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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Scammers troll casting websites

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Good friend and employment lawyer, Nance Schick, just sent this information to me about an actor’s experience with a scammer. She asked me to pass it along to the actors I knew - her email address is linked at the bottom, in case you have any questions.

And now, from Nance:

Several of my friends are actors and models with profiles on Backstage.com. On 09/30/09, one received the following email message:

Sep 30, 2009 11:57:50 AM, januarymodels2feel@gmail.com wrote:

Hi, I am emailing you as regards your post on BACKSTAGE. I was really thrilled when i saw those wonderful shots of yours, I quite appreciate your looks and would like to work with you on a small contract if you don't mind.

I work as a Talent scouting Agent for CODEWEAR Clothing™ in San Diego, CA. The brand's CONCEPT started in 2004 by Postal Carrier Lonnie Reams. The company now expanding into all markets has created a niche product, appealing to all ages. The unique Community based apparel offers a creative, one of a kind way to represent your neighborhood. You can visit their website: http://www.codewearclothing.comfor more details.

We need models to model for the promotion sales just to help publish them and to boost their sales and help them pave their way up the clothing industry meeting up with world fashion business today. Shot will be taking and pictures will be used to advertise their products. Get back to me know if you are interested in the Job offer and let me know your charging plan for 2 hours just for a day shoot. The shot will be done at a location closer to you.

I await.


Originally, we were forgiving of the poor sentence structure and failure to provide more details regarding the purported talent agency. It’s not unusual for small business owners to take chances on other “little guys” when they’re starting out or doing their first expansion. However, this alleged job has now been “in the works” for two months, and there have been a number of discrepancies that caused me to contact Lonnie Reams directly today.

He confirmed for me that he has no relationship with any such agency, the alleged supervisor or any other such expansion efforts. He has been getting frequent calls about this and is concerned that this scam will make his business look illegitimate. It is not.

We suspect that the scammers will eventually ask for the model’s bank account number or send a check that the model will cash. This might also give them access to the model’s bank account information and possibly allow them to hack into the account. Wikipedia contains a thorough, plain-language explanation of such scams, which it calls the “Cash the Check System.” See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_fraud#Cash_the_check_system. The site also contains links to the various authorities who investigate internet fraud.

It makes me very angry that anyone would be targeted for such a scam, but it is especially unsettling because the models and actors who might accept such a low-paying job are probably struggling financially. Please don’t get sucked in!

Here are some of the Red Flags to watch for:

• Consistently poor grammar, sentence structure, spelling, etc. in what is supposed to be a professional communication. An occasional error is understandable in our electronic age, but frequent inability to express ideas clearly is odd in this competitive marketplace.
• Incomplete or minimal contact information. If you’ve been offered a job and the employer still doesn’t trust you enough to know who you are working for, you probably really don’t have a job.
• Notice that a payment is coming to you in an amount greater than what you had agreed to. We are still investigating, but we suspect the scammers will offer to pay you by check so they can get your bank account information from your endorsement or your bank’s verification. (If you are still writing your full bank account number under your signature when you sign your checks, stop this immediately.)

Take action:

• Google or otherwise investigate the companies or agencies you will supposedly be working for.
• Trust your gut and pass on offers that seem too good to be true or “weird.”
• Contact the purported client (e.g., Codewear Clothing in this case) for verification of the relationship.
• Consider filing a complaint with the Federal Bureau of Investigation or other government authority.
• Never endorse your checks with your full bank account number on them.

Finally, I have filed a complaint with the FBI and alerted the investigators of this latest scam. It could be difficult to trace the perpetrators, but if you have information that might assist the discovery process, I encourage you to submit it. Backstage.com had some system problems last week that might be connected to these scammers and possible hackers, which further complicates the issues. I have alerted them as well.

Be careful “out there” (online)!
Nance L. Schick, Esq.


UPDATE: Nance received a response from Backstage. Check out their message here.


Erin Cronican's career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has done national tours of plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. To learn more, check out http://www.theactorsenterprise.org.

12 COMMENTS - Click to READ:

dream said...

some one sent me a email just like this today

here it is


Hi, My name is January Smith, am emailing you as regards your post
on ModelMayhem. I was really thrilled when i saw those wonderful shoots
of yours, I quite appreciate your looks and would like to work with you
on a small contract if you don't mind.
I work as a Talent scouting Agent for CODEWEAR Clothing™ in San
Diego, CA. The brand's CONCEPT started in 2004 by Postal Carrier
Lonnie Reams. The company now expanding into all markets has created a
niche product, appealing to all ages.The unique Community based
apparel offers a creative, one of a kind way to represent your
neighborhood. You can visit our website: http://www.codewearclothing.com
for see the collection.
We need models to model for the promotion sales just to help publish them
and to boost their sales and help them pave their way up the
clothing industry meeting up with world fashion business today.
Shot will be taking and pictures will be used to advertise their
products. Get back to me know if you are interested in the job offer
and let me know your charging plan for 2 hours just for a day shoot.
The shot will be done at a location closer to you.

I await.

January Smith
CODEWEAR Clothing™

Anonymous said...

Still going on, I received this email just two days ago:

"Hi, I am emailing you as regards your post on craigslist.org.I quite appreciate your looks and would like to work with you on a small contract if you don't mind.I work a Talent scouting Agent for beauty magazine™ in San Diego, CA. The brand's CONCEPT started in 2004 by Postal Carrier Lonnie Reams. The company now expanding into all markets has created a niche product, appealing to all ages.The unique Community based apparel offers a creative, one of a kind way to represent your neighborhood. You can visit our website: www.codewearclothing.com,and company name,Lowriderarte.com, for more details. We need models to model for the promotion sales just to help publish them and to boost their sales and help them save their way up the clothing industry meeting up with world fashion business today.Shot will be taking and pictures will be used to advertise their products. Get back to me if you are interested in the Job offer and let me know your charging plan for 2 hours just for a day shoot.The shot will be done at a location closer to you."

Erin Cronican said...

Thank you so much for posting this, and for doing your research! It's disgusting what scammers will do to models and actors. I hope this post helped clear up some of the mystery of their email - if it appears too good to be true, it usually is.

Vienna said...

Seems like this scam is still going around... I received this e-mail two days ago via my Model Mayhem profile from a 'Brenda Archer'

karen hopson said...

I received this email, I contacted lia haverland on fb, she had no clue. This lia haverland is on LinkedIn, beware

Hello,
Hope this message get to you in a good condition?my name is Lia Haverland a scout agent i checked through your profile on LinkedIn and i will be interested in your service,i work for Printing/digital industry i do collations of good and high quality models pictures for their new printing machine brands like Hp latex,Roland printers,Uvjet printers etc. all over the world for their promotions of the machines and also for the test print of the machines all over the world.
Me and my sponsors are looking for makeup artist/Hairstylist in united states we have our models ready for the photo shoot as soon as we both agreed on a fixed price for your service which is only schedule for just 2 hrs of shooting the shoot shall be held in a location near you ,kindly get back to me asap if you are willing to work with us if i do not reply your msg asap please you can send me sms on 8107713718..

Thanks...

Makeup artist said...

Just got this email! Hello,
Hope this message get to you in a good condition?my name is Lia Haverland a scout agent i checked through your profile on LinkedIn and i will be interested in your service,i work for Printing/digital industry i do collations of good and high quality models pictures for their new printing machine brands like Hp latex,Roland printers,Uvjet printers etc. all over the world for their promotions of the machines and also for the test print of the machines all over the world.
Me and my sponsors are looking for makeup artist/Hairstylist in united states we have our models ready for the photo shoot as soon as we both agreed on a fixed price for your service which is only schedule for just 2 hrs of shooting the shoot shall be held in a location near you ,kindly get back to me asap if you are willing to work with us if i do not reply your msg asap please you can send me sms on 8107713718..

Thanks...

Anonymous said...

Just got this email today. Funny thing is, I'm not an actress or model nor am I pursuing a career as one. Someone needs to catch this scumbag.

Hi, I am emailing you as regards your post on talentpages.com, I would like to work with you on a small contract if you don't mind. I work a Talent  scouting Agent for beauty magazine™ in San Diego, CA. The brand's CONCEPT started in 2004 by Postal Carrier Lonnie Reams. The company now expanding into all markets has created a niche product,appealing to all ages. The unique Community based apparel offers a
creative, one of a kind way to represent your neighborhood. You can visit our website: www.codewearclothing.com, and company name www.Lowrifderarte.com for more details. We need models and actors from age 18-70 years old to model for the promotion sales just to help publish them and to boost their sales and help them save their way up the clothing industry meeting up with world fashion business today. Shot will be taking and pictures will be used to advertise their
products. kindly send your pictures to robertgilson1@outlook.com if you are interested

Anonymous said...

I just recieved an email very similar to this today, 10/30/2016. It's very easy to get caught up because somebody thinks you're amazingly talented or if you're in a rough place in life, but always make sure you are smarter than you are talented. If you have any internet access do your due diligence and research properly and thoroughly.

Unknown said...

Wow!! This is still going on on 2017! I'm glad I decided to Google this company! Thanks

Google+
Calendar
Web
more
Inbox
work offer
R
robert albert
to me
3 days agoDetails
Hi, I am emailing you as regards your post on modelmayhem.com,I would
like to work with you on a small contract if you don't mind.I work as
a Talent scouting Agent for beauty magazine™ in San Diego, CA. The
brand's CONCEPT started in 2004 by Postal Carrier Lonnie Reams. The
company is now expanding into all markets has created a niche product,
appealing to all ages.The unique Community-based apparel offers a
creative, one of a kind way to represent your neighborhood. You can
visit our website: www.codewearclothing.com, and company
name,www.Lowriderarte.com, for more details,we need models and actors
between the age of 18-70 years old to model for the promotion sales
just to help publish them and to boost their sales and help them save
their way up,the clothing industry meeting up with world fashion
business today.The shoot will be taking and pictures will be used to
advertise their products.our professional standard rate as slated for
this assignment is $250 per hour only,i.e. a total sum of $2000.00 for
the 8 hrs, as we'll be looking forward to working with you for 8 hrs
only kindly send your pictures to : robertalbert272017@gmail.com if
you are interested.

Anonymous said...

I received the same e-mail but I was so stupid that I didn't do better research. Because I sent them my bank account details. I am not sure if they can hack into my account with this info - some people/companies have their bank details and adress on websides. Anyway I am really worried now. I don't know what to do, I am thinking about transfering my money somewhere just in case.

Erin Cronican said...

Call your bank and explain the situation - they will tell you what to do next. I'm so sorry this happened to you...

Nikita Erickson said...

Just received this:

Hi, I am emailing you as regards your post on talentpages.com,I would like to work with you on a small contract if you don't mind.I work as a Talent scouting Agent for beauty magazine™ in San Diego, CA. The brand's CONCEPT started in 2004 by Postal Carrier Lonnie Reams. The company is now expanding into all markets has created a niche product, appealing to all ages.The unique Community-based apparel offers a creative, one of a kind way to represent your neighborhood. You can visit our website: www.codewearclothing.com, and company name,www.Lowriderarte.com, for more details,we need models and actors between the age of 18-70 years old to model for the promotion sales just to help publish them and to boost their sales and help them save their way up,the clothing industry meeting up with world fashion business today.The shoot will be taking and pictures will be used to advertise their products.our professional standard rate as slated f or this assignment is $250 per hour only,i.e. a total sum of $2000.00 for the 8 hrs, as we'll be looking forward to working with you for 8 hrs only kindly reply to : robertgilson1@outlook.com if you are interested.


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