Telegram (telegram.org) is a messaging app. We received a few emails last week from people saying someone using the email address email@example.com was using our trademarked name and logo to “hire” writers. And, they were scamming writers out of money.
From one of the victims:
I’m a freelancer, I’m writing to inform you that bad people are posing with your company’s name to scam people. I’m a victim. I received an mail from them to do a job. After I worked three days to do the so-called job, they asked for my account details for payment. They showed me a fake proof of payment, and said I should pay an amount of money to authorize the payment. Thank God I was really cautious, and didn’t pay but it really hurts. My hard work, sleepless nights, and the stress was too much.
Please, kindly consider my report to prevent these people from using your noble company’s name to hurt people. Please reply to this email for more information about this. We can track them down.
We did communicate with the victim and he sent us several screenshots. Here’s how the scam works:
- Writer contacts scammer after seeing an ad on Telegram’s app
- Scammer gives writer an assignment
- Writer does the work, and submits the article
- Scammer requests the writer’s bank account information – NEVER GIVE THAT OUT!!!
- Scammer sends writer a screenshot that makes it appear a payment is pending in his/her bank account
- Scammer says writer must pay him money for “foreign currency exchange commissions/fee” before writer can receive his/her payment
In order to receive payment, the victim had to first pay the scammer $6.00 via Western Union, which would be converted to 4500 NGN. Yep, you guessed it. That’s Nigerian currency.
It’s good that so many people recognized our name, and knew it was as scam. I feel very bad for the victims. Here were some red flags:
They used our logo, but called the company four different names.
- Writers Weekly
- writersweekly publishment LTD. Yeah, they couldn’t even get the grammar correct in the name. Nor the capitalization.
- publishing international
- writersweekly publication international
If having four different company names in one message isn’t a a huge red flag, I don’t know what is. The extremely poor grammar, spelling, and punctuation (in all of the screenshots the victim sent to us), were also a huge red flag.
This shows how the payment to the writer looks official. But, look at the green words at the bottom. It’s definitely a scam. You NEVER have to pay somebody money first in order to get what they owe you!
In case you can’t read the green text above, it says, “This is to inform you that your payment of $4000 which is NGN 3,028,081.51 has made to your Bank account and it currently pending into your account . a currency exchange fee $6 is to be paid to the international money dispensement laws for proper conversation of the currency’s…”
That was clearly not language taken from any bank! These scammers are downright illiterate. No wonder they can’t get a real job!!
We contacted firstname.lastname@example.org. We have not received a response. No surprise there.
In July, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a warning about job offers on Telegram.
- Here’s an Example of How We Protect Our Readers from Scams
- A Real Example of a Scam Copyright Infringement Accusation Email
- WARNING AND PLEASE SHARE! AuthorUnit is Still Trying to Scam Authors!!
- Author Contacts Me, Avoids Getting Scammed
- Another Author Gets Rooked By A Scammer
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About The Author
Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the author of 19 books, and the co-owner of BookLocker.com (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), PubPreppers.com (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).
Angela has lived and traveled across the U.S. with her kids in an RV, settled in a river-side home in Bradenton, FL, and lived on a 52 ft Irwin sailboat. Angela now resides on a mountaintop in Northwest Georgia, where she plans to spend the rest of her days bird watching, gardening, hiking, and taking in all of the amazing sunrises.
WritersWeekly.com - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday.
BookLocker.com - According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is: "As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."
Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors.
PubPreppers.com - "We Prep, You Publish!" Print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish. Offers formatting and design services only, and then provides simple instructions for authors on where to sign up to have the print and ebook editions printed/listed/sold. Cut out the middle man. Keep 100% of what bookstores pay for your book!
Angela's POD Secrets Revealed Series can be found HERE.
Have a POD Book with another publisher? See if BookLocker can give you a better deal. (BookLocker offers "disgruntled author discounts" to those who want to move from other POD services.)
See BookLocker's publishing packages HERE.
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