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-   -   scam/spam? (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/taking-care-business/491659-scam-spam.html)

Josh Bass February 12th, 2011 03:53 PM

This has the wording of some of the scams you guys have posted about recently. Anyone else gotten this:

I am James -------,a consultant/events organizer.I need your service as
a videographer for an event coming up very soon.I would appreciate if
you would tell me your exact location since the project is taking
place simultaneously within the states of the federation.

The project will hold at a rented studio in your location,so you don't
have to worry about traveling,the name and address of the studio will
be forwarded to you before the date.please if interested you can
contact me via email ---------------


Chris Hurd February 12th, 2011 04:59 PM

I usually delete those without responding.

Adam Gold February 12th, 2011 05:29 PM

As we've noted before, the punctuation and grammatical errors are a dead giveaway. Chris is right; delete it and don't look back.

Josh Bass February 12th, 2011 09:07 PM


But it means I'm moving up in the world that I get these now right?

And I don't know what you mean by "language is a dead giveaway." I always refer to my home country as "the states of the federation". :-)

Jim Michael February 12th, 2011 10:00 PM

Warning: the states of the federation usually implies a Starship is involved.

Craig Seeman February 13th, 2011 05:41 PM

I will say over the years a couple of inquires like that turned out to be real jobs.
In one case the email with grammatical mistakes came from someone who was German and staying in a local hotel. He had also asked for me to shoot an event locally. The even turned out to be, video tape couple getting into a limo, video tape a wedding ceremony under a tree in the park. The ceremony consisted of me, the client, the couple, a reverend, video tape the couple getting back into a limo. The entire job took me one hour. In addition travel to/from my home took another hour. I charged him $300 minimum and he paid me cash at the ceremony.

Turns out he ran a business called Travel Weddings. He would fly into NY and stay at a hotel. He arranged sight seeing itinerary for the couple and a wedding ceremony with no guests in a park. The rest of the job, which I did not take (he couldn't meet my rate for the time and work involved) would have been video taping the couple at various landmarks and creating a 10-15 minutes highlight video. Apparently, as odd as this sounds, it was quite popular and he'd been written up in several international travel magazines. Apparently there are lots of couples in Europe that would rather spend money on travel then a wedding ceremony so this was sort of a honeymoon with a small ceremony worked in. Apparently the family and friends of the couple treasured these videos.

Another was from someone who was a Russian immigrant who had set up a wedding business in an Russian immigrant community near me. The business target market were couples new to the country (hence very unfamiliar with local surroundings). Apparently he noted that I had a wedding video on my website which was Russian Orthodox and wanted to hire someone who was familiar with the ceremony and that it would be in Russian.

The moral of these stories is that there are people who are new to this country, who's mastery of English sounds like it came from Babelfish, who's understanding of American culture is limited. If you are in an area which attracts tourists or has tight immigrant communities, it may be worth responding to feel them out.

Josh Bass February 13th, 2011 06:01 PM

The fact the email doesn't acknowledge that I'm in Houston, or even Texas, is a little suspect.

Craig Seeman February 13th, 2011 06:32 PM


Originally Posted by Josh Bass (Post 1617924)
The fact the email doesn't acknowledge that I'm in Houston, or even Texas, is a little suspect.

I think the wedding travel guy also didn't initially mention NYC. He basically traveled to whatever city based on the where the couple he booked wanted to vacation.

I followed up asking for specifics. That's when he emailed me the Hotel address and name of a specific location in a specific park for the wedding, a cell phone number to reach him. He apologized because he could tell I was suspicious. He followed up with a link to his website in German, an English translation, links to several magazine articles written about his business, said he would pay me cash in full on the day of the shoot.

Ask for details such type of event and specific time and location. Don't give any details about you or your business. If he's really investigated you (he found your email) he'll know what city your located in and his reason for contacting you is because he has a specific location near you in mind. If he doesn't respond back with Event X, Location Y, Time Z you know something's amiss at that point. If he offers anything other than cash payment you know something's amiss.

Josh Bass February 13th, 2011 11:53 PM

Alright, skeptical as I am, I will take your advice. Thanks. I'll let you guys know.

Josh Bass February 14th, 2011 08:28 AM

his response to my inquiry:

"Thanks for responding to my email.I would love to meet up
with you to talk about this job but I am currently away on
business trip in United Kingdom so there will be no
interview for now.The project involves auditioning for
models across the United State of Amarica for huntmodelz and
fashionmag.The Snapshots and video will be used for the
cover page of their magazine and on their web site.

This project will be organize by my company and it's
strictly to display latest fashions designers and hair style
for commercial purpose.This exposition is going to be a two
days project starting from 1st to 2nd of March or 4th to 5th
of March 2011, 4 hours per day.The date depends on the date
you will be available out of the two dates stated above.The
audition will hold at a rented studio in your location,so
you don'thave to worry about traveling,the name and address
of the studio will be forwarded to you before the date of
the shooting.

Please be notified that your job payment will be paid in two
installments.An advance payment of your service would be

for you as soon as you agree to the terms.We will send you
a check payment for your first part payment so i advise you

back to me with your charges in your next email for the two


kindly fill out the Questionnaire below:

Name to be written on check:
Current Residential address in full[Not PO BOX]:
Current City:
Current State:
Phone number(cell and home):
Years of Experiences:
References Contact Details:
Nearest airport:
Health condition:
Other occupations:

Please can you get back to me with your charges in your next
email.Thanking you in anticipation of your prompt response.
Do have a nice day.

James _{____ for
HuntModelz.com & www.fashionmag.com"

Bass out!

Jim Michael February 14th, 2011 08:47 AM

Read this thread:

ModelMayhem.com - Huntmodelz.com - Help

Chris Hurd February 14th, 2011 08:55 AM

It has the earmarks of the most typical fraud attempt: send
us a bill and we will send you payment in advance, in the
form of a check. The check arrives for *more* than the
contracted amount. You are then urgently instructed to
wire back the difference right away. Whatever that amount
is, that's how much money you've just lost, because the
check they sent you turns out to be bogus.

-- you send them a contract for, say, $1800
-- they send you a check for $2800
-- they say oops, we made a mistake, we overpaid
-- they say we need you to wire back $1000 to make it right
-- they express urgency and that wire transfer is the only way
-- meanwhile the bank tells you their check was bad
-- you've just been scammed out of $1000

Chris Hurd February 14th, 2011 09:05 AM


Originally Posted by Jim Michael (Post 1618094)

See also this separate thread: ModelMayhem.com - They are stealing our images and info from MM...

Obviously, this instance is 100% total scam -- there should be no question at this point.

Adam Gold February 14th, 2011 12:55 PM

But if you want to play with him a little bit, tell him you only accept PayPal from Verified Members and/or certified checks/money orders, and that your terms of service dictate that all funds are held in escrow for thirty days and in the case of overpayments, they can only be applied to credits towards future balances. And make sure you only give him a Business address, not residential or any other personal details.

You'll never hear from him again.

I'm actually surprised there is a real venture behind this, no matter how shady and illegitimate it may be. The lack of spaces after the periods and commas says to me it's a scam written by a bad software translator. Of course some of our most valuable contributors here speak English as a second language, so we of course overlook minor typos, misspellings and grammatical errors, but there's no Western Language I know of that doesn't require those.


Craig Seeman February 14th, 2011 01:28 PM

It may be more elaborate than people are speculating.
Given what he's requesting he may have no job for you up front.
The info he's asking for may be exactly the kind of info he'd add to his website. He may list you as an available photographer/videographer. Some of those questions are extremely odd. Health condition? "Dead and decomposing" Ethnicity? Vulcan

Chris Hurd February 14th, 2011 01:50 PM


Originally Posted by Craig Seeman (Post 1618185)
The info he's asking for may be exactly the kind of info he'd add to his website.

Indeed, in the same way that he scraped content from Model Mayhem (see links in previous posts).

Tim Polster February 14th, 2011 05:18 PM

I think the best way to verify anything is to ask for a meeting or phone number (as you did). If they grant you one of these you have eliminated a lot of the fraudsters to begin with.

The Paypal suggestion is good because a bounced check will cost you from your bank fees.

Josh Bass February 14th, 2011 09:28 PM

Well, I am not at all surprised. I think I will simply cease responding at this point.

The most disappointing thing is that after years of scamming these folks have still not teamed up with an evil genius native English speaker who could actually help them not be so obvious.

Cynthia Granville February 22nd, 2011 10:29 PM

Re: scam/spam?
Of course I do get legitimate emails that are spelled just about this badly.
I also got the same two emails...wonder how they found us? I'm curious, so I've sent only information that he could obtain from public records and given him the Paypal/cert check wording...wonderful suggestion, I've been burned by bad checks before though have never fallen for the "return my overpayment" scam...and will report back if I hear anything further, which I doubt.

Cynthia Granville February 24th, 2011 12:36 PM

Re: scam/spam?
Here we go...Chris nailed it, it's one of those we-sent-you-an-overpayment scams. Just received a Fedex with a check for about seven times the amount I would have been owed for the job. And an email asking me to confirm delivery and deposit the check "at an ATM for immediate availability of funds" (i'm guessing this is so that a teller can't note that the check is bad), send them a copy of the deposit slip, then receive further instructions from them. i'm hoping that the amount is large enough that someone will actually prosecute them...there are numerous websites where one can report these scams such as FTC, and i'll be contacting everyone. in case someone actually wants to follow up, i should be able to stay in contact with them for a bit as they ignored my instruction about sending a certified check, money order, or paypal.
i'm a little disappointed, as a crime show buff :-), that they're not more sophisticated about this. it's not a particularly believable looking check, the company name doesn't relate to any they've mentioned (in fact, it's a dry cleaner!), and they didn't question when i simply declined to send them any personally identifiable info. they didn't even ask for a W9....

Craig Seeman February 24th, 2011 01:11 PM

Re: scam/spam?
If you want to tweak them, tell them the check has been confirmed bad and they need to resubmit funds to you through Western Union. If you really want an "incident" you can say the bank wants to forward the check to the FBI. If they're dumb they'll panic.

Dave Blackhurst February 24th, 2011 02:26 PM

Re: scam/spam?
Let me guess, return addy out of Canada? They busted a group up there in the great white north a few years ago for the same scam, I'm guessing they got out of the pokey, and are at it again, got one labelled as a "secret shopper" scam, drawn on a TX bank account of a legit company (that had NOTHING to do with "secret shopping, i'm quite sure!). It's made the news here in the LA area, so I'm guessing they are pretty busy sending out fake checks!

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