At VSCO we aim to create and maintain a safe space for creators like you to experiment freely, be inspired, and make meaningful connections.
To help you do just that, we enabled more messaging functionality. VSCO creators can start unlimited conversations with other creators who follow them and up to 3 conversations per day with creators who don’t follow them. Creators who pay for a VSCO membership (VSCO Members) can send unlimited messages to anyone on VSCO.
While we aim to provide a safe community for all our creators, not everyone operates in online communities, including VSCO, with the best intentions. If you have a gut feeling that a message you received may be a scam, you should operate with caution. Scams and fraud can happen anywhere. It is important to know what to look out for when interacting with other creators you may not know.
Spotting Red Flags
Someone offering you money in exchange for anything is a good indicator that it may be a scam. Be on the lookout for creators offering money in exchange for your photos, you being a sugar baby, and for a modeling contract, as a few examples. While they may claim there are no strings attached, it may actually be a scam.
If another creator is offering money in exchange for using your work as inspiration, be sure you do your diligence first.
Common Types of Scams
Offering money for a service
Scammers will often send messages with promises of easy money.
- They promise a gig or sponsorship that can make you hundreds of dollars.
They may ask for an upfront payment first as a signup fee, but then disappear once you pay. They may also ask you for login information so that they can set up your account. Instead, they will use this personal information to gain access to your other accounts.
- They offer payment if you will cash a check for them.
They will send you a photo of a fraudulent check for you to mobile deposit for them and in exchange you can keep some of the money as payment. Once you send them their portion of the check, the check will bounce and no money will be deposited into your account.
- They tell you they are in desperate need.
Scammers may tug at your heartstrings and tell you they are in urgent need of money for surgery or food and will pay your back once they are able to. However, once you send them money, they disappear.
Wanting to use your work as an inspiration
Receiving recognition for your work is an amazing thing, and scammers may take advantage of that. If someone is asking to use your work for inspiration, for you to be their muse, or to license your work, be aware of the red flags to look out for.
Claiming to be a sugar daddy or sugar mommy
A sugar daddy or sugar momma is a person who reaches out to a younger user, also known as a “sugar baby” with the promise of providing money, gift cards, or presents in exchange for companionship and/or services.
There are three common ways this scam usually plays out:
The scammer will tell you they need to either “cover” the cost of shipping any gifts or money transfer fees. They may also require this payment to prove your loyalty. Once you pay the amount requested, however, the sugar daddy or mommy disappears without any further contact.
They’ll claim they want to deposit funds into your account. But in reality, the scammer will only empty the account. Avoid giving your bank account information to someone on VSCO who you have not verified or do not know or trust.
They’ll give you $1,000, for example, using a fraudulent check or gift cards purchased with stolen credit cards. Then they’ll ask you for $100 back in gift cards as a token of appreciation or to buy your next gift. Once you make payment, you then discover that the check bounced or the gift cards you received don’t work.
Posing as a casting agency
Scammers may pose as a legitimate casting agency with promises of large modeling or acting contracts. If someone asks you to send suggestive photos of yourself, pay them any amount of money, or offers you a large amount of money, they are most likely posing as a casting agent to scam you.
Never agree to meet with someone you do not know for potential modeling or acting work. A legitimate agency will not mind if you involve a parent, guardian, or agent in the process.
Phishing for financial or personal information
In a phishing scam, hackers use malicious links to collect and steal your usernames and passwords. They may create and send scam emails or texts that look like they are from VSCO prompting you to log in or even message you from their own VSCO account with a malicious link.
Look out for emails, texts, or VSCO messages that ask you to click a link because:
- Your account has been compromised
- Your photos will be deleted or leaked if you don’t click the link
- You won a contest and need to verify your identity
- You’ll receive something valuable, like concert tickets, Amazon gift cards, etc.
Online scammers are getting more creative, which means you may be involved in a scam that’s similar but not identical to the ones we highlighted.
How to Protect Yourself
- Do not share your financial or personal information freely. Remember that companies generally don’t contact you to ask for your sensitive information like your username, password, or photos or videos of you, especially through messages.
- Do not send money or personal information to anyone you do not know or have not verified is offering a legitimate business opportunity, business, or service. To be safe, send money or personal information only to an individual you know personally or who you have independently verified.
- Be careful with what information you share on VSCO. By openly sharing things like pet names, schools you attended, family members, and your birthday, you can give a scammer all the information they need to guess your password or answer your security questions on your other online accounts.
- Look for VSCO Activity. While not always foolproof, look for account activity that shows signs of a real user. Things like profile photos, full galleries, collections, and Spaces are good signs of an active VSCO user.
- Look for a “Member” or “Pro” badge in someone’s profile on VSCO. This badge indicates that the VSCO creator is either a paid member or on a temporary trial membership. While this isn’t foolproof, it is one helpful factor to look for. Note that someone on a temporary membership trial is not a fully paid member.
Reporting a Scam
When in doubt, report a conversation to our Trust & Safety Team, and we will look into it.
To report click the icon in the top right corner and select the “Report” option.