Scams

Scam Alert for Agencies and Designers

I’ve been running a boutique ad agency for sometime now and this is one of the most common and complex scams I’ve seen. We get requests like this a few times a year.

They always describe the project (sometimes it’s a website and sometimes a video, I imagine it can be any number of things) as for their “new company”. They never have a legitimate domain in the email address; the biggest red flag for me is that they always disclose the budget. No client does it like this.

End of the day these guys will take phone calls about the project. They will answer questions about what they want. They will do and say everything to make the project seem real, while using the ‘new company’ excuse to continue to communicate via gmail. Ultimately though you will be asked to pay out a third party that supposedly was also hired by the “client”. Sometimes this is a copywriter, or photographer, or coder, or web host… the point is that YOU get paid via a stolen credit card, meanwhile you pay-out the “clients” accomplice. The credit card is eventually disputed by the real owner. Leaving you with no money, but leaving the “client” and his accomplice with they money you “paid” the accomplice for the project.

There never was a project… here is an example of one the scammers emails. I’ve removed YouTube the links, and no I didn’t click on them.


Here is the scam email…

FROM: [email protected]

“Sorry for the late response.

I’ll like to know if I got the right contact to a promotional animator/videographer. I want you to create for me a promotional/instructional video for my new company, based on production and sales of organic foods (plant based food and drinks). The content created will be used on the company website and also displayed on installed HD TV in my restaurants.

* Company Name: HYNES RESTAURANT.
* .My website is under construction which would be registered soon.
* Full text content, background music and pictures for this design contents will be submitted to you by my private project consultant. You just have to handle the layout and the design.
* I want you to add our core values, mission and vision (This information will be provided by the private project consultant).
* My budget for the 3 videos is not more than $5000-$7000.
* I want this delivered in 2-4 weeks to the latest.
* Videos will be animated.

My Goals and about the project:

You will produce 3 videos, each featuring a different templates as selected by me (see below), with an approximate segment time of 120 seconds each. You will deliver 6 videos (1080p); 3 original raw videos and 3 edited videos, one for each original video. Below are the inspirational video templates below:”

(YouTube links)

“All videos will have background music and company logo which also will be delivered to you by my Private project consultant.

Our uniqueness will be privilege of our 2 new locations around Indiana and online store. Our products are also 100 percent plant based produce under strict standards from International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM). Our brand and style would also stand us out.

Other project essentials:

I want you to know that this is the first time I will be doing a promotional/informational video so I can only give you little details but you can give a better price quote and work based on the sample templates given above. The videos provided are our inspiration and how the preferred promotional videos should look like.

Kindly get back to me with:

(1) A price estimate/quote based on the inspirational videos :
(2) your cell phone number:
(3) And will like to know if you are the owner ?

Keep safe and protect yourself from the virus.

Regards,
Gregory”


The content was posted by TODesigner on 2020-12-12 00:08:48 via reddit

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6 Comments

  1. OMG I got the exact same email. Thought it was too good to be true. A google search brought me here. Whew! Dodged a bullet there.

  2. I just received a similar approach. The first contact was via a contact form on our website. The second contact was in response to my initial response.

    Sharing below to help others avoid the same scam.

    **The second message was:**

    *Hello,*

    *I’ll like to know if I got the right contact to a software or application developer. I want you to create for me a non-e-commerce application for my new company, based on production and sales of organic foods (plant-based food and drinks). The application should be available on all platforms i.e. play and apple store.*

    *1. Company Name: BLAWSE-RISE ENTERPRISE.*

    *2. My website is under construction which would be registered soon.*

    *3. Full text content and pictures for this design contents will be submitted to you by my project consultant. You just have to handle the layout, design and creation.*

    *4. I want you to add our core values, mission and vision (This information will be provided by the consultant)*

    *5. My budget for this is about $8000*

    *6. I want this delivered in 4-7 weeks to the latest.*

    *My Goals and about the project:*

    *You will creating the application which should be up and running by the beginning of*

    *September 2021 and I don’t want a shopping cart (no e-commerce and only informational) also I don’t have a domain name yet and I will advise you check the link below which has samples of how i want the application to look like.*

    *https://dribbble.com/tags/restaurant_app*

    *All content will have copyright and company logo which also be delivered to you by the project consultant.*

    *BLAWSE-RISE ENTERPRISE. is pet project and same time a business avenue for me. I will be 10 years a vegan next year and I hope to expand the business (and my brand then)*

    *To my customers, BLAWSE-RISE ENTERPRISE. should be able to provide over 500 plant-derived minerals that can improve the value of foods, liquids, nutritional formulations and cosmiceutical. That way also improving value of life. Whoever purchase our products would have a guarantee of good living and relish.*

    *Our uniqueness will be privilege of our 5 locations around San Diego and online store. Our products are also 100 percent plant-based produce under strict standards from International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM). Our brand and style would also stand us out.*

    *Other project essentials:*

    *I want you to know that this is the first time I will be having an application developed for my business so I can only give you little details but you can give a better price quote and work based on the sample templates(link) given above.*

    *Kindly get back to me with:*

    *(1) a price estimate/quote based on the inspirational link:*

    *(2) your cell phone number:*

    *(3) And will like to know if you are the owner ?*

    *Keep safe and protect yourself from the virus.*

    *Regards,*

    *Kimberly*

    **The first message was via a web enquiry form:**

    *Tell us your name Kimberly Allan*
    *Company Name Rivolt Ltd.*
    *What’s your contact email? [email protected]*
    *Or phone number if you prefer 6263134454*
    *What would you like to say to us? I need your help to grow my business.*
    *Would you like an estimate? Yes please!*
    *How many people in your company or organisation? 45*
    *Describe your requirements I need your help to grow my business.*
    *Examples of similar sites I need your help to grow my business.*
    *Give us an idea of your budget $50K-$100K*
    *How soon do you want the site live? 1 Month*
    *How did you hear about us?*

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