I’ve got good news, and some not so good news.
I got a call from one of my VO2GoGo Pros the other day, and he was in a bit of a panic.
Not a huge panic, just a bit of one.
He was wondering why a voice-seeker on Voice123.com wanted all of the people who were auditioning for their project to “go to a studio near them.”
I had an answer for him. And unfortunately, I had another answer for him.
To be fair, he was new to being a Pro, and being a Premium Member of Voice123.com.
And give that Voice123 sometimes doesn’t do the best job of explaining what they mean by certain things, I could understand his concern.
So, here was the first answer…the “good news” answer.
It’s for the booking, not the audition
There’s a part of the summary of the projects on Voice123 that displays what the voice-seeker needs from the voice talent. And one of those items can read something like this:
Recording & Delivery Requirements: Talent must record at a designated studio in a specified area
My Pro wanted to know why he had to go to a studio to audition, when he had perfectly good home recording gear to use at his house.
When I explained that this “requirement” was only going to be necessary should he book the job, and not for the audition, he was relieved.
It’s not the first time someone’s had that question.
Voice123 could be clearer about this, and a lot of other things it shows us as voice talent.
But then, there was the second answer…the “not so good news” answer:
It’s called the Overpayment Scam. Here’s how it works:
You’ll be invited to a project, or outright offered a VO job, and if you’ve had to audition, lo and behold, you book it!
In the booking email, you’ll get notice that they don’t want you to record from home. Rather, they want you to go to XYZ Studio (which they’ve used Google Maps to identify as being near you so that it looks legitimate), and you’ll be paid, as an example, $250 for the job.
You’ll then get further instructions that identify the scammer as your “consultant.” The check they send you won’t be for $250, but more like $750 or more (we’ve seen instances where it’s been as high as $2500 for a $150 “VO job”. And it will be made out to you.
Here’s the scam part: those further instructions they send will direct you to pay the difference in what the job pays, and the amount of the check, to your “consultant” as a “booking and management fee” – which means you’ll have to deposit the check yourself, and send the difference to the “consultant” for all of his work coordinating the job for you. And they will direct you, should you fall for this scam, to only remit the difference in a money order.
The problem is that check they send you is bad. It looks good, but it’s not – and it will be returned several business days later to your bank, and the amount will be deducted from your account. The difference you sent to the consultant is gone. You have no recourse because you sent a money order, which is not stoppable.
And the world keeps revolving.
It’s a new version of an old scam: this same process has taken in people on Craigslist, on car-listing sites, even in the newspaper in the classified ads section.
So…be careful when responding to any job offer that includes you going to a studio – and immediately stop all communications if you’re informed you’re to remit any overpayment to a third party. You also might want to notify the casting site of the situation. And you can tell the scammers usually by the way they use your native language – not so good.
By the way, this scam is not limited to Voice123, nor is it limited to VO jobs (it has been seen in on-camera and modeling postings as well). The casting site doesn’t matter – it can happen with any site, free or pay, that offers the opportunity to be booked on a VO (or other) job.
What do you find confusing about Voice123? What do you wish they’d make clearer? Any other scams you’ve seen lately? Let me know below, and I’ll try to clear up the confusion.
Hope this helps.