Beware Bait and Switch Scams – Written For ‘Writer Beware’

There’s a scam doing the rounds right now.

(Apraxia is a neurological condition affecting, among other things, the ability to speak; it’s not really clear why the scammer makes this claim, except maybe as an excuse not to speak on the phone.)

It’s not just writers; illustrators are targets too.

If the person responds, they are sent upfront payment in the form of a check that looks genuine (I’ve redacted the name of the purported sender because it’s not clear they’re involved in the scam).

The check bounces, of course. The recipient contacts the scammer to complain, and the scammer asks for the deposit ticket or other proof of deposit, which would give them some of the recipient’s bank information. Alternatively, the recipient is told that the scammer accidentally overpaid, and asked to send the overage back to the scammer (this is also a common Craigslist scam).

This is an example of a bait and switch scam. You’re offered an opportunity with remuneration. Or you’re promised a service that doesn’t require an upfront fee. But to access it, you have to pay something or buy something or provide something of value, such as personal or financial information. Once you’ve complied, you never hear from the scammer again.

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