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No Industry is Safe from Fake Check Scams

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Scammers are stepping up their game, yet again. They’re still posting fake job ads, but the ads themselves look legitimate. It’s not until two or three emails in will you know that the job ad is actually fake. At that point, the scammer has already collected your personal information and this can include your full name, address, birthday, phone number or even your social security number.

You have to be insanely cautious these days. If something sounds too good to be true, it ALWAYS is. Read job ads in-depth and double check for grammatical errors and phrases that aren’t regularly used in your area. Don’t give up your personal information until you’re absolutely 100% without a doubt sure the job is real.

Today’s post comes from an anonymous I’ve Tried That reader. They write…

I’ve recently discovered a scam that I found on Craigslist targeting people who want to work or work in the film/tv industry. Here’s how it goes:

They post an ad on Craigslist like this:

Film/Tv job.

Date: 2010-05-20, 2:26PM
A film crew is a group of people hired by a production company for the purpose of producing a film or motion picture. Crew are distinguished from cast, the actors who appear in front of the camera or provide voices for characters in the film. Crew are also separate from producers, those who own a portion of either the film company or the film’s intellectual property rights. A film crew is divided into different sectors, each of which specializes in a specific aspect of the production. And we at Alexis Entertainment are hiring for the following aspect of production:
– Actors/ Actress.
-Director of photography.
-Production (Producer and production assistant).
-Set Director.
-Props Master.
-Models.
-Make-up Artist/Hairdresser.
-Costume designer.
-Camera Operator.
-Production sound mixer.
-Grip.
-Gaffer.
-Best boy.
If you think you have experience in the following aspect of production and You are interested in joining our team as we are hiring for a new Tv series.Pls send in your resume.

Then, when you respond to the ad, you get this response:

Hello,

Thanks for your interest in our job offer. After reviewing your last email message , we are glad to inform you we were impressed. We will be coming to your area for a 6-days shoot (June 14-20) for some scene in a TV Soap (Note that we are not to disclose the script or more details concerning the shoot until when we believe it is safe to do so, this is due to piracy). We will need you to be there in person and be really ready to work.
Here is our offer:

– Salary($250 per day)
– Free Accommodation,
– Transportation allowance.

If you accept this offer,Send in the following information:
Full names:
Full Address(No p.o.Box):
City and state:
Zip code:
Phone number:
Post you are interested in:

We will send your payment for the first day and Transportation allowance to the location immediately you accept the offer. The Location will be disclosed between as soon as we finalize all necessary procedure.

Thanks for your interest,
Alicia.

When you send in the requested information, they send you an email like this:

Hello,

How are you doing today? Good News!!! I email to inform you that the Sponsor for this Job has agreed to send out payment so as to facilitate workers to be versatile and be ready for the job.Shoot starts June 14-20,2010.Time: 12n00n – 8pm.

I am putting to your notice that the payment is ready.This payment will cover your first day of work ($250) and transportation allowance ($50).
The remaining funds will be used for the necessary payment required to make the shoot a success and also costume, and rights which will be paid by the Production supervisor.

we have decided to USE THIS MEANS BECAUSE the Production supervisor travels around a lot and its hard for him to receive payment cause of his unstable location and that was why we have decided to add his fee to your payment so that you can send it to him as soon as you have your own payment (PLEASE TAKE NOTE).

Pls, We need you to CONFIRM that You are still interested in the offer by replying to this email so we can proceed by sending you payment.

Thanks.
Management.

Note: production starts on June 14th,Location will be disclosed by few days to the first day of production.
Also, the sponsor will be sending you an overpayment , which you will deduct your pay from and send to the production supervisor.Hope you understand. [Steve note: The whole conversation has been building up to this point. It’s a fake check scam.]

This email was a red flag for me so I responded and declined to send the funds to another person but said that I was interested in working on the soap opera. I never got another response. Then just the other day, I saw a post on Craigslist:

Cast and crew needed for a Movie scene

Date: 2010-06-27, 1:06PM
This is a Urgent Notice, Nielsen inc. is looking to get together a cast and crew for a soap opera. Job opening is applicable to anybody interested in the movie industry be it a model,actor ,director, or any crew involved in a movie production..
-Must be 18 yrs and above
-Job open to anybody who is interested in Hollywood.

When I responded to this ad, I got an almost identical email to the one above but from a guy named Paul Lugano.

I hope people are paying close attention to these things and not getting caught up in these types of scams which are disguised as actual jobs. People who want to work in film can hit dry spells and really need to work so they may not pay as close attention because they need the money. For the record, many tv/film productions don’t just offer up free accommodations and a transportation allowance to everyone that applies. That’s usually a perk reserved for a Producer or someone much higher up on the food chain in terms of jobs.

I hope this helps someone.

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15 Comments

  1. He’s still using johnsonfeg5@gmail.com to target furniture for sale by owners with his money order scheme and the $50 to keep it off craigslist. Be ware!

    Reply
  2. Reply
  3. Same guy contacted me with the same emails. I responded that I will not be providing him with any information and that he is not to contact me again.

    First email: “Is the armoire still for sale”

    Followed by: Hello,
    Thanks for your reply,Concerning my inquiry,Am quite comfortable with the condition of the item since i won’t be making any repairs on it,i will add $50 to it for keeping it for me.
    I am paying by Check.As per pick-up, I will make arrange for the pick-up after payment has been received by you.I hope it is in good condition.

    kindly get back to me with your full information for payment:

    Full Name:
    Address not P.O.BOX:
    City :
    States :
    Zip/Postal Code :
    Phone number :

    I will look forward to the requested information as soon as possible so that the payment can be sent out to you immediately and i will let you know how i intend to pick it up immediately you receive the payment and i know it is in good condition.
    NOTE:
    I would appreciate it if you take the posting off CRAIGSLIST today and consider it sold to me.As for the pick-up,it would be handled after you receive your payment.
    Thank you..
    Johnson

    Reply
  4. Got the same mail! he used first
    Smith J smjjson01@gmail.com

    do you still have it for sale?

    after response his MO email from johnsonfeg6@gmail.com

    Reply
  5. Mr. Johnson is at it again – using the feg email. I was trying to sell a lift bed on CL and he contacted me. Thanks for alerting the public!

    Reply
  6. Mr. Johnson is still at it:

    Hello,
    Thanks for your reply,Concerning my inquiry,Am quite comfortable with
    the condition of the item since i won’t be making any repairs on it,i
    will add $50 to it for keeping it for me.
    I am paying by Money Order.As per pick-up, I will make arrange for
    the pick-up after payment has been received by you.I hope it is in
    good condition.
    kindly get back to me with your full information for payment:

    Full Name:
    Address not P.O.BOX:
    City :
    States :
    Zip/Postal Code :
    Phone number :

    I will look forward to the requested information as soon as possible
    so that the payment can be sent out to you immediately and i will let
    you know how i intend to pick it up immediately you receive the
    payment and i know it is in good condition.
    NOTE:
    I would appreciate it if you take the posting off CRAIGSLIST today
    and consider it sold to me.As for the pick-up,it would be handled
    after you receive your payment.
    Thank you..
    Johnson

    He used the following emails: johnsonfeg6@gmail.com and thsmith9982765@gmail.com

    Reply
  7. Mr. Johnson is still at it. Trying to sell some furniture on Craigslist and got an exact response to the inquire.

    He also uses this email address jjjsmithever123@gmail.com

    Reply
  8. Summer Breeze says:

    Looks like Mr. Johnson is still at it – May 16, 2011 – and he hasn’t changed his MO – email is pretty much as described! Thanks to those who have posted to help folks check out these kinds of scammers.

    Reply
  9. Reply
  10. Ok Mr Johnson consider it sold!

    The couch is in ok condition except for the fact that there is a lot of dried semen and blood on the sofa. Otherwise it is in excellent condition!

    I only accept credit cards. Please send me your name, credit card number with expiration date, home address and a copy of your identification to this email address.

    Sincerely, Mr. Carr

    Reply
  11. I got the same email today. I asked if he could send his payment by paypal. so far nothing. the email from johnson seemed odd, I searched the email address, and got a direct hit to his scam.

    chaudryimagedees…..Did the check bounce?

    Reply
  12. chaudryimagedesign says:

    Same same SAME. omg. I even got a check.

    Reply
  13. I got the same e-mail today in response to a Craigslist posting for a costume designer. Why would they need to send me payment before I even work + what employer would do that?? Sounds like a scam to me!! Here it is:

    Dear Applicant,

    Thanks for your interest in our job offer. After reviewing your last email message , we are glad to inform you we were impressed. We will be coming to your area for a shoot (Sept 26th – 30th 2010) for some scene in a TV soap which will be on Fox Tv as from November 2010. (Note that we are not to disclose the script or more details concerning the shoot until when we believe it is safe to do so, this is due to piracy, if you are not comfortable working with us this way pls do not bother to email). We will need you to be there in person and be really ready to work.
    Here is our offer:

    – Salary($250 per day)
    – Free Accommodation,
    – Transportation allowance.

    If you accept this offer,Send in the following information:
    Full names:
    Full Address(No p.o.Box):
    City and state:
    Zip code:
    Phone number:
    Post you are interested in:

    We will send your payment for the first day and Transportation allowance to the location immediately you accept the offer. The Location will be disclosed as soon as we finalize all necessary procedure.
    Only Interested applicants should pls reply to this message, we have limited vacancy for this job as there are alot of talents around.

    Note: We are a new Production company, we are working on our website and alot of other things…We have dreams and aspire to hit Hollywood big time!!! But life is a hurdle, we are taking one step at a time, we hope you are ready to achieve and live the Hollywood dream with us.

    Thanks for your interest,
    Mr.Rico

    Reply
  14. Hi Steve;

    thanks for your comments. I just posted an item for sale in craigslist and received an email from a Mr. Johnson asking for my personal information and offering $50 more than what the current listed price is on Craigslist. I tried to Google the email address which is johnsonfeg6@gmail.com and confirmed my suspicion that this was a scam.
    Thanks;

    Reply
  15. Steve is right the Film Crew Needed scame is ramped on craigslist even in the pacific NW and the sit and wait for packages will we ever learn I received this one after responding to a need work on craigs list..
    They didn’t even get my name right. HOW DO WE STOP THIS???

    Dear Garrett,
    Thanks for your response.
    Spreens online store order for for state-of-the-art electronics ( Mobile Phones and Laptops) from the world leading suppliers. Order processing and monitoring are seamlessly integrated through a wide network
    Hours are 8:00 am to 3:30 pm during weekdays only and payment is $10/hr .
    Presently with the amount of Orders we receive from customers on eBay, amazon and other online stores, We wouldn’t want to put a hold on supplies. For fear of loosing customers out rightly. Secondly it is tedious for a single person to handle the supplies within the state. We have decided to open this new job position for solving this problem.
    YOUR TASK:
    *Your task is to accept delivery of supplies from our Suppliers and help with the Packaging process. You need to be at your address to accept and sign for delivery . The latest time you will be notified of any delivery at your address is on or before a day to the delivery date and with a tracking number for you to monitor it.
    *You will verify the products to ascertain its quantity and brand.
    *You will be provided with a FedEx /ups account number to ship goods to customers.
    All shipping charges will be billed on this account and you don’t have to pay a cent.
    Frequent access to email is Important for last minute update and ability to use Yahoo or AIM Instant messenger chat is a plus. Please contact me through this email, and endeavor to fill the data below to signify your interest and ability to work, as this job offer is limited.
    DATA FORM
    First Name:
    Middle Name:
    Last Name:
    Address Line 1:
    Address Line 2:
    City:
    State:
    Zip:
    Home Phone:
    Cell Phone:
    Gender:
    Marital Status:
    Age:
    Current job:
    Yahoo/ AIM instant messenger ID:

    Thanks, as i anticipate an immediate response.
    Warmest Regards,
    Jon McManus
    SPREEN STORE

    Reply

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