Learn From My Narrow Escape
On Jan 27, 2021, I received an email from Rosemarie Scott through the booking calendar on my website ghostwriterglobal.com.
First Name: rosemarie
Last Name: scott
Details: Good Day,
My name is Rosemarie, an academic consultant and event organizer. I need your service. Can you research and write an article on a specific topic for an upcoming workshop? The article is to be given as a handbook to the attendees of the workshop. I have a speech distorting condition called Apraxia.
Email and text messages are my correspondence mediums for me. I have a title for the article and have drafted an outline to guide you.
Please respond to my email for more details.
Wow, that’s seems worthwhile, I thought, great start to 2021! I responded:
Thank you for reaching out to me. I see you have an outline, but please tell me more about your article:
· subject matter
· target audience
· due date
Are you firm on the title or is that a working title?
I’m looking forward to hearing from you,
All my best,
Thank you for the interest in this project. The article is to be used for presentation in a Workshop coming up soon. The attendees are students and young professionals between the ages of 16–30. I require your service to write an article on the topic “Social Media : Th Benefits and Risks”. It has to be 2,550 words and I will pay $1 per word. You are responsible for finding the appropriate materials to write article. The article should be delivered in PDF format with no graphics. That should not be a problem as there are materials on this subject matter. Please note that I do not want a particular tone or texture, I just want the article to be informative enough for my attendees. The delivery date for the submission of the article is one month from 01–29–2021. This is the outline of the essay:
1. Social Media : Introduction
2. Impact of Social Media
2.1 Positive impacts of Social Media
2.2 Negative impacts of Social Media
3. Social Media and bullying
4. Social Networking Catfishing
5. Mitigating the negative effects of Social Media
Finally, what would be your preferred mode of payment? Though I’m proposing a certified bank draft, a cashier’s check or bank certified check. I look forward to reading from you soon.
Thank you for the outline and all the details of your project. I look forward to delivering it to you on Mar 1, 2019.
One question: do you have a preferred format style? If not, I will write it as an article with subheads for each section rather than begin each section on a separate page.
Attached is a simple project agreement for you to sign. Do you have a Venmo account? If so, that is definitely the easiest way to make payment. If you feel more comfortable paying by check, you can mail a cashier’s check to:
PO Box XXX
XXX, CA XXX
Thank you, Rosemarie. I look forward to receiving your signed project agreement and getting started on your article (it’s sure to teach me something about social media!).
All my best,
Thanks for the quick response. Please find attached the signed agreement. I don’t have any particular writing style in mind. What I want is a comprehensive article for the participants. That said, I acknowledge that your details have been received and payment will be mailed out to you as soon as possible. I will keep you posted. Thank you once again.
Thank you, Rosemarie.
You will have this article in hand by Mar 1st.
I picked up the mail from my PO Box and was astonished to find a random — but much bigger than expected — business check sliding around in a USPS Priority mail envelope, with not even a note saying, “Here’s the check we agreed upon.”
That seemed very strange, so I went home and googled the company name on the check and found that “L Brands, Inc. is an American fashion retailer based in Columbus, Ohio. Its flagship brands include Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works. L Brands posted $12.914 billion in revenue in 2019, and was listed as 248 on the 2020 Fortune 500 list of largest United States companies by revenue.”
I received a check today from Lbrands that I assume is your check for the social media article. As much as I’d like to, I cannot accept this check.
Would you please confirm this is payment for your article?
I am happy to inform you that your payment has been mailed out to you by my sponsor and has been delivered to your address by USPS. The article is a two phased project therefore, we are considering you to write the next phase of this project, I have complete faith that the first phase will be written well hence the need to consider you for the phase two. The additional fee for the next phase of the project was added to this payment. We’ve calculated the next phase with the same rate as this first project, so the first phase and the phase 2 will cost us $5,550 and that is the amount on the check. We don’t have much time now and here is the information.
Amount on check $5,550
Kindly confirm with me as soon as you receive the payment and you can start immediately your payment, we have barely 4 weeks to finish the project now. Proceed to Deposit the check. Let me know as soon as you deposit the check.
Good morning Rosemarie,
I like well-paid work as much as anybody else, but this out-of-left-field abundance was confusing, albeit clearly explained in Rosemarie’s explanation. But working without a contract isn’t how I do business.
Thank you for your immediate response, Rosemarie, but I need details on the project.
As I understood, and as stated in our contract, only the social media piece was due in one month, on Mar 1. But from your email, it sounds like your entire 2-part project is due on Mar 1. Until I know the details of part two, I cannot guarantee anything other than what we agreed upon.
Please tell me
· what the second article is about
· how long the article should be
· what material you have for it, i.e., a headline and outline, etc
· who the target audience is
· how it should be formatted, i.e., Word document, pdf, etc
Looking forward to this info,
Thanks for the comrehensive response to my last email. The second phase of the project is continuation of the first phase. Social Media is a broad subject and it requires that we cover every angle that discusss the subject matter.
To answer your questions, the second phase is very similar to the first phase. The word count is 2700 words. I don’t have any material for the second phase. That responsibity falls within our jurisdiction. The audience is the still the same. The second phase should be Microsoft Word.
A new date will be communicated to you for the submission of the second phase.Please go ahead and deposit the check and let me knoow as soon as you do.
I await your quick response as soon as you deposit the check.
Thank you for clearing up my confusion, Rosemarie. Now that I have a better vision of the entire project, I’m looking forward to writing both articles.
Shall I send you a contract for phase 2 that says the article is due April 1st?
I feel we should decide now what phase 2 will talk about, so I can begin to plan that while I write the first article.
Also, how did you find me and decide to connect? I’m so curious!
Thanks for working on Stupor Bowl Sunday :-)
I have decided that the first phase of the project written while we wait for the approval of the second phase. Have you deposited the check? You are not talking about the payment? I need to give feedback to my sponsor on the payment. Please send me a contract for the phase 2. I will look into it and waiting for the approval.
I await your quick response. Please get back to me on the payment.
After your explanation, I was reassured the project was definitely approved so deposited the check for both articles. The check will clear today, if it didn’t yesterday.
I’m a little confused by your question, but attached is the contract for the second phase article. Thank you for signing it and returning it as promptly as you did the article 1 contract.
Feb 10 6:45am
New Development… Please getback to me with the tracking details of the Money order
I think we are going to have a little delay with the Phase 2. I just received a message from the Sponsor that the Phase 2 should be withheld and postponed till 1st week of August 2021. The Phase 1 would be used for the first part of the seminar coming up on May, 2021 and the Phase 2 is for the second part of the seminar coming up in September. For this reason, we would only work on the phase 1 for now and get it ready before the due date.
Please I want you to take all your full payments for the phase 1 ($2550), I’m giving you $100 more for your stress and your extra time for the work. And for the remaining money for the Phase 2, I want you to buy Money Order with the remaining funds and send it to my sponsor.
You are to buy the Money Order and mail it by FedEx or USPS Priority Mail to the contact details of my sponsor and get back to me with the shipping confirmation/receipt . Below is the full information on this transaction….
Article writing project. Topic: “Social Media : The Benefits and Risks”
Payments : $2550 + $100 = $2650
BUY MONEY ORDER OF ($2,900) AND MAIL IT INTO THE INFORMATION BELOW :
Name: Nitza Velazquez
Address: 10 Chestnut Street, Apt 1107
Springfield MA 01103
** Ensure you mail by FedEx/USPS Overnight Priority Service and make it a signature waiver. No Signature required.
** Ensure that the MONEY ORDER IS BLANK. Do not write anything on them.
** Please DO NOT DETACH the receipts attached to the Money Orders.
Please send me the FedEx or USPS receipt after sending the package.
Feb 10 11:44am
Aha. The blank money order demand set off my internal bullshit alarm.
I am cancelling our contract for Phase 1 article and returning your full check for Phase 1 + Phase 2 ($5550) to you. Unless you give me a different address, I will send the refund to the address provided above, which you should receive within 7–10 days:
Address: 10 Chestnut Street, Apt 1107
Springfield MA 01103
If you want the refund sent to an alternate address, please let me know.
Attached is the cancelled contract, a copy of which I will also send with your refund check.
Feb 10 12:31pm
Why are you cancelling the two contracts? Why don’t you want to work on phase 1 anymore? You have disrupted my plans if you decide to return the money for phase 1 and 2. Please make this more convenient for the next writer by sending Money Orders.
Feb 10 1:02pm
Sabriga, send Money Orders and use overnight priority service. Take out of the money with you to send the Money order and deduct it from the funds available to you. You don’t have to use your money to send the Money ordrers.
Feb 10 1:09pm
I am cancelling the contract because all these money shenanigans reek of a scam.
I will send the money to the address provided when all the hoops I had to jump through on this end have resolved.
If you are not a scam, I suggest you refine your business practices and simply pay according to the contract.
Feb 10 1:18pm
I am sorry this happened. I did’t cancel my sponsor did. She’s the one releasing funds for the project. I tried to convince her but she said No. Now you’re setting me back further by cancelling the phas 1.
Please Sabriga try and refund the money asap. She’s already implying that I amtrying to collude with you to scam her because you don’t want to refund her money. I am very sorry for the inconvenience and abrupt cancellation of the Phase 2.
I will apprecaite if you send her money today and she can see that it’s in the mail already.
Feb 10 1:56pm
Please get it done today. The sponsor is on my case.
Fortunately, only minutes later, the local bank in which I’d deposited the check a few days before called to say it had bounced. Unfortunately, I had already transferred some of the funds to another bank.
My heart was pounding and my stomach quaking as I called bank #2. With the help of their excellent customer service, they refunded the payment I’d made and helped transfer the funds to my checking account with them. I immediately wrote a check to myself from that account and scurried to deposit it at bank #1 to cover the fraudulent check before I incurred charges.
Bank #1 also reminded me that all “Rosemarie” had given me was a worthless piece of paper and that I was under no obligation to refund a penny or respond to the emails. Even if I already knew that part, it was comforting to hear.
Both banks said these scams now abound in so many ways, that some police departments won’t take a report. Fortunately, mine did. But even after I filed a police report, I was still shaking my deep core and at bedtime was still going over and over this threat, the combination of good luck and competent bank CSRs, and my narrow escape.
Later that evening, I received:
Feb 10 10:56pm
Where is the refund?
Following the bank’s advice (and against my own urge to write a profanity-laden, all-caps response), I just deleted it, and haven’t received another email since.
In the next morning’s meditation, I relinquished the remaining fear, anger, and worry. And then it was off to play with my 4 ¾-year-old, cute-as-a-button nephew!
I still plan on asking the Post Office about filing a report on this because the fraudulent check came to me via USPS Priority mail. But I know of nothing I can do to trace the sending address because it is through protonmail.com, a service that fully encrypts emails.
Live and learn. We can all help each other by sharing these kinds of experiences.