WEST SEATTLE – A West Seattle salon was scammed out of $860 dollars after a customer used a faked identity to book a high-end service.
“I wanted to give you a hug,I feel bad about what happened,” said Jennifer Sawyer, owner of Pin-Up salon to Amber Sheeley, whose identity was falsely used to book the salon service.
Sunday morning, Sawyer got a call from a client saying her name was Amber Sheeley and she had a hair emergency, was leaving town that day and needed an immediate hair service.
“This client said she needed a color, a foil, a cut and extensions removed and new ones put in,” said Sawyer.
As a small business owner, Sawyer says she left her corporate career of 10 years to follow her passion and open her own salon. The boutique salon is the only full service salon in Alki.
“I get emotional because I feel very privileged to do what you do. It’s like coming to your best friends house and getting a really awesome hair service too,” said Sawyer.
Sawyer says she took the normal precautions when booking first-time clients.
“We got her name, her email address, her credit card information,” she said.
What they didn’t know was the client was using a fake identity.
One of two stylists who worked on the client, Alise Nilsen says she spent more than four hours doing the client’s hair.
“She kept closing her eyes and saying ‘Sorry I’m not really talkative,’” said Nilsen
When it was time to pay, the client told the salon she needed to run to the ATM to get the $860 for the service.
“She got in her silver sedan and never came back,” said Sawyer.
One of the stylists then told a friend about what happened, and that person proceeded to blast the real Amber Sheeley on Facebook.
“My phone was born up from people I knew and people I didn’t know,” said Amber Sheeley.
Sheeley, who has never had hair extensions or stepped foot in the salon was stunned at the attacks.
“I don’t want people out there to think I’m some kind of unreliable thief,” said Sheeley who added she uses social media for her marketing businesses and says the false attacks are damaging.
“I didn’t do anything wrong,” said Sheeley.
Sheeley says after seeing the social media posts she called Sawyer to explain it was not her who scammed the salon. While the two spoke, they realized they were both victims.
Sawyer filed a report with Seattle police and both Sheeley and Sawyer hope the suspect is brought to justice.
“There’s a lot of victims in this situation because one woman wanted her hair done. in 11 years in this business, not one person has ever walked out without paying,” said Sawyer.