Arts

Chicago artist’s photos drew interest from a buyer. It was a scam

CHICAGO (CBS) – A young Chicago artist was flattered, then frauded, and you won’t believe what the scammers did with the college student’s money.

Morning Insider Lauren Victory took us inside the compliment that cost the woman.

Budding photographer Madie Meyers isn’t shy about sharing. Her snapshots are a constant work in progress.

Imagine how special the novice felt when someone wanted to buy her art.

“It was just so, I just got into this,” she said. “I’m excited.”

The offer initially came via Instagram message that called Meyers an inspiring “muse.”

The person asked to use one of her photos for a mural and promised to pay her $500.

“And I’m like, I can buy Christmas presents for the first time ever!” Meyers said. “I’m gonna go spend this $500.”

But later, her dad, Marc Meyers discovered those so-called art buyers swindled his daughter.

They had convinced her to deposit a $3,500 check into her PNC account. She was instructed to send back $3,000 of it for art supplies. The extra $500 was for her photo.

Victory: “I noticed in the messages at one part, it said ‘No bank info needed.’ Did that make you feel better?”

Meyers: “Yeah. I’m like ‘Oh he doesn’t need any of that? This can’t be a scam.'”

She added, “They made it seem like they really wanted me to be paid.”

Meyers completed her end of the deal via Apple Pay. The scammers did not.

But then, the $3,500 check bounced, leaving Meyers’ dad on the hook for all of it since their accounts are connected.

He questioned why his daughter’s bank statement showed the money added to her balance.

“It doesn’t make sense that a routine check takes way longer to clear than these fraudulent checks,” he said. “That’s really what I’m most angry about.”

Meyers wanted to get in a final word.

“Hey I know you’re a scammer,” she said. “I’m mad at you kind of.”

She laughed, but the person responded with photos showing them partying and a message that read “Your money.”

Several agencies and banks have information for people on how to spot, avoid, and report fake check scams including the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), AARP, and PNC Bank.

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