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As If PAs Didn’t Have Enough Problems, Now Scammers Are Targeting Us

Ugh. Some people are just assholes.

A few weeks ago, I answered a question from reader Brian about per diem. Something that stood out to several readers was the phrase “$500 per diem.” That’s a ridiculously high per diem, so I assumed either the job posting in question was ambiguously worded, or the PA misunderstood (they were, after all, writing in because they didn’t know about per diems).

After a follow-up email, turns out, nope, the job post in question was a scam.

They actually were claiming to offer a PA $500 per day, which shoots past too-good-to-be-true territory and straight into this-can’t-be-serious.

Still, there’s every chance in the world that the person who wrote the job posting misunderstood the terms that the producer was offering, or perhaps the producer is just new and didn’t know what they were getting into.

But benefit of the doubt can only get you so far.

They wanted me to deposit a check they were sending me for travel expenses, then withdraw the money and send it as a money order to a certain account.

Luckily my bank marked the check as fraudulent.

Guys, no. Brian is very, very lucky his bank stepped in.

Here’s how jobs work– they give you money, you do the job, you spend the money as you see fit. That’s it, that’s the end.

If anyone ever asks you to deposit a check and then withdrawal some portion of the money, just walk away. At best, they’re sending you a bad check. Worse, you might get caught up in some sort of money laundering scheme. It wouldn’t be the first time a film has been used as some sort of criminal front.

Whatever the case, you don’t want to have anything to do with whatever is going on.

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6 Responses

  1. I just got hooked by this same scam a couple weeks ago. “$400 per day and $500 per diem” was the deal. Since I’m still trying to land my first PA gig, I didn’t know any better. Things seemed legit, until they weren’t. It got down to the please-deposit-this-check-today-and-the-funds-will-be-available-tomorrow portion and I realized they were just trying to intercept my account number. Walked away feeling pretty lucky.

    Anyway, this is still happening in 2017.

  2. I just received a variation as well. I figured I’d share. This post definitely helped me in identifying this crap.

    Out of curiosity, I called him to see if he’d pick up. He didn’t but called my back shortly thereafter. I laughed at him when he said it wasn’t a scam. Who knows maybe I’m just a skeptic? I guess his company is just in the habit of sending thousands of dollars to someone they’ve never met before.

    Ridiculous.

    Also, his domain was “goldcirclefilm.com” as opposed to the real company “goldcirclefilmS.com”

    “Production Assistant

    Gold Circle Films, is searching for passionate and skilled PA . Indeed.com sent us your resume as an ideal candidate that is skilled, motivated, and energetic. Gold Circle Films will be shooting a TV Commercial this March to promote our upcoming TV series. The PA will work directly with the producer throughout the production. This is a highly professional, creative, and collaborative project and the production assistant position could lead to long-term opportunity.

    Company Profile:
    Gold Circle Films is an American independent film production company, behind the record-breaking film My Big Fat Greek Wedding. More recent titles released include White Noise with Michael Keaton, The Wedding Date with Debra Messing, and The Haunting in Connecticut with Virginia Madsen. All total, the firm has a film library of about 25 titles. The company
    was founded in 2000 to produce Stand and Be Counted, a documentary from legendary musician David Crosby. Gold Circle Films is backed by billionaire Gateway co-founder Norm Waitt, Jr. through his Waitt Corp investment firm.

    Production Assistant Responsibilities

    Typing, editing, copying and distributing scripts;
    Organizing travel arrangements for cast, crew and production executives
    Organizing accommodation for cast and crew
    Typing and distributing schedules, or call sheets
    Assisting cast members, and at times running errands for them;
    Checking running orders and scripts
    Keeping track of timings during the program;
    Setting up pre-recorded material in the studio gallery; making schedules, shot lists, logs and other paperwork for post-production.

    Note: The production will be done in Sacramento, CA from 03-09-2016 to 03-12-2016 at The Studio Center, 915 Fee Dr, Sacramento, CA 95815 but you’ll be needed here in Sacramento, CA from 03-07-2016. Both travel/hotel expenses will be covered by the company.

    Instruction: If you are available and interested in accepting the PA position then respond with your recent contact information such as your full name, address (to include city, state and zip code) and cell number.

    Regards

    Christopher Hawley
    Gold Circle Films LLC
    233 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 650
    Santa Monica, CA 90401”

    And then:

    “Attached to the email is the production agreement form for the TV Commercial, please sign and email back to me. During the production you’ll be booked in a hotel which is about 2 blocks away from the studio so transporting yourself to the studio shouldn’t be a problem and also in other for you to get a better understand about the entire production before the shoot, you’ll be required here in Sacramento, CA from 03-07-2016. The pay is $500 a day, that is $3000 for the 6days you’ll be working for us.

    I’ll also mail out a check of $3450 to cover both travel/lodging expenses including per diem pay of $500, you’re to deduct your per diem pay of $500 from the check while the balance should be paid to the designated travel agent who will assist you in making all necessary hotel and travel bookings (more information on the travel agent will be provided to you soon).

    The check will be processed once the signed form is received.

    Regards

    Producer
    Christopher Hawley
    Gold Circle Films LLC
    233 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 650
    Santa Monica, CA 90401
    415-851-2358”

  3. I’ve seen a variation of this as well.
    They are 100% impersonating the REAL “Good Clean Fun”, the e-mail address from the scammer came from the domain “goodcleanfunLC.com”, not “goodcleanfunLLC.com”, which is the real company.

    Here is the email– nearly identical:

    Company profile: Good Clean Fun’s state-of-the-art production facilities are where the magic happens. Our seasoned professionals oversee each and every part of the process. From creative development, to production and post, it all happens under one roof. Every project is driven by our vision and branded with our unique point of view.

    Responsibilities include the following:

    Good Clean Fun LLC, will be producing a TV commercial to promote our new show *Barely Famous* and your assistance will be needed. Below are the job duties:

    Operate Studio Camera, Audio, Graphics generator or teleprompter
    Organize studio sets, cameras and monitoring
    Maintain studio and lighting
    Use microphones, IFB receivers, and audio facilities
    Setup and review graphic elements
    Perform other job-related duties as assigned

    Note: The production will be done in San Francisco between 10-21-2015 to 10-24-2015 in Blast Digital Studio, 679 Toland Place, San Francisco, CA but you’ll be needed here in San Francisco from 10-19-2015. Both travel/hotel expenses will be covered by the company.

    Instruction: Please respond with your contact information such as your full name, address and cell number where a check will be mailed out to, it is for your traveling and lodging expenses (more information will be provided as we progress). You will also be provided an itinerary by the designated travel agent arrangement

    Regards

    Good Clean Fun LLC
    Andrew Sidick
    goodcleanfunllc.com/about/

  4. Hi,

    Yes, this is not the real Sundial Pictures. We would never do that. Please, if anyone has been contacted by this people claiming to work for us, contact your local police and report the incident. We’re not able to do much on our end since he hasn’t technically stolen our personal information. He’s just impersonating us.

    Sorry for the inconvenience and hopefully he gets caught soon. I know the FBI are involved now and many local precincts have been inquiring with us to gather info about the scam.

    Best,
    Joey

    http://www.sundial-pictures.com

  5. Here is a scam that came to me via Email .They say they will put the money in your account, you just have to send them the account number Jan 14 at 7:34 AM
    Hello,

    Just came across your resume and feel you will be a good fit for the project we have
    coming up in 2 to 3 weeks from now. You have been invited to plan and organize a
    commercial production that will be held on the weekend of 02-05-16 to 02-07-16 in
    Avalon Dublin Station, 5200 Iron Horse Parkway, Dublin, CA 94568 to plan on how the following details below will be carried out and others. This commercial is for our client Dr Pepper and it is to
    be titled “SPARKLES”. We are seeking the services of a production assistant to help
    plan and organize the commercial production and i hope that you will be willing to
    travel as the company will be covering all expenses (transportation, accommodation
    and feeding).

    I want you to know that this is not a full time position or a part-time to full time
    position but a freelance position with Sundial Pictures. After your services
    with the company in Dublin, we will be seeking your services from time to time when
    future productions present itself.

    You will be paid $400/day which will amount to $1200 for the 3 days. Your duties
    will include the following but are not limited;

    – assisting with answering telephones
    – filing paperwork and data entry
    – arranging lunches, dinners, and transportation reservations
    – photocopying, general office administration
    – distributing production paperwork.
    – acting as a courier
    – helping to keep the set clean and tidy and distributing call sheets, health and
    safety notices, and other paperwork
    – help to coordinate the extras

    Company profile:
    Sundial Pictures is a New York City based independent film production and distribution company. We work in all stages of the film making process, from development through distribution, for both documentary and narrative films. Our goal is to unite with other independent film production companies, film financiers, and philanthropists to help create powerful motion pictures and bring them to as wide an audience as possible.

    Instruction: Please respond with your contact information where a check will be
    mailed out to and will be used for all traveling and lodging expenses via a
    designated travel agent (more information will be provided as we progress). You will
    also be provided with more information regarding the event, travel arrangement, etc.

    Regards,
    Robert Guzman
    Event Coordinator
    http://www.sundial-pictures.com

    1. Just so everyone understands, this is probably NOT the real Sundial Pictures. The scammer is using their name to hook the poor production assistants.

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