HOUSTON — Scammers are always trying to come up with new ways of tricking people out of their money. Now, they're going after people in Houston in a new way.
At Houston Heights Tattoo, owner Miranda Quinn said they've been receiving more unexpected customers. People who are scammed by someone posing as one of their tattoo artists, booking an appointment, paying a deposit and then showing up to their location only to find out they've been duped.
"A lot of situations where I've had to kind of put out a fire that I didn't start, which is frustrating," Quinn said. "What the scammer will do is get together a portfolio of work from other artists and create a profile that looks very from an outside point of view, looks very legitimate. A high number of followers, really beautiful tattoos."
In the past year, they've had 25 to 30 people who've been scammed and have shown up to their business after losing a fake deposit.
"It can be anywhere from $25 to $100 to $200 or paying half of it up front," Quinn said.
When booking a service through social media, Quinn has a few tips for customers:
- Check for inconsistencies in photos
- Call the business and ask questions
- Set up an in-person consultation and pay the deposit there
- If the price seems too good to be true, chances are it most likely is
The Houston Heights Tattoo Instagram account has all their artists tagged in their bio to make sure people know who works there.
Quinn said they want to get the word out not only to save people from getting scammed but to also not have something negative associated with their business.
"Once someone's reputation is tarnished, especially when it's something they had nothing to do with, that's incredibly frustrating because then you're having to gain trust back," Quinn said.