Yesterday a friend of mine called me with a question. His band had been contacted (via ReverbNation) by a company who claimed that they were a publishing and licensing firm in Los Angeles. Oooooh Los Angeles.
The company told him that they saw his profile, liked one of his songs, and thought they could get their song placed in Television and Film, but of course there was a price, three hundred dollars to be exact ($300!!!). For this price the company would spend the next year getting the band’s music out there…. rrrrrrright.
See this example contains all of the classic signs you’re being scammed and they are…
3. That “Not Right” feeling: Does the offer feel weird? Does it feel like a scam? Does it sound too good to be true? If you’ve answered “Yes” to any of those questions then you’re probably getting scammed.
2. They contact you via a third party site (ReverbNation, Bandcamp, MySpace etc). You see what most of these companies do is use “Bots.” A bit of computer code that is written specifically for these third party sites to find eager young musician. This used to happen a lot during the MySpace days. A company would contact you with a generic statement like “Hey ______ , I really like your song ______. We think it would be a great fit with our company. Please send us a message if you’re interested.” Classic bot stuff.
And the number one sign your band might be getting scammed……
1. They make you pay money first. They always want money first. If the company really believes in your music they wouldn’t ask for this because they know that they’ll be making money from your music. If they’re asking for money first, it’s probably a scam.
If someone really cares about your music they will be willing to invest in you first, they’ll know more than just one song, and you’ll have clear and transparent communication between you and them. If you’re finding any of these 3 signs in dealing with a company, perhaps it’s time to take a closer look at exactly how they will benefit you because most of the time, in my experience, it’s a scam.