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Inspired Fraud (Pun intended)

Joined
Mar 2, 2017
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42
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Age
67
Location
North Central Minnesota
This is a long and a bit off the beaten track tale, but it displayed an unusual knowledge of UAV work, so here goes:

I'm struggling with getting my business off the ground...sorry...and I received the following email from Mr. Eaton Robert:
Hello Here's My name Eaton Robert. I will like to know if you are available for Aerial Photograph. If yes . Kindly get back to me ASAP..

Well, I'm a retired government and private investigator, so Mr. Eaton Robert's message, along with his email of [email protected] got my spider antenna twitching. But, desperate for business (and any attention whatsoever), I responded, asking him what he had in mind. His response:

Thanks for the quick response, Due to my hearing impaired i can only be reach through email and text...The lot is at Thanks for your reply, I will like you to take an Aerial photograph of the whole site including the cardinal directions at 200 and 400 feet for an architecture and landscape use because the images will be used to provide an actual budget for the construction and also I will like you to get back with me on how much it will cost me for you to do a video-graphic site inspection for 22 days because there's going to be a fast track construction on the site as soon as the blueprint is provided by the architect so I will be needing a drone especially for site inspection afterward and i will like to secure my space with you. Get back to me with the of Aerial Photo Estimate or Drones.. I should have been there in person to do this inspections but I'm in the hospital at the moment recuperating from covid-19 ( don't panic I’m getting better lol ).Please get back to me with the figures as soon as possible so we can get the ball rolling. In other words the breakdown is as follows: 10 still images: Top down 200 and 400 ft Look West 200 and 400 ft Look East 200 and 400 ft Look North 200 and 400 ft Look South 200 and 400 ft and a short video of the site from the top. As soon as we're done with this within a week, the second week the blueprint will be out then we shall proceed with the construction and you will be needed on site for 22 days, overhead drone recording the site for inspection and monitoring. And of course a final image and short video when the project is complete,
Here's The lot is at (actual address redacted by me, the poster) Bemidji, MN 56601,Am ready to make a half down deposit with credit now..it would be a straight consecutive 22 days excluding Sundays. And yes you'd be required to be on site taking overhead video shot and some ground shoot for the inspection. Am also looking for the project to start on the 7th of Sept.You’re to make yourself available with the drone for 1 hours daily we might not spend up to that sometimes .I’ll be available from 9am -5pm daily .Keep me posted when coming in I will like you to get back to me with the estimated cost so we can proceed accordingly.Hoping to hearback from you so we can get the ball rolling..

Well, I live in Bemidji, a small town of 10,000 in northern Minnesota, USA. It just so happens I know the location of the property, and pass by it often. It's a commercial property, and nearby there's some fairly serious construction going on, but no sign of impending ground breaking at Mr. Eaton Robert's site. So, I did some quick internet searches, and determined that the property was owned by a company with whom I am acquainted. I went in and spoke to my contact there, who gave me the hairy eyeball, and confirmed that no such construction was planned and that the property hadn't even been sold.

Now convinced that it was a scam, but unsure of Mr. Eaton Robert's end game, I decided to play along, and sent him this:

Mr. Eaton, thank you for the offer. I will consult with my partner and send you my required fee. In the meantime, could you please provide me with your business name and address, and who will be remitting the fees for our services? No response from him until I sent him this:

Mr. Robert,
For the one day of aerial footage we would charge you $700. For 22 days of dedicated availability and on site work we would charge you $6600. State tax @ 7.375% would also apply. Any video production involving extensive post processing would be extra and subject to negotiation.
We would require one third retainer, one third mid-task, remainder at conclusion, per the terms of the contract. Could you please forward me your company details so we might prepare our proposal and contact?

Mr. Eaton Robert responded:

Good to hear back from you, I'm self employed have not setup a company yet..
Thank you so much for asking , the favor is regarding the architect I actually met with him to discuss his payment before i was hospitalized due the virus and we had agreed on how he's going to get his money but i have no means of doing that from here due to limited availability of resources in the hospital so i would like you to please include his commitment fee of $12,000 to the total deposit as soon as payment clears in your account you will help forward portion to him so we can proceed with the project because without the commitment fee he's not ready to proceed with the project, you know the current situation of the country. I'll send you my card to charge for the total of $17,800 as soon as the fund clear to your account you help me send the remaining balance to the architect via his account details provided by him.. thank you Total Breakdown.......Total Charges: $17,800 Deposit: $5,000 The Architect fee: $12,000
Tips and Stress fee: $500 Card processing fee: $300

Well, there it was. Mr. Eaton Robert's plan was to pay me $17,800 via his credit card and I was to immediately sent his architect (undoubtedly Mr. Eaton Robert himself) $12,000 US out of my own account and keep the remainder. Sounded perfectly reasonable to me...what could go wrong? I'm sure Mr. Eaton Robert''s credit card was good for the amount...

At this point I got tired of the game, and never responded. But if any of you have any interest in working with Mr. Eaton Robert, feel free to pursue this lead!
 
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@Shamus
I actually dealt with Mr. Robert Eaton's sister. She lives in India and unfortunately she is dying of cancer. God had advised her to find a decent, Christian person to leave her 10 million dollars to. After much prayer and thought my name came to her. So at her request to complete the transaction I sent her my bank account number, password and social security number. I am patiently awaiting the transfer of funds.

Once I receive the funds if you will give me your bank account number and password I will deposit one million (yes $1,000,000.00) into your account to help you recover the loss of revenue from her brother.
 
Joined
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North Central Minnesota
@Shamus
I actually dealt with Mr. Robert Eaton's sister. She lives in India and unfortunately she is dying of cancer. God had advised her to find a decent, Christian person to leave her 10 million dollars to. After much prayer and thought my name came to her. So at her request to complete the transaction I sent her my bank account number, password and social security number. I am patiently awaiting the transfer of funds.

Once I receive the funds if you will give me your bank account number and password I will deposit one million (yes $1,000,000.00) into your account to help you recover the loss of revenue from her brother.

You're a scholar and a gentleman!
 

gfields

Premium Pilot
Joined
May 26, 2018
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206
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Location
Birmingham, AL
Website
digitalphotocreations.co
I got the very same email. I had read about it before, so I played along up to the same point as you... "getting the $12k" From what I understand, he uses a stolen credit card or cc information used in another scam (the one that is supposed to lower your interest rates) then what happens is you use your credit card to send him the money and when the amount he sent you is contested by the cardholder and you pay it back, you are out what you sent him and what he sent you. If you fall for this scam, it will cost you thousands.
 
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Joined
Nov 2, 2013
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Location
Olympic Peninsula USA
I'm not really sure how any of the varriations of the "I'll send you a lot of money (check or CC) for free and you kick some of it back" attract anyone at all, but apparently they do. Kind of a sad commentary on some folks command of common sense. :confused:
 
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There are so many scams out there that play on the senior citizens. When my mother was still alive (in her 90s) she received an email advising her that the American currency would loose it's value and she should turn all of her cash into gold coins. Of course the person that sent the email was more than willing to help her complete the transactions. Thankfully she called my brother and myself to let us know about the great deal she was offered before she did it.
 
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Brooklyn, NY
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www.atmosphericarts.com
About six months after starting my Drones Services business I started to get fraud attempts at least once a month. Here are some consistent red flags I keep an eye out for (most of these apply to the OP's case as mentioned):
  • First contact is often via text message, but never iMessage (although I have no idea how they got it)
  • Poor grammar and punctuation usage
  • Strange word usage and formality for apparent Americans. Overuse of "Gentleman" and "Mr." is common.
  • VERY quickly bring up accepted payment methods
  • Almost always mentions somebody being in the hospital or injured in some way
  • Many mention the same cardinal directions shot list almost identical to the OP's case
  • Inconsistencies with name, location, dates, scope, etc.
  • Usually ends up with you needing to pay another vendor for them and they'll pay you via credit card for both.
  • Almost always @gmail.com email addresses
  • And in some cases, I've seen an uptick in traffic on my website from places like Nigeria immediately before being contacted
  • And last but certainly not least, IF IT SEEMS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE IT PROBABLY IS! They like to talk big numbers to make our greed and optimism overwhelm our common sense.
 
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Joined
Mar 25, 2019
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41
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Website
www.aliensandmachines.com
Someone named Brian William contacted me from my website's contact form about an aerial photography job in Los Angeles (I'm based in LA). His initial message was this:

Hello, are you available for an aerial photograph ?

The job detail is very similar to what
[B]Shamus[/B] described above so I'm almost certain it's the same person. He used a different name, email address and a location in LA. I figured out fairly quickly that it was a scam so I sent him "no thanks" to his offer.

It would've been awesome if it was a real job...
 
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Posted a Matrice 200 for sale on Craigslist this morning and in a few minutes received the text that they wanted to buy it. The same scam where they will send you a code to text back to them to confirm it is a legit offering.
 
Joined
Dec 11, 2015
Messages
1,899
Reaction score
800
Location
CASA GRANDE, AZ
Website
www.martinezaerial.com
This is a long and a bit off the beaten track tale, but it displayed an unusual knowledge of UAV work, so here goes:

I'm struggling with getting my business off the ground...sorry...and I received the following email from Mr. Eaton Robert:
Hello Here's My name Eaton Robert. I will like to know if you are available for Aerial Photograph. If yes . Kindly get back to me ASAP..

Well, I'm a retired government and private investigator, so Mr. Eaton Robert's message, along with his email of [email protected] got my spider antenna twitching. But, desperate for business (and any attention whatsoever), I responded, asking him what he had in mind. His response:

Thanks for the quick response, Due to my hearing impaired i can only be reach through email and text...The lot is at Thanks for your reply, I will like you to take an Aerial photograph of the whole site including the cardinal directions at 200 and 400 feet for an architecture and landscape use because the images will be used to provide an actual budget for the construction and also I will like you to get back with me on how much it will cost me for you to do a video-graphic site inspection for 22 days because there's going to be a fast track construction on the site as soon as the blueprint is provided by the architect so I will be needing a drone especially for site inspection afterward and i will like to secure my space with you. Get back to me with the of Aerial Photo Estimate or Drones.. I should have been there in person to do this inspections but I'm in the hospital at the moment recuperating from covid-19 ( don't panic I’m getting better lol ).Please get back to me with the figures as soon as possible so we can get the ball rolling. In other words the breakdown is as follows: 10 still images: Top down 200 and 400 ft Look West 200 and 400 ft Look East 200 and 400 ft Look North 200 and 400 ft Look South 200 and 400 ft and a short video of the site from the top. As soon as we're done with this within a week, the second week the blueprint will be out then we shall proceed with the construction and you will be needed on site for 22 days, overhead drone recording the site for inspection and monitoring. And of course a final image and short video when the project is complete,
Here's The lot is at (actual address redacted by me, the poster) Bemidji, MN 56601,Am ready to make a half down deposit with credit now..it would be a straight consecutive 22 days excluding Sundays. And yes you'd be required to be on site taking overhead video shot and some ground shoot for the inspection. Am also looking for the project to start on the 7th of Sept.You’re to make yourself available with the drone for 1 hours daily we might not spend up to that sometimes .I’ll be available from 9am -5pm daily .Keep me posted when coming in I will like you to get back to me with the estimated cost so we can proceed accordingly.Hoping to hearback from you so we can get the ball rolling..

Well, I live in Bemidji, a small town of 10,000 in northern Minnesota, USA. It just so happens I know the location of the property, and pass by it often. It's a commercial property, and nearby there's some fairly serious construction going on, but no sign of impending ground breaking at Mr. Eaton Robert's site. So, I did some quick internet searches, and determined that the property was owned by a company with whom I am acquainted. I went in and spoke to my contact there, who gave me the hairy eyeball, and confirmed that no such construction was planned and that the property hadn't even been sold.

Now convinced that it was a scam, but unsure of Mr. Eaton Robert's end game, I decided to play along, and sent him this:

Mr. Eaton, thank you for the offer. I will consult with my partner and send you my required fee. In the meantime, could you please provide me with your business name and address, and who will be remitting the fees for our services? No response from him until I sent him this:

Mr. Robert,
For the one day of aerial footage we would charge you $700. For 22 days of dedicated availability and on site work we would charge you $6600. State tax @ 7.375% would also apply. Any video production involving extensive post processing would be extra and subject to negotiation.
We would require one third retainer, one third mid-task, remainder at conclusion, per the terms of the contract. Could you please forward me your company details so we might prepare our proposal and contact?

Mr. Eaton Robert responded:

Good to hear back from you, I'm self employed have not setup a company yet..
Thank you so much for asking , the favor is regarding the architect I actually met with him to discuss his payment before i was hospitalized due the virus and we had agreed on how he's going to get his money but i have no means of doing that from here due to limited availability of resources in the hospital so i would like you to please include his commitment fee of $12,000 to the total deposit as soon as payment clears in your account you will help forward portion to him so we can proceed with the project because without the commitment fee he's not ready to proceed with the project, you know the current situation of the country. I'll send you my card to charge for the total of $17,800 as soon as the fund clear to your account you help me send the remaining balance to the architect via his account details provided by him.. thank you Total Breakdown.......Total Charges: $17,800 Deposit: $5,000 The Architect fee: $12,000
Tips and Stress fee: $500 Card processing fee: $300

Well, there it was. Mr. Eaton Robert's plan was to pay me $17,800 via his credit card and I was to immediately sent his architect (undoubtedly Mr. Eaton Robert himself) $12,000 US out of my own account and keep the remainder. Sounded perfectly reasonable to me...what could go wrong? I'm sure Mr. Eaton Robert''s credit card was good for the amount...

At this point I got tired of the game, and never responded. But if any of you have any interest in working with Mr. Eaton Robert, feel free to pursue this lead!
Old scam. Several have tried it with me and I reply with a big (Mod removed )They are not even smart enough to change their stories.
 
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This is on the local Craigslist - makes me suspicious

© craigslist -
on my boat using a go pro-- your smart phone etc. a drone would be a plus. $$$$$ would be about 30 minutes. thank you
 
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www.flyinghighproductions.org
Mr eaton uses the same email on everyone. I actually received a second one via text and responded, "where do we put the dead bodies" and then quickly responded again, sorry wrong group chat, how can I help you again? He didn't respond..... They prayed on everyone going through covid difficulties but dont let it get you down, I'm sure he got all of us until that additional payment to the architect. A$$ Hol#s
 
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Someone will fall for it. I used to think that common sense had died in the world, but then I saw a video of a young child figuring out how to savor his lollipop while wearing a mask. Now I believe that common sense did not die - it just skipped a generation.
 
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Yes,,, we have encountered the same email. It started on my wife's twitter account. Where the dying Mr. Robert Eaton's sister was looking for 5 charitable organizations to give her million dollars to and picked my wife as one of them. This was a long con as she (or who ever it was on the other end) for months would write to my wife for prayer for her family and her medical conditions. Then one day she announced her condition was dire and wanted to give my wife's 501c3 a donation of 1 million dollars.

Thank God she came to me to ask for the account information and that set off the alarm. In 15 min I was able to flush out the scammer and put and end to the madness. I've seen many scams but this was it was the first time I've seen the long-con side of this scam... Pfft... These Grifter's are tricky, you got to double check everything nowadays! : (
 
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Had a similar instance. Someone was trying to sell a covered trailer for a way too cheap price. It was supposedly close so I thought I'd check it out. Unfortunately the seller was out of town at a military base and was shipping out but would be happy to have it delivered as it was wrapped and stored in an eBay warehouse. eBay doesn't have warehouses. Also they wanted payment in the form of 5 $500 gift cards only.

I took the image of the trailer, Google'd it and found it was actually from a sale in GA and was already sold for 3 times the asking price.

Yup, you have to be careful. There's always some sob story around it and a too good to be true price to draw you in.
 
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Yep... get one of these a month at first went along with it as the property he referenced with TMK#'s was legit and was for sale... I pass it every day, it was a commercial piece... priced the job accordingly $20k+ and he asked if I could also pay the surveyor another $6k + $1k extra for my trouble.... sure... through our square account... I thought what could go wrong... the money was transferred to our account - then the hackles on my neck stood up and I contacted square to see if the money had actually been transferred... when I mentioned the email they froze the amount, investigated then charged back the whole kit and caboodle - if we had paid the "surveyor" we would have been out $6k from our own funds... the cc was on a list of stolen cards.

Now my sec has a template email of our own that thanks them for considering our company and refers to all the points that are in their template... then quotes $45k for the job with a 50% deposit and for all out of state contracts we require a electronic bank transfer (EBT) or cashiers check Fedex to us, no exceptions. - We never get a reply.

We are a new industry and these filthy scammers have now locked us in their cross hairs. But we can handle it, not so the poor retirees who get scammed for their life savings.

I remember what me old pappy used to say... "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't"

Fly safe my friends.
 
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CASA GRANDE, AZ
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www.martinezaerial.com
This is a long and a bit off the beaten track tale, but it displayed an unusual knowledge of UAV work, so here goes:

I'm struggling with getting my business off the ground...sorry...and I received the following email from Mr. Eaton Robert:
Hello Here's My name Eaton Robert. I will like to know if you are available for Aerial Photograph. If yes . Kindly get back to me ASAP..

Well, I'm a retired government and private investigator, so Mr. Eaton Robert's message, along with his email of [email protected] got my spider antenna twitching. But, desperate for business (and any attention whatsoever), I responded, asking him what he had in mind. His response:

Thanks for the quick response, Due to my hearing impaired i can only be reach through email and text...The lot is at Thanks for your reply, I will like you to take an Aerial photograph of the whole site including the cardinal directions at 200 and 400 feet for an architecture and landscape use because the images will be used to provide an actual budget for the construction and also I will like you to get back with me on how much it will cost me for you to do a video-graphic site inspection for 22 days because there's going to be a fast track construction on the site as soon as the blueprint is provided by the architect so I will be needing a drone especially for site inspection afterward and i will like to secure my space with you. Get back to me with the of Aerial Photo Estimate or Drones.. I should have been there in person to do this inspections but I'm in the hospital at the moment recuperating from covid-19 ( don't panic I’m getting better lol ).Please get back to me with the figures as soon as possible so we can get the ball rolling. In other words the breakdown is as follows: 10 still images: Top down 200 and 400 ft Look West 200 and 400 ft Look East 200 and 400 ft Look North 200 and 400 ft Look South 200 and 400 ft and a short video of the site from the top. As soon as we're done with this within a week, the second week the blueprint will be out then we shall proceed with the construction and you will be needed on site for 22 days, overhead drone recording the site for inspection and monitoring. And of course a final image and short video when the project is complete,
Here's The lot is at (actual address redacted by me, the poster) Bemidji, MN 56601,Am ready to make a half down deposit with credit now..it would be a straight consecutive 22 days excluding Sundays. And yes you'd be required to be on site taking overhead video shot and some ground shoot for the inspection. Am also looking for the project to start on the 7th of Sept.You’re to make yourself available with the drone for 1 hours daily we might not spend up to that sometimes .I’ll be available from 9am -5pm daily .Keep me posted when coming in I will like you to get back to me with the estimated cost so we can proceed accordingly.Hoping to hearback from you so we can get the ball rolling..

Well, I live in Bemidji, a small town of 10,000 in northern Minnesota, USA. It just so happens I know the location of the property, and pass by it often. It's a commercial property, and nearby there's some fairly serious construction going on, but no sign of impending ground breaking at Mr. Eaton Robert's site. So, I did some quick internet searches, and determined that the property was owned by a company with whom I am acquainted. I went in and spoke to my contact there, who gave me the hairy eyeball, and confirmed that no such construction was planned and that the property hadn't even been sold.

Now convinced that it was a scam, but unsure of Mr. Eaton Robert's end game, I decided to play along, and sent him this:

Mr. Eaton, thank you for the offer. I will consult with my partner and send you my required fee. In the meantime, could you please provide me with your business name and address, and who will be remitting the fees for our services? No response from him until I sent him this:

Mr. Robert,
For the one day of aerial footage we would charge you $700. For 22 days of dedicated availability and on site work we would charge you $6600. State tax @ 7.375% would also apply. Any video production involving extensive post processing would be extra and subject to negotiation.
We would require one third retainer, one third mid-task, remainder at conclusion, per the terms of the contract. Could you please forward me your company details so we might prepare our proposal and contact?

Mr. Eaton Robert responded:

Good to hear back from you, I'm self employed have not setup a company yet..
Thank you so much for asking , the favor is regarding the architect I actually met with him to discuss his payment before i was hospitalized due the virus and we had agreed on how he's going to get his money but i have no means of doing that from here due to limited availability of resources in the hospital so i would like you to please include his commitment fee of $12,000 to the total deposit as soon as payment clears in your account you will help forward portion to him so we can proceed with the project because without the commitment fee he's not ready to proceed with the project, you know the current situation of the country. I'll send you my card to charge for the total of $17,800 as soon as the fund clear to your account you help me send the remaining balance to the architect via his account details provided by him.. thank you Total Breakdown.......Total Charges: $17,800 Deposit: $5,000 The Architect fee: $12,000
Tips and Stress fee: $500 Card processing fee: $300

Well, there it was. Mr. Eaton Robert's plan was to pay me $17,800 via his credit card and I was to immediately sent his architect (undoubtedly Mr. Eaton Robert himself) $12,000 US out of my own account and keep the remainder. Sounded perfectly reasonable to me...what could go wrong? I'm sure Mr. Eaton Robert''s credit card was good for the amount...

At this point I got tired of the game, and never responded. But if any of you have any interest in working with Mr. Eaton Robert, feel free to pursue this lead!
An old scam that has been making the rounds for quite a while. Many different versions I.e. I’m in the hospital with COVID, ad nauseum.... when I get those emails I tell them right out to go f themselves, no reply 😀
 
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I get these on a regular basis. I just give them some outrageous quote and tell them I'll need a $3000 'good faith' deposit in bitcoin. One of these days, maybe one of them will be greedy enough to try it. ;)
 
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