Clown Internet Scam - An Internet Scam is Currently Targeting Clowns and Other Entertainers
I am the victim of an internet scam. It is very hard to write that sentence, but it's necessary in order to warn my fellow clowns, magicians and other entertainers, and to prevent them from being taken for $2,800.00 like I was. Here is what happened to me, and how you can avoid it.
I run the clown-ministry.com web site, and I perform as a clown at both ministry and secular events. Due to the popularity of the clown-ministry.com web site (do a search on Google .com for 'clown' and it's the 7th site listed, for example) I'm easily found by people -- for both good and bad reasons. For instance, last year my wife Ellen and I taught clowning for a week at the Seventh Day Adventists' national Camporee -- we're not Adventists, and don't know many people who are, but we were found by them & hired primarily due to the popularity of the web site. We've been invited to perform in clown at a conference in Canada, performed at company picnics, etc. well out of our neck of the wood, and so on. Please understand that this isn't bragging; it's setting the stage for what happened in the scam.
We were contacted via e-mail by someone purportedly from Cincinnati, Ohio, who wanted to fly my wife & I to Cincinnati to perform at a birthday party. Since we'd had similar things happen in the past, that didn't set off any alarms in my head. In addition, I knew that there are entertainers such as Jennifer Lopez who will sing "Happy Birthday" at your party, for a fee of $50,000.00; I'm no J Lo, and my singing is atrocious, but I charge a lot less as well :)
I did an internet search on that person (I'm not using the name he gave, since there's a criminal investigation as well as FBI investigation going on -- no joke), and found someone by that name in Cincinnati, Ohio, a "regional celebrity" so to speak. So, it didn't seem incredulous that he would have the money to hire us as well as pay round trip air fare. It's now obvious that it was merely someone using that person's name to "hook" us.
At that point, my wife & I were still inclined to think of this as a prank, but even so we replied to the email with a quotation for our services, politely and professionally. We were joking with each other that this had to be a prank; after all, why would someone hire us when there are hundreds of clowns in the Cincinnati area? Unless it was someone with money to burn who wanted to buy "bragging rights," it made no sense. So we forgot about it, until the person replied back, hiring us.
We still considered it a joke, until we received a check in the mail, for $2,800.00. MUCH more that we had quoted our services for! We thought that, maybe, the excess was to pay for round trip air fare and accommodations, but even so that was far too much. We e-mailed the person back, explaining that we had received $2,800.00 via check. His response is what should have tipped us off to the scam.
He replied that, since he was out of the country on a business trip, he had his personal assistant send the checks out for the party, and the assistant had made a mistake, combining with our check one for $2,300.00 for the photographer from the United Kingdom that he was flying in to photograph the party. Would we be so kind as to send him those funds via Western Union?
Like an idiot, I said "yes." The check had been deposited and cleared (I thought), and I didn't want to hold onto money that didn't belong to me. So, I went to the local Western Union office and sent $2,300.00 to an individual in the United Kingdom. This didn't set off any red flags (although it should have) since it seemed like the type of silly mistake I've seen people do before. What happened next, though, set off every red flag in my head, and then some.
Days later, I received another email from the man supposedly from Cincinnati. According to him, his mother had an advanced form of lung cancer, and needed an immediate operation. He wanted me to send the remaining money to his mother's doctor in Nigeria and he would reschedule the party later. When I heard the word 'Nigeria' I had icicles running up and down my spine. Nigeria is famous, in the internet world, for being home to the most prolific scam of all time. You've likely received spam email about it. In a nutshell, it involves the widow of some minister or rich person, who is trying to smuggle their immense fortune out of the country before it's seized by her dead husband's adversaries; in exchange for letting them use your bank account, they will give you (various amounts of money, if not enough to make you filthy rich, at least enough to make you dingy). Of course, no money comes out, but these people proceed to rob your bank account of every penny.
So, when I heard that, fear clutched at my heart. Besides, why would someone rich enough to hire me (and fly a photographer in from the UK) need my money? The answer is, he didn't; he was just trying to bilk me of more money before his ruse was exposed.
You see, when I initially deposited the $2,800.00 check, it appeared to clear; it was then several more days before he requested the $2,300 to his photographer, and nearly a week (from the time I deposited the check) until I complied with that. 11 days after the check was initially deposited, it came back 'funds denied.' The bank then debited $2,800.00 from my checking account -- which didn't contain that much, of course. So, I'm out $2,800.00, the crook (or his accomplice in the UK) received $2,300.00. What's the moral of the story?
The purpose of this is two-fold: to warn my fellow clowns, and to point out the red flags that I should have seen, and what I should have done.
So, that's where it lies. I'm out $2,800.00, and in danger of losing my house due to the actions of this criminal. Jesus Christ orders His followers to "pray for those who despitefully use you" (Matthew 5:44). It's difficult, but I'm praying. Thank you for listening -- be sure to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Tom Raymond, aka. Raynbow the magic clown, is a professional clown and underemployed computer geek, webmaster of http://www.clown-ministry.com/ the largest clown resource site on the web. His personal site can be found at http://www.clown-ministry.com/raynbow/
Exclusive: DHS investigating whether floor plans and other security information were exposed in ransomware attack on contractor - CNN
Exclusive: DHS investigating whether floor plans and other security information were exposed in ransomware attack on contractor CNN
US National Security Agency unveils artificial intelligence security centre Al Jazeera English
Netanyahu to reportedly hold special security assessment on Sunday The Times of Israel
AI Security Center to Open at National Security Agency Department of Defense
How a government shutdown would affect Dept. of Homeland Security KSAT San Antonio
Burkina Faso: 'elections not a priority compared to security', says military leader - Africanews English
Burkina Faso: 'elections not a priority compared to security', says military leader Africanews English
NSA establishing “Artificial Intelligence Security Center” Federal News Network
Suspicious item shuts down checked baggage screening system at ... - Transportation Security Administration
Suspicious item shuts down checked baggage screening system at ... Transportation Security Administration
FACT SHEET: Impact of a Government Shutdown on the DHS ... Homeland Security
House Approves H.R. 4367, The Department of Homeland Security ... House Appropriations
Liberty schools adding new security measures | News, Sports, Jobs Youngstown Vindicator
Border Security is National Security Cathy McMorris Rodgers
Protesters confront security forces as Iran marks anniversary of crackdown Al Jazeera English
FBI Academy gives Tuskegee CIO foundation for increased campus ... Tuskegee University
Get Up to Date on CISSP Security and Risk Management Entrepreneur
Security Council Press Statement on Yemen | UN Press United Nations
Message from Secretary Mayorkas Regarding a Potential Federal ... Homeland Security
Designating Actors Undermining the Peace, Security, and Stability of ... Department of State
US, Mexican Officials Talk About Trade, Economic Growth, Border Security - Voice of America - VOA News
US, Mexican Officials Talk About Trade, Economic Growth, Border Security Voice of America - VOA News
DSS protects athletes and attendees at Women’s World Cup State Magazine
Safety & Security Newsletters Adams 12 Five Star Schools
Ministerial Conference's Contribution to Nuclear Security; ICONS ... - International Atomic Energy Agency
Ministerial Conference's Contribution to Nuclear Security; ICONS ... International Atomic Energy Agency
Fact Sheet: DHS Western Hemisphere Cyber Conference Homeland Security
Secretary tours Foreign Affairs Security Training Center State Magazine
Strategies for the Digital Age: Comprehensive Cyber Security Market Insights Revealed for 2023-2033 - Yahoo Finance
Strategies for the Digital Age: Comprehensive Cyber Security Market Insights Revealed for 2023-2033 Yahoo Finance
Private security company quits DTSM contract Santa Monica Daily Press
Best Arlo security cameras in 2023 Android Police
Remarks at a UN Security Council Meeting on Maintenance of ... - United States Mission to the United Nations
Remarks at a UN Security Council Meeting on Maintenance of ... United States Mission to the United Nations
Innovative Solutions Discussed at Global Nuclear Safety and ... - International Atomic Energy Agency
Innovative Solutions Discussed at Global Nuclear Safety and ... International Atomic Energy Agency
CPD commander demoted after working for private security during White Sox Guaranteed Rate Field shooting, sources tell ABC7 - WLS-TV
CPD commander demoted after working for private security during White Sox Guaranteed Rate Field shooting, sources tell ABC7 WLS-TV
University Tennessee Baker School expands national security ... Knoxville News Sentinel
Texas congressional delegation spars over border security The Highland County Press
Remarks by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield at UN Security ... - United States Mission to the United Nations
Remarks by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield at UN Security ... United States Mission to the United Nations
Biden-Harris Administration Announces Final National Security ... US Department of Commerce
BHS Principal, School Board Applaud Security Camera Policy Draft The Bedford Citizen
Lane College employees concerned about campus security Inside Higher Ed
Data-driven cyber: empowering government security with... - NCSC ... - National Cyber Security Centre
Data-driven cyber: empowering government security with... - NCSC ... National Cyber Security Centre
Senate GOP floats border security amendment in funding bill negotiations, but some say it's too weak - Fox News
Senate GOP floats border security amendment in funding bill negotiations, but some say it's too weak Fox News
Female soldiers no longer to guard security prisons amid suspected sex scandal - The Times of Israel
Female soldiers no longer to guard security prisons amid suspected sex scandal The Times of Israel
Utica security officers recognized for role in stopping fight Utica Observer Dispatch
NAPCO SECURITY SHAREHOLDER ALERT BY FORMER ... PR Newswire
Biden Administration Announces Additional Security Assistance for ... Department of Defense
Security guard questions county's double standard after he was shot near downtown Macon bar - wgxa.tv
Readout: U.S. - Mexico Meeting on Joint Actions to Further Enhance ... - Customs and Border Protection
Readout: U.S. - Mexico Meeting on Joint Actions to Further Enhance ... Customs and Border Protection
New U.S.-Poland Foreign Military Financing Direct Loan Agreement ... Department of State
PA: ‘Israel occupation direct threat to region, Europe, world security’ Middle East Monitor
Comprehensive Security Integration and Prosperity Agreement ... Department of State
Dave Mustaine Ejects Security Guards at Megadeth Show: “I Hate Bullies” Yahoo Entertainment
Secretary Antony J. Blinken At the Addressing the Urgent Security ... Department of State
Security Chattanooga Times Free Press
WHO calls cholera a ‘threat to global health security’ The Washington Post
Fact Sheet: The Biden-Harris Administration Takes New Actions to ... Homeland Security
Protecting Your Identity On The Internet
Afraid that someone is monitoring your PC or installed a keylogger to record every single keystroke? Find out which tools you need to get to make sure you are protected.X-Cleaner Deluxehttp://www.
The Important Steps To Protect Your Kids on the Internet
Internet is the ocean of knowledge. In this ocean youwill find beautiful pearls of knowledge.
Behavior to Stay Safer Online
1. Importance of a Virus Scanner: A Antivirus program can help to prevent you from becoming infected with a Virus or Trojan.
What is Hacking? Are You a Hacker?
WHAT IS HACKING?Hacking, sometimes known as "computer crime" has only recently been taken very seriously. The activities undertaken by the real hackers have been criminalized and they are now being legally persecuted on a scale disproportional to the actual threat they pose.
Protect Your Little Black Book
The movie Little Black Book features a young woman, Stacy, who is frustrated when her boyfriend refuses to share information about his past relationships. When his PDA, a Palm Tungsten C, falls into her hands, she is faced with a conundrum.
Social Engineering - The Real E-Terrorism?
One evening, during the graveyard shift, an AOL technical support operator took a call from a hacker. During the hour long conversation the hacker mentioned he had a car for sale.
8 Surefire Ways to Spot an EBAY Scam E-Mail and Protect Yourself from Identity Theft
Ebay is a great site and is used by many to buy and sell new and used Items. It truly is the worlds Largest Garage Sale Unfortunately when an online site becomes as big and popular as E-Bay the scam artists seem to just naturally follow.
Hacking Threats and Protective Security
The 1998 Data Protection Act was not an extension to, but rather a replacement which retains the existing provisions of the data protection system established by the 1984 legislation. The Act was to come into force from 24 October 1998 but was delayed until 1st March 2000.
Phishing - Learn To Identify It
Phishing: (fish'ing) (n.)This is when someone sends you an email falsely claiming to be a legitimate business - like your bank or credit card company - in an attempt to scam you into giving them your personal, private information that they can use to access your accounts.
Detect Spyware Online
You can detect spyware online using free spyware cleaners and by installing spyware protection software on your computer. Often it's best to start with free spyware cleaners because these free programs will remove any spyware programs currently running on your computer.
Virus Nightmare..Lessons Learned
I got a virus the other day, Thursday I believe and since then I have been making FRANTIC efforts to save all my info.The most important thing for me to save are my Outlook Express emails and my Roboform passwords.
Cybercriminals Trick: Targeted Trojan-Containing Emails
Threats we ordinary Web users face online leave us no choice but learn. Haven't you noticed how many new things you learned lately? We are much better informed about malicious programs than just a year ago.
The Truth About Hiding Your Tracks on the Internet
Ok, ok, I know you've seen them. All those pop up windows claiming that "You're being watched!" or banner ads saying "Your computer is under surveillance!" And all you need to do is buy their product and your computer's visbility will disappear from the Internet.
Is The Internet Over Regulated
Today's Internet or World Wide Web is being over regulated.But, are you being taken for a ride, are you lead to believe that Governments World Wide are creating new legislation for your benefit or are there underlying factors that these laws are more beneficial to Governments and big business?First we had the Can-Spam and other laws passed regulating the sending of unsolicited commercial e-mail, that contains false or deceptive subject information, or that is sent from invalid e-mail addresses, but for me, my inbox still seems to always be full of junk mail.
Online Shoppers, Beware of a New Scam
Beware of a New Scam Aimed at Bargain-HuntersTrying to buy something cheap is absolutely natural--and online crooks set traps for unwitting bargain-hunters. On April 6 Panda Software warned Internet users of a new particularly brazen scam aimed at stealing confidential information.
Spyware SolutionProbably Today's Biggest Computer Problem.You Suffer Without Knowing Your PC is Infected!"The effects can be devastating.
Types Of Computer Infections
Computer infections can be broken up into 4 main categories which are explained in detail below:VirusesComputer Viruses are small pieces of software that attach themselves to real programs. An example would be a virus that attaches itself onto windows explorer.
How to Fight Spyware
If you are wondering how to fight spyware for safe web surfing, this Internet privacy article will answer some of your questions. By now you have probably heard about the dangers of spyware.
Road Warrior At Risk: The Dangers Of Ad-Hoc Wireless Networking
Airport Menace: The Wireless Peeping Tom----------------------------------------As a network security consultant, I travel quite frequently. At times, it seems like the airport is my second home.
The Risk Of Electronic Fraud & Identity Theft
Electronic Fraud and Identity Theft-----------------------------------Human beings are pretty sensible when presented with an imminent threat or risk. That is, if it's staring us directly in the face.
|home | site map|