Several of Edinburgh’s musicians have lost hundreds of pounds this month through scam artists in “pay to play” online deals.
Working under the pseudo names “Pr-0-motions” and also “Tower Street” the traders are using phishing techniques on networking sites such as Facebook and Myspace inviting bands and solo performers to their sites and offering them “great venues, great crowds”. The “companies” send mailshots to the bands with details of available venues and dates for up coming events.
Gary Shaw of the band “crack in the mirror” said ” it all seemed kosher to me, they invited us because they really liked our sound and said we could be put on their books if we sent them a “small registration fee of £50 direct debit. This guaranteed us at least three gigs in six months.”
After making the payment the bands then received a confirmation email and thanks for payment and within a three days a further email was sent offering a list of venues and dates available in October. Once the musicians selected the dates they could play a further amount of £30 booking fee was required before the venue would be confirmed.
Within days of the supposed gigs all correspondence between the musicians and companies stopped with no confirmation of a final venue or time.
Marc Stevenson of “my friend Johnny” said ” we sent at least thirty emails to these guys in the run up to the night, no response, we even called the phone number on the confirmation page it didn’t even connect, now the website has gone, the Myspace deleted. We want to take legal action obviously but we don’t have anywhere to go from. These guys blatantly don’t get how hard it is for musicians in Scotland.”
According to Myspace terms and conditions “information, materials, products or services provided by other MySpace Members (for instance, in their profile) may, in whole or in part, be unauthorized, impermissible or otherwise violate this Agreement, and MySpace assumes no responsibility or liability for this material. ”
Myspace and Facebook have declined the opportunity to comment at time of print.