We received a request via email today that I want to share with you to help remind you of the dangers surrounding the internet.
Most people I know have received millions of dollars from descendants of deceased rulers and other very wealthy individuals. Well maybe they haven’t actually received the money, but the emails sure seem to keep pouring in from all over the world. Sadly, that leads me to believe that it works from time to time costing some poor sucker money and self esteem.
But I’m concerned more about seriously dangerous cons that can be pulled off if common sense caution isn’t exercised.
The email we received today was from a Casting Director with “___ Productions” working on behalf of a “major cable company”. Here’s the message (I’ve “XXXXXX”ed some of the contact info):
I’m working with one of the major cable networks to cast a new series for families. The show will send stay-at-home moms on a vacation to relax for a few days, and leave dad at home with the kids and the housework. It will be a great opportunity for moms to have a well deserved break, as well as giving dads a chance to spend some more quality time with the kids. The show is heartfelt, but fun, and meant to build better relationships and understanding about how much a stay-at-home mom does for the home. Dad wouldn’t be required to miss work.
We’re looking for families in the Fairfield, Connecticut area, and I’d love the opportunity to get the word out on your site. I’ve attached a little bit of information below. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns, and I’ll be happy to tell you more!
My direct line is 212.974.XXXX, ext 128
Casting Associate Producer
XXX W. XXth Street, 3rd Fl
New York, NY 10036
A major US cable network is now casting a fun new show that helps to bring families closer together. If selected, your family will receive $2,000 and MOMS GET A FREE VACATION!
LOOKING FOR COUPLES in Fairfield County, Connecticut with 3 or more children between the ages of 2-15. Mothers must be STAY-AT-HOME moms who juggle the hectic life of being a wife and mother. A real Super Mom that is ready for some much deserved time off. The show is heartfelt and fun, meant to encourage relationships to flourish.
Dads, here’s your chance to prove that you could do what your wife does around the house!
Casting is underway so email a contact number and brief description about yourself and your family to tvparentXXXXXXX@gmail.com. Tell us why you would be perfect for the show. Include a recent photo and all family members’ names, ages and activities your children are involved in. Families must live in a house.
With the popularity of “Wife Swap” and the nanny shows I can understand why some would get excited about the opportunity to get on TV, take a vacation, and even get paid some cash. But, think about this…
What if the person on the receiving end of that gmail.com email address was trying to setup a robbery, kidnapping, or some other heinous crime? They’d know an awful lot about your family, have pictures, and pretty much know your family’s schedule.
I spotted 3 red flags when I read the message:
- They want the family details, including pictures, sent to a gmail.com address
- They used two different email addresses in the message
- They said they were looking for Fairfield CT moms… why if their client is a major cable company would they care whether they were in Fairfield CT or Fairfax VA?
My next steps to determine if this was legit were:
- I took the URL portion of the first email and tried to find the associated Website. There wasn’t one.
- I called the phone number and there was a recorded message that seemed legit although I wasn’t afforded the opportunity to dial his 3-digit extension. If this is a con then it’s a serious con considering the trouble they went through.
Odds are this is a legitimate opportunity, but I just don’t like people asking people to email themn photos and personal information unless it’s a well known entity.
So my last step was to contact the Fairfield CT police department to get an email address of a detective so I could forward it to them for follow up. I’d rather err on the side of caution and maybe prevent a serious crime then delete the message and forget about it.
The moral of the story…?
USE COMMON SENSE! BE CAREFUL! Teach this to your children!