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Pollyanna 03-20-2010 03:44 PM

Music business scams
A headline in today's paper: "Man who posed as music producer netted $6.5 million: police".
He allegedly defrauded several people out of the money by falsifying documents to convince them he was a music producer. The article provided no details about how he did this.

I wondered how someone could make so much, given that musos don't tend to be wealthy. So I did a Google search and found this web article: How to Spot a Scam in the Music Business. It seems like info that people here should know about.

Has anyone tried to scam you?

toddy 03-20-2010 05:00 PM

Re: Music business scams
no, i try not to talk to stupid people :-)

bobdadruma 03-20-2010 05:49 PM

Re: Music business scams
I received a few bogus offers on myspace that were similar to the article link that you posted. They started out as friend requests. Then they hit me up with the different scams later. I didn't fall for them. I reported them.
I haven't gotten any scam friend requests in a long time. Myspace must weed them out now.
A real producer will pay for your studio time. They will also make a Royalty deal with you.
If you get an offer, sit down with your Attorney before signing.
Never sign any contract without a full understanding of its contents!

If you sign a contract stating that you will pay someone to record and market your music and you sign the copyrights away. You made your own lumpy bed so to speak.
Any legal agreement that you sign is binding.

DrumEatDrum 03-20-2010 07:05 PM

Re: Music business scams
Pre-internet, it seemed 1/2 of everyone you talked to was trying to angle a music scam.

My band's email in-box is full of so many "offers" I stopped reading them.

I've gotten several emails saying "hey, we like your album, we'd like to buy 50 copies to sell in our stores in Europe, please send us this information so we can cut you a check" and the questions have nothing to do with the band, and it's pretty obvious from the email they've never actually listened to the music.

DrumEatDrum 03-20-2010 07:13 PM

Re: Music business scams
Here is a copy of one such email:

Good Day,

We Listened to your songs and a few artist on unsigned.com and was impressed. we will like to have your Cd's in our music stores. all over the UK,South Africa,Poland and Some states in the USA.

We will be intrested in 30 pcs of your Latest CD for a start which we will sell out in our stores.If it does move more market then we shall be glad to order for more.

kindly notify us with the total amount plus we will need your information as below so as to send payment by a check/money order.

Full Name:
Address (no Po Box):
Zip code:
Phone Number(s):
Email Address:

Dave Morgan,

Sales Manager
Phone Number:845-507-1538


Unlike most scams, this didn't ask for banking information or anything too out of the ordinary.

But the email was to "undisclosed recipients" and not to my bands actual email address. And the fact that they want 30 CDs up front is a bit strange, given no one ever asks for that many. And they didn't say anything that makes you think they actually listened to the CD. No mention of the band name, song titles, etc. And the weird broken English also didn't seem right.

So lets' see:
A Web search shows the only "Zenith Music Store" is in Australia, and they sell music instruments, not CDs.
And the area code on the phone number they gave me is upstate New York, not Australia.

A google search of the phone number shows the same phone number is listed on multiple scam warning sites, usually associated with offering jobs for mystery shoppers everywhere across the US, New Zeland, and elsewhere.

Scam, scam, scam.

I assume they send you check for more than you request, and then tell you to wire back the difference, meanwhile the check bounces. Or some other such variation. Or once they have the CDs, then they ask you for banking information hoping you'll give it to them rather than risk not getting paid.

toddy 03-20-2010 11:45 PM

Re: Music business scams

Originally Posted by larryace (Post 678569)
I recieved this via a Drummerworld private message last week:

How's it going, my name is Barbu Isloi, I'm a Romanian hip hop producer and I'm looking for a drummer to help me create some specific drum sounds I can't really find in drum packs or vst instruments, do you think you can help me with that, I'd love to work with you. Thank you. Contact me at cutkiller@gmail.com.

I replied back but never heard from the guy. I was wondering if anyone else got this. If anyone did, please say so, I thought this might be a scam but he never replied back.

to be honest man, i (used to) find a lot of work this way, mainly through myspace and various chat rooms that some of us chill in. my tip for this kind of thing (especially working with hip hop/dance music) is to deal with the producer directly and make sure you get some sort of deal in place.
what i used to do was offer to do a basic track free for them (would only take 20~ minutes to record and upload a beat) and then they could pay me money if they wanted a final track with percussion, high quality samples, etc. i also have my own private FTP which i hand out to producers i like, this means that any beats that don't get used can go straight up there, and if anyone likes one of them then they can pay for them. basically it's a library of beats that haven't been used, or beats that are 'really good'.

if you are sending beats to producers then just send them at a lower bit rate (e.g. sub 100) because no producer worth their salt will even contemplate using tracks that aren't 320 kbps, especially if you're using cymbals. either that or upload the file as a flash video and allow them to stream it only. beats obviously mean drum/percussion tracks, lol.

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