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SCAMS & CREEPS
This Fishy Old Scam Lures You
To A Voice Over Job - Don't Bite!

June 20, 2017

By John Wray
Voice Actor

I'm writing to warn everyone about a scam that has been attempted on me (actually, the attempt may still be on-going - I won't know that for sure until I receive my next email from my old buddy DANIEL FISH). 

Daniel is the guy who is currently trying to cheat me out of $1,500.  

The scenario that I will lay out occurred over a long chain of emails. I will just give you the high points.  

He found my name on an online casting - pay-to-play - site. Let me add immediately that the site was just an innocent entity used as a conduit. It is in no way culpable here. 

I would guess (I have no actual information to go on) that Daniel Fish also trolls other information sources (simple Internet searches, perhaps) to find more names. 

THE BAIT ...


Daniel offered me a job. No recorded audition with specific copy was required. 

The job involved two recording sessions on succeeding days in July. I was given specific dates, times and a location. There actually is a small independent studio at the location, but I learned later that the owner had not made any appointments for July, and that he'd never heard of Daniel Fish.

I was to be paid $900 for my work. I was to receive $400 as a down payment, with the remainder to be paid after the finish of the second session. 

This is when it started to get weird.

THE LURE ...


I was sent a check for $1,920. Daniel instructed me to keep my $400 and then to send the remainder by wire transfer to the job's "consulting engineer" who lives in Chicago.

Oh. The engineer probably does all of his "consulting" via what: ISDN? Skype?

DIDN'T BITE

Well, this job began to smell. I didn't send the wire transfer.

Daniel then began to get impatient.
The funds need to be sent ASAP!
We need to move the process forward!
My client is getting impatient!  

I told Daniel that the check had not cleared.

More demands. His most recent email said "considering legal action."  

HE'S BEEN TROLLING


I've learned that Daniel has been at this for a while, using a slightly different approach in the past. 

He would promise a $400 down payment but the actor would receive a check for too much - maybe $600 - followed by a frantic email, something like:
"My secretary has made a mistake and has sent you the wrong amount. My client is upset since the money is actually his. Please help me out here by sending me a check for the overpaid amount ASAP."
REPORT TO AUTHORITIES

Anyway, my guess is that Daniel casts a pretty wide net, and that there are others out there who are on his radar.  

If you hear from him, RUN!! 

Or, on second thought, don't run. Just don't send him ANY money! 

Call law enforcement if you're willing to put in a little time.

And if you're willing to do so, send me a short email (see address below) about your experience. Be aware that if I get a response from state or local cops or the FBI, I will include your name and they may contact you for information. 

I have sent a report to a federal consumer fraud website, and will also contact authorities on state and local levels. I'm not going to make a career out of this, but I'm willing to put a certain effort into stopping this guy, and warning other VO folks about him. 

And to quote the good old Sarge, Be Careful Out There!
-------------------
ABOUT JOHN
Based in Seattle, John Wray is a voice actor who enjoyed a full-time career in theater from the early 1970s to early 1980s - "mostly the technical side, with some acting." Learning carpentry skills, he spent 25 years in the remodeling business and then returned to stage acting. "I enrolled in a voice over workshop, found immediate interest and felt at home behind a mic," he says. "So when it came time to retire as a contractor, my voice over career began." He constructed a home studio, from which he narrates audiobooks and serves clients with commercials "and just about anything else in which a story needs to be told in an interesting, engaging and understandable way" - including radio drama and readings of classical literature.

Email: john@john-wray.com
Web: www.John-Wray.com

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Comments (21)
Dave
11/30/2017 at 1:21 PM
I have one right now who (I believe) is trying this very same thing. He wants to mail me a check for half and, so far, has not given me any details on the job location or date. I'll update here if this goes anywhere.

Dave
Edward
10/22/2017 at 11:16 PM
Gee, I was only offered $850, I feel like I've been snubbed by the scammer! I've got that voice over offer twice now once from a Costas Santiago and once from a Steven Baines. Glad I did a search on the text of the emails.
Jonny Davila
9/12/2017 at 6:07 PM
Hi John,
I think I've been contacted by your friend Daniel, only now he's going by John Alexander. I received an email from this person saying he had a VO job and found me on Now Casting. He says his client is looking to pay $950 for a couple of hours of VO work. I haven't responded to his latest email yet but I'm glad I did a search about this scam. Thanks for posting it....Jonny Davila
Laurelyn Dossett
7/29/2017 at 2:20 PM
Same thing just happened to me today. Under the name Dan Carpenter. Said he got my name from the NC Art Council site.

Dan carpenter
1:44 PM (34 minutes ago)

to me
Hi ,

Thanks for your response.It is a $950 voice over game host show commercial advert(Assignment) for you, . A new corporate client of mine wants to create their online website.This assignment is a copyrighted script that will be provided. We have specialists,and Contract Studio Engineer who will bring the real perfection to the job. Itís a two days project and wouldn't take more than 45 minutes max to record for each of days.

Company: Welteroth Advertising Inc

Job Location:
The job and the recording will be held at a rented studio close to your location, so you don't have to worry about traveling, the name and address of the studio will be forwarded to you before the date of the recording.

Job Description
---------------
We are creating a marketing video to be distributed through web and social media. The overall video is approximately 20 minutes in length with the game show host part being about 8 Mins also. The voice must be Smooth, Friendly fun and entertaining.

Sample Script:(This is an idea of what to be expected)

(VO) Uh, Iím no rocket scientist but Iíd sayÖtraffic congestion.

(VO) Well, Iím no rocket scientist but thatís a no brainer. Mass Transit is the better option.

Expectations: You need to be in a good mental and emotional state of mind. Basically this is all that is required of you, Kindly, get in touch with me as soon as possible if you will take the job. More details will be provided to you and we can continue from there. Please, no time wasting.
Let me know if you will take the job to commence with next arrangement. Please I'd like you to check your email on a regular basis, I might have updates for you.

Regards,
Dan Carpenter
Elaine
7/20/2017 at 1:07 PM
There are a lot of different names used, but the pattern is pretty obvious to spot! Good luck everyone!
Chuck Brown
7/14/2017 at 7:54 AM
Same exact thing happened to me 3 days ago. Crazy how desperate these folks are.
Carolina Talent
6/25/2017 at 11:24 AM
Be on the look out for Berry Nelson as well! Same type of deal. Here's the email he sent to our agency!

Hi ,

Thanks for your response. It is a $950 voice over (Assignment) for you. A new corporate client of mine wants to create their online website. This assignment is a copyrighted script that will be provided. We have specialists,and Contract Studio Engineer who will bring the real perfection to the job. Itís a two days project and wouldn't take more than 45 minutes max to record for each of days.

Company: Welteroth Advertising Inc

Job Location:
The job and the recording will be held at a rented studio close to your location, so you don't have to worry about traveling, the name and address of the studio will be forwarded to you before the date of the recording.

Job Description
---------------
We are creating a marketing video to be distributed through web and social media. The overall video is approximately 20 minutes in length with the game show host part being about 8 Mins also. The voice must be Smooth, Friendly fun and entertaining.

Sample Script:(This is an idea of what to be expected)

(VO) Uh, Iím no rocket scientist but Iíd sayÖtraffic congestion.

(VO) Well, Iím no rocket scientist but thatís a no brainer. Mass Transit is the better option.

Expectations: You need to be in a good mental and emotional state of mind. Basically this is all that is required of you, Kindly, get in touch with me as soon as possible if you will take the job. More details will be provided to you and we can continue from there. Please, no time wasting.
Let me know if you will take the job to commence with next arrangement. Please I'd like you to check your email on a regular basis, I might have updates for you.

Regards,
Berry Nelson
Hen
6/24/2017 at 7:43 PM
I used to get these all the time - from various names and emails. Finally I snapped and sent a legally written email detailing various law enforcement terms and passing all their precious emails to the FBI. Never heard from them again (fingers crossed).
Eddy S.
6/22/2017 at 10:32 PM
Thanks for the heads up inner this "fishy" scam. As I am new to doing voice over, I thought it was unusual that someone would contact me out of the blue and offer me a possible job. Especially a job that didn't sound like it went with the demos of my work on my demos or ask for an audition read. It was for a soon to be created website for a new media company. Research showed this company has a good website and has been in business for years. He said I wouldn't receive a script until the day before the studio session because out was "copyrighted." My guy's name is supposed to be Frank Nan. More research turned up nothing on him. Not on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or any of the other sights. There was no one with that name that popped up on Google either. I was going to send him contract any way but now I may get even more specific in my requirements for payment and conditions for the work.
Randall
6/22/2017 at 8:05 PM
As you likely realize, this old scam is not limited to our profession. An American artist friend of mine was contacted by someone supposedly in England, wanting to buy her artwork. Probably anything that can be sold is a potential candidate for this one. That it's a scam should be obvious enough, but just as obviously it often succeeds. If were to cash the check and it clears, with money in your account, don't think you're home free. It can take many, many months for the international banking system to discover that a cleared check was forged, and when it is, your bank will take the money back.
John Noble
6/22/2017 at 3:40 PM
I and many others have had a similar experience with another and his name is: Fred Godsmark with AudioRealms Publishing. You see either of those names, run like hell.
Mary Dallas
6/22/2017 at 11:42 AM
The same thing happened to me, but different details. Luckily, I smelled a rat before I signed on. Thank you so much for posting your experience. You probably saved many actors from the humiliation of being scammed. All my best to you!
Sincerely,
Mary Dallas
Tim Miller
6/21/2017 at 9:49 PM
Thanks for the heads-up. I'm desperate for work, but not that desperate!

-- TimMillerVoiceOvers.com
Chris Martin
6/21/2017 at 2:01 PM
John - the exact same type of scam happened to me, but in a different context. I wrote about it a year ago:

http://ijr.com/2016/01/524384-i-was-a-targeted-in-a-widespread-secret-shopper-scam-and-this-is-what-i-found-out/
Fred Humberstone
6/21/2017 at 12:20 PM
OK, thanks to John, we recognize the problem. Now, let's discuss a strategy to avoid the problem. If you as the service provider receive a check from a client that is not in the correct amount, too much or too little, DO NOT DEPOSIT THE CHECK. Make a photo copy of the check in case it is needed for future reference. Contact the client and inform them that their check is in the wrong amount and you are not going to deposit it (return the check if need be). Instruct the client to stop payment on their check and remit a new check in the correct amount. Give the client a deadline to accomplish this. The client (scam artist) will have no excuse to request a refund from you and you will eventually find out if this client is legit. Otherwise another strategy to avoid this scam is to insist on payment through PayPal. Any other ideas?
Patricia Corkum
6/20/2017 at 9:26 PM
Thanks for posting this! I've heard of various scams preying on Voice Artists...and this is one of them! Too bad tarring and feathering went out of vogue ages ago; that's what these cads deserve! Thanks for sharing and keep up the great work!

Kind regards
Gary Lewis
6/20/2017 at 3:58 PM
Thanks, John Wray, as well as VOX in allowing this to put out there so we can be advised. I love the camaraderie (yes, I had to look it up) of my fellow VO folks. Thrilled to be part of this awesome community.

Gary Lewis
Rebecca Haugh
6/20/2017 at 3:32 PM
Right on, John Wray - good for you. I haven't been approached, but even legit jobs have not been paid to me twice in my career. This is truly scam scummy. I hope this guy's stopped.
Fred Humberstone
6/20/2017 at 3:06 PM
Thanks for sharing, John, and warning all of us of this scam.
Lisa Rice
6/20/2017 at 2:56 PM
Thanks the heads up!
Mauricio Perez
6/20/2017 at 2:13 PM
I also got similar e-mails last week. Since the way the scammers want to do it isn't the normal way a client or producer works, I don't pay attention to the offer. Today it is not very normal to get checks ahead before recording a spot or narration. Don't believe if someone wants to pay you by check before the recording session.
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