If It Sounds Too Good To Be True…

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If It Sounds Too Good To Be True…  by Alex Walsh

A few days ago I received an email saying that I had been invited to play at a Blues and Jazz festival in England. One of the headliners had mysteriously cancelled and I was selected to fill in and I could bring a band. The festival was over a month away. I was to be paid $8,000 for two sets plus meals and traveling expenses. Not a bad way to start a Monday morning!

I read the email quickly all the way through and my heart started racing and my mind started strategizing. “Could my band do this? I could do it solo. Why not? How did they find out about me? Maybe one of those international audience members from my last show worked at the festival and got me in? How would I get off work? Do I have any vacation days? Am I good enough? Why, yes, I’m good enough. I can do this, dammit!

I did a quick search of the festival on my phone and it looked legit. So, I responded with a quick: “Yes, I’m interested, how did you hear about me?”

I forwarded it to a few friends to get their opinions. Then I rushed off to work.

I wasn’t sure if it was real but the idea got me revved up!

Later that day I had time to take a closer look. At first glance it seemed okay, but the email address was too long and not listed on the festival website. Buried near the end of the email they were asking for proof of a work visa. That was strange.

And then, I got a response! They were glad I was going to do it. All they needed from me was proof of my work permit. They had staff who would help me streamline the paperwork, including the fees. This is where they steal your personal info and get your bank acct #.

I didn’t respond. Instead, I emailed the festival directly and asked if it was spam. The next day I received an email from them:

Hi Alex,
Afraid so. These persistent scam artists are targeting our festival at the moment.
Well done for spotting,and letting us know. All the best…

Oh well. I knew it was too good to be true–but it was a fun ride for a few minutes!

Now I’ve got to submit to some real festivals in England…