more music scams…

last year, I wrote about some scams where people claimed to be looking for music lessons for their son or daughter.

So far, I have not had one single student for guitar come to me through email or the Internet. Every single request has been a scam.

Here is an example email I received today from andrewbarton67@yahoo.com (Andrew Barton):

Hello,

I’m Andrea Barton during my search for a Music Instrument Lessons teacher that would always take my Daughter (Gwyn) and I found your advert.Your advert looks great and it is very okay to me since you specialize in the area I am seeking for her. My daughter will be coming to your Country before the middle of July for 2 Months. She is just 15yrs Old, a beginner, I want you to help me teach her music during her stay in the Country because i will not want her to less busy, i want her to engage in something to keep her busy during her stay.

So, kindly let me know your charges cost per week in order for me to arrange for the payment before she travels down to your country.I would also like to know if there is any Text Book you will recommend for her as a beginner so that she will be reading privately at home after the lesson during her stay.

Please Advise back on;

(1) Your charges per 1 hour twice a week for 2 Months?

(2) The Day and time you will be available to teach her During the week?

(3) Tuition address?

I will be looking forward to read from you soonest.

Best Regards.

There are a few things about this which should immediately strike anyone:

  • People don’t usually mis-spell their own name. Is it Andrea (in the text) or Andrew (in the email address)?
  • There is no mention of what instrument the girl is supposed to be learning. Guitar? Piano? Didgeridoo?
  • The weird capitalisation says to me that translation software has been used, and only for some specific words. I can imagine a template that goes something like this: “I’m ________ during my search for a ________________ teacher that would always take my ________ (____) and I found your advert”. Every one of the blanked out words was inserted with capital letters.
  • There’s a lot of talk about countries – “your Country”, “the Country”, “down to your country”. This person obviously does not know what country I am in, yet knows that his/her daughter will be coming to it?
  • As for that, “My daughter will be coming to your Country before the middle of July for 2 Months.” The email arrived at 2 in the morning today. It’s the 18th of July. A real request for upcoming lessons would surely arrive weeks or months before the trip had already started?

There is a quirky little urge in me to take this as far as I can. However, I’m also not made of time, so I won’t bother.

So here’s the warning: NEVER trust an email from anyone you don’t know.

Here’s how this would pan out if I took it seriously:

  1. We agree price and dates.
  2. They send a cheque and urge me to cash it. I go to the bank and do so.
  3. I suddenly receive an urgent email saying there’s been an error and they sent me too much, and to please send back the extra money.
  4. Of course, that involves me writing and sending a cheque of my own.
  5. They then cash my cheque.
  6. Their cheque then bounces….
  7. The student never turns up.

So don’t be an idiot. Either throw these email in the spam directory (or delete it), or have fun trying to get the guy to do ridiculous things, but never take it seriously.

Btw: here’s an example of this same exact person being a bit over enthusiastic with the attempts – 9 copy/paste messages, with two separate daughters, Rita and Marsha – this guy should probably have got the kids lessons when they were younger…

419 con attempt

I advertised recently as a guitar teacher, and nothing happened for a while afterwards, then I got this interesting email:

Hello,

Good day to you over there, I need good teacher for my son smith for 2 month Smith is 13years of age.I want you to taech him 60mint per day, 3 times in a week.

1.CHARGE FOR AN HOUR….
2.TOTAL CHARGES FOR 1MONTH THAT HE WILL BE TAUGHT 3TIMES PER WEEK…
3.YOUR PHONE NUMBER…”

Kindly get back to me if you will be available for that time and you can as well get back to me with your total cost for 2 month.

Thanks and waiting to read from you..

I thought it was interesting, and a bit weird. The guy doesn’t say where he’s from, but the usage of “you over there” suggests overseas. Then, the guy’s son is called “Smith”, which is a surname. Then he’s insisting on 3 hour-long lessons per week. An hour is a very long lesson, and three times a week is /way/ too much – when you are learning an instrument, you only need a half-hour lesson once or twice a week.

I replied anyway with my usual rate (€15 per half-hour, €25 for an hour), asking what style of guitar “Smith” would like to learn.

Here’s the reply.

Hello,

Thanks for your email,More so i am glad the way you have kept me posted on the (tutoring) and i have accepted your offer and its okay by me.

I have make contacts with my son concerning the arrangement of the tutoringwhich he told me is ok by him and i want you to know that i am going to pay for 2 month which is €600 and also my client who is in DUBLIN will be sending you a cheque of €4,000

And the rest of the money will be used to get hotel accomodation nearby your location for my son and his nanny and any other arrangement for the lesson so that the tuition can be able to conveniet for both of you,

As soon as you get the cheque cash you will deduct cost of price of the lesson and send remaing balance to my son’s NANNY so that they can ba able to arrange themself to come up for the lesson at your location.

Regarding this kindly get back to me with your full information to receive the cheque ,like your full name we be on cheque your full address where you can receive it, so that payment can be able to made out intime,

Because i want the lesson to start as soon as you received the cheque.

Thanks and waiting to read from you.

Lewis.

As soon as I read that, I laughed. This is a classic Advanced-fee fraud, but with a slightly different target than usual.

A greedy person that doesn’t think clearly may fall for that, but there are a number of things that don’t ring true about the email.

Why would a cheque be sent if a NANNY (uppercase, notice) is going to be arriving anyway. Why is the cheque so god-damned large? Why is DUBLIN written in upper-case (copy/pasted, maybe?). He has “[made] contacts with [his] son concerning the arrangement” – he’s 13 years old, man – you don’t “make contacts”, you tell him what to do! Why would someone be flying in from some place overseas to a small town like Monaghan for two months without even checking first to see if I can actually teach?

For anyone interested, the email address used was lewis_001@ymail.com – it’s been reported already.