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BE AWARE --People trying to hire operators--SCAM

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#1 Kevin


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Posted 11 March 2011 - 06:17 PM

Please be aware as of 3/11/11

I was contacted over 10 days ago. Asking about rates for a Steadicam job. This was via email. The email was in broken english. See below:

I am Jordan Brown,a consultant/events organizer.I need your service as
a Steadicam Operator for an event coming up very soon.I would
appreciate if you would tell me your exact location since the project
is taping place simultaneously within the states of the federation.

The project will hold at a rented studio in your location,so you don't
have to worry about traveling,the name and address of the studio will
be forwarded to you before the date.please if interested you can
contact me via email jam19brown@gmail.com.

I replied, and over the course of several days...emails went back and forth.
But I was concerned...I could never CALL this company or person.

I also informed him that first time clients must pay via credit card.
Even though I did this....a check for 2 days of work was FEDEX'd to me.

I called the credit union in UTAH where it was cut...and they told me
I would have to use there merchant banking number to see if the account and
the amount was available. I did so...and the check for over 3500.00 was "good".

I still didn't like this...and held the check. This was the next email I received.

This is to confirm the delivery of the paycheck of $3,550 which covers
your first part payment for your services.The payment was delivered
this morning by FedEx with Tracking #: 796837819336.
Take the check to your bank now and have it deposited into your bank
account through the ATM for immediate availability of the funds. As
soon as you are done with the deposit, get back to me with a scanned
copy of the deposit slip for my office pursuit; And also for detailed
instruction on how to treat the fund.
I await to read from you as soon as possible. Do have a nice day.

At this point I knew something was wrong.....I could never get intouch with
this JAMES BROWN....as he said in an email he was in the UNITED KINGDOM on a job.

After telling this story to a collegue today...she said...the same thing happened
EXACTLY to a friend of hers.

When you deposit the check...they set a date. They then tell you they overpaid you.
You need to give them a check for "x" amount back. Meanwhile...that check...although
it was good...is tied to another account. Probably in Nigeria. 3-4 Weeks later...it
bounces...and your out the money...PLUS....they money you might have given them as a "refund".

OH...the Fedex address the check was sent from....I went to Google Maps....it's a strip mall in
Fullerton, CA....with a "FOR LEASE" sign on the address.

The name on the check was a husband/wife with an address. Google Maps...400k house...looks like it's for sale.
Called the bank....explained the issue. This account was hacked into. They were now aware of the problem.

Also...the FBI told me...some poor schlep probably took a "job at home"...and is sent these checks...and given
addresses to do FedEx shipments for them because "they're out of the country"....hence the bogus "from address" on the fedex and bogus name and phone number. Meanwhile....they think they'll get money for their "shipping services"...but there check will bounce too !

Sorry for the long post....but beware ! I'm glad my 30 years in the biz made me "inquisitive" about this bizzarre hunt for an operator.
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#2 Michael Wilson

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 06:31 PM

The broken english is a dead giveaway. Nothing is free out there. Not in this federation anyway. Better get back to my office pursuits. I pleasurably await your replies.
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#3 Kevin


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Posted 11 March 2011 - 06:37 PM

The broken english is a dead giveaway. Nothing is free out there. Not in this federation anyway. Better get back to my office pursuits. I pleasurably await your replies.

Actually...I've had some "first contact" emails with some broken english...from European clients...who were legit. BUT...there was contact info....and phone numbers....! HAHA....

I'm more bummed that they were able to hack the SOA website and get email addresses.... :)
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#4 Carl Wiedemann

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 07:13 PM


There's a prior thread discussing this mass solicitation. Many people listed with the SOA or on Mandy's received this. (I don't think there was a hack.)


It's a typical Nigerian "advance-fee fraud."


If you have any business info' posted on the web you're likely to receive more of these. The broken english, lack of specifics and awkward use of industry terms is usually a giveaway. Also: in many cases if you do a google search of the supplied e-mail address you can find either: other solicitations for a wide range of services or: postings from other people they've solicited indicating a fraud. In this case both. A search shows that jam19brown@gmail.com is also looking for a Petsitter!

In the 21st Century any legitimate media company has a website or, if an individual, has some kind of web presence. The interwebs is very helpful for learning about a company before getting into a rate negotiation.


Edited by Carl Wiedemann, 11 March 2011 - 07:18 PM.

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#5 Tony Deemer

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Posted 30 March 2011 - 05:33 PM

I received the same email from this JAMES BROWN character with the same results, I just joined SOA and thought wow this is great! Then the second email asked some questions that sent red flags up. I asked him for a phone call and told him we can talk in person only. I never heard back while thinking this was a scam I hoped I didn't piss off my first gig!

-P.S. Still looking for a gig, workshop with Garrett Brown this May - hope to get busy


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#6 kip ross

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 01:48 PM

[quote name='Kevin' timestamp='1299885440' post='63982']

The same clown did exactly the same thing to me. I strung him along and got a check for the same amount. Documented the names on the check, the bank it was "drawn on" etc. Reported it. I kept receiving instruction's from this dope throughout- looking forward to working w/ him and his folks, blah, blah.

I contacted him a couple of times thereafter with some personal editorial content for him. Finally,I got a reply; He told me to "go to hell". This brought a smile to my face!

Maybe I'll post a picture of the check.

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#7 mark morgan

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 05:34 PM

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