Aspiring artists are being warned about fraudsters who may contact them online, claiming to be from UK based record labels, offering music contracts.
The warning comes from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) and the British Recorded Music Industry (BPI), after new and unsigned musical talent are approached via legitimate forums for cross industry discussions. Victims are sent false contracts to sign, which request upfront payments to cover the cost of administrative checks. Once the money has been paid, the artists hear nothing more from the supposed record label. This is a type of advance fee fraud.
Fraudsters have been using genuine record label names, website links, London addresses and what appear to be UK telephone numbers to commit this fraud.
Protect yourself from record label scammers
Follow this advice from the NFIB to protect yourself from bogus music contract offers:
- Be extremely wary when receiving emails directly from someone purporting to be from a record label.
- Carry out your own research first before parting with any money. Obtain contact details of the record label and either email or phone the record label to check whether the email is genuine.
- Look out for platform telephone numbers starting 070 or 004470. These can be set-up on the internet and answered anywhere in the world.
- Be cautious of any emails requesting the transfer of funds. Many fraudsters will request that payment is made by money transfer through organisations such as MoneyGram, Western Union or UKASH so that they are more difficult to locate.
Be cautious of any emails requesting the supply of personal details as these could be used to carried out further fraud, for example identity fraud.
- Report it to Action Fraud if you have been the victim of a fraud like this.
Read more about the record label scam on the NFIB’s website.
Please note that Action Fraud is not responsible for the content of external websites.
To report a fraud, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online reporting tool.