The formula wedding email

Richard Charpentier Arizona Photographer, Notes from Rich, Photography, RLC Design 80 Comments

Over the past month I’ve been wondering about an inquiry I received regarding a potential wedding client. The request came in e-mail form, and it just didn’t feel quite right. Actually, the way the e-mail read made me think of those 419 scams I’m so fond of.

Hi! I’m Kelly. Mike and I will be getting married soon. We will be needing some one ASAP to photograph our wedding occasion scheduled for , 05.12.2012 starting from 10;00 AM – 04;00 PM . So what I am asking is -;
A package which includes six hours of shooting time plus a 20 page custom designed album .

THIS PACKAGE INCLUDES:

* 6 hours of photography; Mix of color and black and white, creative effects.
* 350+ professionally processed wedding photos, some in print and on CD or USB)
* 20 page custom wedding album – all prints on archival quality .
Album in top quality, elegant and built to last a lifetime for the memory of our kids and families.

* 11×14 Portrait Print – We’ll choose any image from the wedding photos .

So some questions I have are ;-

– What is your base price fee for what I am asking? Is that negotiable?
– Your availability/ schedule for the 12th of MAY? You available?
– willing to travel ? considering both the lodging and the travels will be taken care of.
Please email back confirming your availability. Thank you

Reading through, do you have an odd feeling about the sender. Either you’re being “shopped” by another photographer or this is something you don’t feel comfortable responding to. Well, I did respond with one of my other e-mail addresses, and the story got strange. I always like to meet clients in person to discuss their needs, but this potential client claimed to be in Machester U.K. running a seminar. They could not speak to me on the phone because they’re hearing impaired, and wanted me to fly to Florida to shoot their wedding.

And the big thing? They wanted me to send my contract and studio information right away. Odd. But not blog worthy until this morning. What happened this morning?

I got the same exact e-mail from another potential client named Jennifer and she was marrying Pablo (I’m not kidding). The rest of the e-mail read exactly like the above quote.

So, this whole thing leads to the question, what’s the scam? I have to think other photographers have received this e-mail as well. If anyone has any insights let me know.

Comments 80

  1. “Hi Jennifer and Pablo – SORRY! I’m actually booked shooting a wedding for Kelly and Mike on that EXACT day AND time. Maybe next time!”

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    I’ve actually talked to several photographer friends yesterday and today. They too have received these e-mails. Interesting note. Kelly’s last message informed me that she was finding photographers through PPA listings, and I am a member. So……

  3. I just got a message from Jennifer about her wedding to Pablo on the 15th of May. Her email was a little different so I was internet stalking them before I emailed her back.

    … Oh, and in phone number (which is required on my site) she put 0000000000….

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    Ah, Jennifer and Pablo were asking me about May 26th. I didn’t even respond to them as I’m already booked that day. And it’s a real (non-scam) client. 🙂

    Watch out for Kelly’s e-mail. She’s desperately trying to find a photog for May 12th in Gainsville, FL. Who but a hardcore Gators fan would get married there? 🙂

    Sorry for the jab to all my friends who went to Gainsville….. 🙂

  5. Just got the email from Jennifer! Here it is:

    From: Jennifer Johnson
    Subject: wedding

    Message Body:

    Hi, I’m Jennifer Johnson . Pablo & I will be getting married in 2 months time. Please let us know if you will be available for Saturday, May 26th, 2012.

    Please email back confirming your availability. Thank you
    Jennifer Johnson
    jjennifer427@gmail.com

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    Jacqueline,

    Hey there! You got the short version. I got that one too and the lengthy one as well.

    So, here’s the deal as explained to me by other photographers……

    For the unsuspecting photographer you get sent a “cashiers check.” They over pay you and ask that you send them back the difference. Of course, their check is about as real as an imaginary friend. They’re trying to scam money out of you.

    So, there you go. Good luck to Jennifer & Pablo.

  7. Word-for-word what I got Jacqueline, except I am in Arizona.

    Thanks for the info Richard. No sending $$ back and basically just avoid Jennifer and Pablo. :S

  8. I got the email from Jennifer and Pablo too! I got the same exact inquiry email so I played along and said I was available. This is what I got back:

    Hello  ,

        Thank you for responding back to my email. I was just going to be
    sure you got this right.  Ps: Wedding is May 26th,2012 . And in
    Gainesville, Fl. Like I said, Full travel (airfare, ground
    transportation and hotel) will be taken care of . We already have a
    booking agent set aside to handle that . You see, you probably wont
    understand how hard it is finding some one locally for the shooting of
    our wedding . They are either booked up or not good enough so we
    decided to check online a few websites including pdnonline, ppa, etc.
    So we’d definitely hate for this to be a waste of time.

     I will let you know an exact address in the coming week(s)  . I have
    a friend working on that right now. I will let you know asap when
    something has been booked. So the tentative address is’ The Paramount
    Plaza. 2900 Sw 13th St, Gainesville, FL 32608. We are expecting about
    100-150 guests over . Both indoor and outdoor shooting right from the
    wedding ceremony,reception etc…

    It has been hard finding the perfect photographer for the shooting.
    But following your response to my introductory email . I’m optimistic
    about this arrangement working . So I put it you’re willing to travel
    . We are currently in Manchester, UK for an important visit ahead of
    my seminar. So I hope to work out an arrangement ahead of my arrival
    back to the states. You see, I am physically impaired (Hearing). So
    e-mail works fine for now . We can work out all of the details ( via
    email) .A quick question though, Will you be emailing us something
    like a standard contract agreement knowing for sure you will be
    available for the 26th?

     We’re asking for a package which includes 6 hours of shooting time.
    Please e-mail your package price list and let us know if you will be
    available for the 26th.

    Thank you .

    Jennifer Johnson .

    After I got this back I said “sorry, I’ve received this email before, but nice try!”

    I havent heard from her since lol. I can’t imagine people falling for this. My advice for scammers: learn better English and grammar!

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  10. I fallowed through with a scam, to a point, just to see where it would go. The hearing impaired is a big part of how this scam works. The scammers and I emailed back and forth a number of time and it got to the point I got a call from Nigeria and a bogus check from a company that knows there checks where stolen. The check was for $2950 and I was to cash it and send the money, minus my fee, via Western Union. Hell they even texted me a 5 or 6 times. Don’t expect the Government to help much because there are way to many of these things going on. Help out all your friends and family. I’m going to push this one again and see where it goes. I wish I was like Liam Neeson in the movie Taken.

    Happy shooting friends

  11. My husband is also a member of PPA and got these exact emails. Just so happens the PPA email of the day came out and it had a section about this very thing – email scams for wedding photogs. I googled and found this site. Thanks to all for posting.

  12. We are not members of the PPA and we received a very similar email from a Kathleen Morris and her fiance Dave. She is using this email address: [kathygirlforlife@gmail.com]. Wedding is supposedly to take place August 9, in my home town. Funny thing is my hometown has nothing to really offer as far as a wedding is concerned.

  13. Just an update on Kathleen and Dave, I received another email from her today about sending the check for too much and that I will need to send money on to the band. Anyway, although she used the same email address, she signed it Melissa and Mark this time. Oops, I guess!

  14. This is really happening lots – I’ve received this email twice … thought it was real to this time … but the hearing impaired made me realize it’s fake fake. WATCH OUT PEOPLE!

    Hello Michelle,

    Thank you for your email. Yes, I don’t mind at all as all
    travels to Charlottesville would be covered by us. I was just going to
    be sure you got this right. Ps: Wedding is September 15, 2012. And in
    Charlottesville, VA 22911. Like I said, Full travel ( transportation
    and hotel ) will be taken care of . You see, you probably wont
    understand how hard it is finding some one locally for the shooting of
    our wedding . They are either booked up or not good enough so we
    decided to check online a few websites including weddingwire,
    photolinks, etc. So we definitely hate for this to be a waste of time.

    I will let you know an exact address in the coming week(s) . I will
    let you know asap when something has been booked. So the tentative
    Wedding address is” The Clifton Inn. 1296 Clifton Inn Drive,
    Charlottesville, VA 22911. We are expecting about 100-150 guests over
    . Both in and outdoor shooting . Meaning we simply want an event
    coverage of our preparation, ceremony, and reception.

    It has been hard finding the perfect photographer for the shooting.
    But following your response to my introductory email . I’m optimistic
    about this arrangement working . So I put it you’re willing to travel
    . We are currently in Manchester, UK for an important visit ahead of
    my seminar. So I hope to work out an arrangement ahead of my arrival
    back to the states.

    You see, I am physically impaired (Hearing). So e-mail works fine
    for now . We can work out all of the details ( via email) .A quick
    question though, Will you be emailing us something like a standard
    contract ( to be signed online ) knowing for sure you will be
    available for the 15th?Get back to me soon.

    PLEASE EMAIL YOUR PACKAGE PRICING INFORMATION to discuss further.

  15. And I got a mail from “Kathy” today.
    The mail was reeking of scam, and I looked up the email address and came across your blog post – thanks for posting it. I didn’t even bother to respond.
    Am wondering if it is some photographer who wants to find competitive prices?

    ———–
    Hello,
    My name is Kathleen Morris,i live in Dallas, TX. I am presently in
    London(UK)but will be moving back home soon and i’ll be getting
    married shortly after my arrival in the states to my fiance Dave
    Richard .We will need a wedding/party Photographer to help us in
    making up our ceremony from the church to the hotel reception.We will
    like to find out what your plans are for Thursday, October 25th,2012..
    This is the date of our wedding so kindly let us know your
    availability for this day.We’ll take responsibility for your expenses
    regarding our plans.we might not be able to meet you soon as
    planned,due to our unavailability in the states but,we are willing to
    retain the date, that’s to make deposit for booking prior we to our
    arrival to be sure we are interested in your service,if we really
    are.Waiting to get your response.
    Kathleen and Dave
    Pradeep´s last blog post ..Wedding Photography

  16. We received the same inquiry but from a woman named Aliceson Wales, email address alicesonwales@yahoo.com – I wanted to add this comment so that if another photographer receives an email from this person, they’ll find her name at this blog post. We thought the inquiry seemed strange and could not find any results in Google on a name search. Seems that they keep making up new names and emails!
    Megan´s last blog post ..Light Painting at Sunset Ledge

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  18. LOL – Apparently her name is Allison Wales now and she’s marrying Philip in two months! Needs just wedding coverage excluding engagement and bridal packages.

  19. I received the same inquiry from Aliceson Wales too! It’s weird how you instantly know that these are scams, even though there really is nothing to indicate so, except for their horrible use of the English language! I always Google any client request before I respond. If they aren’t on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or LinkedIn – or searchable on the internet at all, then it is most likely a scam.

  20. Aliceson Wales emailed me the same phishy email today! I googled The email address and the name- both which brought me right here to this post. Such a Bad email! Took less than 2 minutes to discover it was a Scam!

  21. Yep, good old Aliceson Wales (and yes, that’s how they spell it) contacted us about her and Phillip as well!
    People with too much time on their hands.
    Big red light is when they mention a venue, and no one there has ever heard of them!

  22. This is still going around. I found this when the red flag went up and I googled some of the details in the email.

    From: kathygirlforlife@gmail.com
    Hello,
    My name is Kathleen Morris,i live in Oklahoma. I am presently in
    London(UK)but probably will be moving back home soon and i’ll be
    getting married shortly after my arrival in the states to my fiance
    Dave Richard .We will need a wedding/party Photographer to help us in
    making up our ceremony from the church to the hotel reception.We will
    like to find out what your plans are for Thursday,January 24th,2013.
    This is the date of our wedding so kindly let us know your
    availability for this day.We’ll take responsibility for your expenses
    regarding our plans.we might not be able to meet you soon as
    planned,due to our unavailability in the states but,we are willing to
    retain the date, that’s to make deposit for booking prior we to our
    arrival to be sure we are interested in your service,if we really
    are.Waiting to get your response.
    Kathleen and Dave

    Glad to know I can just go ahead and junk mail that one.

  23. Same email: Hello,
    My name is Kathleen Morris,i live in Fort Smith, AR. I am presently
    in London(UK)but probably will be moving back home soon and i’ll be
    getting married shortly after my arrival in the states to my fiance
    Dave Richard .We will need a wedding/party Photographer to help us in
    making up our ceremony from the church to the hotel reception.We will
    like to find out what your plans are for Thursday,January 24th,2013.
    This is the date of our wedding so kindly let us know your
    availability for this day.We’ll take responsibility for your expenses
    regarding our plans.we might not be able to meet you soon as
    planned,due to our unavailability in the states but,we are willing to
    retain the date, that’s to make deposit for booking prior we to our
    arrival to be sure we are interested in your service,if we really
    are.Waiting to get your response.
    Kathleen and Dave

    She later informed me through multiple emails that their had been a mistake and I would be receiving a check for my photography amount plus the cost of “band boys” for the wedding and I was instructed to deposit my portion then return the rest. My bank advised me to tell my “client” that I had destroyed the check and if she wanted to do business with me, then I would need a second check that was for the correct amount.

  24. I got to this blog by googling “Alison Wales scam”. I also recieved a semi-suspicious email from Alison Wales and her fiance John. However I am a bakery so they wanted a cake to serve like 200 guests. I descovered that another bakery that I work with also recieved the same email. Not unusual for a bride and groom to shop around for prices. However, she listed 2 different venues in the emails. So we both called and of course no wedding under that name. I have come across a lot of scams where they want to pay the full amount plus and extra $200 and they want you to turn around and pay some bogus delivery service. I just couldn’t figure out how this Alison was going to get anything. Now I know. Thank you for the info. If any of you photographers do a lot of business with any bakers, please warn them as well.

  25. Hi – I too received an email from “Aliceson Wales” – it sounded fine at first but then she couldn’t meet because she’s out of the country and is hearing impaired so email is the only way to communicate with her…I am about to search the venue and call them although I know what the answer will be:)

  26. i am a caterer and got an email for aliceson wales for a cake and cupcakes. weird english was the giveaway. i googled just to be sure and found this site – thanks! hopefully no one is falling for this…

  27. I also received the Kathleen Morris/Dave Richards emails . . . I thought it was pretty fishy from the beginning, especially when they couldn’t open up the attached contract, and then I received the check yesterday for $2950 . . . total waste of my time. I’m taking the check into our local PNC bank (that’s the bank on the check) and let them know that this is a widespread scam . . . let them deal with it. That’s actually the best way to handle the check, if the bank is local to you. That way if there’s any way they can trace it, they will.

  28. Here is the one I got!

    Hello,
    My name is Kathleen Morris,i live in Cheyenne,WY. I am presently
    in London(UK)but probably will be moving back home soon and i’ll be
    getting married shortly after my arrival in the states to my fiance
    Dave Richard .We will need a wedding/party Photographer to help us in
    making up our ceremony from the church to the hotel reception.We will
    like to find out what your plans are for Thursday, March 28th,2013.
    This is the date of our wedding so kindly let us know your
    availability for this day.We’ll take responsibility for your expenses
    regarding our plans.we might not be able to meet you soon as
    planned,due to our unavailability in the states but,we are willing to
    retain the date, that’s to make deposit for booking prior we to our
    arrival to be sure we are interested in
    your services,if we really are.Waiting to get your response.
    Kathleen and Dave

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    Gotta say, this is amazing. I posted this one almost a year ago…..and scammers are still trying to get over on photographers with the same formula e-mail. What a shame! Glad the post has helped readers find out about this little game. And I hope nobody gets burned by these “people”.

  30. Same email today. I googled her email address and this was the first site to come up.

    Hello,
    My name is Kathleen Morris,i live in Elkhorn, NE. I am presently in
    London(UK)but probably will be moving back home soon and i’ll be
    getting married shortly after my arrival in the states to my fiance
    Dave Richard .We will need a wedding/party Photographer to help us in
    making up our ceremony from the church to the hotel reception.We will
    like to find out what your plans are for Thursday, March 28th,2013.
    This is the date of our wedding so kindly let us know your
    availability for this day.We’ll take responsibility for your expenses
    regarding our plans.we might not be able to meet you soon as
    planned,due to our unavailability in the states but,we are willing to
    retain the date, that’s to make deposit for booking prior we to our
    arrival to be sure we are interested in your services,if we really
    are.Waiting to get your response.
    Kathleen and Dave.

  31. Got the same emails from Kathleen.Supposed to send the extra cash that was meant for the band. I emailed her and told her I hoped she ends up in jail for scamming innocent professionals.

  32. I just received the same scam and it was a waste of time too. It is unbelievable what people will do.

  33. After replying to this myself and feeling as this was a real project started to feel there was something fishy so i searched the email and found this site. Nice to know now there is a the smell I have been starting to have is not my imagination I do feel a little foolish but wondering what the scam is, at this time i have not sent anything or out anything. What should one look out for.

  34. I also received the same email from Kathleen Morris in the UK for the March 28th Wedding. After a few emails they offered to pay me a deposit ,which I declined. Glad I found this site.

  35. Received the Tabitha Madison one also. Here is my reply:

    Hello Tabitha,

    Wow…London must be really different than Chapmanville. I hope to be able to travel to Asia some day. 🙂 We do currently have May 30, 2013 open. We are definitely the photographers to choose to give you the wedding photos you deserve.

    Due to your unavailability to meet with us in person, we require a $50,000 cash retainer. The remaining balance must be paid no less than 10 days prior to the wedding date. We charge $10.59 per mile for travel. We calculate the distance based on our previous residence in Santa Clara, California. We realize this fee may seem a little high at first, but we are willing to give you a coupon for a free set of double-prints from Wal-Mart. We also require that our meals be provided at the reception. We have 10 children, and require a meal for each of them, so that will be 12 meals total. Well, one of them is a teenager, so you’d better make that 14 meals. Also, we have a dog, and he prefers Blue Buffalo brand food.

    You should probably send the cash soon, seeing that Thursdays are a very popular day to get married, and will probably get booked soon. Thanks.

    Patrick

  36. I got the tabitha Madison email the other day, she is from London but moving back to MY hometown.. we thought it was strange too because she is getting married she said in 2 months but has NO idea where the wedding and reception would be and she is having 25 guests! LOL… 25??

    Seriously sad, and glad we didn’t waste time on it.. I goggled her email and it was Tabitha Madison and Dave!

  37. Wow! I just googled an email address that I just got a strange email from too and that is how I came across your blog.
    “Hello,
    My name is Tabitha Madison,i live in Groveland, FL. I am presently in
    London(UK)but probably will be moving back home soon and i’ll be
    getting married shortly after my arrival in the states to my fiance
    Dave Richard .We will need a wedding/party Photographer to help us in
    making up our ceremony from the church to the hotel reception.We will
    like to find out what your plans are for Thursday, July 18th,2013.
    This is the date of our wedding so kindly let us know your
    availability for this day.We’ll take responsibility for your expenses
    regarding our plans.we might not be able to meet you soon as
    planned,due to our unavailability in the states but,we are willing to
    retain the date, that’s to make deposit for booking prior we to our
    arrival to be sure we are interested in your service,if we really
    are.Waiting to get your response.
    Tabitha and Dave”

    I haven’t read through your comments yet, but I seen there were many and I am curious too what is the deal. I am not responding but makes you wonder.

  38. Haha. That’s strange…according to MY email from Tabitha Madison she lives in MY hometown of Deltona, FL. Hmmm. Wonder what’s up with that. She sure seems to move a lot…and travels to the UK too. Wow. 😉

  39. @Patrick, you should have told her she could Western Union that $50,000 cash retainer to you from the UK. 😉

  40. I received one from the groom, Jeremy Benson this time (and bride Mary Willis of the UK). It seemed fishy from the beginning, but I let them play. It got close to the wedding, the date was changed (to a monday!), and a cashiers check finally arrived, exactly as I expected (but after I told them I was no longer available). It was $500 over the total cost of the wedding. A scam I had previously read about (and was looking for when I found this) said they would send more than the total of the wedding and request a refund or to have the photographer pay another vendor. They check would bounce after the withdrawal and the photographer would be out a chunk of change. Beware!

  41. Gee, that Tabitha Maddison sure gets around. She also lives in Indio, CA. lol
    Good thing I checked first before responding. It sucks that step has to even be done. People will do anything to try and get ahead in life.

  42. I got this from Aliceson a while back, but apparently she can’t remember how to spell her own name because she ended up responding to a reply as Allison instead of Aliceson!

    She also kept telling me that she would be back in the country on a particular date and that kept changing to later and later.

  43. I am in Florida and I had the same/similar scam a few years ago. I followed through although I knew something was a miss. Eventually I received a $5,000 cashiers check that I was supposed to cash, keep my fee and then return the rest to an address provided here in the states so they could distribute to other vendors for the wedding. I took the check to my bank, they verified it was a fake check. I called the post office and the FBI and gave them all info and e-mails I had from the scammers. I then sat back and waited a few days and got an e-mail wondering if I had sent them the remainder of the money. I let them know that the check was determined to be a fake check and that I had turned the info over to the authorities and that they should be expecting the FBI at their door at any moment. I never heard from the scammers again.

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    I’ve got to say, I’m amazed that this scam continues. I posted about this well over a year ago and folks continue getting this fake client e-mail still! Glad the blog has been a resource for other photographers protecting themselves from a scam.

  45. Here’s what I received this morning! Was sent your post from my brother when I questioned the email – I’m in a town of 500 and these names are NOT names I know!

    Hello ,
    My name is Tabitha Madison,i live in John, WA. I am presently in London(UK)but probably will be moving back home soon and i’ll be getting married shortly after my arrival in the states to my fiance Dave Richard .We will need a wedding/party Photographer to help us in making up our ceremony from the church to the hotel reception.We will like to find out what your plans are for Thursday, September 12th,2013. This is the date of our wedding so kindly let us know your availability for this day.We’ll take responsibility for your expenses regarding our plans.we might not be able to meet you soon as planned,due to our unavailability in the states but,we are willing to retain the date, that’s to make deposit for booking prior we to our arrival to be sure we are interested in your service,if we really are.Waiting to get your response.
    Tabitha and Dave

  46. Man, I wish that I would have known about your blog earlier. We just got scammed. They are still asking more money from us. I am going to the bank today and filing claims against “Tabitha”. She seems to have a lot of friends in Nigeria.

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  48. a google search led me to this blog. I knew it was scam. and I was right.
    their email is tabithamadison17@gmail.com
    and their email said this:
    “My name is Tabitha Madison,i live in Nampa, ID. I am presently in London(UK)but probably will be moving back home soon and i'll be getting married shortly after my arrival in the states to my fiance Dave Richard .We will need a wedding/party Photographer to help us in making up our ceremony from the church to the hotel reception.We will like to find out what your plans are for Thursday, October 31st,2013. This is the date of our wedding so kindly let us know your availability for this day.We'll take responsibility for your expenses regarding our plans.we might not be able to meet you soon as planned,due to our unavailability in the states but,we are willing to retain the date, that's to make deposit for booking prior we to our arrival to be sure we are interested in your service,if we really are.Waiting to get your response.
    Tabitha and Dave”
    I know all about the Nigerian scammers on craigslist, so this one it has that typical trait

  49. The Kathleen and Dave trick is still going on..I received the same email and she sent a check.It felt wrong from the beginning. Glad we found this sight! Thanks so much for saving all the problems we could have had!

  50. Well Lucy I’m sorry to say since you didn’t reply – Madison apparently has moved again in the last couple weeks – taking up residence in my Ohio town and moved her wedding date to November.

    I wonder if the company Madison works for is hiring. Having enough money to buy houses and move so often. Maybe I’ll quit photography and work for her employer. Sounds like I could be a millionaire working where Madison works.

    I hope Dave is a patient man – seems they may never get married – they spend all their time moving.

  51. I just received the email from Tabitha Madison too through my website. Not that it matters, but I too am a PPA member.

    I also saw tons of red flags flying as I read the first sentence. PLUS, she wants me to photograph her wedding on October 31st!!! Does she not know that Halloween is my favorite holiday? 🙂 The kids and I will be in a chocolate come so I cannot photograph her wedding.

    And by the way…she is now “from” Lee’s Summit, Missouri!!!

  52. …AND THE SCAM CONTINUES (a most grateful thank you to Rich for taking the time to alert the community to the scam )….email from kathygirlforlife@gmail.com received on 10-13-13

    Hello,
    My name is Kathleen Morris, I live in Provincetown, MA. I am
    presently in London(UK)but probably will be moving back home soon and
    i’ll be getting married shortly after my arrival in the states to my
    fiance Dave Richard .We will need a wedding/party Photographer to help
    us in making up our ceremony from the church to the hotel reception.We
    will like to find out what your plans are for Thursday, December
    5th,2013. This is the date of our wedding so kindly let us know your
    availability for this day.We’ll take responsibility for your expenses
    regarding our plans.we might not be able to meet you soon as
    planned,due to our unavailability in the states but,we are willing to
    retain the date, that’s to make deposit for booking prior we to our
    arrival to be sure we are interested in your service,if we really
    are.Waiting to get your response.
    Kathleen and Dave

  53. Keep documenting and sharing the names and email addresses of scam emails to keep the awareness and cross-checking up!

    Another one from “kathygirlforlife@gmail.com”

    “Hello,
    My name is Kathleen Morris, I live in [hometown, state]. I am presently in
    London(UK)but probably will be moving back home soon and i’ll be
    getting married shortly after my arrival in the states to my fiance
    Dave Richard .We will need a wedding/party Photographer to help us in
    making up our ceremony from the church to the hotel reception.We will
    like to find out what your plans are for Thursday, December 5th,2013.
    This is the date of our wedding so kindly let us know your
    availability for this day.We’ll take responsibility for your expenses
    regarding our plans.we might not be able to meet you soon as
    planned,due to our unavailability in the states but,we are willing to
    retain the date, that’s to make deposit for booking prior we to our
    arrival to be sure we are interested in your service,if we really
    are.Waiting to get your response.
    Kathleen and Dave”

  54. This is is from Kathleen and Dave using the email address kathygirlforlife@gmail.com

    Hello,
    My name is Kathleen Morris, I live in Natick, MA. I am presently in
    London(UK)but probably will be moving back home soon and i’ll be
    getting married shortly after my arrival in the states to my fiance
    Dave Richard .We will need a wedding/party Photographer to help us in
    making up our ceremony from the church to the hotel reception.We will
    like to find out what your plans are for Thursday, November 21st,2013.
    This is the date of our wedding so kindly let us know your
    availability for this day.We’ll take responsibility for your expenses
    regarding our plans.we might not be able to meet you soon as
    planned,due to our unavailability in the states but,we are willing to
    retain the date, that’s to make deposit for booking prior we to our
    arrival to be sure we are interested in your service,if we really
    are.Waiting to get your response.
    Kathleen and Dave

  55. I received an email similar & when googling found this page. I always check clients out because I do go to meet them on most occasions so need to be safe. Below is the email.

    Hello,
    My name is Tabitha Madison, I live in Harrisburg, PA. I am presently
    in London(UK)but probably will be moving back home soon and i’ll be
    getting married shortly after my arrival in the states to my fiance
    Dave Richard .We will need a wedding/party Photographer to help us in
    making up our ceremony from the church to the hotel reception.We will
    like to find out what your plans are for Thursday, November 28th,
    2013. This is the date of our wedding so kindly let us know your
    availability for this day.We’ll take responsibility for your expenses
    regarding our plans.we might not be able to meet you soon as
    planned,due to our unavailability in the states but,we are willing to
    retain the date, that’s to make deposit for booking prior we to our
    arrival to be sure we are interested in your service,if we really
    are.Waiting to get your response.
    Tabitha and Dave

  56. I got the email from Kathleen Morris. Text is verbatim, changing only the town to mine!
    Punctuation and all is the very same, also email address. Wedding date is same as Anne # 59 post writes. I’ve been promised a check. She would not do PayPal to me. Lets see where we go?

  57. Just received the following from kathygirlforlife@gmail.com:

    Hello,
    My name is Kathleen Morris, I live in Nashville, TN. I am presently in London(UK)but probably will be moving back home soon and i’ll be getting married shortly after my arrival in the states to my fiance Dave Richard .We will need a wedding/party Photographer to help us in
    making up our ceremony from the church to the hotel reception.We will like to find out what your plans are for Thursday,December 19th,2013.
    This is the date of our wedding so kindly let us know your availability for this day.We’ll take responsibility for your expenses regarding our plans.we might not be able to meet you soon as
    planned,due to our unavailability in the states but,we are willing to retain the date, that’s to make deposit for booking prior we to our arrival to be sure we are interested in your service,if we really are.Waiting to get your response.
    Kathleen and Dave
    Jeffery Johnson´s last blog post ..Natural Portraiture

  58. I just got the same email and actually it’s the second one I received. From Kathy and Dave from my town and getting married in February. Same exact wording. Glad I found this blog and see tthat I wasn’t skeptical for nothing.

  59. Unfortunately, Kathy and Dave were supposed to get married in Casper Wyoming on January 17th, and my boss mistakenly wired about $1,100 before realizing it was a scam. They are still emailing us because unfortunately, someone was in a terrible accident on the way to pick up the wire transfer, and now has to have surgery.

    I cannot believe the nerve of some people.

  60. Post
    Author

    I’m so sorry to read that someone has been “gotten” by these criminals. I hope you boss can follow up with authorities and find a way to shut these people down. This post has been up for almost two years, and the same scam continues to be run!

  61. Kathy and Dave strike again …. How do we stop this?? Luckily I saw this blog soon enough!

  62. Post
    Author

    Here we are 2 years later and the same e-mail scam is still going on. It must work, if it didn’t they would have changed the format by now. Spread the word to other photographers. Let’s make sure nobody gets burned by this.

  63. About 3am this morning, I received an email from a “Kathy” regarding her wedding in Sept. This is the email I received:
    Hello,
    My name is Kathleen Morris, I live in West Monroe, LA. I am
    presently in London(UK)but probably will be moving back home soon and
    i’ll be getting married shortly after my arrival in the states to my
    fiance Dave Richard .We will need a wedding/party Photographer to help
    us in making up our ceremony from the church to the hotel reception.We
    will like to find out what your plans are for Thursday, September
    18th,2014. This is the date of our wedding so kindly let us know your
    availability for this day.We’ll take responsibility for your expenses
    regarding our plans. we might not be able to meet you soon as
    planned,due to our unavailability in the states but,we are willing to
    retain the date, that’s to make deposit for booking prior we to our
    arrival to be sure we are interested in your service,if we really
    are.Waiting to get your response.
    Kathleen and Dave

    They are making the “rounds,” aren’t they? LOL. They just keep sending these out, changing up the names and dates, and hoping some poor soul will send them some money. gah…I cannot stand a thief!

  64. Looks like Kathy and Dave are really having trouble booking a wedding photographer! Just got the exact same email everyone else got from kathygirlforlife@gmail.com with a wedding date of October 23rd, 2014 (which is a thursday). Thanks for posting this thread. Crazy that it’s still going on over 2 years after the original post. You’d think the scammer would eventually google their own fake gmail address and find this thread, but then again scammers aren’t always the smartest of people.

    My question is – what happens if you cash the check and just keep the money? I wouldn’t do that, but I’m wondering where the money actually comes from. Anyone?

  65. Post
    Author

    The check they send, as with all 419 scams, is a fake. They’re depending on the over excitement of the photographer on getting a paying gig to cloud their judgement and send a “refund” check prior to the fake check clearing.

    For more on this, check out http://www.419eater.com/

  66. Just received this email as well. If this had been worded differently I wouldn’t have had so many red flags pop up. It was the “We’ll take responsibility for your expenses
    regarding our plans.” that made me research the email. I’m glad your post and these comments were here.

    from: kathygirlforlife@gmail.com
    Hello,
    My name is Kathleen Morris, I live in Washington, MO. I am presently
    in London(UK)but probably will be moving back home soon and i’ll be
    getting married shortly after my arrival in the states to my fiance
    Dave Richard .We will need a wedding/party Photographer to help us in
    making up our ceremony from the church to the hotel reception.We will
    like to find out what your plans are for Thursday, October 23rd,2014.
    This is the date of our wedding so kindly let us know your
    availability for this day.We’ll take responsibility for your expenses
    regarding our plans. we might not be able to meet you soon as
    planned,due to our unavailability in the states but,we are willing to
    retain the date, that’s to make deposit for booking prior we to our
    arrival to be sure we are interested in your service,if we really
    are.Waiting to get your response.
    Kathleen and Dave

  67. I just got this email from “Kathleen and Dave” and it was so contradictory that I googled the email address (kathygirlforlife@gmail.com). So glad you posted this info–thank you!

    Email below:
    Hello,
    My name is Kathleen Morris, I live in Orient, OH. I am presently in
    London(UK)but probably will be moving back home soon and i’ll be
    getting married shortly after my arrival in the states to my fiance
    Dave Richard .We will need a wedding/party Photographer to help us in
    making up our ceremony from the church to the hotel reception.We will
    like to find out what your plans are for Thursday, November 20th,2014.
    This is the date of our wedding so kindly let us know your
    availability for this day.We’ll take responsibility for your expenses
    regarding our plans. we might not be able to meet you soon as
    planned,due to our unavailability in the states but,we are willing to
    retain the date, that’s to make deposit for booking prior we to our
    arrival to be sure we are interested in your service,if we really
    are.Waiting to get your response.
    Kathleen and Dave

  68. Post
    Author

    Here we are in August of 2014 and the Formula Wedding E-mail scam still continues. It’s been well over 2 years since I received the fake wedding shoot request, and the same mail continues to plague photographers across the US! Amazing. Thanks to everyone for contributing to the updates on this topic, you’re helping to keep other photographers from falling for the scam!

  69. They are still at it. Right now they are hitting up Portland, Oregon. My skeptical nature saves me once again. But, I admit I did play along just to double check. I exchanged emails a couple times with “Kathleen” and told her that the NON-REFUNDABLE deposit was due via credit card or PayPal since she was abroad. I also told her we could meet via Skype. The meeting offer got no response other than emphasizing the desire to get parent albums immediately after the wedding (I think I threw them off script on that one). And they insisted on mailing a check from a local US bank instead of online payment.

    If they want to get anywhere in Portland, they need to sound like a Portlander. That was my first red flag. And through the first two exchanges there were more red flags than I knew what to do with. Sorry to hear they got others. 🙁 If they send something your way, ignore or just respond “not available.”

  70. Hi, another photographer in Portland here, and I got the email from “Kathleen and Dave” as well. I thought it seemed fishy right off the bat, starting with the subject line “GET BACK TO US”, and continuing with the atrocious grammar and uncertainty about the venue. I exchanged a couple emails with “her” and got even more wary, so thanks to Google I found my way here to confirm my suspicions. Trust your gut and don’t be fooled!

  71. It’s so nice to see that Kathleen and Dave are still together…

    Kathleen Morris
    3:30 AM
    Hello,
    My name is Kathleen Morris, I live in Portland,Oregon. I am
    presently in London(UK)but probably will be moving back home soon and
    i’ll be getting married shortly after my arrival in the states to my
    fiance Dave Richard .We will need a wedding/party Photographer to help
    us in making up our ceremony from the church to the hotel reception.We
    will like to find out what your plans are for Saturday, December
    27th,2014. This is the date of our wedding so kindly let us know your
    availability for this day.We’ll take responsibility for your expenses
    regarding our plans. we might not be able to meet you soon as
    planned,due to our unavailability in the states but,we are willing to
    retain the date, that’s to make deposit for booking prior we to our
    arrival to be sure we are interested in your service,if we really
    are.Waiting to get your response.
    Kathleen and Dave

  72. Just received this early this morning from Kathleen Morris

    Hello,
    My name is Kathleen Morris, I live in Santa Monica, CA. I am
    presently in London(UK)but probably will be moving back home soon and
    i’ll be getting married shortly after my arrival in the states to my
    fiance Dave Richard .We will need a wedding/party videographer to help
    us in making up our ceremony from the church to the hotel reception.
    We will like to find out what your plans are for Thursday, May
    21st,2015. This is the date of our wedding so kindly let us know your
    availability for this day.We’ll take responsibility for your expenses
    regarding our plans. we might not be able to meet you soon as
    planned,due to our unavailability in the states but,we are willing to
    retain the date, that’s to make deposit for booking prior we to our
    arrival to be sure we are interested in your service,if we really
    are.Waiting to get your response.
    Kathleen and Dave

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