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:
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.
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:
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
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.