Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Spencer Gordon | Photographer | Filmmaker | Specializing in People, Interior and Lifestyle

This morning I come out of the subway and I hear that delightful ping from my iPhone to let me know that I have a voice message. I'm the type of person who puts out the kind of energy that this message is possibly a past or new client. As I am walking down the hill to my studio I listen to a message from Hector from Colombia. His message was just this.. "Hi this is Hector calling you from Colombia, South America will you please give me a call back at" and he leaves his international phone number. Immediately I'm thinking scam so I dismissed the message and deleted it from my phone.

I get into the studio and fire up my computer. There is an email in my inbox from Hector letting me know he just left me a voice mail and would I please give him a call. Why would I call this guy? He left no company name or what he was calling in reference to. The hard ass in me is this is a scam but I actually do not know for sure at this point. So I send him an email from one of my alias email accounts. Tip: If you suspect you are being contacted by a potential scammer communicate via a different email address then your primary email address.

So here we go with the email string:

Hi Mr. Gordon, I called you a few minutes ago from Colombia, South America. I am looking to hire a freelancer who is willing to travel to Colombia and work on a 3d architectural project. Could you please return my call 011 573 315 447 6654 or write me a message letting me know what time I can call you. Thank you.

Hi Hector,
I received your voicemail.
How did you find me?
Due to the various SCAMS I need you to verify your full name and company.
Do not call me until I have this information and verified your business is legit.
Thank you.

Hi bikeny, my name is Hector Delgado and I work for a construction company called CELCRETO S.A.S., we are located in Medellin, Colombia, the address here is Carrera 66 No. 48C-13 and the phone number is 011 574 260 2055 or 011574 230 5698, you can visit our website at www.celcreto.com, my cellphone number is: 011573 315 447 6654, I got your information searching through google www.spencergordon.com. Thank you.

****NOTICE how he called me bikeny. If you are really calling me for a job you would know my first name. See my alias email has already started to work. At this point I know this is a scam.

Mr. Delgado,
What exactly do you need my services for? Why are you not contacting someone from your local area?
Please tell me your budget constraints.
Thank you.

****TIP - Ask short and to the point questions.

Hi bike, thank you for your prompt reponse. The company that I work for is looking for someone to develope architectural visualizations of its projects in 3D, the reason why we are not hiring locally is that the majority of developers, who have recently graduated and lack experience in designing, are charging way too much for their work, while designers from the US who are well experienced in this field, charge a common sense figure for their work. As far as budget constraints, I would need you to give me a figure that would include x amount of hours, travel expenses, etc., etc.

***NOTICE - He is now calling me bike not bikeny. Two.... 3-D project. If Hector had been to my website it is clear that I do not provide that service. Maybe you are thinking it's a language barrier thing... Nope in his voicemail message he had excellent language skills. I was quite surprised by the way, after traveling sometime in Colombia and finding not many english speaking Colombians.

Let's be honest.
I don't think this project is for me. Obviously I do not do 3D work.
This is a scam.
Do not contact me again.

That's the last email interaction.

I did do some searching on the internet for scams by this guy. I did not come up with any. I also only spent about 5 mins. looking around on the internet for any information on Hector. I did not find any info. which means he changes his name or this was his first attempt. The website he provided is questionable. It is there however the images are stock and if that is the quality you present to potential clients then I know you can not afford my services much less fly me to Colombia and pay for all my travel expenses.

It's up to us to stop scammers. That's why I've posted this to my blog. Beware folks let's look out for each other.

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