On September 18th, 2016, I received a text message from the number 302-308-1276 (a Delaware area code) with the following request:
“Hello, My name is Chris King. I got your information online for dance classes. I’m organizing a surprise dance (like flashmob) for my daughter’s wedding, So I want you to teach the Bridesmaids choreography. Let me know if you can do this.”
I don’t want to go into my lengthy details about the oddities of the situation, but I can point out the key factors that became apparent red flags that this was a scam after our lengthy week long text message communications.
- They insisted I accept a credit card (by means of a long emotional story), but not using Square or Paypal.
- They asked that I run the card for more than my quoted amount in order to pay a driver that would be bringing the girls to and from the dance lessons.
- The two email addresses I was given for further communications were email@example.com and another to firstname.lastname@example.org
- The phone number I was given to communicate with a bridesmaid went to a generic voicemail recording and my call was never returned.
After putting forth a bunch of efforts to help out a father of the bride, I decided this whole deal was too weird to go through with. I was set to make a decent amount of money, but passing some of the money from a credit card charge into a third party’s hands was the deal breaker for me.
It’s hard to imagine you are getting scammed when you are the one who’s earning the money, doing something you do on a regular basis. This person is a twisted individual with a whole extravagant scam planned out by means of playing on your emotions and feelings while still being vague about details. The real icing on the cake? One month and one day later I received the same text message from the same Delaware area code 302-400-0427 that read word-for-word:
“Hello, My name is Bryan Jones. I got your information online for dance classes. I’m organizing a surprise dance (like flashmob) for my daughter’s wedding, So i want you to teach the Bridesmaids choreography. Let me know if you can do this”
Yikes, right? I hope that this warning will help prevent anyone else from getting burned by this scam in the future.