Scammer targeting SCBWI members
carlianne last edited by
Hey everyone, I have now been contacted 3 times by the same scammer (different emails), and did research and found out they are targeting SCBWI members. I know there are a lot of us in here, so please watch out for a message like this:
Title of Email:
ILLUSTRATION JOB OFFER
My name is Adam, I am an academic event organizer and an Apraxia patient. I got your contact details online. I need the service of an artist or illustrator/cartoonist to work on a project for an upcoming workshop. I will give the idea of what I need to be illustrated/drawn and you can get back to me with the price to get it done. I will pay your fees up front if you want.
Please get back to me for more details."
They even included a phone number to call.
I also got the same email twice from "Larry Childers"
In all of the emails they mentioned they were an "Apraxia" patient which was odd.
From one of my SCBWI groups they say this is how the scam plays out:
"Targets are typically strung along with spare details about the job, until at some point they sends the designer a payment and then asks to be reimbursed when the project falls apart. The original payment disappears from the target's account, leaving the designer in the red and they move on to another target.
Freelance artist and writers with an online presence may be vulnerable to this kind of attack—however, there is no cause for concern as your personal information is not at risk, so long as you do not share it with the scammers. If you receive an offer like the one described above, simply delete it.
This, unfortunately, is just one iteration of the many online scams targeting freelancers these days--and it's very possible that the scam may evolve in the next few months, changing details to avoid detection."
I've also read that they may agree to pay you "half up front" and then "accidentally" send you the full amount, and ask for you to send some money back. When you do the original money they sent you disappears.
Anyway, stay vigilant people!
AngelinaKizz last edited by
Thanks for sharing this.
At this point in my career, I choose not to take on any clients who I can’t look into. If they don’t have a trail, in my eyes they’re sketchy AF. If they seem legitimate, I always ask who they were referred by or how they found me, and if they seem off in any way, I can go to the referrer and gently ask if they indeed referred the client. I usually approach this as sending a “thankyou so much for referring xyz…”
Most of these scammy emails, lack a personal voice and they’re vague and too good to be true, especially with full payment up front.
Sadly we all need to stay hyper vigilant in this technological age as it’s so easy to be scammed.
Thanks for sharing. I've gotten three messages like this over the last 6 months or so.
Initially too busy, so I passed.
When I got the second a yellow flag went up but I didn't bother to compare and realize it was the same request from different senders.
And by the third I was googling details to see how widespread the scam was.
Didn't realize it was using the SCBWI membership list.
Merry.Millergass last edited by
Yup, I got one of these also.
Initially agreed to take on the job, but then red flags were all there so I noped right out of it. (Personal email instead of organization / company, wishy-washy work scope, and the biggest, most glaring red flag: ignoring requests for a signed contract)
Can someone please explain what the point of this scam even is? What are they after? Sending payment and taking it back gains them what? I just don't get it.
Merry.Millergass last edited by
Oh, I see. Here's an article that explains it a little more. Apparently this one has been going on for years! Geez, watch out people!
lpetiti last edited by
@merry-millergass At some point I will just start stringing them on, keeping them talking to me. I know I've struck a nerve when they start trying teenage level innuendos on me. It's been entertaining.
carlianne last edited by
@davidhohn yeah I had almost the same experience, wrote back that I was too busy, then I got a second email to a different email address which was a little odd but ignored it. When I got the third one with a different name and everything else was the same I started googling key words to see what kind of scam it was
I found a SCBWI Facebook page which is what I quoted above. The post said they believe the scammers are using the SCBWI email list
deboraht last edited by
I was just about to make a post about this! I’ve gotten 5 of these in the last few months, all from different senders. The thing that stood out to me too was “apraxia.” See, my son actually has apraxia and I thought it was a really odd thing to bring up. People with apraxia struggle with speech, and are most commonly autistic individuals who are non-speaking or who do not reliably speak. So I did a little digging and found out that scammers use “apraxia” as an excuse to only communicate by text.
I also found out they will string the illustrator along with a real brief and then pay them, only to immediately say the project was scratched and demand the money back.
So don’t fall for anyone claiming apraxia, or who doesn’t have a real company email address (google them) and who doesn’t refer to you by name
glenfx last edited by
I think I got one of those a couple of years ago (I remember them mentioning the Apraxia part) but I had too much going on and had to decline.
But I don't understand the scam O_o, isn't there a clause or something stating that if the client cancels at any point he looses 50% of the total project fee?
How would they manage to retrieve the whole amount if you return part of it? (I'm in Spain so I don't know what banking rules or things you may have in the US).