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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » So, Do you think this is a scam (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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derrick
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I got the following letter this morning and it isn't passing my smell test as being legit. Something isn't right since it looks like my 12-year old wrote it on his Blackberry and he doesn't name my city. It is like he is fishing (phishing) for it. What do you guys think? I'm pasting it exactly as I got it this morning. Wonder if he has gotten a mailing list from somewhere?

Hi,
Thanks for getting back to me, we are currently not in the

country,we will require your services from the 20th to the

23rd of february.you will be performing in a venue within the

city, for 45 minutes twice daily till the end of the launch,

making it 4 days.
There will be about 60 adults from all walks of life in

attendance, sitting 6 per seat. You will be the surprise

guest (magician) at the launch because it always goes down

well.You will be required to walk around the
venue and perform close-up, because that is a lot more

personal and gives
our event the lift we are looking for. Your sole work will be

to entertain, I will like to get a quote for the duration and

time that you will be performing.
My mode of payment would be by Credit Card, because we are

offshore right now in an oil rig.please kindly total the cost

and get back to me asap.I hope you do have a POS machine for

charging the credit cards. Provide me with the total cost

asap.



ps: our accomodation and other arrangements will be made by

an agent that we've contracted so I need to get the quote

from you asap, to enable me conclude my arrangement with our

agent.(we are launching our new engine oil brand),
jugglestruck
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Here is one I got - anbody asking about credit cards - BEWARE!

Hi
My Name is Mr Frank Harris, I am looking for an experienced wedding planner or cordinator who will handle my wedding and arrange dinner for a group of people who will be attending the wedding ceremony. Seven will arrive few days before the wedding day.
The wedding is expected to hold on the 3rd of April,2010 and 40 to 55 guests are expected to attend. As I do not know what the guests might choose for their meals and drinks, I will make a prepayment as initial deposit for this booking via credit card once availability is confirmed by you.
All checks and balances will be made with you on 27th March which is the final day of the booking, You are to arrange for a Videography, Music, Entertainment, Photography, bridal and grooms wears, Officiant/Priest & Church, cake, flowers and hall.
If there is any of these items that is beyond your capability, you should let us know so that another company can handle it.
Get back to me with your response cos we don't have much time, so that we can process our accommodation within the region more convenient for you and us.

Best Regards,
Mr Frank Harris.
greatscott
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It could be a scam, but then again.....
I didn't see where they were asking for any info, other than what you would charge. Try to send a letter back to them, and ask for more info. You might also ask for a phone number, with which to contact them. And you can even include a quote for the time they mentioned. At that point, you haven't given them any info on yourself. If they fail to supply you with the needed info, then just figure it to be a scam, and go on with your normal business.

David
Skip Way
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I'm with you, Derrick - this has all the markings of a scam. My only question was, how can they rip you off with a credit card over the phone or by mail? So, I Binged and Googled and the creativity and energy that these low-life bungholes put into ripping off good people just never ceases to amaze and concern me.

Apparently, credit card receipts list your account number, merchant ID number and Terminal ID number along with your business name, address and phone number. One hacker site I found explains how to mine these numbers, use a hacker's guide to determine which bank or card provider uses that configuration and call their helpdesk with a terminal issue. They may succeed in getting the information they need once out of a hundred tries - but that hundredth try pays off huge! They can then access your terminal remotely and reroute payments to an account of their choosing.

Another option is a twist on the old Nigerian scam - they pay you a whopping down payment on a stolen credit card "to show good faith." When the final fees are set, they ask for a refund of the overpayment. If you send a check, they have your account information in their hands (Name, Bank name & location and account number) If you charge it back to the card, they get the numbers listed above. At the very least, when the credit card company retracts the funds from your account due to a stolen or contested card payment, you're out the refund you sent back to them and they have your cash. One warning site said that simply depositing a hacker's check into your account gives these guys everything they need to clean you out.

Me, personally, I'd blow them off largely because of the unprofessional initial contact, the crappy English and the lame off-shore explanation.

Let us know what you decide to do!
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
Christopher Lyle
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Derrick,

Sounds like a SCAM to me. Anything that says "OFFSHORE" or "OUT OF COUNTRY" coupled with the extreme vaugness of the communication just screams SCAM to me.

But then again, as it stands now, all they want is a quote. Provide them with one...but proceed with caution...

Christopher
In Mystery,


Christopher Lyle
Magician, Comic, Daredevil, and Balloon Twisting Genius
For a Good Time...CLICK HERE!
James Munton
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Derrick,

I got the exact same email a couple of days ago. Smells like a scam to me.
It's probably an overpayment scam - at the very least.

Best,
James
jazzy snazzy
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If it's not a scam, they definitely don't know what they're doing.
A substantial, non-refundable deposit is in order with the balance due when you show up for the gig. You can't do business without a phone # and address. Send them a standard contract to sign and return with payment.
"The secret of life is to look good from a distance."
-Charles Schulz
S2000magician
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They sound far too nice for it to be a scam.
derrick
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The letter came from a g-mail account?mmmmm Not drose@exxonmoble.com or something of the such. I told them I needed to know the name of the agency they would be useing, name of the venue, the name of their company and I would need to paid with a corporate check.

Frankly if they were using an agency of some kind, whey wouldn't the agency contact me for all of this?

Well see where it leads.
DanielGreenWolf
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Derrick, I received the same email from <charleswilliamma@gmail.com> and I also got a bad smell from it. Luckily, I dropped "magic scam" and "engine oil" into google and this topic popped up. So I am 99.9% certain that it is a scam. But on the off chance it wasn't, here is the email I sent to them.

(Note, I figured that he was talking about NYC because most people in CT, NY, & NJ refer to it as "The City")

------------
Charles,

Just so we're clear, I will only be available from the 21st to the 23rd. I will not be able to perform on the 20th due to a prior contractual obligation.

That being said, for what you are asking for (what I believe you are because your writing is a little confusing), is 2 45-minute sets of strolling magic in New York City for the launch of your new Engine Oil Brand for every day I can perform (which will be 3 days).

My first question is I am guessing that these 45 minute sets would be for different groups of 60 people? Or the same 60 people over the course of 4 days?

Aside from that, I use Paypal for any Credit Card Transactions. It has served me very well in the past.

Based on what you are asking for, it will come out to $XXX.xx a day, which comes to a total of $XXXX.xx for the 3 days. There are contracts that will be required to be signed (along with a non-refundable deposit of 25% of the total fee (Which comes out to $XXX.xx) before I consider this event booked. If this fee is too high for you, I am willing to negotiate but the contract and 25% deposit are non-negotiable.

I would much prefer to continue this conversation over the phone with you so we can confirm details. You can reach me at either of the numbers below and please feel free to contact me ASAP, as my schedule fills up quickly and this event isn't considered booked until I have a signed contract and deposit cleared.

The information I will need from you (which you can send via replying to this email)

The Name of Your Company
Your Name and Title
Your Company's Address (where I would mail the contracts)
The address where the Event is taking place
The times you wish me to perform at the event
The name of any contact people who will be at the event so I can coordinate with them, along with their cell phone numbers

Thank you again and I look forward to hearing from you.

Much love,
Daniel GreenWolf
(Various contact info here)

----------------------

As you can see, I was very professional with them, but very honest about what I needed in order for me to book this event. This is information I would require from any corporate event, but far more information than a scammer would be able to provide, and if they did, it would be fairly simple to check out the story based on this information.

Also, by using Paypal for credit cards, it adds an extra level of protection for myself, because if they do go as far as to make the payment to me, it would have to make it through paypal's verification first. Which most scammers are definitely not fans of.

Every once in a while, especially if you use your website to do business as much as I do, you get email scams like these. Unfortunately, sometimes you get people so bereft of typing ability and technical knowledge that their letter LOOKS like a scam letter, but isn't. So, if you're 100% professional with everyone you interact with, you protect yourself and your reputation.

I'll keep everyone updated on future emails in this subject. It might be an interesting experiment.
-Much love,
Daniel GreenWolf
Celtic Magician

www.GreenWolfMagic.com
M Sini
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Derrick,

I got the SAME, EXACT email!
derrick
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Sounds like a we need to spread a word of warning. I don't know what they are up to, but it looks like a phishing expedition of some type. I'm giving them no more information until I get a venue for the event, a company name and number and the name of an agent..... that should be doing all this leg work for any legitimate client.
Adam1975
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Engine oil ? Sounds more like snake skin oil................
Ive upped my standards.Now,up yours!
dcjames
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From my perspective the very first line indicates something is amiss...

"Thanks for getting back with me..."

Have you had any contact at all with the sender of the email prior to receiving this message? If not, there's your answer... Phishing.

I would make no contact and would add their email address to my spam list so any further messages go directly to your junkmail folder.

My 2 cents.

Best,

dc
“Magic is very easy to do - poorly.”

Tommy Wonder
The Books of Wonder
Volume 2
Walking Bob
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Café Members

Something real similar to this was going around a few years ago. I live in Iowa and I get an email from a guy in California saying that he wants to hire me to perform at his daughter's wedding. I answer back and say that I could but figuring transportation and all it would be a pretty big bill. He writes back and says send me a bill. So I figure up some outlandish bill of $4,000, not bad for 3 hours of walk around. He writes back and says where do I send the check. I had seen this before so never responded after this. From what I had heard he does send a check but for more than the amount you ask for. Then about the time you receive the check he emails and says he mistakenly over paid and could you send the balance back to him. And after you send the balance back his check bounces and you have been had.

Play along with this and see where it takes you.

Have a nice day,

Walking Bob in Iowa
NicholasD
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Sounds like someone from out of the U.S. trying to sound too business like. From my experience( I received a number of scam letters when I was a bank officer) this has all the earmarks of a scam. I'd stay away!
Hedberg
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I think its a scam.
ninjaduffy
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Its a scam.. I have the same email as Derrick......
Its is so a scam

Kev UK

Shropshire.
Ross W
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Mmy favourite bit's where he says:

"there will be 60 adults in attendance, from all walks of life, sitting six per seat."

That's a weird gig!
Author.
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stijnhommes
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Quote:
On 2010-01-22 06:27, ross welford wrote:
Mmy favourite bit's where he says:

"there will be 60 adults in attendance, from all walks of life, sitting six per seat."

That's a weird gig!
That was my first thought, but that was my writer's side speaking. Some people genuinely don't have a clue when it comes to spelling, vocabulary and grammar, so I wouldn't blow them off just on that basis. The news that more people have been contacted with the same message is more disturbing. If you don't work the same area, then DON'T ignore the red flag and run like the wind. Otherwise, proceed with caution.
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