“It won’t stop”: Scammer poses as stylist in Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — For seven months, the owner of a Memphis hair studio said women have been walking into her business expecting appointments that were never made.

“We’ve had at least six in a day, sometimes three a day,” explained Becky Johnson, the owner of Empire Hair Studio. “It’s been almost thirty people in total.”

Johnson said a scammer has been reaching out to women on social media advertising hair services at her studio. She said the women have then sent the money on Cash App and showed up at the salon, only to learn they had been the victim of an online scam.

“They leave in tears,” Johnson said. “We try to console them and try to get them to make a police report.”

She said the women have lost anywhere from $30 to $100 each.

“It’s pretty crazy and pretty bold, but not surprising,” said Daniel Irwin, a spokesman for the Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South.

Irwin reminds consumers to be very cautious of sending money to any stranger online.

“Is it possible that you might be contacted by a legitimate business on social media? Yes,” he explained. “But the chances of the entire transaction being handled on social media – that would be a big red flag to me.”

If someone claims to be with a business, he recommends exiting the chat or text and calling the business directly.

Johnson just hopes she won’t have to turn away another woman that falls victim to the scam.

“It’s just going on and on and it won’t stop,” she said. “They’re making money the wrong way.”