The Gigging Musician Podcast

Getting Scammed as a Bandleader

May 13, 2021 Jared Judge
The Gigging Musician Podcast
Getting Scammed as a Bandleader
Chapters
The Gigging Musician Podcast
Getting Scammed as a Bandleader
May 13, 2021
Jared Judge

In this episode, Jared shares a local wedding pianist’s experience dealing with the unfortunate reality of scammers looking to take advantage of unsuspecting musicians.

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, Jared shares a local wedding pianist’s experience dealing with the unfortunate reality of scammers looking to take advantage of unsuspecting musicians.

Hey gigging musicians, it's Jared Judge. And today I wanted to chat about fake gigs. So I was actually chatting with one of my friends, Brian Kujawa, his Instagram handle is kuj keys. He's a musician here in Milwaukee. He's a wedding pianist. And he was telling me about a gig that he recently got on wedding wire. And he said, He's gotten a couple of these over the course of his life, where, initially, something just felt off. So you know, when somebody reaches out to you to book your band, typically, you'll get a communication typically, it'll be like a written communication, so an email or somebody will submit an inquiry on your website, or on one of the directory platforms. For him, he got this one on wedding wire. And I've gotten similar ones to these two, but the text like the stuff that the this person wrote, just felt off initially. And you know, you start to get that little feeling, a gut feeling that something's not right, like yellow flags start to raise up. And for him, they were only yellow flags, it was like, Do you accept check for the gig. It didn't necessarily have like a venue picked out. And he was skeptical, but he kept going through it. And he tried to book this gig. And he got pretty far along with them, to the point where finally they told him like, I guess, where the venue was, and the date. And he said, Okay, let's do this, let's lock it in. I will take a check, send me a check. And so they said that they sent him a check. And they said that they overpaid him by a couple $1,000 or something like that. And unfortunately, like we overpaid, you can you please send the remainder of, you know, the balance of what's left over to the photographer, or some other vendor. And that was the point where I think he realized though, this is not a real gig, this is fake. This is them trying to scam me. Because if anybody ever tries to overpay you, what they're doing is typically they're trying to get you to withdraw the funds from your account, and then you'll send real money to somebody else, then the cheque that they gave, you will then bounce, and you will have to cover that money. But meanwhile, somebody else has your money in their bank account. And so I really appreciate him for sharing that. And it was so you know, it was annoying. But I'm glad that we could relate to that, because I've also had that from my group, you know, we'll get these inquiries where the text that they send initially just feels off. You know, typically it will be poor grammar or punctuation is missing. And they will talk about payment very early on. I've gotten ones where they ask me, do you accept credit cards? And yes, I do accept credit cards. But why is that the first thing you care about rather than Are we a good fit for your event? Well, the answer is obvious because well, it's not a real gig and you're trying to trying to scam me. But I guess the lesson here is that being a gigging musician, unfortunately, means that we are in, in the business of dealing with all sorts of clients and business issues. Which one of those is unfortunately scammers, we have to deal with scammers, you know, I've heard of people all the time, like when they're running their real businesses. They'll try to get they'll try to be scammed out of money, like selling something on eBay. There's tons of eBay scammers out there who they'll like, say you didn't deliver your product to them as as advertised. And then they'll initiate a dispute with eBay and then your money will be in limbo. So people get scammed all the time. It's just as gigging musicians, we feel like we should be protected from that and not not have to be subject to that. And I agree, it's, it's wrong, that should not have to happen to artists shouldn't have to happen to any human at all. But we just have to have our guard up. You know, most people who come to you are legit, they're genuine. It's just a very tiny percentage. It's like a fraction of a fraction of 1% that will do this. But, you know, I'd say the the moral of the story is like, have your guard up a little bit. Trust, but verifying, you know, if somebody asks about payment, before they even understand, like who you are and what you do, that's probably a red flag. Go with your gut, your gut is a good, you know, your gut knows what's right and wrong, your gut will feel these things out for you. And so you typically can can trust your gut. And then the other thing is just understand, like, understand how money works. I mean, that sounds like an obvious statement, but don't ever accept checks for more than the amount that you're you actually asked for. Place, you can always talk to your bank or financial advisors about this talk to your credit card processors at book live, we can somewhat help with these situations we can at least help you, you know, you can send us a gig and we'll tell you if we think that there's something wrong with it. I've done that for a couple people too. And ask people around you, you know, people are good judges of character. And it's just a shame. But it's just part of what we do. You know, the more gigs you do, the more situations you will be subject to, and so be prepared. And honestly, it's a sign of success when you start to get scammers and haters coming out of the Woodworks. It's not fun dealing with them, and we obviously have to defend against them. But you wouldn't be in this this position if you weren't already taking the risk and putting yourself out there to be a gigging musician to make it on your own. And so if you're getting those I commend you for for getting to that, that position. I'm sorry that you have to deal with that. know that you're not alone, that there are other people who have gone through this too, and other people are willing to help you navigate those difficult scenarios. We're all in this together. So thanks for listening. If you got any insight out of this, maybe you didn't even know that this was a thing. I'd love to hear from you. Make sure to subscribe to this podcast Like it, share it on Facebook on Instagram, social media, or shoot me a comment. join our Facebook group. We've got a gigging musicians Facebook group, just go on Facebook, search in the top bar, gigging musicians, and click on the group's tab and you will find me and the other gigging musicians who care about what we do. And we can actually this that'd be a great place to check and send us a screenshot, hey, this gig sounds fake. What do you guys think? And we will provide you our our supportive feedback. So thank you.