Miscellaneous Rumbles

Warning of scam targeting musicians

1

Yesterday I received a call from a musician in Florida that I used to work with when she lived in Toronto, asking me to do a gig with her in Scotland at a festival. I knew that she had connections over there so thought it was all good. Long story short, it is a scam targeting USA musicians in an attempt to get passport information for the work visas. They seemed to know how the process works and were careful not to raise a red flag by paying the musicians too much money. So, just a warning to anyone who might be contacted. What made her suspicious was the repeated requests for the passport information for work visa processing, which they were going to pay for, before the contract was signed. I guess fake passports are probably worth a lot these days; what a world.

2

They'll steal the smile off of your face.

3

So...was the musician you'd worked with actually on the phone with you? I mean, is she fronting for the scam, or was she caught up in the scam and you were able to suss it out and save both of you the grief?

4

So...was the musician you'd worked with actually on the phone with you? I mean, is she fronting for the scam, or was she caught up in the scam and you were able to suss it out and save both of you the grief?

– Proteus

No, she was the target. We had a great band (Brazilian jazz) when she lived here and she asked me to pull the members together for the gig because she now lives in Florida where she runs a music school for kids. Luckily, I hadn't sent her anyone's passport info before she caught on. It was for a gig at a legitimate festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. (never understood why it's spelled like that and pronounced Edinborough) The person she was speaking with was very eager to start the visa process before the details were finalized; that's what caused her to start digging around. Then she noticed that all communication was going through a Gmail account and not the actual festival email address. She said they were very convincing and seemed to understand the process, including what a reasonable fee for the musicians would be. She has been in the music business for a long time; tours, recordings, etc.; originally from Brazil, she obtained her doctoral in music while she was living here. I can see how someone with less experience might actually give out a passport number, etc.

I have no idea how the process of collecting information and then producing a passport works, but I do know that it goes on. Some years back, a group of Israeli spies were caught with fake Canadian passports. Now with the refugee crisis around the world, I'm sure it's a lucrative business. I told her to notify the FBI.

5

Passports are worth more than gold, always have been. The State Department warnings are more than clear about taking great care when traveling, never leave it in your hotel room, etc.

The threat of terrorism is very real, and your friend in Florida was wise to catch on to this scheme.

6

Passports are worth more than gold, always have been. The State Department warnings are more than clear about taking great care when traveling, never leave it in your hotel room, etc.

The threat of terrorism is very real, and your friend in Florida was wise to catch on to this scheme.

– Deed Eddy

She was surprised that they targeted musicians (lots of touring going on during the festival season, so that makes sense) and that they were interested in her as part of an international story telling festival. The recording that we did with her, that she composed most of the music for has a strong narrative relating to colonial Brazil and the title song, Uwattibi, is about a forbidden love affair between an European and a native Amerindian. So they read the liner notes from the CD on line and constructed a story to reel her in with. I see that the festival now has a post on their home page warning of the scam, so I assume there were others that were contacted. Here is the title song from the CD:

7

Journeyman,

It's Edinburgh and the locals pronounce it "Embra."

8

Journeyman,

It's Edinburgh and the locals pronounce it "Embra."

– Mojave

Ah, forgot the 'h'. Thanks; corrected.

9

All very interesting, and much more sophisticated than the usual email scams. Clearly passport fraud happens on a higher level than Ugandan princes getting the heck out of Dodge.

10

Goog day, any may your spirit float like a bubble. I wish to speak to you about a sensitive matter of $46,000,000 that my late husband left to one of his sheep. The sheep has been stolen but was located in the U.S.A. and has a bank account in the name of Mrs. Babarella, Chanefondue. For a very generous commission of 40%, the transaction requires that we transfer the total amount into your bank account. Due to United States banking regulations for foreigh accounting, we are not permitted to make the direct withdrawal from the sheep's account. Once we have the details of your bank account information we will make the transfer and ewe can simply keep the 40% commission after we receive the balance.

11

Baaaaa.

I'd give anything to have my spirit consistently float like a bubble, though.

Well, I mean, depending on what it's floating over. A raging waterfall, not so much. Blue skies, and not high enough to pop...sign me up.

12

The life of a bubble is, if fleeting, buoyant.


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