Scamming the Scammer
mugshots photo

Pugshot. I know…bad joke
Photo by Jerry Reynolds

I received an email that is a new twist on an old scam. I’ve had my share of the Nigerian “Send Me Your Beautiful (insert name of piece)” emails. The catch is that the amount is always more than the artwork costs, so I must send back the difference. Now, I don’t know how many artists are that dumb or hungry to fall for it, but apparently there are enough to make the scam worthwhile.
ANYWAY, this new one comes along, and since it’s been a REALLY crappy month, and I’m REALLY bored, I figured “What the Hell…let’s play”.

So, what follows are the sequential emails…my comments are in bold maroon.


The eMail That Started It All
misspellings and all

Good Day,

I am pleased to contact you, My name is Blossom Scofield, from Brugge in Belgium. I saw your profile as sculpure teacher,hence, my purpose of contacting you.

I just mail to confirm if my 16yrs old son (James) can join you in your tutor while he is in US as high school exchange student. It is his desire to be a carver and I so much would love his dreams to come true and I am ready to support him both morally and financially.

I will want you to give me the price of the tutor for 6 months as I will want the tutor to hold either once or twice in a week.Note that my son once had a tutor in April who lost his wife in a car accident and decided to stop teaching in order to take proper care of his family.

Additionally, please give me your address or the address of where you normally teach your students, so that I can have idea of where the lessons will be taking place, as we are presently out of USA, but arrangement have been concluded for him to come to USA.

Awaiting your swift response.

Blossom Scofield

My Response

Note that I did not give any personal information. Instead, I wanted to see if (s)he is paying attention, and what kind of response I got back (not what I expected, as you’ll see, but proof it’s a scam).
Oh, and say my “friend’s” name out loud…(grinning)

Hello Madam Scofield,

Thank you for your interest in considering me to tutor your son. It’s an honor, indeed, to be asked to foster the budding talent of a young person.

We may have something in common….I have a dear friend by the name of Matt Bator, a very accomplished wood sculptor, who lost his wife earlier this year.

Mister Bator was handling things very well, until his right hand began going numb from overuse, and he was forced to knock off as it was very difficult to manipulate his wood with no feeling in his hand.

Would this be the same artist you are referring to?

Perhaps you could give me some additional information on where your son will be living as an exchange student, or are you attempting to enroll him in an area school based on where his carving tutelage will be conducted?

Thank you once again for your interest,

Sincerely

Lori

Blossom’s Response

Well…pretty obvious (s)he didn’t read my email. I can’t recall telling her about my abilities or location…
FORM LETTER
All bets are off, now…time to have some fun…

Lori,

Thank you for your prompt response and your readiness to tutor James, my son. James has elementary education and speaks good english, he is a fresher (a beginner), just enrolled for two weeks with the other teacher, I mentioned this in my first email, so he is a fresher. At the moment I want him to learn for 6 months, thereafter we shall know what next line of action would be, but definately he is going to go further. James is ready when you are and I am equally ready to give all my support. I spoke with my husband and we both would suggest twice a week lesson for a begginer like James, so I want us to settle for this if you think it is fine.

I want to believe this is the address where the tutor shall be taking place, as I have already told James about this and he is ready to start, I have equally sent it to my Cousin Steve, that stays in your location and he said to me that it is ok, he shall be driving James to the lesson and will be picking him up after each class; he is presently out of USA to Australia and he should be back any moment from now and will come together with James for the first lesson. I am impressed by your description of yourself as a teacher and would be glad if you tutor my son.Yes, I want to believe you are the type of instructor for him at this level.You will not only teach him how to carve but will also be his role model, I hope you understand what I mean.

(Role Model??? ANYbody who knows me also knows this is TERRIFYING).

As for the price it is not a problem, please let me know how much you charge per hour and send to me the total amount for six months (twice a week), name to write on your check, the address to send it to and your phone numbers. I guess a US bank certified check is alright. James will be ready to live the moment am able to conclude this arrangement with you, that is, finding a good teacher for him.

Like I said, I am presently living in Belgium due to work, I travel a lot and would like to conclude the whole arrangement before James would come down, only James would be coming down and will stay with my Cousin. It is good for me to send the payment to you from here, as soon as I have the details from you I will do just that and James will commence with the lesson immediately.You can reach me on 0032484972657 should you have any question(s).

Looking forward to receiving your swift response.

Best Regards,
Blossom Scofield

My Response

Dear Ms. Scofield,

I am very glad you found me a good fit for your son’s tutelage.

As to cost – I am highly sought after and have far too many requests for my services to possibly meet them all. Therefore, my fees are set to weed out all but the most serious applicants. Per your request for my fees – $1000.00 per day x 2 times per week = $2000.00. This works out to $8,000.00 per month. The total for 6 months will be $48,000.00.

Your email has come at a very good time, as I am in the process of paying for an operation. You see, my mother had a sex-change and now she’s my father, but now wants to become my mother again. This is the last time the surgical team will perform this operation – they said that an innie, changed to an outtie, can only be changed back into an innie one more time. Fortunately, she had sufficient breast material for the team to fashion a nice set of testicles, and there is a good chance of them being transformed back into breasts (“Dad” was never really happy with nipples on “his” nuts anyway). Upon receipt of your check, I will tell my Mommy/Daddy to go ahead with the operation. I am hoping there will be enough funds left over for some counseling, as I am very confused as to my own identity at this time.

Please make the check out to my studio (and could you please send this by FedEx Overnight?):

Hairup Mybutt Studio
69 Upsidedown Dr.
Justbite, ME 06969

A cashier’s check drawn on a US bank account is requested (I have heard of some scams using checks, and heard that cashier’s checks are safe).

Thanks again for your confidence and may my Gods bless you for your timely request,
Hairup

OK…let’s see if we can start costing her some money. Fake address means I didn’t get the check…dang! FedEx ain’t cheap….hehehehe
Bet me (s)he doesn’t pick up on the plural, and I start getting the “I’m a good Christian, too!” angle…that always seems to quell any fears of being scammed. Riiiiiight…Let’s see if I get the expected reassurances that this is legit.

It’s been a couple of days. I think I lost Blossom. Oh well, I’ve learned some things for the next one.

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5 Responses to “Scamming the Scammer”

  1. hello, I am a fiber artist and have a new email from adekunlecrawford, so I just googled this person’s name and found your site. I figured that it was a scam and am going to ask for $10,000 a day, and see what happens. thank you for posting this, Valerie

  2. I have been contacted by Adedunle Crawford to give his 18 year old son 15 days of Rigid Heddle classes in March.
    Does anyone know what the bottom line of the scam is?

  3. You’re welcome, Valerie.

    @Sandy…the outcome is that the scammer sends you a (forged) check or money order for a substantial sum of money…more than you are asking for your service. He wants you to send the difference to a friend or associate…usually by Western Union. It’s a bad check, so if you deposit it, then send the difference, you are going to owe the bank whatever sum of money you sent. It could be in the thousands.

    The forgeries are sophisticated, but banks are wise to them for the most part.

  4. Interesting, I have recently been emailed as well asking the cost for about 30 Kettlebell lessons for there son who will be traveling to the US in March.
    @Sandy – Yeah, I just did the same and found this site, as well as this one (http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/forum/f59/has-anyone-else-been-asked-lessons-29693/)
    @Lori – Not sure, but I have sent about 3 emails to this person and it definitely sounds too good to be true and sounds like the makings of a scam.
    What do you guys think?

  5. This same “Crawford” guy has been soliciting lessons for his son from textile artists, too. Delete, or play with him for a while, but don’t fall for the scam.

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