Scam Warning to Performers - November 3 2022
In our October 31, 2022 newsletter, we shared a safety reminder about a scam where performers were "hired" based only on their headshots, for a project paying upwards of $9,000.
Today we received another email from a concerned performer about a different project using similar methods -- we believe are the same people. However, this time the scammers are telling performers: "You were recommended to us by our partner Vancouver Actors Guide," which is a lie. We do not have a list of actors on our website, nor do we offer direct recommendations for which actors should be hired for a project.
To better inform the acting community about what this scam looks like, we've included samples of the emails sent by the production companies for your reference. You'll see the similarities in their approach.
Red flags and things to consider:
- A Muse Media Inc. Project
- Their main website (MuseMediaInc.ca) was registered and created on October 26, 2022, and hosted on the WIX.com platform
- Their related prepaid credit card website (monteferroprepaidcard.ca) was also registered and created on October 26, 2022.
- In the second email they mention that they want the actor to talk about their experience "Reloading" your prepaid credit card. Caution: This is a common scam tactic. There should be no expectation for you to pay or reload a credit card, even if they send you money in advance (which is typically a fraudulent cheque or money order).
- Sweet Delight Pictures Project
- Their main website (sweetdelightpictures.ca) was registered and created on September 28, 2022.
- Their related prepaid credit card website (temprepaidcard.ca) was registered and created on October 13, 2022.
- They were using a real company's name to make it seem legitimate, which increases the due diligence that's required by performers.
- If you're unsure about a website, you can do a Whois lookup to see when the website domain was first registered and sometimes see which platform is hosting their website. There are many sites that offer Whois search functions, including www.tucowsdomains.com/whois-search/
- Search the company and individuals involved on LinkedIn and other social media platforms. But remember that just because you can't find them, doesn't mean they're not real. If you do find them, at least you have more information in order to make an informed decision.
The greatest asset to any performer is to take a breath, don't let your excitement of being hired take over your judgement, seek answers to questions, ask trusted colleagues for advice, be informed about your decisions, and take care of each other. Be extra mindful when asked about your Social Insurance Number, passport, and any financial details.
Trusted colleagues may include, but not limited to, your agent, an acting teacher, the Union of BC Performers / ACTRA, other actors in the industry, or family, friends and others who have some level of understanding of the industry.
You can also reach out to us at email@example.com with questions or concerns about specific projects you might involve yourself with, and we will do our best to support you.
Most projects and people in this industry are legitimate and well-meaning, and at the same time we can recognize that we need to work together to make it even better.
CEO, Production Heads Network Inc.
A Muse Media Inc. - First Unsolicited Email
We are now casting male and female actors, content creators, influencers, models, and vloggers for a commercial ad for Monteferro® Prepaid Credit Card. We are searching for men and women of various ages, genders, and experience levels (i.e., "real people") for this paid opportunity, and we are looking to build long-term relationships with selected talents.
My name is Luis Moore, the Casting/Project Manager for A Muse Media Inc. a creative group of resourceful and multi-talented content production team. A Muse Media Inc. offer a compelling alternative to large advertising agencies and smaller production companies. Our responsiveness combined with substantial production capacity, translate into reliable experiences for our clients since 2010, through helping clients tell stories, solve communication challenges, and engage audiences through video, photography, and live events to mention few. Going forward, find below the upcoming production brief for the Monteferro® Prepaid Credit Card commercial ad gig.
*Project Name: Monteferro® Prepaid Credit Card
The Monteferro® prepaid credit card offers simple and smart payment convenience without the high fees associated with traditional banks, and the latest cutting-edge technology helps users earn the best possible return while optimizing tax bill. The cards are also ideal to give to kids as a personal allowance card. They protect user under a zero-liability policy, and the cards are secure, convenient and it be can used for everyday purchases such as coffee, groceries, online shopping and more.
This is a full buyout for three(3) months usage with the option to repurchase any photos or videos at the conclusion of the three-month period. At the conclusion of the three-month contract, the buyout fee may be revised.
We await your response in a moment.
With warm regards,
A Muse Media Inc.
A Muse Media Inc. - Second Email
You were recommended to us by our partner Vancouver Actors Guide and we're looking forward to your best performance.
The below information will enlighten you more on the soon to be LAUNCHED campaign product and the project goals.
Monteferro® Prepaid Credit Card - The Ultimate Shopping experience.
Monteferro® Financial Services is about to launch a campaign ad for there new product, using REAL PEOPLE to create the Ultimate Shopping experience with Monteferro® Prepaid Credit Card. The campaign will feature both Male(s) and female(s) talents from different ethnicities to create a 90 seconds self filmed keynote speech that addresses there shopping experience using the Monteferro® Prepaid Credit Card and A Muse Media Inc. will put all contents together to create a commercial ad that will be used for advertisement purposes nationwide [CANADA].
We need talent to record three (3) 0–30 second video clips showcasing their in-person shopping and payment experiences using the Monteferro® Prepaid credit card they will be provided with, as well as a 90–second self-filmed speech about their in-person shopping experience.
REMUNERATION: $1,500.00 [50% upfront as down payment - $750.00 CAD retainer]. Remaining 50% balance [$750.00 CAD] to be paid after submission of video clips and self filmed speech
BUYOUT FEE: $4,000 CAD - To be paid upon APPROVAL of video clips and self filmed speech.
USAGE: TV, Web, e-mail and social media campaign for 3 months only. A POSSIBLE re-purchase of video clips and self filmed speech at the end of the 3 months contract and fee can be renegotiated at the end of the 3 months contract.
A free personal dedicated Monteferro® Prepaid credit card with a value of $3,500.00 CAD for your ultimate shopping experience, which automatically makes you one of the first 100 users and following there directives, Monteferro® card services will have your starter pack delivered to your nearest address in 24-48hrs.
We shall ALLOCATE all payments to talent and instruct further on how to request your Monteferro® prepaid credit card as per contractual agreement. The idea of having your personal Monteferro® card for your shopping experience will help the audience to quickly connect the ideals of the campaign, through the product.
2. Talents to create a self filmed speech that addresses there shopping experience [0-90 seconds]. Keynotes to speak on:
3. Submit the self filmed speech and video clips to A Muse Media Inc. for buyout approval.
The remaining 50% balance of $750.00 CAD to be PAID after submission of video clips and self filmed speech.
SUBMISSION DEADLINE: 14th of November 2022
Talent will have approval over all name & likeness usage, photos, quotes, media outlets, social media posts, PR messaging with talent's name and likeness. As part of our policy to comply with digital casting, We consider mobile deposit as a fast and convenient way to pay talents and all the payments stipulated above will be made as per contractual agreement.
The below information is required to confirm your registration with A Muse Media Inc. for The Monteferro® Prepaid credit card - The Ultimate Shopping experience Campaign project.
Upon receipt of the above info, We will complete your registration and ask our legal team to draft an agreement contract.
CONFIDENTIALITY: A Muse Media Inc./Monteferro® Financial Services and it's representatives shall keep any information obtained in the course of commercial services hereunder confidential, including, without limitation, any conversations or communications, actions, business plans and strategies, marketing plans, techniques, technology, trade secrets, personal information, original works of authorship, or otherwise (the “Confidential Information”). A Muse Media Inc./Monteferro® Financial Services understands that the above list is not exhaustive and that Confidential Information also includes other information that is marked or otherwise identified as confidential or that would otherwise appear to a reasonable person to be confidential or proprietary. The A Muse Media Inc./Monteferro® Financial Services understands that improper use or disclosure of the confidential Information might cause damages and liability under confidentiality agreements with third parties, civil damages, and criminal penalties.
A Muse Media Inc.
Sweet Delight Pictures - First Email
Greetings from Sweet Delight Pictures. My name is Kiarash Anvari (casting director / Project Manager at Sweet Delight Pictures) . At Sweet Delight Pictures, our aim and objective is helping brands tell stories through the medium of film . We are interested in working with you on a TV and Web commercial for A major wireless over-ear headphone brand . Thank you for responding to our casting ad. It would be an honor to work with you.
Sweet Delight Pictures is a film and video production company. We have the knack of blending the creative with the business-minded, to deliver stunning visual appeal. Our video and film production expertise transcend the traditional and create new benchmarks in quality, service delivery, and value creation for your brand online and TV. Be it explainer videos,Commercial videos, educative videos, training videos, or even industrial animation, we have the resources, team, and processes in place to deliver a truly remarkable video and film production solution to aid your business and marketing objectives.
We are currently casting both male and female actors/content creators/influencers/models/
Production Company : Sweet Delights Pictures
Sponsors: Beats in partnership with TEM® Prepaid Credit Card ( https://www.temprepaidcard.ca )
SYNOPSIS : This project is to promote the latest designs of the wireless Beats Studio wireless headphones . Suitable for all living class . This is to promote the quality of sound production of the headphone and the great design and color .
All roles are MOS (there will be action, but no lines to speak).
[GYM GOER] – Any Ethnicity Male and Female 21-55. Modern, fresh faces with self-confident effortless style, beautiful but real people we can relate to, professionals who know what they want, intelligent with an air of intrigue. The character will be working out in the gym with extras in the background . He/she will be using a black with gold trim beats studio wireless headphone. Showing all excitement while enjoying his/her work out without being disturbed by the noise in the gym.
[TRAVELLER] – Any Ethnicity . Male or female.. Age 28-72 years Old. Modern, fresh faces with self-confident effortless style, beautiful but real people we can relate to, professionals who know what they want, intelligent with an air of intrigue. The character will be shooting in the first class cabin of a flight with other passengers . He/she will be using the beats studio wireless headphone exciting and enjoying his/her flight looking happy.
[EXTRA] - Any Ethnicity Male and Female 21-72. Modern, fresh faces with self-confident effortless style, beautiful but real people we can relate to, professionals who know what they want, intelligent with an air of intrigue. The character will be working out in the gym along with the principal character . This character can also be selected as extra on the flight with the principal character.
Event Date 1 : NOVEMBER 25TH, 2022 & NOVEMBER 26TH, 2022
SHOOT LOCATION : We will be shooting at a location in Toronto, ON. Transportation and hotel accommodation will be provided for talents that are not local. Full details of location to be provided to you in due time.
If this sounds like a project you’d be interested in, kindly respond with an email using “I’M AVAILABLE” as the subject line and specify the date which you’d like to shoot for from the two event dates and preferred Role(s).
Upon receipt of your response, I shall send you details about the compensation, buyout, usage and wardrobe.
Sweet Delight Pictures - Second Email
Thank you for choosing to work with Sweet Delight Pictures. Please find below the necessary details and more information required from you for this shoot.
COMPENSATION, BUYOUT FEE & NON-UNION CONTRACT DETAILS : $750/day and $4,000 for usage [Total: $5,500]. This is expected to be a two day shoot which involves up to 5-7 hours daily. We can arrange a full day shoot for you in case you have a tight schedule. There will be a contract/agreement upon acceptance."
USAGE: TV, Web, e-mail and social media campaign for 3 months only. A POSSIBLE re-purchase of usage at the end of the 3 months contract and fee can be re-negotiated at the end of the 3 months contract.
WARDROBE & MAKE UP : We’ll cover your hair and make up as well as your wardrobe. Your wardrobe consist of high end fashion products (clothes, shoes, custom wears and fashion accessories). A wardrobe allowance will be allocated to you in-line with the company policy and you’ll be instructed on how you will shop for your wardrobe just in time before the shoot.
RETAINER & PER-NEGOTIATIONS : An upfront as down payment [$550 as retainer]. Remaining balance [$4,950] to be paid upon completion of the shoot before you leave the location.
EXTRA INFO : You may come to the shoot location with a friend or family if it makes you more comfortable. A actor/model coach will also be on set to offer you a profound change of mentality, guideline & confidence. Don’t get me wrong. It’s rewarding and a privilege to be part of this industry but this same line of work can slice your confidence into pieces. Time and time again I’ve heard actors ask painfully vulnerable questions. Am I pretty enough? Am I the right size? Do I have what it takes? I fully understand the importance of having confidence, and if you’re a working actor, you should too. No I I’m not talking about faking confidence or putting on a forced smile in the casting room. I’m talking about really feeling comfortable in your skin and embracing every quirk and trait that defines you. This is where working with a commercial acting coach comes in.
COMPANY NOTE: "In addition to representing talent, Sweet Delight Pictures also offers training and related development services to models and actors for additional fees depending on experience level and select division(s)."
REWARDS: This will be a fun day of shooting as you get to keep all wardrobe. The videos will be posted on TV channels nationwide and various social media platforms with name and link credit. A free personal dedicated TEM® Prepaid Credit Card with a value of $3,500 CAD for your wardrobe shopping, which automatically makes you one of the first 1,000 users and following their directives, TEM® Financial Services will have your starter pack delivered to your confirmed address within 24-48hrs so that you can start shopping for your wardrobe as directed by our costume/wardrobe department.
INFORMATION REQUIRED : The below information is required to confirm your registration with Sweet Delight Pictures for this project and subsequent projects you will be doing with us in future.
CONFIDENTIALITY: Sweet Delight Pictures, Beats and TEM® Financial Services and it's representatives shall keep any information obtained in the course of this commercial services hereunder confidential, including, without limitation, any conversations or communications, actions, business plans and strategies, marketing plans, techniques, technology, trade secrets, personal information, original works of authorship, or otherwise (the “Confidential Information”). Sweet Delight Pictures, Beats & TEM® Financial Services understands that the above list is not exhaustive and that Confidential Information also includes other information that is marked or otherwise identified as confidential or that would otherwise appear to a reasonable person to be confidential or proprietary. Sweet Delight Pictures, Beats & TEM® Financial Services understands that improper use or disclosure of the Confidential Information might cause damages and liability under confidentiality agreements with third parties, civil damages, and criminal penalties.
Thank you & Looking forward to hearing from you soon.