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Forum / Writing Careers / answers: 10

Educate America Scam (impersonators are trying to scam writers)


Nov 1, 2011, 06:01PM | #1
Fellow writers: People impersonating Educate! America are out there trying to scam writers. I was personally targeted through one of my ads. http://sunoasis.ning.com/profiles/blog/show?id=1443527%3ABlogPost%3A52599 has more information. The person or persons has (have) claimed to be John Maxwell and, in the past, Martha Benson. They have forged money orders and Federal Reserve bank checks. They claim to pay $30 a page.

And, though I don't need to say this for the veterans, anyone new in the industry can benefit from learning the following:

1) Be careful when someone offers to pay you after the completion of work. Sometimes, legitimate organizations will pay upon publication or receipt. But make sure such organizations can be trusted.

2) Watch your receivables. If a Federal Reserve bank check can be forged, be very careful when you have money in the pipeline that has yet to hit your account.

3) If someone claims to be from a legitimate organization, double-check their credentials. A simple Google check can see if anyone's impersonating them. Make sure their e-mail matches the domain name of the organization they claim to represent; if it doesn't, ask why.

4) Watch for common scam tactics. The one this scam ring tries is claiming that their donors are sending more money to you, and asking you to send the extra over Western Union. It's a version of the classic cashier's check scam. Such arrangements are a red flag which should cause you to look again. If you do agree to such an arrangement, make sure the money has cleared to your account before sending anything, and record any MTCN or information in case things go sour.

5) If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. These guys offered $30 a page and priced off a 225 word per page model. I've certainly made that much in the past, but it still warrants a double-check.

6) Be careful about working with anyone who can't properly spell, use correct English grammar or syntax. There are certainly professionals who will occasionally drop a typo or two, but if you are routinely seeing capitalization errors, odd turns of phrase or word choices and non-traditional syntax, watch out.


pheelyks  
Nov 1, 2011, 08:37PM | #3
AmonsEssays:
If you do agree to such an arrangement, make sure the money has cleared to your account before sending anything, and record any MTCN or information in case things go sour.

Why would you ever agree to such an arrangement? What possible legitimate explanation for such a transaction could there be?


pheelyks  
Nov 1, 2011, 09:35PM | #5
EW_writer:
Desperation.

That kind of desperation ain't legitimate.

Nov 1, 2011, 10:47PM | #6
pheelyks:
Why would you ever agree to such an arrangement? What possible legitimate explanation for such a transaction could there be?


To be fair, I could see a not-particularly-organized not-for-profit having an issue where a donor only wants to pay a particular person or money has to be disbursed in a particular way. My point is, even if you believe that the arrangement is reasonable, watch out.

That reminds me: Also be concerned whenever someone says that their payment arrangement will change. Ask a lot of questions and be specific: It's often a sign that they're trying to set you up.

pheelyks  
Nov 2, 2011, 12:53AM | #7
AmonsEssays:
To be fair, I could see a not-particularly-organized not-for-profit having an issue where a donor only wants to pay a particular person or money has to be disbursed in a particular way

Umm....no. That would involve the donor disbursing money to an account associated with the non-profit, which would then have to disburse it to different areas within the non-proift. This is very different from passing the money through a third person that keeps a "transaction fee" and sends the rest on--that's a scam, plain and simple. There's no equivocation here.

AmonsEssays:
if you believe that the arrangement is reasonable

If you believe the arrangement is reasonable, you shouldn't be allowed to handle money, ever.


Nov 2, 2011, 01:44AM | #9
Heremeout:
Nothing good about the post. Open your mind, will you? These are just some desperate and inflammatory allegations.


What do you care? Are you involved with a scam ring? Are you one of the people who owe writers money? And how would you know that it's unsubstantiated? I have evidence for it, as does the other writer I pointed you to, including transcripts of e-mails.

pheelyks:
Umm....no. That would involve the donor disbursing money to an account associated with the non-profit, which would then have to disburse it to different areas within the non-proift. This is very different from passing the money through a third person that keeps a "transaction fee" and sends the rest on--that's a scam, plain and simple. There's no equivocation here.


That's not what happened. I would ask you to reread, but you are determined to be hostile, so don't bother.

pheelyks:
If you believe the arrangement is reasonable, you shouldn't be allowed to handle money, ever.


Oh, good. That sure was constructive. I was saying that some types of unorthodox arrangements may actually be reasonable. You incorrectly deduced I was referring to this case, which clearly isn't.

I like how, in this corner of the Internet, basic etiquette and not being catty has been utterly forgotten. Please think before you post: "Could I have said nothing and accomplished more of use?" Yep.

Nov 2, 2011, 01:58AM | #10
AmonsEssays:
I like how, in this corner of the Internet, basic etiquette and not being catty has been utterly forgotten.

Before you present some concrete evidence apart from the trashy link you provided, begin by working on your grammar, it's horrible than I imagined.

pheelyks  
Nov 2, 2011, 02:22AM | #11
AmonsEssays:
That's not what happened.

What's not what happened? The first scenario I described, which is clearly not what happened (that was my point), or the second scenario (which is exactly what happens every time this scam is perpetrated)?
AmonsEssays:
you are determined to be hostile

I am determined to disagree with you when you're wrong; if you see that as hostile, that's not my problem.
AmonsEssays:
Oh, good. That sure was constructive.

I didn't resort to sarcasm because I'm a butt-hurt whiner. It actually was constructive--if you (or anyone else) honestly believes there is a circumstance where what you described is legitimate and a good idea, they really shouldn't be allowed to handle money, They'll only lose it, and perpetuate this type of scamming by continuing to make it profitable.

If this is the kind of critical thinking you provide your customers, I feel really sorry for them.

AmonsEssays:
I was saying that some types of unorthodox arrangements may actually be reasonable

No, you were saying this one particular type of extremely unorthodox arrangement might actually be reasonable. Maybe that's not what you meant to say, in which case you really need to work on your clarity, but it most definitely is what you said.

AmonsEssays:
You incorrectly deduced I was referring to this case, which clearly isn't.

If that's what had happened, it would have been a case of inductive reasoning rather than deductive reasoning. It isn't what happened--you referred specifically back to the case you had outlined--but you're wrong either way. Does it ever get old?

AmonsEssays:
basic etiquette and not being catty has been

*have been

AmonsEssays:
Could I have said nothing and accomplished more of use

*accomplished something of more use, perhaps, but certainly not what you wrote. Your English gets bad when you get angry.

On a more substantial level, what I said was useful--you are saying that this pay-forwarding scheme is something people should consider, and I am telling them it's an outright scam, plan and simple. My advice is a hell of a lot more useful than yours (which could actually be extremely counter-productive).


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