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Scam Alert re:London Christian Conference — DON’T FALL FOR IT

October 22, 2009

Stop Do Not Use

Are you a public speaker registered with a speaker’s bureau? an actor, musician, writer, etc?  Whether you’re an entertainer, business person or up and coming expert, please beware of a new dangerous scam.

A few of my clients have received an email from the London Christian Conference.  Others have gotten similar letters about the Youth Conference.  Sometimes the emails are from Pastor Mark Graham Smith and others are from Rev. Wenger Smith and Pastor Helen Smith.
The letter states that they will pay you $9,000 to speak at their conference and take care of all travel arrangements posted below as it was sent with no edits for grammar or spelling). You must contact Dr. Darren David with the British High Commission immediately to get this done.  Sounds good!
Here’s the catch.  When you call, you actually have to send them money for a work permit.  And you have to do this right away because the conference is a few weeks away
Another angle is that they ask for your bank account number so they can “wire” you the money…and then they try and empty out your checking or savings accounts!
Of course you’ve guessed the outcome.  There is no conference and the money you spent for your “work permit” is long gone or even worse the fake wire that drained you account has left you brooke.
If you or anyone you know has received this letter, please do not reply to it!  Report it as spam to your email provider and then immediately report this company to your speaker’s bureau.  Reputable requests will almost always come through your representatives and never blindly to your email inbox.  The following are a few tips to help you weed out the fake requests from the legitimate ones:

1.  Ask that they speak to your representative or attorney first to discuss the invitation and that  they send a formal contract for your services.
2. Make sure they have a website so that you can verify the information about the conference.
3.  Call the conference venue to ensure that there is truly an event booked for the dates of the conference.
4.  Google the organizers and the event itself.  This should help determine if its a legitimate request.
5.  Never give out your personal information (banking, social security number) without first verifying that this is not a scam.  This is where working with a representative can really help you.

SCAM EMAIL:

Dear {Name withheld},

Thanks for indicating your interest to be our Guest Speaker at this year LONDON BARCLAYS CHRISTIAN CONFERENCE 2009. We are very excited and happy to have such a wonderful personality in our mist.The event organizing committee had a meeting earlier today to deliberate on getting you available here. We believe we serve the lord of possibilities.Arrangements are stated below.

We have agreed to buy your flight ticket and to pay your Hotel accommodation expenses . Also your Speaking fee is amounted to 9,000Dollars.$5,000 (FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS) deposit is to be paid as soon as you procure all relevant travel documents  so as to avoid any disappointment.You are informed to get across your Work Permit to us so your deposit can be approved according to our mandated rules and regulation.

You are advised by the Event Organizing committee to immediately contact the BRITISH HIGH COMMISSION to procure your UK Work Permit as soon as possible

This will enable us to proceed with all arrangements to welcome you here in London. Contact the British High Commission officer information below.

BRITISH HIGH COMMISSION

Name: Dr Darren David

Email:darrend@britishhighc.info

Please confirm to us the closest Airport to your location so we can start making arrangements to buy your flight tickets .Understand that you need to expedite action because of the short notice. Feel free to ask any question

We have attached a formal Letter of Invitation  and contract agreement.Please reconfirm to us your office Address for our perusal and further action.Note you are meant to arrive a day before the commencement of the event.

Please return a signed copy of the contract agreement for proper documentation.We are currently working on our website.This is our first time of hosting such conference.

We await your earliest response

Be Blessed

Rev. Wenger Smith and Pastor Helen Smith

London Barclays Christian Center

Tel Phone: + 44 7024069826O

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 22, 2009 2:11 pm

    Lord—really? This is a mess. I make a habit of not responding to emails from strangers (heck, from people I know!) that require money, but this one is a NEW low. Sheesh.

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