A young photographer was scammed on Instagram by a fraudulent art buyer who wanted to purchase her prints.
Instead, the scammer swindled the photographer out of $3,000 and spent the money on partying — not prints.
According to CBS News, budding photographer Madie Meyers was flattered when she received a message on Instagram from her first potential buyer.
Madie, from Chicago, had “just got into” photography and was “excited” to have her first customer.
In an Instagram message to Madie, the scammer called the photographer their inspiring “muse.”
In the same message, the Instagram user asked Madie if she could use one of her photographs for a mural and offered to pay her $500 for the usage. She was thrilled with the sale of her photo.
“I’m like, I can buy Christmas presents for the first time ever,” Madie recalls. “I’m gonna go spend this $500.”
However, Madie’s father Marc Meyers soon discovered that these professed art buyers were scammers who had swindled his daughter.
The Instagram scammer had convinced Madie to deposit a $3,500 check into her PNC bank account.
She was then instructed to send back $3,000 of it for art supplies. The extra $500 was for Madie for the purchase of her photo.
As the scammer never asked for her bank details, Maddie believed that the transaction was genuine.
“I’m like ‘Oh he doesn’t need any of that? This can’t be a scam,'” Madie tells CBS News. “They made it seem like they really wanted me to be paid.”
Meyers completed her end of the deal via Apple Pay. However, unfortunately, the scammers did not fulfill their promise.
The $3,500 check from the scammers bounced, leaving Meyers’ father liable for the entire amount as his bank accounts are connected with his daughter’s accounts.
Marc has since questioned why his daughter’s bank statement showed the money from the scammer’s check added to her balance. This led Madie to send $3,000 back to the Instagram user.
“It doesn’t make sense that a routine check takes way longer to clear than these fraudulent checks,” Marc tells CBS News. “That’s really what I’m most angry about.”
After the shocking experience, Madie wanted to get a response from the Instagram user who had scammed her.
She messaged them saying: “Hey, I know you’re a scammer. I’m mad at you, kind of.”
In a cruel twist, the scammer replied to Madie with a series of photos that showed them partying accompanied by a message that read: “Your money.”
PetaPixel previously reported on a gallery owner who is accused of cheating clients out of more than 100 rare fine art photographs, including prints by famed landscape photographer Ansel Adams, worth an estimated $1.6 million.
Image credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos.