Saturday, January 12

Writer Beware: UK Speaker Scam

Writer Beware: UK Speaker Scam

Scammers are sending out fake invitations to speak at Bexley College. So far mostly SF/F writers have been targeted.

Courtesy of Victoria Strauss, from Writer Beware, here is the email making the rounds:
From: Arthur peterson [bexleycollegeoflondon@gmail.com]
To: [email address redacted]
Date: January 5, 2013 at 7:23 PM
Subject: BEXLEY COLLEGE HALF TERM BREAK SEMINAR.

Greetings [name redacted],

I am Prof. Arthur Peterson from Bexley College (Holly Hill Campus) here in London UK. We are officially writing to invite you and confirm your booking as our guest Speaker at this Year Bexley college Seminar which will take place here at the campus ground.

Bexley College (Holly Hill Campus).

The Venue as follows:
VENUE: Upper Holly Hill Road Belvedere, Kent
London, United Kingdom
POST CODE: DA17 6HF
Expected audience: 450 people(mainly students & invited guest). Duration of speech per speaker: 1 Hour
Name of Organization: Bexley College Campus.
Topic: ”Mystery of Life and Death”
Date: 18th February 2013

We reached your profile at http:// www.aboutsf.com// and we say it’s up to standard. The College will be so glad to have such an outstanding personality as you in our midst for these overwhelming gathering. Arrangements to welcome you here will be discussed as soon as you honor our invitation. If you have any more publicity material you wish to share with us, please do not hesitate to contact me.

An Official Formal Letter of invitation and Contract agreement would be sent to you from the College as soon as you honor our Invitation. The College have also promised to be taking care of all your travel and Hotel Accommodation expenses including your Speaking Fee.

If you are available for this date, include your speaking fees in your reply for it to be included in the DOCUMENTATIONS.

Stay Blessed
Prof. Arthur Peterson
Bexley College (Holly Hill Campus).

Tel: + 44 702 407 0611
When I first read this email I was puzzled: the scammers don't ask for money so how are they benefiting? Victoria Strauss writes:
The mark is told s/he must pay a "Government (United Kingdom) Main Application Fee for a UK work permit" of several hundred pounds. Once that money is sent, the scammers ask for more:

More information on the scam:

- Alert: UK Speaker Scam Targets Writers (and Others)
- UK Work Permit Church Scam for Speakers
- Scam Attempt Warning for SF/F Writers

Photo credit: "Caught in the Act" by *saxon* under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0.

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