sign up for our
NEWSLETTER

Home Shop Subscribe Advertise Articles Directories Classifieds Calendar FAQs Contact Us Login
Scam Alert #2: 'Frank Mayfield' Email
Seems Legit, But DELETE Or Frame It

By John Florian
VoiceOverXtra.com
July 21, 2010
 
 
At least two versions of an alleged scam that involves voice over work to be done for the "High-Breed" energy drink have been poisoning the voice over community recently.
 
One version is described in our report, Scam Alert: 'Oops ...', in which a Charles Thamesmead invites talent to voice a 30-sec spot for the product. That gig would pay between $300-$500, he says.
 
But a Frank Mayfield ups the ante. He dangles thousands of dollars for someone to act as "project manager" for the recording of a series of spots for the drink.
 
Here's the scam:

It seems that all respondents are told they are hired, and then are instructed to send an invoice to a specific address. The voice talents are "erroneously" over-paid with a bogus check, and asked to refund a portion of the money.

Several voice actors have sent us the initial Mayfield email, and one is reprinted below.
 
Despite some red flags - typos, wierd VO instructions - it seems legit. But if you get this message, DELETE or frame it with a big red exclamation mark.
 
Note: I've put the financial info in bold type.
 
THE MAYFIELD EMAIL ...

From: Frank Mayfield
Date: Wed, Jul 14, 2010 at 8:24 AM
Subject: RE: Ref: 30 Second Television Commercial
To: (voice actor's email address)

Thank you for your response.

Our client is pushing a new brand of energy drink into the market, called High-Breed but pronounced as hybrid.

We desire a 30 sec-VO for a national TV station. Entire spot consists of all sorts of different hands dipping in and out of the kitchen fridge thatís opened and showing all sorts of canned drinks on one layer and about a dozen of the high breed energy canned drinks standing coolly on an upper layer.

It's all shot from the viewer's POV but all we see is the arms/hands darting in and out picking the high breed can drink and no hand paying attention to the other energy drinks a layer below..

The hand shot last until the end, when there's only one high breed energy can drink left and two different hands obviously a male and female join in fridge, and they play a little "finger wrestling game to pick the last high breed energy drink and female succeeds."

The fridge door (white in color) is closed and the high breed energy canned drink is displayed in all its glory on the white background.

Delivery should be slightly funny, at times a little fizzy, restrained comedic, and somewhat low-key.

Note- there is almost no action in the video, so the voice needs to be quiet and narrative and instructive, the voice over should be a little hushed tone.

Can you act in the capacity of project manager based on the clients preference as described below.

What i mean is this, from my discussion with the client, your role is the lead role in the advert but if you read between the lines, there will be different hands darting in and out of the fridge picking the advertised drink, the client would like to incorporate other voices to suit the hands, we need five extra voices with one or two befitting words or sentences, you are therefore required to secure for us the other professional voices preferably male and female to do this.

Secondly, the music audio for the advert inclusive of the effects, instrumental and beats and professional engineering/mastering should be done in one of the most equipped state of the art studios so it falls on you to secure a studio that can handle this task,as the project manager you will coordinate this two tasks namely:

(1) Securing 3-4 more talents
(2) Securing the studio and then negotiating with the studio and extra talents,

Once we have an idea of how much this would cost, we will proceed further.

As you must have imagined, this is a very simple yet very effective advertising medium to pass the message across to the targeted consumers.
There is no preference for dialect or accent, the VO can be American or European, accent or dialect does not matter.

So i am expecting you to secure the five other voices and you would also source out the effects and instrumental.

i have included some SFX in the attached script, the music bed/instrumental would be a pink panther kind of theme and would need to be created from scratch. If this is not possible due to reasons best known to you, please find a suitable music.

I am looking forward to receiving a break down of the quote from you and i will pass that along to the client and find out if they can work with it or not, eitherway, i will get back to you.

You are the lead character and its only your voice that counts.

The other characters are not all that important, do not forget its only their hands that will be showing so you decide which voice/audio goes with each hand. You are the narrator and only five other voices asides from yours get to be heard, they get to say one or two words in the segment when different hands start going in the fridge.

It is up to you to decide which words or phrase that the supporting voices will say, we do not wish to be burdened with this task so sort it out yourself, positively arresting words or phrases will do.

When it comes to the part of the finger wrestling, there is no other audio except your narration and the cheering, please find more details in the attached document.

The video cannot be released to you according to my clients request so you will have to fly this plane blind folded but i am certain the script provided can serve as a guide.
 
It also has a time sequence on it to help make it easier to work with.
 
Please follow the script. Do not ask for the video as i myself have not seen it.

The advert will actually be run on UK cable satellite for 3 months only, on one of the Asian Cable Channel.

Timing is crucial so will like to begin soon as deadline for deliverable is July Ending.

Actually the delivery date is August but if i can deliver before then, it will upgrade my standing with the client and probably get them to give me more jobs.

If there will not be any legal constraints, please make use of any music that will suit the production if you cannot get the pink panther similar tune. But ideally, we would like to have the music specified in the script. If this still gives you some problem, please create a custom music similar to it then.

I want you to take charge of the project so all your input in this is considered valuable.

Our budget is not to exceed $2000.

And finished soundtrack should be a zipped MP3 file we will lay under the video.

When we receive a sample from you and we like what we hear, i will suggest to the client to make an instalmental (sic) payment to you and the balance will be made available after we confirm receipt of the project by email attachment in MP3 format, if there is any other format you think will work fine for you, let me know in advance but consider download speed and email attachment size.

The payment method as requested by the client is by Certified USA Financial Instrument namely Check/Money Order or by direct deposit into your account.
 
And i will definetely need updates as you spend the funds on the project, budget updates would be highly necessary.

And i will advise that you do not commit resources until you receive this deposit.

There is no actual dialog with the other darting hands, just a word or two to show that the hand belongs to a human being, do you get me?

Another important thing you should do is give me a break down analysis of the quote to detail which cost value goes where... i believe this will give much depth to justify the quote as required by my client. I mean studio cost, your fees, music cost, each talent cost etc

Find attached a revised script that has time sequence on it. I am certain it would make the work easier.

The Name of the company requesting this project is Tanner Group Investment. I did some work for them months back and i have been on a retainer with them since. They are an investment firm operating out of the United Arab Emirates, the project is for one of their American subsidiaries,

The invoice should be made out to me using the details below:
Frank Mayfield
1 Whitehall Ct Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS12 5QF, UK
Email: barry.frank-lls@live.com
Tel:07733837712

Though you an reach me on the number above between the hours of 12-4pm Mon-Thurs only.

If you get my voicemail more than once, please consider sending me an email requesting for all you need to know to make this work and i will get back to you.

Do let me know before you call so i can make myself available.

Let me know what you think and what else is needed to proceed.

Wishing you all the best.
Frank 

 

Your Daily Resource For Voice-Over Success
 

 

Tell Us What YOU Think!
Please Note: Since we check for spam, there will be a slight delay in the actual posting of your comment.
Your Name:
Your Email Address (will not be published):
Your Comment:
Your Comment:
Security code:     
Comments (9)
FaŽrik
8/17/2010 at 4:01 PM
I've been contacted, too. The money orders seemed real, the bank accepted it yesterday! And I've talked to him LIVE today cause I was intrigued that his client wanted his money back right the day after I've cashed in the money orders. He is very pro in his illistrator/painter approach.

Here is the first email:

Good day,

I would like to make inquiries regarding making a Portrait illustration. Do let me know if i am in contact with the right person.

Would appreciate if you can give me your average quote for Portrait illustrations of past presidents.
I would like to make an order for 3.

Just a simple masterpiece of each president behind the Oval room desk, depending on your fee, i would prefer if the back ground is all black and please dont ask me for my budget, just let me have an idea of what we are talking about here.

Pardon my approach but this would assist me in making a decision to follow up with you or not to avoid time wasting.

Thank you

Frank Mayfield

/////

A second email defines more the project and adds credibility to the guy.

(Editor's note: We skip to the payment info) ...

The payment method as requested by the client is by Certified USA Financial Instrument namely Check/Money or Postal Order or by direct deposit into your account. And i will advise that you do not commit resources until you receive this deposit.

Payment Schedule is as follows:
30% deposit for you to begin work,
I will request the client to make a further 30% available after i preview the first painting of Obama, And the rest 40% will be paid after i preview the Third painting and then you will ship the 3 items to me using the address below.

The Name of the company requesting this project is Tanner Group Investment. I did some work for them months back and i have been on a retainer with them since. They are an investment firm operating out of the United Arab Emirates. The invoice should be made out to me using the details below:

Frank Mayfield
1 Whitehall Ct Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS12 5QF, UK
Email: barry.frank-lls@live.com
Tel:07733837712

Though you can reach me on the number above between the hours of 12-4pm Mon-Thurs only.
If you get my voicemail more than once, please consider sending me an email requesting for all you need to know to make this work and i will get back to you.
I am open to coordinate this project by email.

I hope all the terms in this email is understood and acceptable.
Let me know what you think and what else is needed to proceed.

Wishing you all the best.

Frank
///////////////

HOPE IT HELPS OTHER PEOPLE NOT TO BE SCAMMED!!
Luna
8/3/2010 at 4:20 PM
Received the same scam regarding painting the US presidents. Actually almost fell for it. Got to the point where he sent the false money orders to me. (They look real, except for the bleeding ink and badly cut edges.) Something made me google him (maybe it was the lack of return address on the envelope) and I found this! Sadly, I was thrilled at first thinking it was my first real art commission :( Thank you for the warning/information, though!
Keith Michaels
7/27/2010 at 11:44 AM
When I received this, I knew after seeing the e-mail address that something was wrong. The whole thing was weird. I think Voices.com, Voice 123 and all other P2P sites and agents should post a warning on their homepage about these scams.
Alex
7/26/2010 at 9:35 PM
Hi, thank you so much for posting this. The same person approached me for portraits artworks of presidents, I thought it was fishy since I only do storyboards and have no experiences in portraits. Thank God he still uses the same name though ...
John Florian
7/26/2010 at 12:10 PM
Frances,

Yes, please DO send me copies of your correspondence with Frank Mayfield. If you've lost $1,000, I assume you have a copy of the check you sent him? Let's hope we can help you.
John
VoiceOverXtra
Frances Devine
7/26/2010 at 12:04 PM
I also have just been scammed by Frank Mayfield. The scenario was exactly as your article described, and my company is out over 1000 dollars because of it. I can send you the email correspondance if you like- please advise as to how I can help stop this crook.

sincerely,

Frances Devine
vo artist for Audio to Go, NYC
WOW!
7/22/2010 at 9:11 PM
OMG!!!!!!!!! i just felt something was so wrong about this offer but sounded so good!!! i just googles this email...(barry.frank-lls@live.com) and this came up..WOW im so glad i did ...!! i just knew something was off! he wants to send a money order! i said Wire transfer \! What a loser! Im glad I listened to my gut and google! LOL
Connie Terwilliger
7/22/2010 at 4:18 PM
I didn't get the letter, but saw that audition and got such bad vibes from the whole thing, I didn't submit. But from the tone of this letter I am left scratching my head as to why anyone would respond. All those demands - writing, securing additional talent, producing, music - for $2000!? What is happening to business that we think so little of our time and talent! (That was a rhetorical question.)
Wendy Brown
7/21/2010 at 10:45 PM
I got the email from Charles!! Luckily, my husband was over my shoulder and said .. Oh no .. you do NOT accept a Money Order from overseas.

Instead, we gave "Charles" a bank account number to put money into (my husband uses it for his business, so little money is kept in it, so it was safe). After I sent that email off, about 2 weeks ago, I never heard another peep!

What I find really irritating, is this guy posted on Voices.com and reached out to me through them. I feel they be screening their jobs better.

Remember fellow talents - get a deposit BEFORE doing any work if you can't find a legit website for the client and/or they are using a gmail account. And NEVER accept a Money Order. If they can't pay your deposit via PayPal, don't do business with them. It'll cost you more money in the long run!
Back to Articles
Terry Daniel and gang - lotsa info and laughs!
With Sean Daeley and Paul Stefano - check it out!
Scoop up this money-making advice from John Melley...