Workshop Scam

Recently an email has been sent to any voiceover email online this person could find. This comment was sent to me by fellow voice actor Paul Strikwerda:

Hi fellow-scamwatchers! I just received the following email:


I am Mr George Maxwell from the UK I would like to book for 4 weeks voice over training classes for 3 hours each day,as the case may be, Monday through Saturday (morning hours or evening hours) for a group of 8 adults,We would be coming over to your location, and as part of our plans we intend to visit your facility and have classes/private lessons in that space of time,can you send us your offers for the classes? Do you have guest rooms or is there any 3 star hotel close to your studio?
DATE: 5th July TO 2nd Aug 2010
. I would love to get the total cost or a quote/estimate. Do you accept credit cards?you are required to get back to me ASAP Regards

The same George Maxwell sent an identical email to BBC Radio 2 Newsreader and owner of BigFIsh Media Voiceovers Ricky Salmon.

A few years ago, some voice-over artists received an email that was remarkably similar to the one above:

My name is leesa James,I am a consultant working with the Films federation in Kenya in Africa.
I want to know if you are available for service?Cause currently the Films federation are seeking for a acting coach who will train thier actors for a movie project.

The training will go on for four months,The actors that you will be training are six in numbers consisting of four females and two males.

You will be recieving $15,000 every week as your salary,Including $10,500 which will be used for accomodation and feeding for the players.Plus an additional $7,500 which will serve as training and transportation fee.

The actors will be comming over to your place for the training.cause the Films federation are aware of the fact that they will get the best training in the Us.The Films federation will simply make the funds available for the

If you will be available for this coaching position? get back to me inorder for me to provide you with more information about this coaching position.

leesa James”

Here’s the deal. The scam artists are contacting businesses found on Craigslist, newspaper, and online advertisements about hiring a company to perform services. The scam artist then sends the company a fraudulent check before services are performed and tells the company accounts payable has made a mistake and instructs the business to cash the check, keep $500 for the inconvenience, and Western Union or Money Gram the rest to a UPS box. The UPS account is registered under a false name. The checks are not legitimate and if cashed, the individual is responsible for the full amount.

The Better Business Bureau offers the following advice to businesses that advertise on Craigslist, in newspapers, and on-line:

  • Get as many details from the consumer as possible before you begin work.
  • Investigate checks that appear to come from someone other than the person that hired you to do the job.
  • Never cash a check from anyone that tells you to keep some of the money for your inconvenience and wire the rest back.
  • Check with your local Better Business Bureau if something just doesn’t seem right.

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