Does this email sound familiar to you?
"Let me just assure you that if we close the deal and they chose you to be their official VO (let me be completely honest with you) that’s the only time that we can send payment for your VO. If this is ok with you then I’d be so glad and look forward to be working with you. Can you also calibrate your rates for me… that means, if you will be chosen this wouldn’t be a one-time deal… it’s gonna be on a regular basis (So please do give me a special rate… lower than those one time deals that you have. So sorry for being so brutally frank, hehe).
Again if this set-up is ok with you then hit the record button and give it a shot (sorry too for the rush but need this by monday, meeting with the client is wednesday)."
We've been seeing this scam more and more in the voice over market. Below are a few warning signs to look out for, and a breakdown of how the scam turns out.
How the scam runs:
The contact finds you through an online talent search (through various talent banks) and you are asked to send a price quote as well as a read of the script attached to the email. Once you have responded to the contact, they then let you know that you've won the job and they'd like to pay you with Western Union (or sometimes Cashiers Check). Typically you actually DO receive a check, but for quite a bit more (usually upwards of $1,000) more than your quoted price. Exciting, right?! Unfortunately, it really IS too good to be true. The contact apologizes for the overpayment and asks you to send back the overpaid amount via Western Union. You take the check to the bank and deposit it, and send out the overpayment amount as requested. Later on, the bank finds out the check is counterfeit, and you not only DIDN'T get paid, but you are also out the money that you sent back to the contact.
So, how do you prevent this from happening to you?
*Contact tends to be very casual in the email, uses some VO terminology, but misspells quite a few words and doesn't use proper English (you could almost chalk it up to be an error in literal translation)
*Contact is usually from a foreign country; Philippines, India, etc.
*Western Union typically seems to be used as a preferred format of payment.
To prevent falling victim to this common scam, there are a few precautions you can take to safeguard yourself:
*Never wire funds via Western Union, Moneygram (or any other wire service)
*Never provide direct financial or sensitive information (bank account number, social security number, etc.)
*Always research the company you're doing business with, and try to get as much information from them as possible (phone, email, address, website, etc.) to ensure they are a legit company, ESPECIALLY if anything seems "fishy" about the company.
By taking a few precautions, you can safeguard yourself against scams and save yourself a lot of headache and wasted time!
Such A Voice Marketing Director