Search
  • Jason Thomsen Voice Actor

Scammed....almost!

Photo by Tara Winstead from Pexels


We have all had experiences with awful people. They exist everywhere. They would steal your lunch money or take your favorite snack in exchange for not getting beat up… or so I’ve heard!!

They have evolved over the centuries with more elaborate methods of affecting others. Scammers are the latest line of awful people out there. Some of them are face to face while many take advantage of the internet and expand their range of victims.


I’m sure you have gotten an email that you were discovered to be the lost heir to a Nigerian prince and were due millions of dollars. Well, I’m pretty sure if you were, you wouldn’t be reading this so I’ll move on.



Scams exist everywhere and are pretty common nowadays. Perhaps you just discovered you were the long lost heir to a Nigerian prince and were due millions of dollars. All you need to do is share your social security number and you’ll be retiring in the tropics in a matter of months. No big deal, right?? (Spoiler alert: if you were royalty, you probably would have gotten a fancy letter or at least had the courtesy of spelling your last name right!)


Businesses are not exempt from scams, either. Even in the voiceover business, scams are prevalent. The most common scam is the “game show one”. It’s a running joke in my circle of friends that you have finally made in the voiceover business when you receive this request. This one has been around for years and there are many articles out there detailing it. Here’s one of them:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-spot-voice-over-scam-when-you-work-pay-to-play-sites-dickson/

A quick summary: you decide to be the next gameshow host star, so you apply and are accepted. They send you a payment via check for an amount much higher than agreed. Once you cash the check, they ask to send the additional amount to another person they usually claim is part of the project. Meanwhile, the original check bounces and the check you write goes through. They get your money and you get none of theirs.


Now you might be asking: why would anyone fall for this? I know I did! Well, guess what reading audience? After knowing all of this I almost fell for a similar scam.


I was a member of a casting site. Notice I used the past tense there? This site had a job from an international radio station in Japan that was looking for English speaking men and women to voice English versions of their radio ads. So far nothing too suspicious. I submitted my information and got a response about a few days later. The email came from an FM station in Japan. I researched the station and it did exist. If you’ve never heard any radio stations from another country, you really should… it’s pretty cool.


The following is how it all went down via email. I know I did some things different than you might have, but I wanted to share as much as possible. (I tried to include almost everything, but I am leaving a few pieces out) I did not exclude the scammers name, because… well, he’s a SCAMMER:



Jason:

Hi!

I saw your casting call on excluded in search of a voiceover artist and would like to be in consideration. I sent an application on the site, but felt like I should send you an email so I could give you my rate card. My rates are in USD. I try to be easy to work with, so my rates are negotiable within reason.

Also please feel free to visit my website: www.jasonthomsenvo.com to listen to my demos.

Thank you for your time and consideration

Yoshio (SCAMMER):

Please Note: I translated this text, pardon any grammatic/punctuation error........**********

Hello Jason,

Thank you for reaching out, to proceed. How much will it cost for you to record the written script below?

Script;

Deliciousness and health

The Impression of deliciousness, the joy of health, the brilliance of life

On February 11, 1918, the day when the red box of nutritional confectionery Glico was sold for the first time at a department store, that day was designated as the anniversary of its founding.

The Glico Group contributes to the creation of lively life in the field of heart, health, and life. Glico's spirit is "create, enjoy, and excite." In order to realize our corporate philosophy, we will enjoy creating as much as we can and continue to take on creative challenges.

Visit www.glico.com, for more information.

Category: Radio

Industry: Consumer Brands

Style: Authoritative, Smooth, Edgy

Language: English

Location: Japan (National)

I look forward to your price quote.

Regards,

Yoshio Fukuzuka


Jason:

Hello,

What is your budget for this?

Jason

SCAMMER:

Hello Jason,

We have a budget, but we would like to know your price first before negotiating.

Regards,

Yoshi Fukuzaka

Jason:

My rate would be xxx for a xx week cycle.

Jason

SCAMMER:

Hello Jason,

xxx is a fair price, and we would like you to proceed with recording. You should submit the audio file in mp3 format. Do you accept checks/money orders?

Note: You will get more scripts in the future.

Regards,

Yoshi Fukuzaka

Jason:

Terrific!

I do accept checks and money orders, but it is not my preference as I have had issues with bad checks in the past. I would prefer another method of payment, such as a credit card, paypal, or zelle, but If you are unable to pay via those methods, I would be willing to accept a check or money order.

Thanks and look forward to working with you.

Jason

Jason:

Yoshio,

Here is the recording of the script you sent me. Please feel free to let me know if you would like to change anything.

Thanks!

Jason Thomsen

SCAMMER:

Hello Jason,

I have received the audio file. Kindly provide your name and address for payment endorsement.

Regards,

Yoshio Fukuzuka

Jason:

Yoshio,

I will be sending you an invoice shortly which will contain all of the information you need.

Thanks!

Jason

This is where I sent the invoice.

SCAMMER:

Hello Jason,

The management releases the future scripts' timetable for your awareness and has included a budget for each script. Time-table was released according to client bookings for the demand of English-Speaking recordings.

  • October 30th-------- 30 seconds read -------------3 months run---------- --xxx

  • November 6th--------30 seconds read -------------3 months run------------ --xxx

  • November 13th--------30 seconds read -------------3 months run--------------xxx

  • November 20th--------30 seconds read -------------3 months run--------------xxx

  • November 27th--------30 seconds read -------------3 months run--------------xxx

The management also plans to regulate payment by contracting an escrow service. Let me know if you have any questions.

State your name and address for payment endorsement prior invoice delivery.

Regards,

Yoshio Fukuzuka

Jason:

Hi Yoshio,

Were you able to find my address on my invoice?

Thanks,

Jason

SCAMMER:

Hello Jason,

Please confirm the information below, before we proceed.

Thomsen Voiceovers

Xxxx

Xxxx

Xxxx

Regards,

Yoshio Fukuzuka

Jason:

Yoshio,

I am confirming that the address is correct.

Thank you.

Jason Thomsen

SCAMMER:

Hello Thomsen,

I received a notice from the accounting department on the release of payment to your address. Please find the information below to track the status of delivery.

Courier Service Used: FedEx

Website: www.fedex.com

Tracking Number: xxxxxxxxxxx

Notify me as soon as you receive the payment for validation.

Regards,

Yoshio Fukuzuka

This is where I received the check. It was received in a FexEx envelope with only the check inside. The check was for a lot more than I expected. Red flags were going off in my head.

Jason:

Hello,

I received payment, however the amount is much higher than our agreed amount. The check is for XXX

Jason

SCAMMER:

Hello Jason,

Yes, consult previous email correspondence you will notice the budget of future jobs were included. Thank you for confirming the status of the delivery. The check validation is within 24 hours after being received, and the accounting department requires proper documentation. We require a copy of the deposit slip for accounting records.

Regards,

Yoshio Fukuzuka

Jason:

Yoshio,

Once I deposit it I will let you know.

I was concerned that it may be a scam which is why I had not yet deposited it.

Thank you for the clarification and I will send a confirmation once I make the deposit.

Jason Thomsen

Jason:

Yoshio,

My bank advised me that I not send you confirmation as you would have my account information. If you need confirmation, check with the bank that issued the check to make sure it is cashed. You do not need confirmation from me.

SCAMMER:

Hello Jason,

Thank you for the information kindly confirm if funds are available in your account.

Regards,

Yoshio Fukuzuka

At this point I knew it was a scam so I ceased any correspondence with them. If I needed any more proof that it was a scam, a friend of mine told me that they received a similar email correspondence. The script that she was sent was exactly the same!

Lessons learned (I realize some of these may be obvious):

Experience matters: If I was a brand new voiceover I am not sure I would have seen the red flags right away. The first script was my first warning. This was supposed to be for a radio commercial, but the script does not sound like anything I have ever heard on the radio. It also had not been like any other radio script I had worked on before. It appeared to be more like a corporate video than a radio ad. When I received the schedule of future work, I noticed every single one said 30 seconds. My original recording was longer than 30 seconds. I was expecting him to offer some direction on my initial take, but as you can see I got no feedback. A lot of my interaction was based on what I had learned and what I had been taught. If I was completely new, I am sure I would have made more mistakes and perhaps even fell for the scam.

Networking: I cannot emphasize this enough. Networking has helped me more than anything else in building my career. I have learned so much from the coaches and friends I have made. Many of those I have connected with have more experience than I do. The ability to get answers to questions from people with real experience in the matters is priceless. I am so grateful to all of my friends and coaches in my career.

Never make decisions on personal weakness: We all have weaknesses. For some it might be a lack of experience. It could be a lack of confidence. Perhaps it’s just a desperate desire to get a “win” at all costs. The list goes on and on. Personally, I really wanted a “win”. That clouded my judgement in the hopes that perhaps I was reading into things and that perhaps it was a real thing. I didn’t want to believe it was a scam even when everyone and everything was telling me otherwise. That’s exactly what a scammer wants: for us to make a bad decision. I almost did and thankfully came to my senses.

Skepticism is okay as long as it doesn’t fuel your process: The effects of being scammed are more than just the scam itself. Even though I didn’t fall for the scam, there were certainly some aftereffects. I was angry and cynical and even lost some confidence in my abilities. I thought I should have been able to figure it out sooner. Most importantly… I didn’t. I had a process that actually prevented me from getting scammed. Sure, I could have figured it out sooner, but I learned a lot from this experience.

Believe in yourself: This is the last and most important thing to remember. No matter where you are in your life, your career or anything else. Don’t be hard on yourself. Allow yourself to make mistakes and learn from them. Allow yourself time and enjoy the journey. The journey will have bumps and perhaps a lot of them. Continue to move forward and never give up.

You are enough.


8 views0 comments
  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Twitter Icon
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn