How to Avoid Scams that Target DJ’s
Since the DJ industry has adopted more digital technologies, artists and performers are experiencing both the benefits and pitfalls of marketing their services. Many DJs have found themselves struggling, and unfortunately, there are people out there who want to take advantage of their hunger for more work. Although online scams are nothing new, we’ve recently seen more scams targeting DJs, and I want to help stop this by keeping others educated about their practices. Here are some things every DJ needs to watch out for.
For most DJs, making it in our industry depends on getting your skills and services noticed. Today’s DJs know that having a strong web presence is key. With that exposure, however, you’re also open to con-artists, schemers, and identity thieves. The scams out there range from obvious, poorly written emails to cleverly designed business models that fool thousands of people. Because of the wide spectrum, it’s important to be cautious and watch for red flags.
- Vague requests for services – If someone contacts you using very general terms like “your services,” this has the potential to be a mass email. Be alert for messages that are not directly asking for the type of services you offer.
- Poor grammar – There are several reasons why many online scams contain grammar errors. This could be a deliberate attempt to bypass spam filters or to give the impression of being a non-English speaker. Although these are the most obvious scam attempts, many of them have been successful. Do not reply, click on links, or download attachments within the email.
- Contact info doesn’t add up – If you’ve been contacted by a business, make sure the email address looks legitimate. Some scammers make the mistake of using a gmail, yahoo, or a hotmail account, which is not a standard practice for most established companies. Keep an eye out for email addresses that do not end in @businessname.com. If an address seems a little too informal, you can always double check by going to the “Contact Us” page on the business website. Keep an eye out for personal email accounts, phone number and email addresses outside the U.S., or invalid phone numbers.
- Requests for personal information – In any online correspondence, you’ll want to avoid giving out personal information including address, social security number, and banking information. Only credible, verified companies you’ve researched or already do business with should have access to your private info.
- Advance fees – You’re offering your services to event hosts and planners, so there are very few situations in which you’ll need to front the money. Many scammers promise big results and great opportunities, but until you do your homework, keep your money in your wallet.
- Unusual payment process – Any unfamiliar, foreign, or cashier’s checks should be accepted with caution. If someone sends a check for more than your fee and asks you to wire them the difference, don’t accept the agreement. There’s a chance the check could be fake and you would be held responsible for reimbursing the bank. I also discourage other DJs from downloading any unfamiliar payment apps that require your private banking information. You’re providing the service, so it’s up to you to choose the payment process you’re comfortable with.
- Too good to be true – Hey now, we all like to reach our goals in the easiest way possible, but life has taught many of us that nothing good is easy. If it sounds too good to be true, in a lot of cases it is.
Happy Giggin’ and stay safe out there.