Not totally photo related, not just a journal. A bit of both.

Monday, August 11, 2008

No I won't shoot your wedding in South Dakota

Leia dress .05
Leia's Dress #5, 2007

Well here is something different.

Got an email via my web site contact form this weekend. Someone wanted me to shoot a wedding for them. Nothing odd in that. I don't do them really but I never say no without finding out more details.

Here is the slightly abbreviated email thread. Names removed though I am tempted to leave hers in. Was from a yahoo.com address.

Them:
Good Day,

This is [xxxxxxx] 84 years old woman.I have married but i lost my husband in car accident since over 20 years.we have only one daughter in ages of 28 who is planning for her wedding.So we want you to come and pictures my daughter wedding because you have an experience how to take a nice pictures.pls let us know what all necessary things we need to arrange and how much is your paid.Kindly let me know what types of payment do you accept.I will be looking forward to hear from you.may the peace and blessing of almighty God be with you and your family(amen)Thanks.

Best Regards
[xxxxxxx]
Me (in part):
Thank you for your interest.

If you could provide me with some more details such as the location of the wedding and the date I might be able to help you out more in terms of availability.
Them:
Thanks for your respond.I located in [xxxxxxx],[xxxxx], South Dakota,the wedding date is Sept 8 2008.I prefer 8 hours from the start and finished.Yes i want the in album we need you at Church,ceremony and reception only.let me know the cost of everything and what types of payment do you accept.I will be looking forward to hear from you.Thanks
Me:
Well one major thing that would impact that... is that I am 1000 miles from you in Ontario Canada. About two hours from Detroit. I think finding a photographer closer to you in say Sioux Falls would be better. I don't have anyone to recommend however.
Them:
Thanks for your respond.I really appreciate your effort,I want you to come and take my daughter wedding because you are very intelligent and you know how to take a good pictures.so I will pay for you flight ticket just let me know the cost of everything and i will buy ticket from here and send it to you there.I will be looking forward to hear from you.Thanks.
Me (abbreviated):
I appreciate that you would want me to shoot your daughter's wedding but after a quick check (this is not a quote) ... The cost you are asking for is approximately $1400 US for air, car and accommodations, plus the cost to shoot the wedding for eight hours...

Additionally, the date you have provided as well is a Monday. Did you mean 2008 or 2009?

The following is a Google link to wedding photographers in Sioux Falls. They would be better off assisting you and would cut your cost in half.(had URL here)

Them:
Thanks for your respond.I mean Sept 7 2008.I will pay you $1500 to shoot the wedding for eight hours.I will give you my card for you to charge it so that you will be able to book and registering our wedding for booked.I have already contacted One travel agency in New York who is going to book the flight ticket for you.so they bill me just only $600 i believe that is the cheapest flight.also i need your name and your passport number so i will buy the ticket and send it to you via ups or FedEx .So I will give you my credit card for you to charge $2100 while you will deduct $1500 for the cost of the pictures and you will send the remaining balance of $600 to the travel agency in New York via western union.so that they we book the flight ticket for you on Sept 7 2008.the travel agency accept cash but i have spend lot of money on my daughter wedding,and also we have invited the president of united state and our state governor to the wedding.Can i go ahead and email you my credit card details including the travel agency informations for you to wire the $600 to them after you have charge my card throw.I will be looking forward to hear from you.may the peace and glory of almighty God be with you and your family(amen)Thanks.

Best Regards
[xxxxxxx]
And finally Me:
[xxxxxxx],

Sorry. The information you are requesting, the manner in which you are doing it, and other details, make me skeptical that this is a real offer. Especially requesting passport information and that I would need to send $600 to a travel agency which could easily be done by you.

I am sorry but I can't accept this assignment. Use the link in the email to find a local photographer in SD.

So. lets see for inconsistencies.
  • Her name in the body of the emails was one thing, but she signed it with a break in it. As if I was Michael Woodrow and wrote Wood Row.
  • Date of the wedding was a Monday, then a Sunday and less than a month's notice. Who gets married on either days? Especially with the Christian overtones to her sign offs.
  • Age. 84 yr old woman with a 28 yr old daughter. Had her at 56?
  • Not seeing reason when pointing out distance and yet wanting me and still saying she is spending lots on the wedding.
  • The whole charge the card and then wire money to a travel agent.Big tip off.
  • Asking for a passport. I doubt an American would think of that one. Perhaps someone in Central Africa? :)
  • The whole President/governor bit... Could I really take pics of Bush (and Governor Mike Rounds) there? ooooh aaaaah. :)
  • Language issues. "Thanks for your respond" "take my daughter wedding" "we have only one daughter in ages of 28" "come and pictures my daughter wedding because you have an experience how to take a nice pictures." She also used the contraction of "pls" for please which I doubt an 84 yr old woman would use. Non native English speaker. And the name was very much an English name. Not a bad spelling or illiterate emailer. Just an ESL-er.
  • And last, there were no visits in the past few days to the blog or my domain from anywhere near South Dakota. Pretty good job liking my work without seeing it. :)
After my final reply, there was no follow up which one might expect for a legitimate offer.

First couple of emails seemed legit enough, but went down hill from there.

Clever scam if it is in fact one. A targeted update of the old school Nigerian phishing emails from the 1990s. Of course I was on the internet then. Been there. Done that. Got the Thinkgeek teeshirt. :)


Mike

Mike Wood Photography

4 comments:

Tawnee L Cowan Photography said...

hugs

Naomi Buchmann said...

this is FUCKED!!! wow...
So glad you are smart and clued in... any money hungry jerk would have been all over that!!!!

josh0 said...

Since Yahoo appears happy to share information with governments (1, 2) you might consider reporting this fraud scheme to authorities from Canada and the USA.

Kim said...

Gosh, after I laughed so hard out loud from the initial contact form, I got frustrated.

What the h... do people think? That definitely reeks of scam to me.

Glad to see that you cut them off and didn't hear back.