Don’t get Scammed!!!

If you are not in the business of renting out equipment, you should not rent your equipment out.  It all sounds innocent enough, but it could be a scam.

Let me set this up for you, so you’ll understand where I’m coming from.  I just did some research and I see that the Canon 5D Mark III is retailing at $2,799.  That is the price for the body only, and of course lenses could be any range from there.  So, we are going to say that I want one but the price tag is a bit steep.  Instead I call you and the conversation goes like this:

“Hi Mr/Ms Photographer, my name is Jeff and although you may not know me, I work mostly in NY, I have a job to do in Wichita (or whatever city you’re in).  I’m not real crazy about traveling with all of my equipment, so I wondered if I might be able to rent a camera and lens from you for a couple of days.”

You say: “Well I might be able to do that.  It depends on when you are going to be here and what you are looking for.”

“Great!  I’m looking for a Canon 5D Mark III and a 70-200mm f/2.8 Lens with IS.  If that is equipment you have I would be willing to pay in advance at $250 per day.  Does that work for you?”

You say: “That sounds fair.  When do you need it?”

Needless to say; you might be catching on to how this scam works.  Eventually we settle on a date and time to meet at the local airport (want to make this look legit). I pay you $500 in advance to “rent” your gear and you never see me or your gear again.

The bottom line is that I get the camera and lens that I want for $500 and you get a big headache the next time you go out to shoot a job.  If you are not in the Rental business, do NOT rent your gear out.

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~ by jrcowell on November 30, 2015.

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