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In the last month and a half or so we have been getting a lot of inquiries that start like this. Some have started through text messages; some through email: (all typos shown – these are excerpts from 3 of the 10 or so enquiries I have had)
Good morning,How are you doing today, My name's Robert Baker How are you doing today? Do you do Architecture drawing and design planning for residential house,I await your swift response as soon as possible.Best regards....
How are you doing today, I would like to know if you do architectural drawings and designing for proposed building ?
Yes we do. Where is the project located?
Follow up (from another person but they all have this feel (although one sent an plan and image – attached - of what they wanted which had no correspondence to the written program)
Thanks for getting in touch with me i really appreciate your kind gesture, just so you know i wish to meet you one on one to have a round table meeting but I'm presently out of state. I would have loved to meet up concerning my project but currently i'm with my wife who's recuperating in the teaching hospital and i am always by her side confined to a wheel chair. Not to worry, I will be paying for the deposit before you start. I'm starting to think its not possible until I got your contact information.I figured you can draw a suitable design for the project, I want 6 Bedrooms 2 Storey all Suit with 2 Living Rooms, 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.If there is anything that can suite my taste which i am yet to included please advice.Project will be lasting for approximately 12-18 months,I wish to start this project next year. It's 6,701 Square Feet 6 Bedroom with 2 living rooms per suite,2 living rooms in total, I have approximately 0.16 acre and I want it to be to 2 Storey ,I budgeted $2,800,000.00 for the construction, I also want my bungalow plan to be 3 Bedrooms downstairs and 2 Bedrooms up. Is that okay?I hope you got the picture I'm trying to paint because I need your professional advice on this, please let me know if that money is enough to build me what i want or should i just round it up to $3,000,000? Because the is where I will be living for the rest of my life so I want a standard plan.I don't want to give up on the project. I would like to make an initial deposit just so you know how serious I am concerning this project.All the required document to get you going will be provided by my quantity survey agent.I'm looking forward to getting the total estimated cost and how much you'd like to take as retainer fee so we can proceed accordingly.Please let me know if there's anything you need me to sign for this purpose and how you would like to proceed.Here is the lot address : 1300 Manhattan Ave, Union City, NJ 07087.(I hope this information will assist you enough to come up with a retainer fee?)Best Regards
A clear hallmark of these requests is the that it usually takes a couple of go arounds before they supply the location. When we have looked into it – as we did with the 1st couple for requests we got – the sites are indeed empty and for sale but they are not under contract and there are no current offers being considered. There also has been an obvious mismatch of the program and budget for the house and what would be more likely use and/or budget for the site. ($2M+ budget in a neighborhood that has a $140K median price or, is in the case about, a single family house on what is priced to be a multiple dwelling development lot.
Another characteristic is that there is usually some sort of illness or travelling involved that makes it difficult to talk in person. The one "client" I spoke to had a heavy indeterminate accent and a terrible phone connection.
We pursued this one a bit (as it was the 1st of ten or so enquiries we have received) and like all the others he asked early on if we take credit cards (which we do) but then it turned out he wanted us to set up a Clover account.
My bookkeeper said "This is definitely suspicious. Clover is a POS system that we would have to subscribe/purchase. I can't see why a potential client would ask us to obtain a complete system to process his payments. My guess is that he would illegally process stolen credit cards."
I have more details I am happy to share.
We have recently dallied with how our firm is listed online and although it may be coincidental it may well be that is why we are suddenly receiving these requests.
I am curious if anyone else has encountered this.
Stephen Alastair Wanta AIA
66 Crosby Street 3D
NY NY 10012
Me again. Sorry for the typos in MY post. Reading it over here and see some wrong prepositions, missing parentheses, etc.
This was sitting on my desk as a draft for week and I wanted to get it out to you all,
(During that time I received 2 or 3 more of this type of contact.)
John E. Kavan, AIA, ASID
Composium Group Architects
Visit us at: Composiumgroup.com
"Using the power of design to influence how we live"
Glad (in a certain way) to hear that others are getting these too. Although it makes one wonder have they actually been successful with any of our colleagues? It seems unlikely but they do seem to be working from some sort of template.
Mine started mid- August and have been coming in steadily since.
Studio ST Architects www.studio-st.com o 212 643 2600 m 917 825 7419
Yep had the same email. They used a name of a person who died in Arizona and a lot that was crack house in a rough neighborhood for a $5m house. I needed to find out the nature of the scam so I did a credit check and asked for a bank information, which I knew was going to be bogus. It is either a money laundering operation or bank hack.
I forward to our States cybercrime unit then blocked the address and deleted.
Michael W. Lassel AIA
Lassel Architects PA
PO Box 370
South Berwick, ME 03908-370
T 207 384 2049
Licensed NH, ME, MA, OH
print only if necessary
The information contained in this e-mail transmittal is legally privileged and confidential information intended only for use of the individual or entity named above. Federal or state confidentiality laws may also protect it. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any disclosure, copying, distribution or actions taken on the contents of this telecopy are strictly prohibited. If you have received this telecopy in error, please notify us immediately by telephone to arrange for the return of the original document. Thank you for your cooperation.
Oh yeah. Got it too. Immediately hit DELETE.
Angelo L. Biondi, AIA
A.Biondi Architects, LLC
1815 Spruce Avenue
Highland Park, Illinois 60035
We've received the same thing at least a couple of times – an almost identical email. We initially responded giving them the benefit of the doubt initially, but then terminated the communication