Over the weekend a strange thing happened. I received an anonymous banker’s draft for quite a large sum of money. No identifying information, no name, no compliments slip – no way of identifying who it was from. At first I decided I must have a mysterious benefactor who wanted to give me a bit of financial help, but as the day went on I became more and more suspicious of this unexpected windfall, and a call to the issuing branch on Monday confirmed my fears that it was probably fraudulent. It was still a mystery though – until I received an email from a new proofreading client asking if I’d received her payment – a banker’s draft. The scam was revealed – there had been a dreadful mistake, she’d meant to send part of the money to another supplier, could I please take my payment plus any fees I wanted to charge and forward the rest to her via Western Union. Haha very funny …
So I don’t have a mystery benefactor after all but was the victim of an attempted scam. I was out of pocket by £48 – the cost of the work I did for the “client” but apart from a bit of hassle contacting the bank Id come out of it unscathed. I was pretty annoyed at being targetted though, and couldn’t understand why I had been singled out.
Except I hadn’t. Yesterday I received the following email from findaproofreader.com, a site I’m registered on:
One of our advertisers has kindly informed us of a scammer who came to him via the contact form on Find a Proofreader.
I can see that this scam artist, who goes by the name of Rebeca Alonso, has contacted about 20 of you via the site in the past week. I also know that this scam artist is also targeting proofreaders outside of Find a Proofreader because she emailed my proofreading business, Full Proof, directly as well.
Rebeca Alonso is sending people the following email: “We have few project needs proofread and edited to a high standard can you please let me know if you available to take on any new job…waiting to hear from you soon…Thank You”
She then sends you the work, and posts you a banker’s draft for much more than you asked for. You query it, and she emails back apologising, saying that her colleague sent you the wrong amount. She asks you to pay the banker’s draft into your bank and then she asks you to refund her the difference. Of course, the banker’s draft will not clear in your account because it is fraudulent, so if you pay her any money it will be your own money you’re paying.
I’m sorry to any of you who have fallen for this scam – hopefully none of you got to the point where you actually paid the scam artist any money.
A huge thanks again to the advertiser who alerted me to this issue. I will write an article on the Find a Proofreader blog about it asap – if you could all read it, share it, like in on Facebook etc, that would be appreciated, as everyone in the proofreading community needs to be made aware of this problem.
Seems like this “Rebeca” is doing the rounds of proofreaders – so consider this a warning and stay away!
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net