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WARNING: The latest scam

  • 1.  WARNING: The latest scam

    Posted 03-16-2018 09:23
    I received the following email yesterday

    Good day,

    If you received this message earlier you can ignore because i had some technical issues with my email. I am in search of a home builder and was recommended to you by the home builders directory. I have a building project to start soon and also another building of mine needs renovation, Just waiting on the bank to finalize and grant my loan. Can you build out of your building design? I have a certain pattern and plan for the kind of home i might be interested in.

    I look forward to your reply.

    Thanks,

    Best Regards

    Thomas Harry

    This is actually about the 10th variant of this email that I have received in the last year.  The others were in gobbled English, which brought immediate concern to their legitimacy. When responding with trepidation to the first one, the sender immediately wanted to dropbox drawings to me for review. Then they said there was a problem with their account and asked to log on using my password to transfer the drawings to me.  The discussion obviously ended there, but later we heard that locking dropboxes and demanding money to unlock them is a real deal scam. When I think of the myriad project and philanthropic organizational information that I share back and forth in Dropbox, if it was removed or locked, it could be devastating.

    Peace, I hope things are well in the CRAN world.

    Fondly,

    David



    ------------------------------
    David Andreozzi AIA
    Barrington RI
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: WARNING: The latest scam

    Posted 03-19-2018 17:50
    Here is the one I always get, to date from 6 hard of hearing potential clients who cannot spell foyer, I assume it has something to do with credit card fraud:

    Good-day,
    My name is Wendy Edwardo,I am hearing impaired that is the reason why contact you through via email,I will like to have a Design for Six Bed Rooms Bungalow All Suit with Two Living Rooms, foyal. master suite, playroom, kitchen, kitchenette, laundry room, and double Garage and will like access the Living from the Garage also have link with the Master Bed room ,If there is anything that can suite my taste which i am yet to included . Please Advice,Hope you accept credit Card as mode of payment for the Drawing , plan and Designs ,and i will appreciate if you can get back to me with the following details Estimate of Yours i will appreciate if you can get back to me with this Information Require from you

    Your full name... 

    Company Address... 

    Company Phone Number.. 

    Your Cellphone Number.. 

    what is your position in the Company:  

    I will be looking forward to hear from you any moment from now and also let me know the major credit card that you accept for payment as soon as possible . till i hear from you remain bless and a nice day

     

    Thanks

    Best Regards

    Wendy Edwardo



    ------------------------------
    Aric Gitomer AIA
    Principal
    Aric Gitomer Architect LLC
    Morris Plains NJ
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: WARNING: The latest scam

    Posted 03-20-2018 17:34
    Similar message from a Mr. Tony Richard. I’ve received this inquiry a number of times over the course of the previous 7 months. I did probe to check the veracity of the opportunity and received additional information. See examples below.

    <My name is Tony Richard,I am hearing impaired that is the reason why contact you through via Email,I will like to have a Design for Six Bed Rooms two Story All Suit with Two Living Rooms, foyal. master suite, playroom, kitchen, kitchenette, laundry room, and 3 car Garage and will like access the Living from the Garage also have link with the Master Bed room ,If there is anything that can suite my taste which i am yet to included . Please Advice,Hope you accept credit Card as mode of payment for the Drawing , plan and Designs ,and i will appreciate if you can get back to me with the following details Estimate of Yours
    Mr Tony>>

    <
    I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with you on the design of your new home. The first step is to gather some information about your property and the general outline of your project needs. It would be very helpful to have the project address and a plat of survey. Also, please share your thoughts on project construction budget.

    With this information, I can work with you to prepare a development strategy and an outline to help you understand the process.

    Please forward this information to me at this address.>>

    <Thank for your reply ,To ans your Question ,My Home Address :# 4304 Wisteria Landing Cir Unit 102, Louisville, KY 40218 ,yes i own lot to build ,Here is the address Lot #2733 Stearman St,Poplar Grove, IL 61065 1 acre,I am estimating approximately 1 acre, Yes I want it to be to Single Story,I budgeted $1,500,000.00.I wish to start by September and spend 12-14 months ,6058 Square Feet Six Bedroom, with 2 living rooms per suite,2 living rooms in total.Foyer, Master suite, playroom, kitchen, kitchenette (small cooking area), laundry room and Garage. With access to the Living space from Garage (possibly a mudroom entry) Master bedroom can easily be connected to a mudroom as well so as my bungalow plan would you put 3-4 Bedrooms downstairs, and 2 Bedrooms up. Is that ok?I need you advice on this I wish to meet you one on one to have around table meeting but I'm presently out of state on a medical trip in India, but in the mean time i would like to make an initial deposit with my credit card to let you know that I'm serious about this project.Any Document you need from is going to provide to by my Quantity Survey Agent,I will be looking forward to have the total estimates of your cost and also let me know the major credit card that you accept for payment as soon as possible. till i hear from you remain bless and have a nice day,While wait to hear from you.
    Sincerely
    Tony>>

    <Thank you for your interest and your response. At this time, I an unable to provide services in Kentucky. You may be better served with a local architect.
    Thank you,>>

    <>

    Truly,

    Mark Benner, AIA

    This email is for the use of the intended recipient(s) only. If you have received this email in error, please notify the sender immediately and then delete it. If you are not the intended recipient, you must not use, disclose or distribute this email without the author's permission. We have taken precautions to minimize the risk of transmitting software viruses, but we advise you to carry out your own virus checks on any attachment(s) to this message. We cannot accept liability for any loss or damage caused by software viruses.


    FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR HOME DESIGN
    OR TO GET STARTED CLICK HERE



    Ask the Expert
    Get answers to your most pressing questions.Leading architect, Mark Benner, is currently offering a limited number of Clarity Calls for Chicagoland property owners with plans to build or renovate in the next 12 months.
    Book Clarity Call




    Mark Eric Benner - Architects, Ltd.
    1725 Ferndale Avenue; Northbrook, IL 60062
    t847-412-0692 | m847-922-9880
    info@MEBArchitect.com | www.MEBArchitect.com




  • 4.  RE: WARNING: The latest scam

    Posted 03-21-2018 17:42
    I received this also, but didn't respond. I think I googled it and saw it was a scam.





  • 5.  RE: WARNING: The latest scam

    Posted 03-20-2018 18:13
    received similar email few weeks ago, different name, the text was the same.


    Best

    Henry

    H.B. Thompson Group LLC
    Henry B.Thompson AIA, NCARB, LEED BD+C
    Director Project Delivery

    H.B.Thompson Group LLC
    (732) 616-0336

    2 Andorra Terrace, Freehold, NJ 07728









  • 6.  RE: WARNING: The latest scam

    Posted 03-21-2018 18:00
    I received the same email at least twice.

    Sent from my iPhone




  • 7.  RE: WARNING: The latest scam

    Posted 03-19-2018 18:03
    I received the exact same email last week as well. As you say, prior such emails were such garbled language that there was no question of them being fake. This one was clearly written to the point that I actually read it a second time. For me, it was the references to home builders and being able to build my design that got it tossed in the trash. Even if legitimate, my guess is that they really weren't looking for an Architect.

    I wasn't sure what their angle was on the scam, but your information about Dropbox was a new one to me. I wouldn't give out login information like that, but can see that happening. Thanks for the warning!

    ------------------------------
    Thomas Bank AIA
    Principal Architect
    Simply Stated Architecture, P.C.
    Lemoyne PA
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: WARNING: The latest scam

    Posted 03-19-2018 20:23
    Thanks for alerting us about this scam David. Crazy.

    ------------------------------
    Enoch Sears AIA
    Founder and Publisher
    Business of Architecture

    Go here to discover how to earn 300% more on your next architecture firm proposal:
    https://www.businessofarchitecture.com/business/write-killer-architecture-proposal/
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: WARNING: The latest scam

    Posted 03-21-2018 07:35
    Thank you for the heads up on these. I haven't ever been approached like this yet only company financing sales pitches through my website form. 

    I guess I need to add a captcha security level to the form now. 



    Paul Setti

    __________________________
    Paul Setti & Associates
    843.813.2713
                                                

    Sent from my iPhone





  • 10.  RE: WARNING: The latest scam

    Posted 03-22-2018 18:14

    I too received a similar email in November and again in January, although the first was addressed to another architect's email address but arrived in my email....which of course made me suspicious.  The other architect dismissed the inquiry. I suspect that many were sent.

     

    "Tony Richard"  listed his home address as a $90k condo in Louisville, KY, but was not the legal owner of that unit.  He described his new property as a lot in Clear Spring, MD, which proved to be a lot with a value of only $39k. I asked "Tony" to send a copy of his deed, since he was not listed in the Maryland Land Records and the property he listed was sold in May 2017 to another individual and then listed as sold again in December and again in January.  I told him the property, in my opinion, was not appropriate for a $2m home in an area where the median home price was $250k.  I never heard from him again.

     

    The entire fiction, I suspect, was a fishing expedition for bank information, since he wanted to pay by credit card.

     

    Greg Wiedemann, AIA

    WIEDEMANN ARCHITECTS LLC






  • 11.  RE: WARNING: The latest scam

    Posted 06-24-2019 11:09
    I just received the message yesterday.  I believe this is the second time I have received it so they are still on the hunt!


    ------------------------------
    Michael Bird AIA
    Adirondack Design
    Saranac Lake NY
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: WARNING: The latest scam

    Posted 27 days ago
    It is still going around and I asked for specific information about this project, but then I remembered this thread, thank goodness. Because I could use a nice project of this size right now. Too bad it is fake.  Here it is with a site that is empty, but the neighborhood is a little too old and run down for a $2,000,000 project, which is what gave them away. They try hard.

    "Thanks for your prompt response,Here is the address: 1600 Country Club Drive NE, Grand Rapids, Kent County, MI 49505. I want it to be to two Story, My budget is $2,000,000. i wish to start August and spend  12-14 months 4000 sqft lot size. Six Bedroom, with 2 living rooms per suite, 2 living rooms in total. Foyer, Master suite, playroom, kitchen, kitchenette (small cooking area), laundry room and Garage. With access to the Living space from Garage (possibly a mudroom entry) Master bedroom can easily be connected to a mudroom as well so as my  bungalow plan would  you put 3-4 Bedrooms downstairs and 2 Bedrooms up. Below is the pictures of what I want done on the land Thanks"

    He repeated much of the same info with the same errors, when I asked for new info.

    I don't know how far this would go as a scam, but I can see that it is not a paying client.

    ------------------------------
    Todd Oeftger
    Principal
    LIGATURE STUDIO, LLC
    Battle Creek
    www.ligature.studio
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: WARNING: The latest scam

    Posted 26 days ago
    Hello,

    I was approached via text for the same scam.  My scammer incorrectly used his "last name" as his "first name", which was unusual.  I finally ghosted them.  dgs

    ------------------------------
    Daniel Steger AIA
    West Roxbury MA
    ------------------------------



  • 14.  RE: WARNING: The latest scam

    Posted 25 days ago

    Yep, been happening here in Texas too.

    My friend in Seattle has been making a game out of it and has been trolling one scammer for over a month.

    Adding crazy things to the Program for no reason at all, just to see the reaction from the scammer. It's quite funny actually.

    My personal favorite was adding an "underground firing range" which would increase the budget and extend the schedule.

    The scammer flipped out.

     

    Stay true out there!

    Cheers,

    Sean

     

    Sean K Garman, Architect

    MArch | AIA | LEED AP

    Partner

    mitchellgarmanarchitects

    3525 Cedar Springs Road

    Suite 204

    Dallas, Texas 75219

    214.443.8189

    www.mitchellgarman.com

     






  • 15.  RE: WARNING: The latest scam

    Posted 26 days ago
    I too have been reached out to twice.  The initial e-mail sounded like a real potential client with a decent budget.  I asked for an address for this new home so I could get some information to send them a proposal.  I found out the site was a storage unit.  Then a few weeks later I got an inquiry with the same verbiage from a different e-mail address.  The second one came through the Houzz website.

    The initial e-mail they send me several e-mails back and forth answering my questions until I learned the site was fake.


    ------------------------------
    Christopher Rose AIA, ASID
    President
    Christopher Rose Architects, P.A.
    Johns Island SC
    ------------------------------



  • 16.  RE: WARNING: The latest scam

    Posted 26 days ago

    I had the EXACT same client who wanted the EXACT same house with the EXACT same program but the site was in Illinois!  I always reply to them by requesting a call to discuss their project.  Twice now I've actually gotten a call from a guy with a deep accent.  I ask them to send me the survey and request to meet in person, which always stops the communication.  It is hard to believe that someone would actually spend time doing this!

     

    Suzie Van Cleave, AIA

     

     


    4421 N Oakland Ave #200                 O 414.204.8917 

    Milwaukee, WI 53211                        C 847.778.1625

     

     

     






  • 17.  RE: WARNING: The latest scam

    Posted 26 days ago
    A friend of mine in Mississippi was contacted by someone with similar information.  He played along to see what the scam is.  In the end the scammer wanted the architect to send Quickbooks account information so scammer could make an online deposit into the architects account.  The scammers "name" was Van Bouse, and would only communicate through text.

    ------------------------------
    John Weaver AIA
    Weaver Architects
    Jackson MS
    ------------------------------



  • 18.  RE: WARNING: The latest scam

    Posted 26 days ago
    I get these mainly via text about 2-3 times per week. I always state that it is our firm to meet in person for a consultation and then you never hear back.

    RME

    Ryan Edwards, AIA
    Architect
    Zipper Architecture
    919-422-5598
    Zipper Architecture.com




  • 19.  RE: WARNING: The latest scam

    Posted 25 days ago
    all,

    I received a text today….Same questions, a big Project, I played them for awhile, pumping them for more info each time, Everything I suggested he agreed with quickly, then quoted him $25.00 sq. ft. to design his mansion, Of course he replied to me to get started right away.

    I got bored playing cat and mouse and declined any further contact, his reply:

    What Wrong?
    signed: Benjamin Frank, he must be a history buff.

    That’s verbatim, so many sleazes out there!

    mark




  • 20.  RE: WARNING: The latest scam

    Posted 25 days ago
    For the past few months, I would get this scam about twice a week.  Strangely, I would get it as a text message - as if the typical client for architecture would do their introductory business by text message.  This is the thinking of scammers who are in their teens or twenties.

    They are after your credit card information.  If you play along for awhile, say to amuse yourself while eating lunch, they will eventually come up with a reason why they need your credit card/bank information.  By the way, the "program" for the house is always the same.  They just change the address.  It's normally an empty property in your area.  And, as you've surmised, the program is completely absurd for the proposed site.

    I don't know why, but this particular scam has dropped off, for me.  I haven't had them in a couple of weeks.  But, I've really had some amusing back-and-forth.  If you respond, the challenge is to make your English as broken and barely comprehensible as possible, while still acting like you're interested.  All they're doing is putting it into Google Translate.

    Cheers!

    ------------------------------
    Robert Braddock AIA
    Principal
    Red House Architects, PLLC
    Arlington VA
    ------------------------------



  • 21.  RE: WARNING: The latest scam

    Posted 22 days ago
    We got two similar emails to our marketing inbox in the last week; my IT guy did a little digging and he found that they're variants on a scam that is trying to use a stolen credit card to OVERPAY you, and then have you send the extra funds to a third consultant, thereby making you the user of the stolen funds.

    This discusses it in the context of website design services, but it's so close to what we're getting that I'm sure it's the same thing:

    https://alexwright.net/blog/web-design/avoid-web-design-scams/

    delete, delete, delete....

    ------------------------------
    Elizabeth Hatton AIA
    Principal
    Barnes Vanze Architects
    Washington DC
    ------------------------------