Dan Birlew

Las Vegas Web Developer, Designer, Programmer, and Author

Daniel Cole Scam Now Targeting Writers

Daniel Cole Scam Now Targeting Writers

Posted February 22nd, 2012 at 1:58pm by Dan Birlew in Writing. 19 Comments on Daniel Cole Scam Now Targeting Writers

Following a series of emails I received from “Daniel Cole” seeking a freelance writer to rewrite a translated piece of material for a drug awareness website, I’ve been searching for information on the latest scam being perpetrated on unsuspecting writers. Though I tried search terminology such as “Daniel Cole writer scam”, “Daniel Cole freelance scam”, and an array of variations, I came up with nothing. Seeing this, now I’m worried that these scam artists have attempted this on me and no one else yet, and I’m posting this in an effort to spread knowledge of this computer crime to other writers and freelancers such as myself.

Several email scams apparently involve messages sent by an individual claiming to be “Daniel Cole.” Most of these involve check-cashing confidence scams whereupon an individual expected to be honest is coaxed into attempting to cash a bad check and then sending the overage back to “Daniel Cole.” When you attempt to cash the check you’ll find a stop has been placed on it, and when you tell this to the individual claiming to be Daniel Cole, he or she will tell you to send the overage to them right away so that they can clear the check and you can get what you are supposedly owed for services rendered.

The email received was titled “Services Needed” and contained a Word Document attachment (English.doc). Instead of a long-winded story like some of these emails contain, this one merely said the following:

Hello,
How are you doing and am Daniel Cole.I want to know if you will be available for rewriting and editing job,the document is attach to the mail and I will wait for your quote.Hope to read from you soonest.

Kind regards,
DC.

Daniel Cole,
22, Jobs Lane Tile Hill
Coventry CV4 9EE UK.

The truth is I receive almost a dozen such contacts through this website every year from legitimate clients seeking jobs done, and consider this rigmarole somewhat routine. So without much caution I replied with a quote based on the word count of the attached document, contractual terms, and supplied them my physical address via my usual signature. I then received another email:

Morning,
Thanks for your mail and how is your day going? Some people request for Editing to be done and run away with your money,i do have a personal editor but right now she is sick that is why am looking for a competent and trustworthy editor.I have gave a job to a editor and paid him advance and he did run away with my money and i don’t want to be a victim anymore but am ready to give you a chance which i will pay you upfront because there are many jobs we are going to do together.This is a charity which help less privilege kid around there world also the money is needed for Republic of Vanuatu relief,I hope you understand me.

However,my sponsor notify me that the check has mail out and there was a mistake with the amount on the check which is $2000 so what i want you to do know is get it cashed and you will send the difference back to us after you have deduct your money so you will send it to us through western union,you are saving a million lives and may God almighty bless you as you do so.Awaits your mail soon.

I wish you a pleasant weekend

Regards,
DC.

So finally I recognized the makings of the scam. This one is quite a bit more targeted than the other versions view-able at the link above, and preys upon the professionalism of a freelancer. Unfortunately I’d already given them my name and address, so they have information they can use to try to steal my identity. Now I have to spend a few hours on the phone alerting my bank and the major credit monitoring services to protect my ID.

My only means of revenge here is to swallow my pride and alert other professional writers to this scam in the hopes that no one else falls for it. The scammer even states that he targeted me through my profile on a freelance writers site, so if you’ve put your resume out there then that’s how you’ll be contacted as well.

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19 Responses to “Daniel Cole Scam Now Targeting Writers”

  1. Funny, considering I just sent you a similar E-mail. Although I am legit, and in no way a scam artist – or in most cases a scam failure.

    Hope to hear from you soon.

    Regards,
    Will.

  2. Thanks for warning. I just got the same DC email myself and immediately smelt a rodent. Your post was all the reassurance I needed.

  3. Thanks for posting – I just received the same email and wanted to confirm my suspicions. The message I received matched yours word for word so i can happily consign it to spam.

  4. Thanks Dan, This is very helpful as I have just been targeted in exactly the same way (only I am a proofreader, not a writer).

    Jill

  5. Thank you for posting this. I have received yesterday the same DC e-mail.

  6. Thanks for the warning, This morning I received a message identical to this one.

  7. I received the same thing the other day. I replied and he started asking for personal details. Smelled a rat straight away.

  8. I just got the same today, twice, from Terry James of Anchorage. From what I’ve read, in at least some cases these people are not only pulling an overpayment scam on the person they’re soliciting, but also getting your work free to clean up their language for solicitations of scams to others — because as you’ve probably seen, these swindlers tend to use lousy English.

    Among other odd jobs, I do proofreading & copy editing for a friend for money, have mentioned that in forums online, and have registered for writing jobs online in various places. I also get lots of scam solicitations, going so far as to have forged checks sent to me. I get phone scam solicitations too. I also get a lot of solicitations for business that look like scams but turn out not to be, some of which I actually make a little money on.

    The real rip-offs are those that start out as legitimate business, and then the client welches — as Robert Ringer described them, the people who say they won’t try to grab all your chips, really mean it and then change their minds. I just lost $2,000 this month that way.

    • ALWAYS get it in writing (unless it’s a family member or family friend, then you can probably relax… a little).

      Thanks for updating us on their new tactics, Robert. 🙂

  9. This same guy emailed me the same old crap and I fell for it, yesterday I received a cheque for £4,745 sent by registered FEDEX next day delivery from Dubai.
    I looked at the cheque and it looks and feels genuine, with the perforated edge at one edge and everything. It has a genuine bank (Natwest) stamp on it, and is supposedly printed by a London translation company called ‘Euro London Appointments’ which I have found out is a real company with genuine jobs to offer.
    I took it to my bank and they said I could risk cashing the cheque but if it was a fraud I would be sent to court… Well I just ripped the cheque up and walked away!

  10. I received this message yesterday and foolishly sent my details before thinking to check it out. Thanks for letting me know that it’s not legit. At least this way all I have to do is visit my bank to warn them.

  11. I was hit too, in February. When I didn’t receive the money, DC replied that he had been in the hospital and the check for $2,000 was sent by Fedex when he got out. Today, I received a UPS envelope with a money order for $2,400. It doesn’t appear to have a required watermark. The sender is listed as being from San Antonio, issued from a “Mail-n-Stuff” in Pocatello, ID. I presume it is somehow connected to this scam, as I do not know the sender, who when I Googled her name, it brought up a website “voice to skull.com”. The website is really wacko.

  12. I’m a translator based in Australia and received an email today from Daniel Cole from Anchorage, asking for a quote to translate a text on drug awareness. I smelt a rat right away and starting googling and came across your website. It seems he has now branched out to targeting translators.

  13. Like Anne, I am an Australian Translator and received the same email. I didn’t even have to download it as I use a program called Mailwasher (which I can recommend) and became suspicious as soo as I read the text of the email on the server.
    Thanks for your confirmation of this being a scam.

  14. Daniel Cole is obviously targeting Australian translators. I got mine this morning, coming from Anchorage, asking for a translation. The email was poorly presented, but that is not unusual when requests come from individuals. As I gave a quote, we shall see if they get back to me. Perhaps there is already a money order in the mail for me!

  15. Same as Anne and Nic I am an Australian translator and received the above email yesterday. Since I once got scammed before, I now check those strange emails thoroughly – obviously worth it! Thanks Dan!

  16. Just got the same e-mail and found it slightly suspicious, I Googled his name, so thank you very much for not making me waste my time (I’m in Australia too)!!
    Mickey

  17. Thank you for publishing this. I am a freelance translator and I received an email from Daniel Cole asking me to translate an article on drug awareness. I said I was interested and then he was eager to get my contact details off me. I did a search on Google using “scam & Daniel Cole” and I found this article. The warning has been so timely.