Saturday, May 09, 2015

Con Artists Scam Film Community - BEWARE!


Dear Members of the Production Community,
We would like to inform you about someone who is trying to take advantage of the young people who work in our industry. The person perpetuating the scam described below has been targeting job sites such as Indeed, SimplyHired, Craigslist, as well as the most popular production job sites that you know and use.
Just to cut to the chase: please don’t send ANY money to an employer who tells you that part of getting ready for the job involves your sending or wiring money to them!
We figured the best way to expose this fraud is by telling you about it. We’ve included 2 of the letters below that the scammers send out, so that you can know what to look out for, but here is a summary of how the scam goes:
1) They usually claim to be working for a legitimate company whose name you will probably recognize, so that you think that you’re getting a real job at a real company.IMPORTANT: The name of the company they use, the description of the gig, the person signing the email, and the phone number will sometimes be different… but the gist of the scam is always the same:
2) You get offered a good-paying job in a remote city that you’ll have to fly to.
3) They send you a check for your travel expenses (usually $2,400), and tell you that you will need to arrange your own travel through a travel agent;
4) You are then instructed to wire the travel agent the travel expenses for the flight (usually $2,000).
5) A few days later the original check for $2,400 that they sent you bounces, and you are stuck eating the $2,000 you sent the travel agent… and by now, you can probably guess who the “travel agent” actually is. You’ve been scammed.
We hate that these people are taking advantage of the industry we work in, and especially young people breaking into the biz who may not yet know better. Please know that we are working every day to do everything in our power to ensure that our site is a safe and trusted source for the production community. We encourage anyone that has been taken advantage of to report it immediately to the authorities.
Best Regards,
Team Staff Me Up

This is the kind of email you will see from the scammer first.
This is James Rodriguez the Event Coordinator with XXXXX Productions and I am responding to your email application that we received. This email is to formally invite you to the COCA COLA TV Commercial/Magazine production, which we’ll be seeking your services as a production assistant. The show will kick off from 04-23-2015 to 10-25-2015 in XXXXX Productions Studio: Orlando, FL 32819 but you will be needed here in San Francisco from 02-20-2015 to 02-22-2015, to assist the production team in producing a 5 minutes taped commercial. The title of the commercial is “LEGENDS”. All traveling and booking expenses will be covered by the company.
Task: Your job duties are to assist the production team with the necessary supplies; typing, editing, copying and distributing scripts; assist in organizing accommodation for cast and crew; typing and distributing schedules, or call sheets, assisting cast members, and at times running errands for them; running errands between the production office and other departments; closing accounts with suppliers and dealing with surplus stock when the production is finished.
The pay for this job is $600 per day. This is a freelance job and you are only needed for 3 days, however your effectiveness during this period will determine if you will be employed for another production.
Company profile: XXXXX Productions is an independent video production company. We produce great video that delivers your best clients – while saving you money. Established in 2000, we bring to the table years of experience in the video production industry. Our fresh, creative team of moving image artists has produced over 15,000 TV commercials, infomercials, original programs and website videos. This wealth of experience gives our clients an advantage in making decisions based on our creativity and knowledge of production.
Here at XXXXX Productions our goal is for you to come back to us with great feedback about the success of your television campaign. Nothing makes us happier than knowing that we have helped your business to grow.
Instruction: Please respond with your contact information where a check will be mailed out to, it is for your traveling and lodging expenses (more information will be provided as we progress). You will also be provided an itinerary by the designated travel agent arrangement.
James Rodriguez
Event Coordinator
XXXXX Productions.
If and when you respond, this is the second email you will see:
This e-mail outlines the entire process before the production and also how to proceed.
Please note that during the production you will have to put your skills and art of imagery to perfect professionalism in order to assist the production team to produce a perfect show.
*You will also receive a check for $2450 in the following days via FedEx and this check will cover your personal expenses, and travel/lodging expenses which will be handled via a designated travel agent. The amount of $500 out of the check is allocated as down payment to show our keen interest in your services while the remaining balance will be transferred to the travel agent who will make all the necessary hotel and travel arrangement on your behalf to Los Angeles, CA (more information on the travel agent will be provided to you ASAP).
During the course of the coming days we will provide all necessary information momentarily but for now we only seek that you reassure us of your availability during the weekend of 01-23-2015 to 01-25-2015 and also your utmost commitment regarding this project.
NB: It is important you respond to this e-mail confirming your commitment before we send the check and make other arrangement. More details that you will need to know will be told to you during the seminar before the production. Please respond to this email with your full name, contact address and phone number where the check will be mailed to.
Jonathan Gray
Event Coordinator


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