Open Warning–Wedding Scam "John Alberto"

Posted In: Coffee Break

  • Participant
    David Ice on #201136

    At least 3 harpists (including me) have been contacted on The Knot about playing for a wedding.  A “John Alberto”.   It’s a scam.  Tell your harpist friends.  He’s really been active, contacting in New York and Arizona and probably every other state.

     

    Dave Ice

    Spectator
    Brenda Street on #201162

    David, he’s certainly active in Georgia!  He contacted me via The Knot regarding a 3-hour reception at a venue in Atlanta suburbs.  Was extremely eager to pay me.  I phoned the venue and was told that I was the 7th musician who had phoned them to verify that he had booked the venue, which, of course, he had not.  Yes, a total scam.

    Participant
    David Ice on #201164

    Wow Brenda…he’s been a very bad boy!  I also just got another The Knot lead–from a “Crystal Diana”.   99.9999% sure she’s a fraud too, if not the same person!   I don’t say this lightly, but I hope there is a special place in Hell for people who do this sort of thing!

    Participant
    catherine-rogers on #207347

    Someone’s at it again. This time the name is Mike Benson, on the Knot.com, who wants to surprise his daughter at her wedding on June 24 at a venue here in Atlanta. Thought it was legit until he replied still asking for info I’d given and wrote the key phrase: that he was working offshore in Canada but lived in NJ and to use only email. I asked the Knot to remove his posts. So tired of this foolishness. Wastes my time.

    Participant
    carl-swanson on #207356

    What is the point of this kind of scam. Is he just into jerking you around? Make you show up at a venue where there is no event? Or does he somehow get you to pay him money? I don’t get it?

    Participant
    brian-noel on #207357

    The typical scam is he contacts you with a lot of bizarre flowery language, and the event is booked. He then sends you a check for $2000 and wants you to send him a check for the overpayment difference. It’s a scam anyone can see coming a mile away. You can take the fake check to the bank to see if they want to pursue it, but they won’t, and neither will the postal inspector, as they get so many of these.

    Participant
    carl-swanson on #207366

    Interesting. I have a Venus Aria listed in the Classifieds here. I just got the following email about it and it looks very fishy to say the least. Has anyone else gotten this email???

    Message:

    I am okay with the price of this item and the condition of items and we will like to make an outright purchase of this particular item immediately.I’m in need of it and i want to get it as soon
    as possible, I anticipate that a cashier check or certified check will be sent to you via express mail or usps or Fedex as the mode of payment, concerning the pickup, i will be responsible for that, where the mover will come for the pick up at your location upon your confirmation of receiving the payment and i want you to remove this item from the ad now. So i will send the payment which will include the pick up charges, in which you will make payable to the mover via there account immediately after you have receive the payment and you will be compensated with $150 extra for your running around to the
    Bank outlet to avoid the delay. And I would really love to come
    for the viewing but due to my work frame that might not be possible.

    I will like you to provide the following payment information as
    soon as possible:

    Your Full Name….
    Your Full Home Address….
    City…..
    State…..
    Zip code….
    Cell Number or Telephone
    Best Price..

    As soon as this is provided i will let you know when payment is mailed out and i will update you on when you will receive the payment and give you instructions on what to do. .l’ll contact my mover to come over to your location for the pick up as soon as you receive payment and we have made some arrangement for the pick up as soon as you email me back that you’ve received the payment,then I will now instruct the shipper to come down to your location with a letter of approval and phone call from me, but never mind, I want you to be rest assured that my shipper will take care of everything on my behalf without giving you any stress. I am not here always your can reach me with your details through my private email which is jasonsamuelseasons@gmail.com

    i hope we handle this in good faith.

    Jason

    Participant
    David Ice on #207367

    Wow–what a crock of hooey that “buyer” is. I think I will copy that out, reverse a couple of things, and send that out in response to all future “clients” who want to hire me for their weddings. I.e.

    I am okay with the price for providing music for your daughter’s wedding. I’m in need of it and i want to paid as soon
    as possible, I anticipate that a cashier check or certified check will be sent to me via express mail or usps or Fedex as the mode of payment, concerning the pickup of the harp on the wedding day, i will be responsible for that, where my harp mover will come for the pick up at my location upon my confirmation of receiving the payment and i want you to not contact any other musical vendor now. So i will be sent the payment which will include the pick up charges, in which you will make payable to my harp mover via his account immediately after he has received the payment and you will be compensated with $150 extra for your running around to the
    Bank outlet to avoid the delay. And I would really love to come
    for the wedding rehearsal dinner but due to my work frame that might not be possible.

    Participant
    carl-swanson on #207375

    It’s amazing David how you can just spot fraud and scam from how these things are written. As someone who regularly rents harps, I have to go with my gut many times on these things. If an email or phone call just doesn’t sound “right,” then I simply won’t rent to the person.

    A couple of years ago I got a call for a rental from a woman who said she was Saudi. She said she was going to Harvard and was studying privately with someone in the Boston area. I didn’t know the teacher’s name. The woman’s English was slightly accented but excellent. But the conversation just didn’t sound like she knew anything about the harp. She said she wanted to come to my house to try the instruments I had available. I agreed and she came a couple of days later. I left her alone with the instruments(as I normally do when someone comes to try out harps). She called me back to the living room about 4 minutes later to tell me which one she wanted. She had not played a single note on any of them(I would have heard). Still wary, I told her I would have to make out a contract and that she would have to give me a check for the first three months in order to take the harp. She said that her bank account was not yet set up and that she could give me cash for the first month and come back in two days to give me cash for the second and third month. I politely said that I was going to stick to my standard format. I told her to come back when she could give me a check for all three months. She left, and only then did I realize that she had a driver and a gigantic SUV waiting to take the instrument. They drove off, and several hours later I received an email from her saying that she wasn’t going to rent from me because “I didn’t trust her.” For all I know, she may have had diplomatic immunity. I’m certain that, had I let her take the harp, it would have been on a plane to Saudi Arabia within a couple of hours.

    I’m telling this story because, to everybody reading it, go with your gut if anything sounds fishy, even if you can’t pinpoint exactly what is wrong.

    Participant
    David Ice on #207623

    I’ve also gotten inquiries from a “Edward Carter”….who apparently is being married in Phoenix and Washington DC the same day. I hope he has a non-stop flight and plenty of rest before the big day! So exhausting!

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