Possible design scam

I was contacted by a possible client that I do not know. He wants me to design logos, signage and a 24 page catalog for his products. He says he is in the hospital for cancer treatment. He wants to send my retainer and a fee for his consultant to my account. When the money is in my account, he wants me to pay his consultant. Does this sound fishy to you??? Please advise.


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Am I reading this right? He wants to send you money to pay someone else? If he can send it to you, he can send it to his consultant.

Um No… just no.

Don’t even bother responding to this person.

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Dear RedKittieKat,

Thanks for confirming my suspicions.


Run fast, run far.

From my experience, the best way, to do business, is meeting a client, in person. I discourage, anybody, from conducting, business, through Dischord, for example.

It’s a scam. No doubt about it. No legitimate client would propose a pointlessly convoluted payment scheme like that. You’re not the middleman to pay someone else. As RKK said, don’t even respond.

Thanks for posting it here, though. It serves as a good warning to others who might get similar requests. There are lots of scum bags in the world, and it helps when people are made aware of them.

Google “overpayment scams”.

There’s another one that is a little less transparent that involves sending “payment” for design&print services where the designer/printer is then supposed to forward payment to a shipping company that is picking up the printing.

Needless to say the “payment” for both the design services and the shipping bounces and you are out what you sent to the “shipper.”

We get these. All. The. Time.

As long as the world is full of idiots, this is going to work. Sadly, this is the case.

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The only one of these kinds of things I’ve run into was when Mrs. B got a phone call from a guy with a thick accent claiming to be from Apple. He said that her iCloud account had indicated a severe problem with her computer and that her Apple service agreement covered fixing it.

This guy completely fooled her with a bunch of made-up credentials. (Yes, she can be gullible.) She came to me asking how to find a password she needed to install the software he had just emailed to her. She was still on the phone with this guy, and I told her to hang up immediately, as in right now. No goodbyes. Hang up immediately.

An argument ensued where she was frantic about refusing to hang up on this nice man from Apple who only wanted t help. There was no time for explanations, so I pulled the plug on the router as she was yelling at me to stop.

Of course, the scammer heard the entire argument over the phone before I was able to wrestle her phone away from her and hang up. Luckily, she could not install the software because she never remembers passwords. It took the better part of an hour to convince her that this guy had been a scammer.

Weirdly, the same guy called her the next day to ask if she would like to finish up where they had left off the day before. She said, “no.” Then he told her he was sorry for getting her in trouble and never to trust anonymous people, like himself, who call and want access to her computer.

A scammer with a conscience? He won’t get very far with that attitude!

LOL :wink:

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B is probably lucky the scammer’s conscious didn’t extend to calling the police when his wife was yelling “Stop!”

That would have been some kind of irony.


And mental health issues.

My brother’s father in law used to be a pretty sharp no bs guy, then he had a stroke and something happened, and ever since has fallen prey to countless scammers. He can’t work anymore so he spends his time trying to secretly give money to Nigerian princes, et al. The whole family is ballistic and took away his computer and credit cards, took him off the bank account, and got Western Union to put him on some kind of ‘do not do business with this guy’ list. Somehow the scammers still find him, or he seeks them out. He can’t drive anymore, so he walks down to the grocery store and buys gift cards and mails those to the scammers. He goes to aggressive lengths to get money to these people, and despite years of doing this, and nothing ever paying off in the promised riches, he keeps at it on a daily basis. Common sense and reason don’t work on him anymore. Like I said, not an idiot, but something definitely happened with the stroke that has impaired his critical thinking.

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You are right – but in this particular case, the scammer was definitely looking for idiots.

Well I would say don’t trust people easily, I have seen so many people falling for such traps, this person is using some emotional blackmail method, I would personally suggest you to refrain from making such deals, its for your own good, because I definitely found this fishy.

“Trust no one” has always been my personal favourite motto.

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Hi, newbee here. just to let you know, we received the same email. It is definitely fraud. Don’t trust them.


That thing stinks like three day old scrod laying in the sun. RUN, DO NOT WALK away from this thing!

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I did a fast runaway and I’m not looking back!


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For what it’s worth, in my entire career, I’ve never had a legitimate prospect contact me out of the blue without a readily apparent reason why they contacted me instead of a thousand other designers.

Legitimate prospective clients always begin the conversation with a coherent back story that led them to me. For example, there might be a mutual acquaintance, they saw something I had worked on, or they need someone local and like my work.

In addition, the initial contact never starts with a flat-out proposal to do work for them. Instead, it’s always more of an exploratory contact of testing the waters to see if I’m the right fit. They will always describe the project and the problems they’ve run encountered.

The entire contact will always come across as reasonable, understandable, and logical. There will always be a straightforward means of checking their legitimacy, such as company information that checks out in every way possible.

Legitimate initial contacts will never include fishy-sounding schemes, weird middleman scenarios, or other peculiar parts of the story that make little logical sense. There will never be any unusual payment proposals. There will always be straightforward answers to any questions, and those answers will always be completely understandable.

In other words, the prospective client, the project, the payment, and why they contacted me will need to make sense. When it doesn’t, I turn it down. Seriously, a good prospective client will always seem legitimate and pass the sniff test. There will be no fishy smells that indicate otherwise.


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