning.
Scammers are everywhere, even in places you wouldn't expect them. I've decided to document all these scams to help other graphic designers so they don't fall trap to these shallow scams. Most of the time, if you google a sentence or two from their email you can see from other posts that the verbiage is almost identical to other scams.
Here's one that just came in:
First Name: Gloria Anderson
MESSAGE: I need your services in Branding for my new Ventures, kindly get back to me in order to give you more details
I wrote her back with:
Thank you for contacting me. Feel free to email me back with the details about the branding you are wanting to create, or we can schedule a time to chat.
Let me know what works best for you, thank you!
At this point I didn't think this was a scam.
This is the message Gloria sent me back:
Thanks for getting back to me. I want to establish a company which will be based on sales of furniture such as Kitchen Cabinet, Sofa, Office Chair, Accent tables, King bench, bed etc. I’ll like to know if I got the right contact to a Branding company. I want you to design for me a logo and a brochure. So, I want you to know that this is the first time I will be doing a Logo design so I can only give you little details then you can decide on designs but I want the color to consist of Black and Gold with an image of an ancient chair. I want a very mature and presentable design and my budget for this project is super flexible For the Brochure, I want a double folded A4 size brochure with 15 pages and I can only supply (via my project consultant) the text content and photos only but the logo and brochure will be designed by you. Here are few details:
1) Company Name: GOHROOTH LUXURY FURNITURE.
2)LOCATION IS HOUSTON TEXAS
3) MY WEBSITE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION WHICH WOULD BE REGISTER VERY SOON.
4) I DON’T HAVE LOGO BUT NEED A CUSTOMIZED LOGO FROM YOU.
5) I COULD ONLY SUPPLY THE TEXT CONTENT AND PHOTO VIA MY LONG TIME PROJECT CONSULTANT.
6) I WANT THE PAGE OF THE BROCHURE TO BE 14 PAGES (INCLUDING FRONT AND BACK COVER) BECAUSE I HAVE LOT OF INFORMATION. THE TEXT AND THE PICTURE IS ALREADY APPROVED AND CROSSCHECK.
7) THE SIZE OF BROCHURE SHOULD BE 8.5 X 11.5.
8) I WILL WANT YOU TO ADD OUR CORE VALUES, MISSION & VISION (I’LL BE THE ONE TO PROVIDE YOU WITH THAT)
9) MY BUDGET IS SUPER FLEXIBLE
10) I WANT THIS DONE IN 4-6 WEEKS TIME.
11) ARE YOU THE OWNER OF THE COMPANY? So please get back to me with an estimate for the designs listed above Thank you. Gloria Anderson
How did I know this was a spam email? Usually the CAPS are a dead giveaway. If it's not obvious with the caps, the general language of the messages are always some what similar, like the minimal details, repeating most of what they had already said, vague details, acting like they know sizing details but clearly they don't, etc.
Then I goggled this sentence: I want to establish a company which will be based on sales of furniture such as Kitchen Cabinet, Sofa, Office Chair, Accent tables, King bench, bed etc. I’ll like to know if I got the right contact to a Branding company. I want you to design for me a logo and a brochure.
Right off the bat, tons of similar matches from other websites with the same scam
You may be wondering 'how do these people scam graphic designers?'. It's a phishing scam, basically what they do is: you do the work, then they over pay you with a check or transfer. They then ask you to give them the overpayment back, all while that check or transfer has not been cleared from your account. Once you pay them back, the check bounces or transfer doesn't go through and you're out a few hundred bucks or even more!
If something looks fish, sounds fishy, and sounds too good to be true, it could be phishing. Always google a few key works or sentences that sound odd.
Gloria is this you?