Wanted to give you guys a heads up- a good friend of mine got one of these emails this week. I have been seeing them for years, and started getting them when I was a videographer. It’s a scam:

Dear (Photographer’s Name),

This is a requisition for your fotography services. I am (fake criminal name here). Based in London. My wedding is coming up on October 9, 2010 (almost always within 2-3 months). I have been browsing the internet for a professional photographer in USA when I found your contact. Pleese I will want to hire your service to be the photographer on my wedding day in London. I am sorting an america photographer because I really want to make the wedding event a wonderfull day for my fiance. I truely love her.

You will cover the whole events from Getting ready, Ceremony, and the Reception. I want you to capture the atmosphere of the event so that we can relive the special day moment by moment, photo by photo, for a lifetime. Capture all those little moments that make the wedding day incredible. Also, I will want you to make an album from the event.I will prefer popular flush mount albums that are custom designed.

After a care review of your profile, I am of the opinion that you are capable to provide the incredible services as requested.Please accept my sincerest appreciation on behalf of my fiance, in advance for your willingness to render your services.

Kind Regard,
(Cyber Scammer Fakey Name)

The way it works is these criminals send out these very personalized emails requesting a quote for your photography services. They are getting more and more detailed, such as the description of services requested. This is an attempt of diversion to get the photographer excited about the potential gig, and overlook all of the red flags. (Misspellings, situational questions, rush to book, etc). Emails are exchanged back and forth until the “client” then asks for the photographers contact information, and in some more aggressive cases- bank account numbers, “In order to make a direct deposit to your account”.

If they are legit, they will almost always call you on the phone and ask a lot of questions before deciding to hire you, and even in those cases, it is wise to exercise extreme caution. I still get these types of emails now, and I ignore all of them.