The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Studio Scams
Old 4th November 2018
Gear Addict
pipelineaudio's Avatar

Typical classic Nigerian or "advance fee" scam
Old 5th November 2018
Lives for gear
How exactly do these scams take money off you? Or are they just phishing for CC / bank detalis etc?
Old 5th November 2018
Gear Addict
pipelineaudio's Avatar

You cash the check, take your fee, plus the "bonus" and then you give them back the amount extra. Two weeks later the bank decides that check was no good, so now you are on the hook for the whole thing

Don't bank on that check | Consumer Information

Welcome to the 419 Eater
Old 5th November 2018
They usually want money for "Travel Expenses" so they want to send you a check for some large amount from which you will take your studio charges and then give the rest to the band, artist or van driver. At some time in the future the check they gave you is bounced for NSF (not sufficient funds) and you are out the cash you gave them plus your studio fees. One studio I know got ripped off for $3500. Everything seemed legit and the studio owner even called the bank the check was drawn on to make sure there were funds in the account, which there were. By the time the check wound its way through the banking system the funds were long gone. The same scenario was used for credit card payments.

This was a big problem for Ebay in its early days. It is one reason that PayPal was established. Once the funds are in PayPal it is impossible for them to be withdrawn at a later date.

Old 5th November 2018
Lives for gear
norfolk martin's Avatar

Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
They usually want money for "Travel Expenses" so they want to send you a check for some large amount from which you will take your studio charges and then give the rest to the band, artist or van driver. At some time in the future the check they gave you is bounced for NSF (not sufficient funds) and you are out the cash you gave them plus your studio fees. One studio I know got ripped off for $3500.
I've litigated this several times in practice. An (idiotic) friend of mine almost got caught in a similar scam - we'll pay you $2,000 to "house sit" our property for a coupe of months pending sale. We've already left the country, bu we'll send you our last US payroll check. It's for $3,000, so as soon as it clears, you need to wire us the other $1,000. We can trust you not to rip us off, right?

Fortunately , he asked my opinion before agreeing ( "If it clears, it must be OK, right, and i could really use $2,000 and a couple of rent fee months") These things always prey on people optimistically wanting to believe a good deal has come their way.

The payroll check was forged, and the local property he was going to house sit for a "couple of months pending sale" was indeed empty pending sale, but the seller had no connection to these folks, and was not seeking a "housesitter."

These scams can work because, as pipelineaudio pointed out, in the initial clearing process all that is actually checked is whether the account number the check is drawn on is good, whether the check is made out properly, whether there is sufficient funds, and whether there is a stop payment order on the check.

If those four tests are ok the bank credits your account with the amount of the check. This 'clearing" does not establish, however, that the check is genuine and authorized.

A week or more later, after you have paid out part of the "cash" that was deposited in your account to a third party, the owner of the check does their payroll accounts, and notices that there seems to be an extra check that no-one can account for. They get a copy from the bank, and it's obviously forged or stolen.

The police are contacted, and they contact your bank. The bank puts a hold on the entire amount in your account pending resolution. You also have to answer a lot of embarrassing questions from a detective (So, sir you are telling me me that you innocently got this stolen payroll check from a person in another country who you seem to know practically nothing about, and gave them a substantial amount of cash in return.....").

Unless you agree to give up all the full amount of the check from your account, you are now also a party to a lawsuit in another state, being sued by the owner of the check, who wants to recover the money .

Remember, there are at least a dozen legitimate ways to send cash to an artist/driver/transportation company without you being involved. This deposit and payout stuff is almost ALWAYS a scam because there is simply no need for it in reality.
Old 23rd January 2019
Here for the gear

Just got a similar one today. Guy is sending a driver and he's in the hospital. He just asked for the exact address, my exact name and if I took credit cards. I told him I was Berry Gordy.
Old 23rd January 2019
I got one the other day via a phone call. Really bad VOIP phone call. Very thick Asian accent. Wanted to book some studio time for his nephew for his birthday and wanted to send me a check for my time and for some "cash" ($500) for his nephew. I knew this was a scam from the get go. I told him that he should have his nephew pay me in cash when he came to the studio and he should give his nephew his "birthday cash gift" in person. Click goes the phone.

I also got one from someone wanting to know if I had some extra audio equipment for his church. Said it would be a "tax deductible contribution". He was looking for some older equipment I might have "just laying around" like Neumann microphones, any Fairchild equipment, any tape decks from Studer or Ampex multitracks, any old RCA ribbon microphones and anything else that I had "just laying around unused". if I did he would send his truck to collect it. The phone number was not local. How DUMB do these people have to be to think that someone would just give them a whole lot of valuable vintage equipment for someone's church? I had this happen once before and when I looked up the phone number it belonged to a store that sold vintage equipment. I am sure this is the same thing for this request.

Old 31st January 2020
Here for the gear

Originally Posted by lanschuetz View Post
I know this is a bit of an old thread, but I think I may have just gotten a variant of this scam:

"I want you to help me Record songs for my 6 new artists and i will like you to know am out of the state for a business trip and i want to get this done before my arrival, so let me know if you can handle this for me perfectly, thanks"
Just got this exact verbiage in an email today. The guy carried on all morning via email but would never answer my questions exactly. Finally I told him to just call me. Amazingly he did, but the conversation was interrupted by so much noise on his end of the call that we accomplished nothing. So then he emails again saying that there must be network problems on his end and he would prefer to just text. When I asked him what dates he was interested in booking he first said the 30th of February, then later he said the 30th of January, which was yesterday... it went on and on. I finally told him that I couldn't help with his project.
Old 31st January 2020
Lives for snowflakes
12ax7's Avatar

Whenever I get one of these kinda calls, instead of deleting it I instead create a new entry in my contacts, and give it a name like "Bullsh!t Computer Dude" (or something like that)...

...That way, if I ever get repeat calls from these same bozos, I can start by answering the call by asking them what they are wearing (and suggest that they remove any clothing).
(As it turns out, it is legally impossible to place an "obscene phone call" when you are the recipient of the call.)

Last edited by 12ax7; 31st January 2020 at 09:19 PM.. Reason: Guess?
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.

Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump