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The mission of the AIA Small Firm Exchange (SFx) is to advance the mutual interests of architects practicing in small firms. The objectives of the AIA SFx are three-fold:

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does this sound like a text scam

  • 1.  does this sound like a text scam

    Posted 05-20-2019 15:12
    So I get a text...
    first yellow flag...not sure how they got my number
    second flag...it is an area code 908 outside my state.  It looks like a NJ number.  But they indicate later the project is in my city.
    third flag...text are long, words and grammar not typically used
    fourth flag...first text indicates got my contact info online from an "architecture company".  That just seems weird.  I have an old website but it does not have my cell.
    fifth flag....no name for them offered in any texts and they do not indicate my name or firm name in any text.

    fri May 17 9am First text: Good day to you. I got your information online from an architecture company. I hope i have the right information because i want you to draw a plan for my new home ?
    My  immediate reply: yes, I am an architect

    sat May 18 9am Thanks for your response. Firstly i want you to kindly pay attention to this, I am currently recuperating from the diagnosis of lung cancer and will undergo surgery in a couple of weeks so i'm hospitalized right now and the easiest and most convenient way to reach me is via texts or emails. Secondly i will like to have a design for 6 Bedrooms 2 storey all suit, 2 living rooms, Master suite, playroom, Foyer, kitchen, kitchenette, laundry room and a 3 car garage space that should access the living room and also have link to the master bedroom. If there is anything that can suit my taste that i am yet to include, please advice
    Hope you accept credit card as mode of payment for the drawing, plan and designs and also i will appreciate if you can get back to me with the following details estimate of yours.
    My reply about an hour later after thinking that is just an odd space program and flow indicated in the text:  What city are u located in
    Today Mon May 20 1pm: Sorry for the late response, the lot i have to build is over at Nashville, Tennessee but like i said earlier i am currently hospitalized and out of town. Please let me know if i can entrust this project in your care as i will be looking forward to hearing back from you, thanks!

    Hum, not sure how to reply to determine if this is for real.  Wondering since I have never accepted credit card for payment how can this go horribly wrong and not only lose my shirt but waste my time.

    If it is a scam, I also wanted the community to be aware and is there a way to stop this fraud from becoming an issue in our community.  As if we don't have enough things on our plate to deal with.



    ------------------------------
    Elaine Bright, aia LEED AP
    Owner
    Bright Ventures Architectural Consulting
    Nashville, TN
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: does this sound like a text scam

    Posted 05-21-2019 17:21
    Yes, of course this is a scam! I get them at least once a month,. Here is one recent one:
    Hi Sir/Madam
    My name is Mr.Douglas ,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  All Suit with Five Baths,2 half baths, 3,Parking Spaces, playroom, kitchen, kitchenette, laundry room 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
    Yours
    Mr. Douglas Paul Jr
    and another:
    Hi Sir/Madam

    My name is Mr.Dorian ,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  All Suit with Five Baths,2 half baths, 3,Parking Spaces, playroom, kitchen, kitchenette, laundry room 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

    Yours

    Mr. Dorian Elliott
    and another:
    Hi Sir/Madam

    My name is Mr.Peter ,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  All Suit with Five Baths,2 half baths, 3,Parking Spaces, playroom, kitchen, kitchenette, laundry room 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 Yours Mr. Peter James



    james peter

    Phone: 9738291720
    My response goes something like this:
    Good Morning Mr. Douglas Paul Jr,

    Thank you so much for reaching out! I absolutely accept credit cards and the description of your project and your disability is exactly what I specialize in. I have successfully completed 10 projects this year with hearing impaired clients wishing for a 6 bedroom bungalow!

    Please send all you information immediately so we can get started on our joy ride together.

    I need a survey of your property as well as credit card number and your social security number to get started. Also a picture of your sister if you have one easily available!

    Regards,

    Sir/Madam

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



  • 3.  RE: does this sound like a text scam

    Posted 05-21-2019 20:02
    Thanks all for your confirmation that the text was a scam.  I guess my spam filter caught the email scams, but was surprised by getting a text which seems to be an escalation of the email message since it indicates the same or similar space program.  I guess I have been lucky that my  cell number remained private for 10 years.  Getting to where I don't answer my landline any more and let it go to voicemail if I don't know the caller from caller ID. Lately, I get more unwanted calls than legit calls.

    I am a terrible texter so will just not respond to the text with what I really think of this bozo.

    Take Care

    ------------------------------
    Elaine Bright, aia LEED AP
    Owner
    Bright Ventures Architectural Consulting
    Nashville, TN
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: does this sound like a text scam

    Posted 05-22-2019 17:21

    Wait, wait!  I already gave this guy my credit card, and well as my bank account info for direct deposit and a $2,500 payment that he can use for liquidated damages should my firm not perform well, and NOW I find out it's a scam?

     

    ___________________________

    Michael Strogoff, FAIA

    Strogoff Consulting, Inc.

    p: 415.383.7011

    c: 415.717.2755

    Michael@StrogoffConsulting.com

    www.StrogoffConsulting.com

    ownership transitions . mergers & acquisitions . practice management . leadership development . talent placement

    This message is sent by Strogoff Consulting, may contain information that is privileged or confidential, and is intended exclusively for the person(s) to whom it is addressed.  Access to this email by anyone else is unauthorized.  If you have received this message in error, please notify us immediately and delete this message from your system.

     






  • 5.  RE: does this sound like a text scam

    Posted 05-23-2019 18:19
    Michael -

    At least you didn't give him your SS number and the preferred temperature of your shower.
    Judith

    ------------------------------
    Judith Wasserman AIA
    Bressack & Wasserman
    Palo Alto CA
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: does this sound like a text scam

    Posted 05-23-2019 10:05

    Yep I got one like this, he used a dead persons name and an address for a flop house for a site already sold. Passed on the information to the State and local PD. The scam wanted to establish a QuickBooks online account with the obvious back door access. I let them know we would be glad to do the project with a certified bank check which we require for all clients from away.

     

     

    LA_Logo_sig.jpg

    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

    CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE:

    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.

     






  • 7.  RE: does this sound like a text scam

    Posted 05-21-2019 17:29
    Same here. Just had one from last week. Similar story. Wanted to pay with credit card.

    Small snippet from our conversation...… numbers don't quite line up, at least in Oklahoma. Plus he wanted to pay with a credit card.


    From: tony frank <tonyfrank1942@gmail.com>
    Sent: Thursday, May 16, 2019 9:47 AM
    To: Michael Mitscher <mike@mitscherarch.com>
    Subject: Re:

    I want it to be to two Story, My budget is $2,000,000. i wish to start by July and spend 12-14 months 3998 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.

    I would have loved to meet up on this 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. Let me know what the job will cost me ?

    ------------------------------
    Michael E. Mitscher, AIA | NCARB
    President
    Mitscher & Associates Architects PLLC
    mike@mitscherarch.com
    www.mitscherarch.com
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: does this sound like a text scam

    Posted 05-21-2019 17:30
    I have gotten almost the exact same, but in email form, multiple times.  I just know that they are spam.  Ignore them.  Any time you are asked about credit cards as payment it's a scam.  Never respond to these texts or emails.


    ------------------------------
    Gina Moffitt AIA
    owner
    Kiyohara Moffitt
    Los Angeles CA
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: does this sound like a text scam

    Posted 05-21-2019 17:48
    Absolutely a scam. I've had the same scam attempted on me. Run the other way.

    Ken

    ------------------------------
    Kenneth Parel-Sewell AIA
    President
    Ken Parel-Sewell Architects Inc
    La Mesa CA
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: does this sound like a text scam

    Posted 05-21-2019 17:50
    It's definitely a scam. I've gotten it several times from different phone numbers. They tried to get me to meet with their surveyor and pay for the survey or on their behalf. I told them I wanted 40 grand deposit through PayPal and they disappeared. 

    I got a similar one that tried to tell me they would pay me cash for my services but in order to call me they needed a verification code that Google was going to text me. Sure buddy. Sounds really legit. 


    BRIAN VIEHLAND RA • AIA • NCARB
    DESIGN
    ON THE
    SQUARE
    California
    New York
    New Jersey
    Pennsylvania
    North Carolina
    P.O. Box #8695
    Rowland Heights
    California 91748
    phone: 818-797-5526
    fax: 866-538-7043
    brian@designonthesquare.com





  • 11.  RE: does this sound like a text scam

    Posted 05-21-2019 18:56
    Yes, this is a scam! I've received that one a few times and recognized it right away as a scam.
    It's similar to other scams that have been around for a while. The goal is to steal money from you. This is how they work.

    After you have responded to the text they will tell you why they cannot speak to you on the phone like your message.
    They will tell you that they want to pay by credit card and will immediately ask you to tell them what your initial payment will be.
    If you accept, they will send you a credit card payment for that amount. But here's the catch, it is a stolen credit card.
    You will see the initial payment get recorded and think all is okay and that you have a new project. They will immediately say they have cold feet and ask you to return the money to them. They will do this quickly to get the money before it is discovered that the credit card payment is a fraud.
    Sometimes these scams will ask if they can send you a cashiers check (also fake) and then ask for the payment back after you've "cashed" the check.

    Be careful, my friends.






  • 12.  RE: does this sound like a text scam

    Posted 05-22-2019 18:22
    I literally just finished a similar text conversation that ended with me stating that I wasn't interested and was checking my email and saw this thread.

    Scam!

    ------------------------------
    Colin Lamb, NCARB, AIA
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: does this sound like a text scam

    Posted 05-23-2019 17:46
    OH yeah, I've gotten that one on email and on txt too. The first time I started following up on it, and it was just fishy. They'd done a bit of a good job selecting a site that was almost realistic, but it quickly fell apart for me. Too much emphasis on credit card, and the program was so wacky that it just smelled horrible.

    ------------------------------
    David Sisson AIA
    Architect
    David Sisson
    Providence RI
    ------------------------------



  • 14.  RE: does this sound like a text scam

    Posted 05-24-2019 11:05
    I feel no obligation to solve unknown people's problems in situations like these, and find the "block" caller or text feature on my phone very helpful in decreasing the "noise" I am bombarded with.

    ------------------------------
    Patrick Marr AIA
    Patrick Marr, PE, AIA
    Santa Barbara CA
    ------------------------------



  • 15.  RE: does this sound like a text scam

    Posted 06-14-2019 01:09
    Just a heads up to those on this forum, I've gotten 2 phone calls from random people telling me they have a project for me - and they sound very fishy - especially since I don't practice architecture full time any more.

    All the best,

    Enoch

    ------------------------------
    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/
    ------------------------------