By Dawn M. Williams | March 8, 2022

At the beginning of the pandemic it was clear that this society was transforming into that of an almost fully virtual one.  It seemed as though since many people were and still are afraid of Covid-19, personal interactions have become obsolete in many instances.  The beauty industry has been affected in the same way.  We were all floating towards a virtual reality but it happened sooner that many expected.

It has become harder for people to distinguish which stylists, barbers, nail techs, aestheticians and make-up artists are legit or scammers.  It's so easy to steal photos online, make a fake profile and advertise in facebook groups. There is a huge communication gap.

On the flip side, many legit professionals in the beauty industry have had to resort to online booking with monetary deposit requirements in order to counteract scamming clients.  Click here for that article. Gone are the days when a simple confirmation call would suffice, in order to warrant a timely cancellation.  Personally speaking, it was within the past 5 years I had to accept that the only way a new client would be guaranteed to cancel within 24 hours prior to an appointment is retaining a 50% deposit at the time of booking.

There is a dilemma .  Clients looking for legitimate professionals and professionals seeking ethical clients.  If you’ve found your match, stick with it.  Here are the top ten ways to spot a scammer posing as a beauty/barber professional. If they meet the top 4 numbers COMBINED, they are more than likely a scam artist.  Click here to watch the video to see the fill context of 1-4.

1. No buyer protection. ( They don't accept payments that offer any protection

2. Only one social media platform. (Their content is only available on one site. Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok etc. Most often they only have a private facebook page that is NOT a business page.

3.  They are missing a business license.  The state of Maryland requires a license to operate. This is separate from a cosmetology license.  All businesses must register through Maryland business express.

4.No reviews. There is nothing a business can pride itself more on that customer reviews.  They are the most reliable way a new client can see if the business isn't a good one.

5. No online booking. Most legitimate professionals have some sort of online booking. Since many are independent, it serves as a receptionist for minimal investment.

6. No branded pictures . Stock photos are free. Many people fall for the beautiful photos on a fake profile without understanding 1 thing.  They may belong to another stylist. That's why many stylists use watermarks.

7. No physical location or business  This information is necessary for tracking someone down should a discrepancy arise.

8.Rude or foul language.  If the professional is cursing at you or being rude through messages this is not a good sign. A legitimate professional usually will not resort to such business practices for fear of bad reviews.

9.No website.  Now some legitimate professionals do not have an official website.  Instead they will have social media pages, booking sites or a physical location.  But if you found someone who does not have ANY of the 3 AND they don't have a website, you have a problem.  This is 2022.  Even online bill payments are standard.  If you found them online, they should have legitimate online presence.

10. Prices too low. If it sounds too good to be true AND they don't have a website, online booking, legitimate pictures with watermarks or a physical location, it may be a scam.

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