I want to make you all aware of an advertising scam that has hit many interior designers, including two of my clients; one in Las Vegas and the other in Hawaii. When my clients were at the Las Vegas Market a few weeks ago, they also came across a few other designers that had fallen for the same scam.
Be very cautious if you are being approached by a magazine that wants you to advertise with them. They change their name often, but have gone by several different names, including:
Platinum Publishing – Golf Almanac
ABC Marketing – Golf Luxury Living
Teed Off Publication – Sports and Leisure Guide
Their method goes something like this:
They call asking for the owner of the firm . If they have to leave a message, they make it sound like they are looking to become a high-end client, so you respond. Then when you talk with them, they say that they’ve seen your work and would like to include you in their local luxury oriented magazine. They generally say they distribute to local golf clubs or hotels and restaurants where your luxury clients are likely to be.
They also offer to include a feature of your firm or some editorial piece Their pricing is very affordable, like $800 – $1,500 per year. They sound very professional and provide you with full documentation as well as proofs of your article and ad. Talking about high-end luxury clients is the way they earn your trust.
There are many designers nationwide who have lost thousands of dollars to this fraudulent company, so I want to advise you all to be very cautious.
Here are a two things you can do to protect yourselves:
- Call the places that they say they distribute to and ask them if they carry that magazine. My client called one of the golf courses that were supposedly carrying that magazine and they had never heard of it!
- If you do feel confident the publication is legit, still pay them with a credit card. One of my clients paid with a check and the money is gone for good. The other paid with her credit card and she was able to report the fraud and get her money credited back to her account.
Sorry to post on such an unfortunate topic, but hopefully this saves at least a few of you from becoming a victim of this nationwide scheme. Be careful and be sure to verify distribution for any publication that approaches you for advertising!
Julia A. Molloy
President | Molloy Management Group