scam-alert

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PSA: DO NOT TALK OR ENGAGE WITH THIS MAN - SCAM/HARRASSMENT ALERT 

Subject Mark Baumgardt has been messaging privately over Facebook through his personal account, trying to convince users that he has sensitive information about them that they need to know urgently (i.e. school records, work location, partner’s contact info). He will provide enough proof to convince you he has access to your private information, and then he will offer the information only in exchange of intercourse and/or sexual favors, through harassment, and/or potential blackmail. He has multiple social media accounts under the same name that he uses for his advantage. He is also likely to be on Tumblr or Instagram under different usernames to access private information.  

Other names used in social media: 
- Mark Allan/Anthony Baumgardt
- Mark D. Baumgardt
- Marc Baumgard

Areas subject has frequently visited or has lived in: 

- FLORIDA: Oakland Park, Plantation, Fort Lauderdale
- OHIO: Bay Village, Westlake, North Royalton, Strongville, Cleveland
- WEST VIRGINIA: Charleston, Williamstown, Morgantown
- NORTH CAROLINA: Cane River

Start date of noticed suspicious activity: March 2016 - Present.

If you know people in the indicated areas, please let them know the subject is a potential identity thief.

*The information posted on this post is publicly accessible online, no private information on the subject has been forcibly obtained*
Attention, fellow artists, a dangerous and highly unpleasant client detected.

I can’t actually name this person, because I don’t want any harassment to be aimed at them (and if you know who they are, please don’t sent them anon hate or whatever, I just want to warn my fellow artists, this is not a crusade), but their initials are J.S., and they usually commission cheap art with the same character - a woman (or half-ghoul) with pale skin and light-blue hair, named Nicole, in relationship with Fallout 3-4 characters Charon and Hancock. My issue with this client is that, after I sent them a finished sketch, they opened a claim against me on PayPal, and demanded a refund. And this happened before the client even talked to me. The client at first justified their actions by claiming that 2 of 3 characters looked different than in my other pictures. I offered to fix whatever the client got upset about, but the client refused to specify what bothered them, then disappeared for a couple of days, and blocked me on social media (while continuing to proudly display this “problematic” sketch as an illustration to their fanfic). Which forced me to go into PayPal resolution center and explain the whole situation to the 3rd party (until then I was hoping that the client opened the claim by mistake, and will close it, after we resolve the issue, but nope, I was wrong). Luckily for me, the client’s claim was obviously unreasonable, and the case was decided in my favour.


So this is why I’d like to warn other artists in Fallout fandom, and also in Overwatch fandom, because that person has been active there as well lately.


1. Claims like those can potentially ruin your business, especially if you draw NSFW art (I don’t), because there is information about PayPal suspending the accounts that sell adult content. I don’t know if this issue exists with art, or only with photo and video materials, but just to be safe - I would not advise drawing anything NSFW for this client, if you decide to work with them.


2. Always ask money upfront, send the invoice, where you MUST describe the artwork you will create, and your terms and conditions, especially in which cases you will give the money back, for example:


3. If the client opens a dispute, don’t communicate via emails or social media - only communicate via PayPal resolution center, because your communications will be examined by the resolution center specialists if the case will be escalated to claim. In my case, the client skipped that part, and escalated the case to the claim within a couple of minutes, which, in my opinion, was very unprofessional and disrespectful.


4. If the dispute escalates to the claim, collect your thoughts. You will have 2000 characters to describe your situation. You can attach files in addition to that, for example, your emails. So please, keep the emails from your clients for at least 180 days. Be polite, don’t call anyone names, don’t make assumptions. Just state that you have done what you were paid for and deserve to be paid for it.


These measures should keep you safe enough, and protect you from both scammers and the people who feel extremely entitled to own all the art in the world without paying the artists what they deserve.


Back to the client, who is now on my personal black list, I don’t actually believe they are a real scammer, and their attitude is the result of extreme ignorance, immaturity, and a really big sense of entitlement to your art. So if this person contacts you, you may choose to work with them, but now that you know the risks, you should be extra careful.

Please avoid donating to these random Go Fund Me campaigns that are popping up supposedly to give Katya $100,000. They are not official or endorsed by Katya and I don’t want any of you to get scammed out of money.

Katya will be crowdfunding for her show “Help Me I’m Dying”, but there is no official link for that yet. 

If you want to help Katya financially go to her shows or buy her merch. Or just send her a message telling her how much you love her. I’m sure she’d appreciate that more than any amount of money you might give her. 

I just got this message today. I deleted it immediately on etsy but then decided i should share it so this is from etsy’s email to me.

Yeah so this is 100% a scam. Never ever send your dolls or items to anyone claiming this kind of stupid stuff.

Please use common sense and stay safe eveyone!


(Also i looked up this Marina Joyce person and man was that a hell of a read.)

SCAM ALERT:

In case any of my followers gets an email like this- it has been confirmed by the devs that it didn’t come from them. While it’s got some telltale signs of being a fake (like the odd formatting), I figured it was better safe than sorry in terms of passing the info along.

Sugardaddyforme.com is a SCAM!

Thank god for my smart bank I almost got scammed by this site.

I signed up for this site and got a lot of messages that I cant read because I didnt have full access. So I figured I’d use the free trail but my card kept getting declined. So I called customer service and this one guy (who kept picking up) tells me to call my bank so I call them and they tell me that the site was trying to charge me and each charge kept coming from different areas so it put a scam alert on my card. 

Then I looked up reviews on the site and realized many women have been going on there with the free trail talking to fake guys who want their bank info. Then even though they canceled their trail they still got charged and the messages stopped. I should’ve known all those messages offering money were to good to be true and thanks to my bank my money is safe.

So for all you sugar babies out there avoid this site!!!

Scam alert!

There’s a post going around tumblr about getting free amazon gift cards. It looks like this:

I’ve done some googling, and the only information i could find related to this was from a scam catching website. Amazon’s main site has no references to “Amazon Christmas” or “Amazon Santa” that I could find. Furthermore, this is the only post made by tumblr user “rsaxoniza”.

I doubt these gift cards are legit. Please stay safe, and remember to google/research any of these “free giftcard/cash/prize!” things that show up on your dash.

Hey, just a heads-up to collegiate tumblr- if you get a very official-looking letter in the mail from the Student Financial Resource Center, THIS IS A SCAM.  This has nothing to do with your FAFSA or state grants.

FAFSA is free.  Filing for state grants is free.  The Student Financial Resource Center only wants your money and your information so they can sell it off to advertisers.  Reputable financial aid institutions will NEVER ask for a filing fee.  Tear this up and throw it away.  Warn your friends to be on the lookout for this letter.  And most of all, let your school know, whether you are in college or still in high school, because I’m sure they would like to put out an alert to the rest of their students.

I repeat- FAFSA is free, and filing for state grants is free.  This is a scam.

On scam agencies that prey on people who have been arrested:

So since I received another scam letter like this and I’m tempted to fly out to Texas and punch these scammers in the nuts, I figured an information post was in order!

Now while I would love to think all our followers are innocent sweethearts who wouldn’t get caught breaking a law, fact of the matter is shit happens and people get arrested.  It sucks, you have a ton of hoops to jump through to get past it, and when you’ve completed everything and get that letter of completion you want to weep with joy.

If you’ve been found guilty of a crime, and part of your sentence includes things such as paying court costs and fines, you can be prey for one of the worst types of scammers.

These lowlifes will pose as law offices and scour records for people who have been arrested and had to pay fines.  After you’ve completed all your terms, months to years later these fuckwads will send you a scary official looking letter saying that you didn’t pay X-amount of your court costs and if you don’t send that address the money you will be arrested again.
 
“But Diony, I know I paid everything.  Why would they say that?”

Fear and documents.  They’re preying on your fear of being arrested again AND on the chance that you didn’t keep a copy of every single document/payment/probation form.  They want you to panic so much that you blindly send them money.

“Well fuck me sideways!  How do I avoid falling for this?”

As someone who still gets scam letters like this 3 fucking years after my probation ended, this is what I did to counter this fuckery:

* when I was on probation, I PHOTOCOPIED EVERYTHING! EVERY MONTHLY FEE EVERY COURT FEE EVERY DOCUMENT RELATING IN ANY WAY TO MY CASE

* I put said copies in a firebox so that if an emergency happened I could show proof that I jumped through all the hoops.

* When you get a letter like that GOOGLE THE NAME OF THE AGENCY, that alone is a big help

* If you don’t have copies of forms and you’re seriously worried that you may have missed something CALL THE COURT SYSTEM OF WHERE YOUR CASE HAPPENED!  They will have on record everything you’ve done for your case and will mail you a certified copy of completion if you give them a self addressed stamped envelope.

*Once you’ve verified that you’ve done all your tasks and that the ‘legal office’ that sent you the letter is BS, you can if you want to contact them and tell them “Joke’s on you, I completed all my shit so go away” (and consider reporting them to the Better Business Bureua)

*Above all, remain calm while you get the information that will prove those scammers are full of shit.  Yes initial panic may happen but you NEED to remain calm while doing this. 

Hopefully this will help anyone who has or know someone who has gone through this.

–Dionysus (before anyone asks it was a DUI in a parking lot where I backed into my friend’s car.  no one was hurt but I was put in the drunk tank and a woman in there ripped a huge chunk of my hair out)

Another problem she mentioned that they're seeing a lot right now

A Mystery Shopper scam. If you’ve ever filled out one of those “sign up to become a Mystery Shopper!” forms online, it probably all went to the same place, and they’re still holding on to your information.

Right now, a ring of scam artists are sending people letters and emails saying they’ve been selected to be a Secret Shopper/Mystery Shopper. They send you a cashier’s check from Chase Bank for a certain amount (let’s say $500) and tell you to spend it at the stores that week. They add some bogus instructions, like “make sure to order the two-large-two-topping-pizza deal from Domino’s and take detailed notes about how it goes.”

Then they say, “Oh, so, by the way, we prepaid your payroll taxes on this. You need to send us $125 to cover that amount.” SCAM ALERT SCAM ALERT. You send them the tax money, but when you go to cash the cashier’s check, it’s fake.

All the Mystery Shopper cashier’s checks they’ve seen are purportedly from Chase Bank. My friend told me how to tell a real Chase cashier’s check from a fake one:

  1. Authentic Chase cashier’s checks have a decorative border around the edge.
  2. Authentic checks will say “$X dollars and YZ cents.” The bogus checks don’t say “dollars” after the first number – just “$X and YZ cents.”

As always, be on the alert for ANY kind of deal where you send them money (via Western Union, Paypal, whatever). No legitimate business will ever ask you to send them money so they can pay you.

Beware of phishing mails GW2 players

One of my friends got hacked because of a phishing mail that looked awfully real. His characters and gear remained untouched, but he lost his bank gold and T6 materials, which he was saving for a Legendary… His Guild Wars 1 account was also plundered.

Here’s a screenshot of the email:

The links look legit, and typing them into your browser won’t hurt you, but click them from this very email and they’ll lead to a scam. Always hover with your cursor over links to see if they are the same. If it’s different, it’s 100% scam.

So, people, keep an eye out for this.