Mom Blog

Instagram Scam: I Want to Use Your Photos for Mural or Painting and Steal Your Money

The latest scam I’ve been getting on Instagram are people who love my pics so much that they want to make them into a mural. Sometimes, it’s a painting. But either way all I need to do is accept a check for a large amount, keep a little for myself and then send them the extra for supplies. Art supplies can get pricey you know!

Of course, it’s just another fake check scam, and not even a very convincing one. So do not ever accept a check for more than it should be, and then send a stranger money! I feel like that should be common sense, but they wouldn’t keep trying it if people weren’t falling for it. Click here to read more about different types of Fake Check Scams from the FTC. Read on to see what happens when you reply back to the scammers and give them a little bit of a hard time.

scam alert

I Want to Pay to Use Your Photos!

It starts with a nice complimentary message about how pretty your Instagram feed is, or how inspiring your photos are. So great that they want you to be their muse. The scammer I’m using as an example wanted to make my photos into a mural. I got this same exact message last week, so getting this from another person alerted me this was a scam going around.

One you reply back that they are interested, they will explain they will be sending you a check for a high dollar amount. This person was going to send me $2000, but once I got on board, they later upped it to $5000 because they wanted to use two photos. Lucky me!

This is where they start asking for personal information. I gave them an e-mail I never use for anything, the wrong bank name, and name of one of the witches on Hocus Pocus as my name. I kept asking them details about this amazing mural, but they don’t seem to have a lot of details for me.

After this, they started asking for my phone number, so I gave them a fake one. I wanted to make sure they had no usable information just in case they were going to try and get into my bank account. The main part of this scam isn’t to steal your info through, it’s to steal your money by having you send it to them yourself.

Pretty soon I had myself a very realistic looking image of a $5,000 check, written out to an imaginary witch. They e-mailed it to me as my “allowance” and requested I deposit it right away. I’m publishing the photo of the check with some stuff crossed out, because it’s a fake, but it could contain info obtained through identity-theft.

If I did try and deposit it, it may actually clear. And then I’d need to send them their part of the check. And then that’s when I’d be losing out, because pretty soon the bank would be coming after me to get back their real money to replace the fake check money.

fake check from fake check scam

Avoid Fake Check Scams

This fake check scam also comes in the form of people “accidentally” sending you too much money for an online purchase. Then they will ask you to refund the extra. Then later you find out the check is fake, and you can’t get your money back, and you have to pay the bank back.

So NEVER EVER EVER accept a check and then send a refund. Also never give out your bank info to strangers online. Don’t even give them your personal info like e-mails or phone numbers that you use for things like banking or credit cards. The less info they have to use, the better.

Also, don’t send anybody a screenshot of a log-in code! That’s a whole different Instagram scam that’s getting a lot of people lately.

So What Happened with My Fake Check?

They kept telling me I needed to deposit ASAP, so I asked them a bunch of silly questions and then pretended I deposited it. Then they kept telling me I needed to Venmo them the money, or use cash app. Unfortunately, I don’t use those (at least not for scammers, lol) so I told them I’d need to use Paypal and it will take a few days to get transferred. My scam artist was so sad, because she wanted to get to work right away!

She helpfully suggested I just go to the store and get an Amex gift card for $2000. So suddenly my cut went from $1000, to $3000! I’m just making money like crazy over here.

I asked repeatedly for her e-mail but she didn’t want to give it up. She then started trying to get me to hook a debit card up to my bank, or use Zelle or Paypal through there. I just continued to pretend to be confused as to how any of that works, so then she got mad and started threatening to call my bank and reverse the check I never deposited.

She got very nasty, threatening that my bank would close my account and that I wouldn’t be able to get a bank account anymore. And then she’d call the police and I’d lose my job. The threats kept escalating, and it was getting close to dinner time, so I finally let her know I was faking it. Funny thing was, she didn’t understand and still kept threatening that the bank would close my account. And by “my account” of course that meant Sarah Sanderson’s account. I even asked her if she’d seen Hocus Pocus and said I’d given her the name of my Halloween costume. So finally I just sent a message letting them know they are a terrible person, waited until it was read, and then blocked the account.

My last message before blocking the account

The account above is probably still active and trying to scam other people. If you get a chance, report @jamieson6594 for fraud. Or maybe send them a message and see if you can get them to send checks out to the other Sanderson sisters, lol.

6 replies »

  1. I got scammed by these artists, the name is Andra on insta, I accepted the check and it somewhat went through. I got 100$ out of the 1000 they promised. I sent back those 100 and they still want 400$ for art supplies while i keep the 500$. The check has not cleared and I dont know what to do. can u please help.

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  2. My daughter fell for it today! She deposited the check and then started getting nervous and wanted to get rid of the money so she venmoed some back to them like they wanted. 🤦 The bank fixed some of it and changed her account but now these people are threatening to come find her and kill her! Now I am so nervous! Why don’t teenagers listen?! My husband is in IT and has told her for years to ask before doing anything.

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    • oh no! They got very threatening with me as well. They told me the police were going to come have me arrested for stealing their money. I’m sorry to hear your daughter fell for it. I’m hoping people will Google this before that happens! They are just trying to scare her though. They are most likely on a different continent.

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    • I fell for it because I love art and I told them I would do it for free persisted on it, that it was necessary and when I gave in and gave my email, which wasn’t actually my email but where I messed up was my phone number. They were like oh now you have my check. I said I don’t even want it and I’m out because doesn’t seem real and I’m guessing you don’t just want to paint a picture. After that they got really mean. They threaten to kill me, they even sent pictures of people who they have killed before for and said that they have my picture so there’s no hiding, they said they will get somebody to assassin me. It was all very scary. To be honest I’m still kind of scared.

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      • That is crazy they went that far! They were rude to me and threatened me, but not that bad. But please don’t worry, these people are just hiding behind a computer and lying about everything, including the pictures they send. Just cut them off, block all contacts.

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