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Is this a scam?

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Ned Miller
Is this a scam?
on Feb 16, 2016 at 6:04:17 pm

It’s not a Nigerian prince but this does smell a little. A couple of weeks back I received an email from someone with an American or British type name from Romania and he inquired about me doing a two camera shoot in a fancy downtown (union) hotel at a conference. I wrote back with a list of questions and said I could do an estimate once I had the answers.

Let me say it is common for foreigners to email and hire me because I have high Chicago SEO, but seldom from an economically depressed country. I had asked for more details about him, his company and the project and no response. I Googled his name and nothing appears. He has a Yahoo email address. I never sent him prices.

I received an email from him this morning saying his “associate” has sent me a check and I should reserve the date. He included a postal tracking number and it seems legit, the postal office says there will be an envelope arriving soon. I do recall there is a scam on Craigslist where the crooks send a check but can’t recall the details. The only trap I think I face is if I cash the check, they cancel the shoot, and I am expected to refund them their money but their check bounces, right?

So, anyone been through this before? It is not uncommon for someone who does not know what he is doing being assigned to line up the video crew.

Ned Miller
Chicago Videographer
http://www.nedmiller.com
www,bizvideo.com


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Todd Terry
Re: Is this a scam?
on Feb 16, 2016 at 6:13:51 pm

This sounds much like a scam where they will send you a check that just happens to be for "too much" and asks you to refund the difference... or will cancel and ask you to write them a refund check.

And of course, their original check is rubber.

Who in their right mind would send a check without ever even discussing prices? Answer, obviously.... no one.

Laugh it off and steer clear.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Mark Suszko
Re: Is this a scam?
on Feb 16, 2016 at 8:06:40 pm

If you still feel conflicted, you can sign the check over to me.:-)


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Greg Ball
Re: Is this a scam?
on Feb 17, 2016 at 7:14:49 pm

Ned I also had a similar request for about a shoot at a local conference. It came from someone named Patrick Allanl LLC in Romania. Here's their initial email.

We are Allan Patrick LLC llc Romania looking for professional Video
Production Company to Film Our incoming event which 15th,of March &
16th of March 2016 in Film in South Florida

Description


1.]Project Part 1: To film all the presentations of speakers between
12pm and 2pm over 2 days in Film in South Florida , Capturing the
audio and any Power Point slides (if used).


Project Part 2: To produce a short behind the scene style event
highlight video of the 2 day event. To possibly include Vox Pop style
interviews with either delegates and or key speakers.

Waiting to read from you soon Pls email us to allanpatrick06@gmail.com

They answered all of my questions. The key point was that I sent them a full agreement that asked for payment to cover my costs 1 month before the shoot. Strangely they never responded after that. I guess they figured out that in one month, their check would bounce. I suggest that EVERYONE always write up a proposal and agreement even for the smallest of shows. You'll be glad you did.



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Ned Miller
Re: Is this a scam?
on Feb 17, 2016 at 11:16:05 pm
Last Edited By Ned Miller on Feb 17, 2016 at 11:19:18 pm

Greg!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes! Same guy, word for word. What’s different is I just received a check in the mail for $4900! One minute after getting it from the mailbox I got an email from him (aledgedly in Romania) asking if I received the check and I answered Yes. Freaked me out, as if someone was watching me get it from my mailbox.

Took a circuitoutous route to my bank in case I was followed, and the banker made some calls and the check is bogus. So I emailed him back saying I don’t want his job because it is a union venue and I won't deposit his check since I want to buy time to get law enforcement involved. Then he emails me back asking if I can work in a small suburban hotel and I say Yes. Meanwhile I will take it to the postmaster general, they have a powerful fraud enforcement arm.

I’d like to spread the word about him although he can easily change his name.

Ned Miller
Chicago Videographer
http://www.nedmiller.com
www,bizvideo.com


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Greg Ball
Re: Is this a scam?
on Feb 18, 2016 at 2:06:15 am

Wow Ned! That's pretty freaky! He even told me that his budget was $3,200. I told him that wasn't gonna cut it. When I asked him what venue the conference was goung to be held at, he said the Holiday Inn Express, 3 miles from my office. How convenient!!! (Although I don't think they have a meeting facility there)

So he must look up your location on-line and then find a local hotel to name. I wrote him back today to let him know he's busted. Glad we both found out before it was too late.



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Todd Terry
Re: Is this a scam?
on Feb 18, 2016 at 2:15:44 am

[Greg Ball] " I asked him what venue the conference was goung to be held at, he said the Holiday Inn Express, 3 miles from my office."

I got almost exactly the same email a couple of weeks ago, almost the same wording, except the event was a wedding. I started to simply reply that we don't do weddings, but since I could tell it was a scam from the get-go I decided to trade a few emails just to jerk them around a bit.

I, too, asked what the venue was, and was given the address of a hotel in San Francisco. I replied that was all fine and good, with the minor exception that we are 2,300 miles from there on the opposite coast.

To my surprise they did reply, saying "We will take care of your travel expenses." For a wedding video. Yeah.

By then I was bored, told them I knew it was a scam and to peddle their crap somewhere else. Didn't hear back that time.

Amazing what people will try.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Ned Miller
Re: Is this a scam?
on Feb 18, 2016 at 2:20:04 am
Last Edited By Ned Miller on Feb 18, 2016 at 2:22:56 am

Hey Greg,

When you say you let him know he's "busted", did you mention me? I hope not because I was going to get the postal service on him tomorrow and I was hoping to trace him down physically. Really bust him, not just metaphorically, but get him arrested. He committed a felony s using the mail. Smart fraudsters use Fed Ex and UPS.

Ned Miller
Chicago Videographer
http://www.nedmiller.com
www,bizvideo.com


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Greg Ball
Re: Is this a scam?
on Feb 18, 2016 at 2:39:07 am

Hi Ned,

No I didn't mention you. I just wrote this:

Apparently your request was not real, and you're running a scam. I guess asking for a check a month in advance along with a signing a legal agreement was too much for you!

SHAME ON YOU!!

Go after him Ned, and if you need a witness, I'm here.

Greg



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Ned Miller
Re: Is this a scam?
on Feb 22, 2016 at 1:49:01 pm

UPDATE:

Thank you Greg for not spilling the beans. I had great fun with him for a few days. I acted naive and susceptible. He wanted the deposit to go to a bank branch in Phoenix and I claimed my brother who lives there would make a cash deposit, but I kept delaying it day after day and he got quite excited that his money was coming, that he found an idiot. Fun for awhile. Then he started pressuring me. By then I had notified the Postal Service police and they had said to also get the FBI involved since his check crossed state lines. Although he is probably foreign based, most likely Nigeria or Romania, his compatriot in the US had counterfeited the check and may have fingerprints on the paperwork so I forwarded that to the FBI. Someone local opened their checking account.

I notified Production Hub and asked them to post a public service announcement and will do the same with DVXUSER.com. I don't think anyone in our biz is stupid enough to send a refund to him, but I did waste twenty minutes of my life creating a detailed bid when his first email came in. So I hope by spreading the word people won't even bother doing a bid. Although his English skills are atrocious I often deal with foreigners, so I had to treat his first email as a possible gig. I'm like Pavlov's dog when an inquiry email comes in!

Ned Miller
Chicago Videographer
http://www.nedmiller.com
www,bizvideo.com


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Greg Ball
Re: Is this a scam?
on Feb 22, 2016 at 1:56:00 pm

Not a problem Ned. I also spent time preparing a proposal and an agreement. I sent him questions and he answered them. I told him his requested price was too low give the scope of the project. And he easily agreed to the new number. I think what threw him off was that I requested payment a month in advance, and sent him a legal agreement. I never heard back from him even though I sent him about 5 emails.

I hope these guys get nailed. Thanks for all you've done for others in the industry. Let me know if anything happens.

Greg Ball, President
Ball Media Innovations, Inc.
https://www.ballmediainnovations.com


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Misha Aranyshev
Re: Is this a scam?
on Mar 29, 2016 at 4:47:52 am

Look people, nobody uses checks for business or personal transactions besides a few backwards countries like the US and the UK. In modern places they wire transfer money.


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Tom Sefton
Re: Is this a scam?
on Mar 29, 2016 at 9:22:06 am

Um....I get cheques from one client all the time, and they are listed on the ftse100..?

I had a very similar scam which came from Abu Dhabi and is almost word for word the same as the rfp shown above. Filming a conference/fashion show at a hotel in London. They went away when we demanded payment of 50% up front

Co-owner at Pollen Studio
http://www.pollenstudio.co.uk


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Ned Miller
Re: Is this a scam?
on Mar 29, 2016 at 10:38:18 am

I got another scam letter just yesterday. From the wording it seems like the same operation. See below. Also, about 90% of my clients send a paper check although most foreigners pay electronically. Here is the scam email from yesterday, but I get legit requests all the time that are similar:

We are Taylor Baldwin llc Romania looking for professional Video
Production Company to Film Our incoming event which 26th of
April in Illinois United State

Description



Project: To produce a short behind the scene style event
highlight video of the 2 day event. To possibly include Vox Pop style
interviews with either

delegates and or key speakers.



Project Detail,

Details of the Project

1,A full day Crew for 8 hours with 2 Camera

2.full production inclusive of editing

3.Promotional Event

4.] finished video going to be used for point of sale video, cable tv,

Waiting to read from you soon

Taylor


Ned Miller
Chicago Videographer
http://www.nedmiller.com
www,bizvideo.com


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Greg Ball
Re: Is this a scam?
on Mar 29, 2016 at 9:13:08 pm

We are Allan Patrick LLC llc Romania looking for professional Video
Hi Ned, of course it's fake. Here's the letter that I received a while back. Take note of project part 2. Sound familiar?


Production Company to Film Our incoming event which 15th,of March
&16th

1.]Project Part 1: To film all the presentations of speakers
between 12pm and 2pm over 2 days in Film in South Florida , Capturing
the audio and any Power Point slides (if used).



Project Part 2: To produce a short behind the scene style event
highlight video of the 2 day event. To possibly include Vox Pop
style interviews with either delegates and or key speakers.



Waiting to read from you soon Pls email us.

Greg Ball, President
Ball Media Innovations, Inc.
https://www.ballmediainnovations.com


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Bruce Taylor
Re: Is this a scam?
on Mar 30, 2016 at 6:53:58 pm

I got the same thing here today. I just updated that I also had an office in NH besides the NY area and low and behold, Allan strikes again.

We are Allan Patrick llc Romania looking for professional Video
Production Company to Film Our incoming event which 26th of
April in New Hampshire United State

Description



Project: To produce a short behind the scene style event
highlight video of the 2 day event. To possibly include Vox Pop style
interviews with either

delegates and or key speakers.



Project Detail,

Details of the Project

1,A full day Crew for 8 hours with 2 Camera

2.full production inclusive of editing

3.Promotional Event

4.] finished video going to be used for point of sale video, cable tv,


Kindly email us the Full Quote for the Project as soon as possible.


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Greg Ball
Re: Is this a scam?
on Mar 30, 2016 at 9:07:44 pm

Ahhhh Allan Patrick again. The well known scam artist.

Greg Ball, President
Ball Media Innovations, Inc.
https://www.ballmediainnovations.com


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dave fisher
Re: Is this a scam?
on Mar 30, 2016 at 11:42:28 pm

He is heading my way, too!


We are Allan Patrick llc Romania looking for professional Video
Production Company to Film Our incoming event which 26th of
April in Ohio United State

Description



Project: To produce a short behind the scene style event
highlight video of the 2 day event. To possibly include Vox Pop style
interviews with either

delegates and or key speakers.



Project Detail,

Details of the Project

1,A full day Crew for 8 hours with 2 Camera

2.full production inclusive of editing

3.Promotional Event

4.] finished video going to be used for point of sale video, cable tv,


Kindly email us the Full Quote for the Project as soon as possible.

Allan



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Scott Cannon
Re: Is this a scam?
on Mar 31, 2016 at 11:25:54 am

Yes it is. I just got the same thing. Here it is in its entirety.

We are Allan Patrick llc Romania looking for professional Video
Production Company to Film Our incoming event which 26th of
April in Pennsylvania United State

Description

Project: To produce a short behind the scene style event
highlight video of the 2 day event. To possibly include Vox Pop style
interviews with either delegates and or key speakers.

Project Detail,

Details of the Project

1,A full day Crew for 8 hours with 2 Camera

2.full production inclusive of editing

3.Promotional Event

4.] finished video going to be used for point of sale video, cable tv,


Kindly email us the Full Quote for the Project as soon as possible.

Allan


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Bob Mark
Re: Is this a scam?
on Mar 31, 2016 at 1:45:34 pm

I just got this same BS today. Red flags: consumer looking gmail address, and no link to a company website.

Here's the smeller:

"We are Allan Patrick llc Romania looking for professional Video
Production Company to Film Our incoming event which 26th of
April in Virginia United State

Description

Project: To produce a short behind the scene style event
highlight video of the 2 day event. To possibly include Vox Pop style
interviews with either

delegates and or key speakers.

Project Detail,

Details of the Project

1,A full day Crew for 8 hours with 2 Camera

2.full production inclusive of editing

3.Promotional Event

4.] finished video going to be used for point of sale video, cable tv,


Kindly email us the Full Quote for the Project as soon as possible.

Allan"

Bob


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walter biscardi
Re: Is this a scam?
on Mar 31, 2016 at 2:05:05 pm

[Bob Mark] "Red flags: consumer looking gmail address"

That part should not be a red flag. I work with many broadcast and corporate producers and even well known television hosts who all use 'consumer' gmail accounts.

The rest of it, yeah, that's pretty obvious, but "consumer looking gmail address" doesn't sway me one way or the other.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

Craft and Career Advice & Training from real Working Creative Professionals

Blog Twitter Facebook


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Peter Pilafian
Re: Is this a scam?
on Mar 31, 2016 at 3:09:26 pm

Yes, I just got the same email today.

OK - so what is he trying to do? Is it just the hopes of a small refund for "overpayment" by a check he sends that will never clear anyway? (Good luck on that one!) Is he trying to confirm where we have our valuable video camera gear stored? Or is it a fancy phishing routine which will be used later for nefarious purposes, once "he" confirms that "we" are a legit production company?

Most criminal acts have a discernable purpose. This one I find baffling.
But thanks to all for these posts, it has saved me from wasting time responding to Mr. James!
-- Peter

Horizon Pictures, Inc.
Wilson Wyoming


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Todd Terry
Re: Is this a scam?
on Mar 31, 2016 at 3:13:47 pm

What this type of scammer almost invariably does is "accidently" overpay and ask you to send them a check (or wire them the money) for the difference... or pays in full and then cancels a job and asks for a refund. Their original check, of course, is rubber.

I wouldn't worry about them finding out where your gear is stored or anything like that (isn't that going to be readily available info anyway?). In all likelihood these people are halfway around the globe, the chances of a drop-in are pretty slim.

As is any chance of catching them.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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walter biscardi
Re: Is this a scam?
on Mar 31, 2016 at 3:29:58 pm

[Todd Terry] "What this type of scammer almost invariably does is "accidently" overpay and ask you to send them a check (or wire them the money) for the difference... or pays in full and then cancels a job and asks for a refund. Their original check, of course, is rubber."

Yep, get enough people to send some money to you and it adds up. It's another variation on the Prince of Nigeria asking us to send him $10,000 so he can send us our unclaimed millions. Just a smaller version of it so it looks legit.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

Craft and Career Advice & Training from real Working Creative Professionals

Blog Twitter Facebook


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Bob Mark
Re: Is this a scam?
on Mar 31, 2016 at 5:01:02 pm

Yeah, I guess you are right, but it still is a concern to me.

Bob


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Peter J. DeCrescenzo
Re: Is this a scam?
on Mar 31, 2016 at 3:45:10 pm

Thank goodness for the COW. Thanks all for the heads-up!

Here's the version of the scam email I received today:

================
"We are Allan Patrick llc Romania looking for professional Video
Production Company to Film Our incoming event which 26th of
April in oregon United State

Description

Project: To produce a short behind the scene style event
highlight video of the 2 day event. To possibly include Vox Pop style
interviews with either

delegates and or key speakers.

Project Detail,

Details of the Project

1,A full day Crew for 8 hours with 2 Camera

2.full production inclusive of editing

3.Promotional Event

4.] finished video going to be used for point of sale video, cable tv,


Kindly email us the Full Quote for the Project as soon as possible.

Allan"
===============

---

http://www.peterdv.com
Blog: http://herefortheweather.wordpress.com


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Ned Miller
Re: Is this a scam?
on Apr 1, 2016 at 2:23:33 am

I'm the OP and here's my new theories on this:

• They are targeting the video industry because they MUST have had some previous successes. Perhaps they are also hitting up other industries but ours is ripe for prospects holding out a carrot, we respond, they make a deposit and book us. They're probably trolling similar industries, probably in the live event sphere I bet. It is rare for freelance communities to share information but we have this forum! Yippee!

• We all know that our banks want 3-5 business days to clear the checks we deposit. So, someone in our biz saw their deposit check had cleared and decided to "keep" the scammers money but send a portion back. My theory is that someone thought they were scamming the scammer. However, when a check bounces on the bank they route it again before declaring it non-sufficient funds and this takes more days. When I brought in Allen's worthless $4900 check to see if it was legit the banker told me they could take up to two weeks before declaring it rubber. But if I did deposit this worthless check they would immediately give me $400, however, I'd have to pay it back when the check bounced.

All of this is in the fine print on the forms we sign and don't understand when we open a checking account. So it is plausible that an otherwise intelligent person in the video production industry deposited a check that didn't smell quite right, yet when they saw it "cleared" in their deposit ledger online they felt they could send part of the money back to the scammer because after all, it did clear. That's my theory.

I don't believe anyone making a living in the hyper competitive world of video production could be so dumb as to fall for this scam but I do believe that if they thought erroneously that the check had really cleared and the funds were in their account, they may have sent a portion back figuring they put one over on the scammer.

Ned Miller
Chicago Videographer
http://www.nedmiller.com
www,bizvideo.com


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Robert Camitta
Re: Is this a scam?
on Apr 8, 2016 at 8:26:31 pm

I not only responded to one of these emails I got a check today. They told me their budget was $3200. I sent them an estimate for $4900, no arguments and the check is for $4900.There is only one small problem. I called the bank which the cashier's check was drawn against Public Service Credit Union. They have no record of the check being issued. It's funny that the check was signed by the bank's ex CEO, he's no longer there. Also the letter's return address is from a college in Colorado Springs, but the tracking info says it came from Waynesville, NC.One special part of their request was for a video of the meeting and interviews with attendees, but their stated use of the video is for point of sales. It would make interesting viewing at some store.



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Paloma Zapata
Re: Is this a scam?
on Nov 4, 2016 at 1:45:54 am

Hi everyone!

I also got this e-mail:

We are looking for professional Video Production Company to Film Our
incoming event in Spain 6th,& 7th,of December

2016.

Description

1.]Project Part 1: To film all the presentations of speakers between
12pm and 2pm over 2 days in Film in Pr,Capturing the audio and any
Power Point slides (if used).




Project Part 2: To produce a short behind the scene style event
highlight video of the 2 day event. To possibly include Vox Pop style
interviews with either delegates and or key speakers.


Format....HD

Budget.......€10,000

Camera....2

Speakers....4

Assist us to look for your Nearest Event Center for the Project.

Kindly email us back with Proposal with any other Equipment that we
may need to use for the event

Waiting to read from you soon

Shezmina


The most amazing thing is that I was looking for this company and it exists and the manager´s name is Shezmina...


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Ned Miller
Re: Is this a scam?
on Nov 4, 2016 at 2:26:57 am

Well, you never know. Just because the English grammar is a little rough that doesn't mean it's a scam. Since I started this thread way back in February I was contacted by a French marketing agency to film and edit two videos at a trade show at our largest convention hall in Chicago. I thought, "Oh no, here we go again." But it turned out to be a real gig! They had a real website. The principals of the company appeared on the internet. Etc. But the original wording of their first email looked like one of the scammers returning.

What you have to look out for is: After you present your estimate they will come up with a reason as to why they have to send an Advance Payment. After they do that they will tell you that the gig was cancelled and to please send the money back but keep perhaps 35% for yourself. That is the red flag for the scam.

Also, they list a 10,000 Euro budget. That is very high for a two day shoot and edit, especially since you are only filming two hours per day. So to me that is a red flag.

However, there are fools out there and perhaps this woman's boss told her to "find a video service and don't spend over 10,000 Euros!" I have seen that plenty of times. Every gig starts with a phone call or email so you must run this down, it may be a good lead. Let us know.

Goo luck,

Ned

Ned Miller
Chicago Videographer
http://www.nedmiller.com


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