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    Freelancing: Is This A Real Scam?
    #1
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    A few months ago, I received a personal message from a Freelance Model/Photographer on Instagram.

    She accused me of sending her an application to apply to participate an adult dating show. I responded (to explain she's mistaken me for someone else) but I didn't think she got my message because she'd blocked me. But I had enough time to look at her account to find her web address, then her email address. I've sent her a polite and respectful email - and requested to forward me the email in which she got my details from (my name and presumably my Instagram name). She didn't respond.

    People have told me that this was trolling (which didn't seem to make sense since this person, based on her portfolio, just didn't seem to be the type to do that sort of thing, and she also looked quite successful) or could just be identity theft. But what got my attention the most was that this was a scam; that she wanted me to look at her website to boost its reputation (traffic) and the accusatory message was likely written by a Copyrighter. Which I'd never heard of.

    If the latter, it would mean I'm in the clear. But I don't know.

    I want to ask those who's more experienced in the industry, can you confirm if this sort of scam is real? Has this sort of scam being going on for a while now or is it recent?
    Last edited by ThisOneIndividual; 01-04-2021 at 05:47 AM.


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    #2
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    There are a lot of variations on this sort of horsefeathers going on. Sometimes, if you can get the cooperation of the other person, you can figure out what the hell happened, but in the end it'll come under the heading of "some sort of exploitation attempt."

    It's the modern internet. If it's made someone hate you unfairly, that's a bummer, but if you never knew her to begin with then not much is lost. It's when this sort of stuff starts to screw with existing professional relationships that it can start to sting, but inevitably in that situation someone will know you well enough to go "hang on, this is clearly made up."

    You'll probably never know what really happened; I wouldn't worry about it.


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    #3
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    It is suspicious. I just can't figure out the angle.

    Quote Originally Posted by ThisOneIndividual View Post
    she wanted me to look at her website to boost its reputation (traffic)
    Visiting a website doesn't boost its reputation. Traffic logs are kept on the website's server, and they don't share these logs with others. First of all, it would be a privacy violation. Second, search engines like Google would not take such logs as evidence of popularity, because such logs could be forged easily.

    Reputation is boosted by other websites linking to a website.

    Anyway, it would be an unlikely scheme. You had to do some detective work to find her website. Her scheme would not have depended on some stranger being so diligent. If she really just wanted you to visit her website for whatever reason, she would have thought of some reason to include it in her message so that you would just have to click it.


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    #4
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    It is a strange electronic world out there.


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    #5
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    I had something similar happen. A few weeks ago, I got an email from someone claiming to be a photographer accusing me of using her copyrighted images on my website without her permission. She said that if I didn't take them down, I would be hearing from her lawyer shortly. I double checked and every image on my website was created by me. I wrote back to her generic Gmail account asking her to share with me which images she was talking about. No response. It felt kind of like a scam, but there was no link to click or attachment to open. Like you, I couldn't figure out what the angle was.


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    #6
    Senior Member Run&Gun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuickHitRecord View Post
    I had something similar happen. A few weeks ago, I got an email from someone claiming to be a photographer accusing me of using her copyrighted images on my website without her permission. She said that if I didn't take them down, I would be hearing from her lawyer shortly. I double checked and every image on my website was created by me. I wrote back to her generic Gmail account asking her to share with me which images she was talking about. No response. It felt kind of like a scam, but there was no link to click or attachment to open. Like you, I couldn't figure out what the angle was.
    They could have just been trying to figure out if it was an active email account they were hitting and when you replied that confirmed it. Sort of like all the automated telemarketing calls back in the day. The best thing to do(unless you had one of the devices that generated the tone telling those systems that the number was disconnected) was let it ring, because once you picked up(even if you immediately hung-up), they then knew that it was an active/in-use phone number. Of course if you had VM or an answering machine, it probably netted the same effect as if you had eventually picked up.

    I lose count of the bogus emails I get every month, now. A lot are "from" people I know and usually something to the effect of, "Hey, do you recognize this person in this picture or know so-and-so?". Sometimes I'll get phishing text messages, too. Some of them are getting pretty sophisticated, too. I stupidly replied to one one day when I was busy on a shoot and not paying attention. I replied that I didn't text the person and didn't recognize the number and I received a reply to the effect of, "This is you, isn't it?" and a screen shot of what appeared to be an iPhone contact screen with my first and last name and phone number.

    Regarding the original post, the narrative/description doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I think someone may be yanking ya'lls chain with it.


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    #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Run&Gun View Post
    Regarding the original post, the narrative/description doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I think someone may be yanking ya'lls chain with it.
    Yeah, ThisOneIndividual, why is this your one and only post on DVXUser?


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    #8
    Senior Member paulears's Avatar
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    Every day I get emails purporting to be from people I know, but they're not. I know you mean well, but I always use the Judge Judy test.

    "Did she tell you not to contact her?"
    "Did you know she had blocked you?"
    "Despite knowing she didn't want to talk to you, you sent more emails?"

    "So - you emailed somebody, knowing they did not want to talk to you?"

    Guilty!

    Of course you want to convince her it wasn't you, but clearly she's not email literate, so how can you convince her? You can't!

    The fact that you signed up here to ask such a silly question - one that Judge Judy could sort in a few seconds suggests the scam here could be something totally different? Normal people would just stop talking to them and walk away. Who has conversations with strangers on stuff like this?


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    #9
    Senior Member Peter C.'s Avatar
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    Clearly some sort of scam. I doubt it was targeted directly at you, these are sort of template emails that get sent out in bulk and are design to provoke a reaction. Sounds like it did the job. Like most of these things you'll never know the who or why.


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