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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Mistake or scam? (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Cliffg37
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Long Beach, CA
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I received an e-mail this morning from a man who wants me to perform at his daughter's 18th birthday party. OK, so far so good. Not my usual audience, but I can perform for teenagers easily, and have done that before.

But the scam bells are going off for several reasons.

1. I live in Southern California, he wants me to perform in Ontario Canada.
2. He did not give me a date, but rather a range of dates and the suggestion that I can choose what will work for me.
3. He does not mention money.
4. He does not give contact info, buts asks me to send him my phone number so we can discuss the event.
5. How did a man in Eastern Canada, 3000 mile away get my info?

If he made a mistake, the right thing to do is contact him and explain where I live and guide him to a more appropriate local performer.
If he is running a scam of some kind, I don't want to acknowledge his bull.

Anyone seen stuff like this before or have any ideas?

Thanks.
Magic is like Science,
Both are fun if you do it right!
Mindpro
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Definitely some red flags and reason for concern. sounds like it could have the foundation of a money/payment scam. Proceed cautiously.
Ed_Millis
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Yuma, AZ
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An important milestone birthday with no specific date? He's willing to fly in an American magician but hasn't planned anything else concrete enough to require venue contract dates? And no contact info?

Run!!

Ed
Dannydoyle
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Eternal Order
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How does he not have your phone number when he has your contact info?

Oh and you can easily perform for teenagers? Good for you!
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Magic_son
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Definitely sounds like major red flags... Be careful.
Donald Dunphy
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Victoria, BC, Canada
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On your Café profile, you have link to a website that only displays an email address for you. However, it does not provide the customer with information about your location, nor your phone number. So, if he is a genuine customer (and I'm not saying he is or isn't), how is he to know you're in California just from looking at your website?

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Cliffg37
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Long Beach, CA
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Dannydoyle, I have 26 years experience of teaching High School. Teenagers aren't hard to deal with, they are just their own special type of people.

But back to the issue at hand, this e-mail will be erased and not responded to. There is just too much here that makes no sense, and I have no interest in scams.

Thanks for the help guys.
Magic is like Science,
Both are fun if you do it right!
Cliffg37
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Long Beach, CA
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Donald, good point. I will have to think about that one.
Magic is like Science,
Both are fun if you do it right!
Donald Dunphy
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Quote:
On Nov 4, 2015, Cliffg37 wrote:
Donald, good point. I will have to think about that one.


Some of us had this conversation with another magician in the past. You have to put your location on your website, so that you can help your customers and help Google. This is SEO 101.

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......forum=44

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Dannydoyle
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I never understood why not giving people as many ways to contact you as possible was not common practice. I am always personally suspicious when there is no contact phone at all.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Cliffg37
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I can tell you why my phone number is not on the website.

Simple really, I am a classroom teacher. I have been a teacher for 26 years. I am far more than a hobbyist, but I am not a professional magician either. I sit somewhere in between. What I don't want are my students googling me (and they do) and getting my home phone number. If I was more on the professional side, I would have a separate magical phone number and advertise that. I actually toyed with getting one of those magic-Jack phone numbers for $25 a year, or what ever. I may do that one day, for now I am fine.

However... When I send out advertising post cards, or contact schools cold for my shows, I do give them all my contact info.

I think you are right, that a website should offer as much as possible when it comes to making contact, I am just a slightly different story.
Magic is like Science,
Both are fun if you do it right!
Mindpro
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Quote:
On Nov 4, 2015, Dannydoyle wrote:
I never understood why not giving people as many ways to contact you as possible was not common practice. I am always personally suspicious when there is no contact phone at all.


I couldn't agree more and that is the problem I have with performers or businesses that only want to use a website or contact form. Any professional or semi-pro should be offering as much information and contact info to make it as easy and convenient as possible to reach you in whichever way they prefer. I can't tell you how many performers submit to us and don't have their phone number in their promo, website or even the cover letter or accompanying e-mail.

Companies like Lead Pages and of course many of the gurus have guys convinced that "hand-off" operations is the way to go and somehow better. I have yet to be convinced of anything even close to this belief anywhere across the board - schools, theaters, kids parties, weddings, banquets, corporate events, resorts, cruise ships, agencies, literally anywhere.

When I see hand-off I immediately see a lazy performer, poor business person or someone, like perhaps cliffg37 that doesn't want to be contacted. I get there are circumstances where this is by design, but these are exceptions to the rules, not typical business operations as today's "automate your business" gurus would like you to believe. I will gladly put my business system and booking system and it's results up against any of these type "systems" or beliefs and assure you tat you will experience more personal relationships, better positioning, higher fees, more conversions, more book backs, more referrals, and more overall business success including many unseen intangibles.
Dannydoyle
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I would not say lazy personally.

But I do not like to deal with companies I can not directly contact a person. If I have a customer service issue I want it resolved by a person on the phone not an email.

Obviously this is a service industry we are in. That is just my preference. It is by no means the only way to do things.

But consider the following. When a person had an objection and you are on the phone, you have an opportunity to answer that objection. If you only use email and hands off that objection is automatically converted into a NO. For me this little fact alone is enough of a reason to not worry about all the reasons to not want to talk to people. Again just an opinion and nothing more.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
55Hudson
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Minneapolis
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Get a Google phone number. It is free

Hudson
Donald Dunphy
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Several people on Facebook got a similar inquiry, about a teen daughter's birthday with a party in Ontario. This is the wording that one performer in Texas rec'd. I wonder if yours is the same?

Quote:
Email today: On 11/4/2015 8:39 AM, john wooden wrote:
> Hello,
> My name is john wooden, I am a business man here and also CEO of Sterio Inc, a business here in Toronto, ON Canada. I am contacting to enquire on how to book (performer's name) for a special appearance at my daughter Jane's 18th private birthday party coming up next month. He is a big fan of magic and has mentioned (performer's name) as her idol in this field. The exact date has not been set yet but would be within NOV 25th - NOV 30th, pending your availability, do let me know which day is suitable for you if you are available and also get back at me with details on how to go about making this work as well as what it will cost. The occasion is to take place on my yacht, I will provide you further details on plans; if possible do provide me with a contact phone number if a phone conversation would be necessary. I will be awaiting your urgent response to my inquiry. Thanks.


Can't even decide if the daughter is a "he" or "she." There are many things that tip that this is someone trying to catch people with an overpayment scam.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Cliffg37
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The is the very one Donald, and thank you. I now am very comfotable with this be a scam now, and will not be following up. Like I said it rang alarm bells in my head.
Magic is like Science,
Both are fun if you do it right!
Donald Dunphy
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Victoria, BC, Canada
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Jane will be disappointed. You're her idol. lol!

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
cheesewrestler
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Chicago
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It's an established scam. There's different versions, but the basic idea is once the victim (musician, wedding photographer, magician, etc) agrees to the gig the scammers will send a check for much more than the agreed fee & ask the victim to deposit the check & send the overage to a wedding planner/caterer/whatever. The check will eventually bounce, the "caterer" is one of the scam gang, and there isn't any party.

They leave the date as open as possible to increase the chance that the victim will have a day available, and it's actually to their advantage to hire someone far away from the site of the nonexistent event so the victim doesn't drive by the site & find it's a gas station or whatever.
John Martin
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First a quick Google search would show that there's no company in Toronto by the name of Sterio Inc, first red flag. Secondly, if this is written by the CEO of any company, it's the worst english possible, second red flag. Finally and the most glaring reason that this is a scam, the writer says his 18 year old daughter "is a big fan of magic and has mentioned (performer's name) as her idol in this field". An 18 year old female that's a big fan of magic....maybe. That ANY birthday party magician is their idol......HIGHLY unlikely!!!! LOL

John
'Magic Idol Happy Hills Retirement Home'
cheesewrestler
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Quote:
On Nov 5, 2015, John Martin wrote:
First a quick Google search would show that there's no company in Toronto by the name of Sterio Inc, first red flag. '


They were kind of hoping nobody would do that ... Smile

Oh, and another thing about the distance thing, the "we heard you're so great" line is designed to appeal to the victim's vanity as well as explain why they aren't asking anyone local.

The first time I came across this scam was on a guitar forum a couple years ago. Some guy was asking about an email he'd received asking him to fly to Abu Dhabi to give guitar lessons to a multimillionaire's daughter. They were gonna send him a check to cover his airfare & everything! Because they'd heard that he was such a great teacher ... The rest of the forum persuaded him to decline the offer.

PS - I guess technically this is a "con" rather than a "scam"?
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