Victim Location 52245
Type of a scam Phishing
A person texted me under the identity of Travis Smith to solicit services for a fictional event. I own a photography business and thought him a legitimate customer until odd things kept cropping up in his communications. The language, tone, and content of his messages changed from time to time as though being sent by different people. Sometimes he would use proper sentences and capitalization in texts and sometimes not. He texted me messages relating not at all to the business arrangement (for example, random hello’s, "good morning", etc. — anything to solicit a response), and when I told him to contact me with information about the event via email — and to withhold any further text contact because it was pushing the boundary toward an unprofessional working relationship — he did so. Not two days later, he was back to texting me. I had to keep pushing for information about the event so I could know what I was getting into, and any information he gave to me was either vague, inconsistent, or made no sense. For instance, the event was a large party occurring less than two months from the date he first contacted me, but he had no event venue (yet he knew he was booking me for the space for five hours a day for two days). He said he had an event planner, yet he was contacting me. He said that the event planner didn’t accept my verified payment methods, but he was the customer who was supposed to pay. He could not give me a straight answer for how he was referred.
I spent a month trying to hammer out the details of this arrangement with him before we got to payment. He was dodgy about using verified payment methods and needed to "ask a favor" before moving on to payment. I laid out our entire arrangement up to that point in a business contract, and told him that I was a professional and did not do "favors" but would be happy to negotiate changes to the contract if needed. He then refused to answer my communications when faced with a contract despite the fact that everything included in it was laid out as we had agreed upon.
This was when I decided to do some research. Turns out that the number was a fake and linked to an online texting service (I called the number to find out). It has also been reported as belonging to a scammer on several websites.
When I told him I was cancelling the business transaction, he asked why and I said that he failed to sign the contract in the time given and that the number was reported as a scam number. I told him to remove my number and email from his contact list and that I would report him to authorities if contacted again. That was my last communication to him today. We’ll see if he stops.
Beware if this number contacts you. Though I’m sure he will just use a new burner number, it’s important to know that there are scammers out there like this texting you for personal information.
Attached to this report is one of his email communications to me.
Victim Location 07073
Type of a scam Credit Cards
A man named Travis Smith texts me several times saying he needs my photography services.
He gave me dates, times, and location, email to send him contract, and his address.
1st clue: Gave me his budget for the shoot, which was higher than expected – without any negotiation
2nd clue: Constantly pressured me to lock down the shoot
3rd clue: When I asked for a deposit by check or cash, he said he could not do it – could only do credit card, and asked me to "check with your bank to setup a credit card transaction and I’ll cover the setup cost. Become a credit card merchant. I am asking this favor due to the fact that my credit card issuer service works with selected merchant service providers."
As soon as I said I would only take a check or cash, he disappeared. His address seems fake – the house is currently for sale, and his name is not attached to it.