Founder of the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program, home staging expert Debra Gould, cautions home stagers, decorators and Interior Designers against a new email scam targeting them.
Home Stagers and Interior Designers Targets of New Email Scam
As true confirmation that home staging has become a well-established field, stagers are now being targeted by scam artists attempting to con them into sending money.
In a new twist on “assist a diplomat who needs help getting millions out of the country and you’ll be rewarded” or “send money to a foreign country to rescue a dying relative” – scam artists have rewritten a script for stagers, decorators or interior designers who may do work for home owners living abroad.
In this scam the home stager is sent an email from an out-of-country “homeowner.” The sender leads the stager on about a project and tries to build a rapport all in the hopes of tricking the stager into handing over their money.
News of this scam recently reached Staging Diva® Debra Gould who states, “In the specific case I’ve heard about, the stager said the man was very vague around details of the home. He wouldn’t answer the stager’s questions. Instead, he seemed focused on whether or not she had credit card processing abilities. Even though the stager didn’t provide an estimate for staging fees (because she didn’t have enough information from the “client”), he told her that she was to charge $16,000 to his credit card, keeping $8,000 for herself and sending $8,000 to his ‘artist.'”
Gould advises decorators, stagers and designers to look out for schemes like this because, unfortunately, some people are trusting enough to do something like this to try and help someone out. If that was not the case, email scams would not still be so very prevalent.
“Thankfully,” adds Gould, “this home stager didn’t fall into the trap of being blinded by the promised $8,000 fee, and when she questioned this arrangement she never heard from the man again.”
About the author
The creator of the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program, Debra Gould has staged millions of dollars worth of real estate, including seven of her own homes. She is the president of home staging firm SixElements.com and has trained thousands of home stagers to start and grow their own businesses. Gould created the Staging Diva Directory of Home Stagers to help home sellers and real estate agents locate staging services in their area