UK Work Permit Church Scam for Speakers

Speaker Scam

UK Speaker SCAM: Church and/or University in the UK looking for a keynote speaker for an upcoming leadership workshop; Tier 5 Work Permit fees required via Western Union. Here’s the full story:

On May 15, 2012, I was solicited by a church in the UK (via my website) to speak at their upcoming leadership workshop. A series of emails went back and forth, containing various details and expectations. In order to speak there, I would need a Tier 5 Work Permit from the UK Border Agency and because the event was quickly approaching, I was introduced by email to someone at the parish who works for the UK Border Agency and can get expedited processing for my application.

I was emailed an official 52-page PDF application for a Tier 5 Work Permit with specific instructions on how to fill it out. The form is legitimate and you can find documentation online confirming that only a UK employer can submit such an application. Once I had filled it out and gotten passport photos made, I was asked to send 583 GBP via Western Union so she could submit the application and pay the fee in cash.

They said they had a sponsor and offered to pay me $10,000 USD as a speaking fee, along with all travel expenses. This seems high for a church but does fall within my standard fee structure (at least for domestic events), so it didn’t seem too unusual at the time. Here are all the names and email addresses of the people I communicated with:

  1. Reverend Michael Silver rev.michaelsilver@gmail.com
  2. Reverend Brian Moody revbrianmoody199@gmail.com
  3. Reverend Phil Dunning revphildunning@gmail.com
  4. Edward Smith eechurch@hotmail.com
  5. Patricia Coleman UK Border Agency p.coleman@workmail.com (real name verified by Western Union)
  6. Susan Aires Dransfield Novelty Company dransfieldnoveltyco@london.com
  7. Phylis Kamps 321-200-1024 (mobile)

Here is a blog post that details how these same people have done this dozens of times since 2010. At the time of this writing there are 94 comments on their post and I will be adding my own shortly. I have included a number of emails below so you can get an idea of how these people communicate.

Email #1: Initial Solicitation

Name: Rev.Michael Silver
Email: rev.michaelsilver@gmail.com

Message: I am Reverend Michael Silver , presiding Minister of the Emmanuel Evangelical (Baptist) Chapel, Newport, United Kingdom. We are pleased to inform you that we would like to engage you to speak at our Church Lunch event here in Newport coming up on the 1st of June and we are also arranging our ‘Leadership development Program’ workshop on the 2nd & 3rd of June 2012.

Please we would like you to convey to us your availability for one of the dates as it can fit in your schedule. Also, please we would as well appreciate if you get back in-touch with us in ample time so we can start corresponding the details.

Thank you and expecting to hear from you soon.

Remain Blessed
Reverend Michael Silver
+447031873786
Emmanuel Evangelical (Baptist) Chapel,
Rutland Place,
Newport,
NP20 2EL,
Wales.
United Kingdom

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
1 Peter 2:9.

Email #2: Initial Request for Money

Good day Patrick, I understand that you are Emmanuel Evangelical Church’s guest for their upcoming conference, Edward Smith informed me earlier, I have undergone this process for their guests in the past as well prior to this time as well so below are the details.

I have undergone this process for people prior to this time as well so below are the details. (It is a pity though that you do not have your Swiss passort intact and up-to-date as you would have been waived for this fee).

Our Government (United Kingdom) Main Application Fee for a UK work permit is £488 and £95 for homeland fee making an overall sum of £583, You should understand that as a United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand & European citizens holding their international passport, entrance permits are at a reduced fee at rate given above, other nationalities pay more. I will do the application and payment in your name at our Consulate and send you necessary binding documents.

Usually, It takes between 1-14 weeks to get a permit depending on the category such permit may fall into, But if we process expressly and I append the application as a staff it will take just about one week and a maximum of two weeks give or take some delays in courier or so since it is categorized as ‘ministerial/religious’ under the UK Tier 5 work permit, It will take a week and a few days to process. If you are ready to proceed (which I advise you should) We would as well need you to send to us the below stated documents.

Full Name of applicant:
Passport Number:
invitation Letter from Sponsor:

Now, you will have to make the application fees payment and I will later send you the official UK TIER 5 WORK PERMIT FORM and the UKBA SCREENING FORM as an allied country citizen you do not need to fill the immigration assessment form as you are already eligible. We might only need your thumbprints at the United kingdom border on entry into the UK.

Please, be swift with your response because you know documents after been processed by the UK immigration might delay a bit, give or take 2-3days, It would be advisable you start processes a bit ahead of time.

Have a Wonderful day.

Patricia Coleman.
United Kingdom Border Agency.
N.A.

p.coleman@workmail.com
790-871-7081

Email #3: Second Request for Money

Good Morning Reverend, Deacon Edward, At the start of work today, I was notified by the issuing dept. that Patrick’s work permit cannot be issued out as yet, Non-Briton Immigrants coming into the United Kingdom and taking up a legally paid job will need to secure their stay with a bond otherwise referred to as a repatriation fee, And since Patrick falls under such category as she is non-British immigrant, The Home office has required that such applicants pay a refundable sum of 2,500GBP as a ‘Bond’ to enact their stay. As soon as they get back to their respective countries, the fee will be paid back to them in full. This law has been in the books for a while but it wasn’t effective for a long time now, But the new excos at the Consul has decreed it should be applicable and be 100% effective henceforth for working immigrants applying for the work permit.

I am emailing you now so you can find a way to forward to me the funds so I can make the payments asap since you have advised that time is of essence in this application. I will forward to you the ‘bond holding letter’ in the name of the applicant which is Patrick, he will be able to claim the funds at the USA Consul when he gets back home.

Warren Germain already sent me the funds for his bond, He will get the documents today, I have forwarded to him the fedex tracking number so he could monitor as well (Just informing you).

Reverend, Edward, send the funds to me on Patrick’s behalf as he might be relunctant to send such amount of money, So I need you to forward the funds on his behalf, Once he is back in the USA the bond will be liquidated and you will negotiate on how to have the funds back.

PLEASE REPLY SOONEST !!!

Patricia Coleman.
United Kingdom Border Agency.
N.A.

ukba.patriciacoleman@workmail.com
790-871-7081

Final Notes

It should be noted that there were well over 50 or 60 emails involved in this process, involving Reverend Michael Silver, Edward Smith and Patricia Coleman. Many details were discussed. I was even sent a hotel confirmation at the Park Plaza Cardiff (Greyfriars Road, Cardiff, CF10 3AL, United Kingdom) along the way. So the whole thing appeared completely legitimate at the time. I would even say it was more organized than other events I have spoken at.

So, what can I say? They got me. I’m embarrassed. In the end, it’s not that big of a deal. The money transfer cost me $1048 USD (Western Union is a rip-off) so it’s not really that much money, but that’s not the point.

My speaking career has taken me to every major city in the USA and cities across Canada and Mexico, as well as destinations in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. I get many solicitations that seem “too good to be true” so I can’t really filter on that criteria. Here are the red flags which I ignored:

  1. Public email addresses only (gmail, hotmail and workmail).
  2. No mention of the leadership workshop on the church’s website.
  3. I was requested to send money urgently to an individual.

When I was invited to speak in India, I had to get a VISA first and it cost me $160 USD, but I made those arrangements directly with the Indian Consulate in San Francisco. So my learning point is that I will NEVER send money to an individual again.

I have filed a complaint with Western Union but have heard they can’t do much. It doesn’t really make sense to me. The person who picks up the funds has to show identification verifying their identity. That means there must be something the authorities can track. But who’s going to hunt that down? Anyway, if anything comes of it, I will update this post.

Also, it’s worth mentioning that the recipient DID pick up the funds in the UK. So I’m sure Patricia Coleman actually exists and I’m also sure she was in the UK on May 29, 2012.

Did this scam happen to you?

If you have had a similar experience, please tell your story in the comments below. I am publishing this post to hopefully help other speakers avoid this situation in the future. Thank you.
 

125 Comments

  1. Thanks for your post. I was contacted with the same foolishness. “Reverend Michael Silver” just sent me a message on G-chat. Here is the exchange:

    Michael
    I should have informed you about this earlier on,the reason why you didn’t hear from them is because we realize you might not have working permit in the united kingdom and you need to have this before you can speak at our event

    me
    BTW the FBI and Scotland Yard have been contacted about your scam. They should be knocking on your door any moment now. You may have time to pack up your laptop and run if you hurry.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Demetrius. Unfortunately, I don’t think anyone will ever follow up on this. There are just too many scams going on right now. But it sounds like you didn’t lose any money and that’s the best news of all.

  3. Thanks for posting your experience, Patrick,
    Our speakers’ bureau got also an email from the reverend, but smelled something was not right, based on an earlier scam we dealt with from a London-based university
    http://www.chinaspeakersbureau.info/2012/06/uk-speakers-scam/#.T95Hf7VBmSo

    Very important to keep on posting about this, so other speakers’ might get a warning before they start sending money to these scums.

    Fons

  4. I was approached today. Thankfully, because of people like you who unselfishly share your experiences I was saved the headache. Here’s my invite:

    Patrick, thank you again for sharing your experience.

    Dear Renee,

    My Name is Pastor Tom Edwards from the First BaptistChurch we are
    writing to Invite you to be our guest speaker at this Year First
    Baptist Church 2012 Convention which is taking place here In UK
    England, We are writing to invite and confirm your booking to be our
    Guest Speaker at these year First Baptist Church 2012 Convention.
    Other Ministers Of God are coming from Different part of the World.

    Expected audience: 500 people Duration of speech per speaker: 1 Hour
    Host: Pastor Tom Edwards
    Topic: EDUCATION BUSSINESS HEALTH INSPIRATION
    DATE: 25th December 2012

    The purpose of these conference is to re-brand the heart,mind,body and
    soul of Christians who have gone astray and are diverting their whole
    attention into mundane affairs and ensuring that it is possible for
    Christians, whether new or of long standing, to deepen their spiritual
    lives and gain eternal life. Also bringing a heart of deep compassion
    and a strong commitment to the fullness of life that is found only in
    the redemptive love of Christ, we are Sorry about our late invitation
    it is due to the fact that our Speaker had back out because of her
    sudden illness.

    We came across your profile on http://www.srenee.com/ we also listen
    to you on Radio and we say it’s up to standard and we will be very
    glad to have such an outstanding personality in our mist for these
    overwhelming gathering. With your Multi talented speech more lives
    will come close to GOD. Arrangement to welcome you here will be
    discussed as soon as you honor our invitation. If you have any more
    publicity material, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are
    taking care of your traveling and Hotel Accommodation expenses
    including your Speaker fees you are bless as you honor this invitation
    it is a pleasure writing you.

    Hope to hear from you Asap.

    In His Services,
    Pastor Tom Edwards
    First Baptist Church.

  5. I was approached this week by Reverend Bernard Lewis from Stopsley Baptist Church. Others involved include Edwin SmithKline and Sheila Cameron. The emails read almost verbatim to the emails you posted. I, too, was sent a room confirmation at a hotel. Thank you so much for your post. You just saved me and countless others $$ and stress.

  6. It happened the same way you wrote about un your blog. Using a church for a scan.
    Here is part of the email thread with the church scan asking me to send money to secure the work permit.

    Watch out for these two scan person names:
    Edwin SmithKline & Sheila Cameron

    UKBA Address:Marsham Street
    London SW1P 4DF
    United Kingdom

    That is not good, Today is Friday and I do not think the Borders Agency works tomorrow, It will b advisable you are able to do it today so she can file the application like she indicated, There will be holidays soon probably starting from this weekend.

    Edwin SmithKline
    President, Event Organizing Committee
    South Manchester Family Church
    Fax: 0867107639
    Date: Fri, 21 Dec 2012 13:40:08 +0700
    Subject: Re: Event program outline!
    From: michaelpomije@gmail.com
    To: smfc.events@hotmail.com

    The weather is not cooperating too well for us. Delays seem to be in the way!

    On Fri, Dec 21, 2012 at 1:36 PM, South Manchester Family Church wrote:

    Good Morning Mr. Pomije (I understand it is afternoon there) I am sending you the program outline for the upcoming event.
    Also, did you get to wire the funds for the work permit yet? I will like to know if you transferred to the account or you were able to do the Western union directly to Ms. Cameron.

    Edwin SmithKline

    Good! Once he can make it happen, then we are okay. Just keep me posted on the details and I will let Ms. Cameron know that you won’t pursue further. Please, get me updated as soon as it is done so we can start work on the flight payment.

    Looking forward to meeting Cherie and yourself.

    Edwin SmithKline

    Subject: Re: Event program outline!
    From: Michael@sbsb.net
    Date: Fri, 21 Dec 2012 21:27:10 +0700
    To: smfc.events@hotmail.com

    On Dec 21, 2012, at 9:03 PM, South Manchester Family Church wrote:

    Hi Mr. Pomije, Guess you did not get to send the funds, did you?

    Edwin SmithKline

    Date: Fri, 21 Dec 2012 13:40:08 +0700
    Subject: Re: Event program outline!
    From: michaelpomije@gmail.com
    To: smfc.events@

  7. Thank you for the warning! Just received this e-mail scam. There’s a new name/church being used:

    Nigel Worth
    +44 7908717081
    Hope Church Thetford
    Carnegie Room,
    Plot 34, Cage Lane,
    Thetford. IP24 2DS.
    Norfolk.
    United Kingdom
    http://www.hopechurchthetford.org

  8. Thank you for posting this scam and saving other professional speakers from wasting time and money. I thought it was very unusual to require a work permit and to require payment (in advance) from the speaker to the conference organizer. They went as far as sending me a hotel confirmation (see below). I plan to alert the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for international wire fraud. I also plan to alert New Hope Church that their place of worship has been hijacked by these clever thieves.

    Names and email addresses used in this scam:

    Nigel Worth
    “events@hopechurch-thetford.com”
    Edmund Smith-McMullen Fax: 0867107639
    Donna Davenport
    “donna.davenport@ukba.gsi.gov.uk”

    —– Original Message —–
    From: booking.com
    Sent: 01/29/13 01:39 PM
    To: hopechurch-eventscommittee@minister.com
    Subject: Your booking at Wereham House

    Thank you, your booking is now confirmed
    Best Price Guaranteed Print

    Booking number 361126969
    PIN code 0222
    E-mail hopechurch-eventscommittee@minister.com
    Booked by Edmund Smith-McMullen
    Your reservation: 4 nights, 1 Room, 1 person
    Check-in: Monday, 25 February 2013
    (from 14:00 – 22:00)
    Check-out: Friday, 1 March 2013
    (before 10:30)
    Single Room £ 190
    VAT (20%) included £ 38
    Total price £ 228

  9. Nigel,
    They seem to be UK-based, and guess the FBI could not care less. We have been involved when they said they were representing a London-based university. They have been in touch with the police, but obvious to no effect. Seems important to keep on running these warnings. Otherwise the whole thing is pretty dodgy, and I do not think even mildly smart people would buy this scam.

  10. Yep. I received same series of emails….

    “God’s blessing Brian, We hope this message meets you in good health. I am Nigel Worth, Presiding Minister of the Hope Church Thetford, United Kingdom. On behalf of the Church, I am elated to inform you that we would love to engage your services to speak and educate the congregation at our upcoming Business-minded Christians Meeting coming up on the 26th of February 2013 and the Home Group Business Seminar on the 27th & 28th of February 2013.

    Please, we would gladly like for you to convey to us your availability for one of these dates(If not all) as it will well fit in your schedule. Also, please we would as well appreciate if you get in-touch with us in ample time so we can start corresponding the details.

    Thank you very much and expecting to hear from you soon.

    Remain Blessed.

    Nigel Worth
    +44 7908717081

    2nd email…

    Thank you very much Brian, I have a few more details to share with you so you can have more insight on the conference and what the church stands for as a whole.

    Since inauguration of this ‘One Big Family Church’ , We have been involved in new and inspiring developments, organizing this conference is one of them and it will go a long way in achieving our dreams to bring people together to learn and gain from other people’s experience which is one of the major reason why we are arranging this conference this year. Previously before we were reformed, Anglo-Saxon lectures were given and people in the community and environs always gained from this which teaches history and culture. The lecture will be published in this year’s following delivery and copies can be obtained at Manchester or our other branches or from the lecture secretary).

    With a Church uniting as One Big Family, We have been able to draw people closer to the word and also try to teach them values with which they can survive the world. It is due to this age-long ritual that we have decided to organize a conference such as this since the doctrine of the Church lectures has evolved over the years we are proud to say we are keeping the hope alive! We will have about 300 people in attendance,

    Since I was inaugurated as the Presiding Minister of this esteemed church, God has being helping us to keep hope and monuments alive and we have also being able to change the face of Christianity, and the church having a whole lot of history attached.
    Apart from the conference coming up in February, The church is as well involved in a few other projects. For one, the church has dedicated the new school building to the Most reverend Benjamin Heagreaves,(The Pioneer Minister of this esteemed church)) in view of his many achievements.

    You were fingered to speak at this event on the recommendation of our outreach program member in diaspora and after checking your credentials and after reading blogs about you, we received the Lords direction to invite you to speak in this event and we also believe you are more than capable to deliver in this occasion, We have decided among the Event Organizing Committee to invite you to this program.

    We organized this business seminar and workshop also in the hope of enlightening our congregation who mostly are business owners (Small & Medium scale) to motivate them, mentor them on how to achieve set goals and how to grow their business and still remain steadfast, how to overcome personal and business obstacles and how to remain standing after the storm. We had Jackie Pullinger MBE, author of ‘Chasing the Dragon’ over from Hong Kong for a dinner speech on the 12th of last month and it was very entertaining and spirit-filled.

    We are inviting you so you can inspire this people, teach them how to triumph over the deflating effects of set-backs & self-doubt, how to break free from whatever is keeping them “small”, and become empowered by their challenges, rather than victimized. And most importantly, how to start great things with small efforts and steadfastness. We are expecting the speech to last for about 60mins-90mins and a question & answer session thereafter.

    The conference theme carefully chosen by the Lords’ inspiration due to the backdrop of the present situation in the United Kingdom and this year’s Seminar has been tagged. ‘Surpassing your limits: Attaining the unattainable’.
    You can email us the keynote you would like to speak on as we would want you to be convenient with the keynote topic so we decided it would be better you choose it yourself as long as its motivational and inspiring! We will as well need your bio to put up on our website and start to design posters as well as hand bills.

    We would like to know your standard speaking fee for this engagement as we do indeed have a sponsor, Our fees are based on budget But we will also be glad to negotiate.
    All travel arrangements such as Flight fare, Speaking fee deposit as well as Hotel accommodation will be taken care of by us as soon as you honor this invitation. The events committee will send you all binding documents including a Letter of Invitation and Contract Agreement as well.
    Email us in ample time any questions you may have so we can move ahead.

    You are blessed.


    Nigel Worth
    +44 7908717081

    Hope Church Thetford
    Carnegie Room,
    Plot 34, Cage Lane,
    Thetford. IP24 2DS.
    Norfolk.
    United Kingdom
    http://www.hopechurchthetford.org

    In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.
    Genesis 22:18

    Fax: 0867107639
    ____

    On & On until “Donna Davenport” asked for a money gram for $980. Luckily I did not proceed. Now I know why the original message was sent immediately to my junk folder! I hope no one else gets hooked!

  11. I just wasted about 6 hours of my life corresponding with Rev. Worth and Events coordinator Mr. Smith-McMullen. (Great names by the way!) Same names, emails and content as the above posters.

    This morning I got suspicious when I received an email from them stating that they had no problem paying me the same $7,500 for just one event as opposed to the same dollar amount for 3.

    Since the emails were coming from nglwortth@gmail.com instead of nglworth@gmail.com (notice the worth with tt in the first and just one t in the second) I decided to Google deeper and found the actual Hope Church Theford web site – hopechurchtheford.org – which is very nicely put together as compared to the crappy hopechurchtheford.blogspot.com. Then, seeing no mention of the event at which I was to be the featured speaker on either web site, I decided to Google ‘hope church theford fraud’ and came upon this site – thank you Patrick.

    To confirm my suspicion, I sent an email this morning to the real Nigel Worth this morning asking him to clarify if I should be discussing travel details with him or Edmund. Sure enough, he replied and told me that this was a scam and to NOT send any money.

    I plan to continue my communications with the fake Reverend Nigel Worth and Mr. Edmund Smith-McMullen just to see how far they will take it. I will keep ya’ll “posted” (pun intended).

  12. Thanks so much Patrick for you posts!
    Because of this information, we have been “playing” with Nigel – a little retribution for his scam.

    Our email is below:

    Greetings Edmund!

    Thanks for connecting with us!

    Mary is certainly excited to present to your group! I have been in contact with Nigel regarding our presentation requirements, but perhaps he has not given you all that information.

    Prior to processing any paperwork, we require a $5,000 non refundable deposit to confirm and lock in the dates. We schedule on a first come-first served format and whichever party confirms first (with deposit) will retain Mary’s services. As it currently stands, there are two other interested organizations for the dates you requested. So if you are serious about having Mary come and present, I would suggest sending the $5000 via cashiers check with priority international mail to our corporate offices.

    In addition, Mary has presented Internationally and already has a UK sponsor and a Tier 5 work permit. These documents will be presented once you have confirmed the presentation dates as mentioned above.

    All the best!

    -Matt

    ———————————————-
    Thank you Matthew Abernathy for corresponding with us on behalf of Mary , We are glad she indicated her interest to be our Guest Speaker at this year’s conference, May God forever be with us.

    I am Edmund Smith-McMullen, President of the event organizing committee for the Hope Church Thetford’s upcoming Seminar. We believe you have been notified by our Presiding Minister, Reverend Nigel Worth, as we are in charge of the smooth running of this event and by God’s grace we are bound to succeed.

    We are very excited to have Mary at this conference. The event organizing committee had a meeting earlier today to deliberate on getting her available here in the United Kingdom. We believe we serve the lord of Possibilities. Note: She is meant to arrive a day before the performance as to get familiar with the audio/visual gadgets that we have in place, and to get used to the environment as a whole and also get to relax from the jet lag.
    We have attached a formal Letter of Invitation and a contract agreement, Please reconfirm to us your Mailing Address for our perusal and further action.

    Please return a copy of the contract agreement duly signed by Mary or an authorized personell for proper documentation. Print it out, sign and scan back to us (Keep a copy as well). We have agreed to buy the flight ticket and to pay Hotel accommodation expenses. Also, we have deliberated on your speaking fee and we agreed to pay 5,000 USD deposit and then 7,500 USD which will amount to 12,500 USD which is half of the honorarium, this will be paid as soon as you procure all relevant travel documents so as to avoid any disappointment and the balance will paid in cash (Or better still the mode of payment you prefer) upon your arrival here.

    You are informed to get across Mary’s Work Permit in the UK to us so the deposit can be approved according to our mandated regulation. If she does not have the work permit please let us know so we can make arrangements for the documents to be processed quickly as the event is at hand. But if she does have the work permit just scan and send to us.

    Please check the attached documents, It contains the letter of invitation as well as letter of agreement. We expect your response in regards the documents asap. Thank you and may God bless us all.

    Edmund Smith-McMullen
    President, Event Organizing Committee
    Hope Church Thetford.
    Fax: 0867107639

  13. I said I would keep y’all posted on my progress – playing with the scam artists. Below I have posted a few emails that have gone back and forth between myself and Edmund.

    Edmund had just sent an email to me asking why I hadn’t responded to his request for me to start procuring work visa documents.

    (Just I case there is any confusion, I was not actually in a car accident.)

    ————————–

    —– Original Message —–
    From: Jerome
    Sent: 02/05/13 01:41 PM
    To: events@hopechurch-thetford.com
    Subject: Re: Letter of invitation & Agreement from the Hope Church Thetford !

    Edmund,

    Sorry I was unable to respond to your last email.

    I just underwent surgery. I was in a pretty serious car accident. I went nearly unscathed but for a mechanical pencil that was sitting on the dashboard. Somehow the pen, during the head-on collision, became lodged in my neck; just missing a major artery. God must be with me.

    No worries though. I can still speak. The doctors say I will sound a bit “gravely” for a week or two but then should be back to normal by the time I come to England. Quite a scare since I am also a competitive karaoke singer.

    I will need a day or so to put together the items you need. I hope this doesn’t ruin my chances of speaking at your event. I promise I will contact Donna as soon as I can. Sorry.

    Jerome Mayne

    ————————–
    (Reply from Edmund)

    Holy Christ! How did it happen? I was worried when I did not hear back from you yesterday but I thought maybe you were just a little busy which was why I sent you a line this a.m. I am very sorry about this, Thank God it is not a grave accident, how long do you have to stay in the hospital before you get out?

    It is okay, we can wait a day or two for you to recuperate, you really need to. We will be steadfast and await your recovery. The Good Lord will be with you and accelerate your receovery back to good health in no time.

    God’s peace.

    Edmund Smith-McMullen

    ——————————–

    Patrick,
    I will stop posting see here if you want me to. I know that their scam has hurt some of some of us, but it is hard for me to resist… I really want to see where this goes. Nonetheless, let me know if you want me to stop.

    Jerome

  14. I love it :-)
    If you get concrete stuff: addresses, bank accounts, I’m sure the people they are impersonating would love to have those details to hand them over to the police.

    Fons

  15. Jerome,
    PLEASE…..keep toying with them. I love it.
    They contacted me and I got suspicious after they 1.Asked for Passport # 2.Money.3. A church willing to pay for a second person flying business class.4. I put their e-mail address after the @ and recieved 404 notices. THEN, I googled ‘Tier 5 work permit UK’ and found this at the top of the list.
    I did not use my business e-mail in this correspondence (just in case they find this thread). I might use Jerones ideas. (ha-ha) Plus, if they have that elaborate of a scheme, they might have hackers just as skilled.
    My EXACT invitation was from Nigel, too.

    Then we have Edward the event coordinator
    Edmund Smith-McMullen
    President, Event Organizing Committee
    Hope Church Thetford.
    Fax: 0867107639

    Donna the work permit expert.
    Donna Davenport
    United Kingdom Border Agency.
    N.A.
    donna.davenport@ukba.gsi.co.uk
    070 240 78258 ext 45

  16. Thanks for ‘fessing up to this Patrick. We are a speaker agency based in the UK and we’ve just had a similarly worded request for a speaker of ours to speak in South Africa. It all just seems to good to be true yet there is hardly anything online about this, only your post.

    Regards

    Jason

  17. I was approached by this scam as well. The person who approached me was Nigel Worth.

    I check out their website and it looks real. Fortunately, I did a little research and found out
    it was a scam. Thank you for saving me from a $1,000 mistake.

    Unfortunately scammers seem to be able to work without fear of law enforcement.

  18. Is there any sign this scam has been successful? Initially, I thought those chances would be pretty slim, but if they keep on doing this for years (as they have), it could suggest they are now and then successful. I do not want to make this bigger than it is, but if needed, we could use some easy internet tools to make sure anybody with basic search skills would know this is a scam.
    Any stories of people who did paid (and want to put that publicly on the internet)?

  19. That’s precisely what this blog post attempts to do. I was one of the foolish ones who paid into the scam, as described in the post. But as additional people comment, the post ranks better and better on Google, making it easier to find for future speakers approached. So thanks for commenting!

  20. UPDATE: Nigel and I went back and forth. I requested a $5,000 deposit for confirming the presentation date and he said that he would mail it….never got it (of course).

    These posts certainly saved our hides! Thanks Patrick!

    -Matt

  21. Dear Patrick et al

    I am one of the Directors of London-based NMP Live Ltd (http://www.nmplive.co.uk), one of the UK’s top celebrity speaker bureaux and we had this same enquiry for one of our exclusive speakers about a month ago. However, what flagged it up immediately as fake or a scam, is that the speaker about which they enquired, would be the last person appropriate for booking by a church or religious organisation. So clearly they did not know who he was. We deleted the email immediately without a response.

    However, my question to anyone who may be suckered into this scam is why would you consider parting with ANY money at all?

    Our speaker bureau Ts&Cs are, I believe, quite standard and clear – the client pays a 50% deposit on signature and the balance before the event. Plus they are responsible for all speaker/entertainer expenses including the cost of attaining any visas, permits etc or covering taxes etc in the host country. If the client, for whatever reason, needed or wanted us to arrange this on their behalf (and we have of course booked speakers’ flights for example) we would not spend a single penny until we had first received the client’s 50% deposit by way of CLEARED funds. NO EXCEPTIONS!!

    Any speaker agency worth their commission will protect the speaker’s interests at all times and ensure all terms are enforced with a water-tight contract and vigorous checks and procedures in place.

  22. Yep they nearly got me too. I was first approached by Rev M D Masangu apparently of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of South Africa who flattered me and invited me to speak at a seminar to inspire their congregation. No particular reason to feel suspicious at that point. Then handed over to ‘events organiser’ Edmund Smith McMullen who agreed a little too easily to my (substantial) speaker fee and offered business class flights. Then the kicker… I am handed on to a Linda Jacoline who is ‘one of our congregation’ but who happens to work in South Africa Home Affairs. She advises that I need to pay £440 in fees to arrange a work permit (although South Africa High Commission in London says I don’t need one). I was suspicious from start but these people are skilled and plausible and know exactly the right buttons to press to win over a speaker. The final element was Linda asking me to wire the £440 by Western Union to speed up the process. So I finally (should have done it earlier) googled Smith Mcmullen and discovered I had (almost) been had.

    Thanks Patrick for blogging this and thus saving me lots of money and embarrassment!

  23. Hi all

    I’ve been reading with fascination. I was approached by email a few days ago by Reverend MD Masangu
    +27 74597057

    Evangelical Presbyterian Church
    12 Waterval Crescent South,
    Western Cape,
    Cape Town. 7100–7299
    South Africa.

    Exactly the same story – speaking at a conference in Cape Town. Googled the name and it looked legitimate. lots of emails going back and forth, hotel booking came through etc. Prepared to pay for my girlfriend to come along, business class and also pay for me to stay on a few more days after the conference.

    All seemed too good to be true and when i then received a request for money for a permit i got suspicious. I called the SA embassy in london and they said i didn’t need one!, then the money request came in… I googled Edmund Smith-McMullen and found this thread – well done guys.

    Saved me a lot of expense and trouble. I’ve told them it’s a scam but love to hear how some others do leading them on – just keep it going :-)

  24. This was the email i received from Edmund after I suggested they pay for the work permit:

    Alex, By default, We do pay for work permit of our speaker but due to the recent disappointment we have suffered, we have decided to have speakers pay for their permits. For one, since it will be useful to them if any other engagement comes up and secondly, Since it will also save us losses if speakers decide at the last minute to change their mind and switch to another engagement, If such instance occurs, We can get our deposits back but not the permit fee. Also, obtaining permits before wiring deposit of the honorarium would signal a speakers’ commitment to us as we are committed to them.

    It is in view of this that we have decided unanimously amongst the committee to reimburse speakers after they have acquired the work permit, We will make the reimbursement in full with the speaking fee.
    But the major reason why we are not able to foot this bill right is because we have already spent quite a huge sum in the last two weeks (including personal funds) in preparation for the event and we are low on cash, We have made your hotel payment, we have paid for the rent of the hall we will use for the event and we have also arrange for projectors.
    And we will not be receiving reimbursement from our sponsor until the 8th of March and will forward funds to you on the 11th of March (Monday) but if we wait till then will be too late for the permit to be processed and sent to you, So if you will please, we will really appreciate if you can cover this for us and come the 11th of March we will make the reimbursement alongside your speaking fee payment

    I hope you understand our point of view, We are a Ministry impacting positively into the lives of people through programs and events such as this, We are also not charging entry fee for this event despite the huge amount being invested into its success, God has really being our strenght and our international sponsors also have being really marvelous!

    Thank you.

    Edmund Smith-McMullen
    President, Event Organizing Committee
    Evangelical Presbyterian Church
    Fax: 0867107639

    More people involved in the scam

    Linda Jacoline
    South Africa Home Affairs
    N.A.
    linda.jacoline@home-affairs.gov.za
    070 240 78258 ext 45

  25. To make it even more plausible, I contacted the hotel I was supposedly booked in to, and the booking indeed seemed genuine and the room was reserved in my name, I since informed the venue it was a scam.

  26. The so-called McMullen Smith and his compadres all expressed shock and deep offence when i challenged them. He even claimed to be a victim of identity theft. Neil Martin above has a point when he questions why any speaker would send money (and i didn’t) but the cleverness of this scam lies it the quite richly detailed narrative that draws you in, and the way one is passed from the first enquirer (Rev Masangu in my case) to the ‘events organiser’ and then to their friendly supporter in the South African Home Affairs dept. It’s not until three days into the email exchange that they throw in the ‘wire us the money for the permit’ request. In my case I challenged the validity of this and they even amended my contract to show that they would reimburse the money along with my air fares. And of course they promised to pay 50% deposit of my fee two weeks before travel.

    I’m a smart guy and I speak and consult in various countries, but this little scam is so nicely constructed that they almost got me.

    There were (in retrospect) some obvious clues. The website of EPCSA is very poor and has no proper contact details and very little content (although EPCSA itself is apparently a genuine organisation with a long history).

    The email addresses of the various players don’t quite ring true. The language is somewhat fulsome on the one hand and vague on the other.

    In my case it was (apparently at least) a South African organisation but the scam itself could be based anywhere of course.

    It’s the smooth little details that are so plausible though. They actually thanked me for booking with KLM and saving their organisation a few hundred quid on fares compared to BA. And they offered to meet me at airport (of course I would have been standing there a long time).

    Oddly enough I have been approached today by a Ukrainian brand asking me to run a workshop. They may be perfectly genuine…. But guess what, I’m being doubly cautious this time!

  27. Hi All,

    Exactly the same as the above, for Ros Taylor to speak. Thankfull we found this site so thank you Patrick !

    This time details were as below;

    From: MD Masangu [mailto:mdmasangu@gmail.com]
    Sent: 01 March 2013 12:27

    Subject: Re: Speaking Engagement !

    Thank you very much Laura, We can do the May dates and so you know, we want Ros to come live to South Africa to speak to the congregation we are a faith-based organization here in South Africa, but first I have a few more details to share with yourself and Ros so you can have more insight on the conference and what the church stands for as a whole.

    Since inauguration of this Presbyterian Church’ , We have been involved in new and inspiring developments, organizing this conference is one of the few events we are involved in which helps us connect with people and turn their lives around positively. Inviting a speaker from overseas is something that will go along way in boosting the morals of our congregation and inspiring them, I am well aware real motivation is from inside, motivational talks only stimulates so as for the ‘inside’ motivation to exert to the exterior, this, we are looking forward to experiencing when you come for this conference. We are expecting upliftment and the overall boost in morale of attendees. The lecture will be published in this year’s edition of our ‘World Awareness’ magazine which we are just launching and copies can be obtained at Pretoria office.

    With a Church uniting as One Big Family, We have been able to draw people closer to the word and also try to teach them values with which they can survive the world. It is due to this age-long ritual that we have decided to organize a conference such as this since the doctrine of the Church lectures has evolved over the years we are proud to say we are keeping the hope alive! We will have about 300 people in attendance.

    We organized this seminar and workshop also in the hope of enlightening our congregation, to motivate them, mentor them on how to achieve set goals and how to grow despite all odds and remain steadfast, how to overcome personal and business obstacles and still remain standing after the storm. We had Jackie Pullinger MBE, author of ‘Chasing the Dragon’ over from Hong Kong for a dinner speech on the 12th of December last year and it was very entertaining and spirit-filled. We are expecting the speech to last for about 60mins-90mins and a question & answer session thereafter.

    Ros was fingered to speak at this event on the recommendation of our outreach program member in diaspora and after checking her credentials and after reading blogs about her, we received the Lords direction to invite Ros to speak in this event and we also believe she is more than capable to deliver in this occasion, We have decided among the Event Organizing Committee to invite her to this program.

    The conference theme carefully chosen by the Lords’ inspiration due to the backdrop of the present situation here in South Africa and this year’s Seminar has been tagged. ‘Surpassing your limits: Attaining the unattainable’.
    You can email us the keynote Ros would like to speak on as we would want her to be convenient with the keynote topic so we decided it would be better she chooses it herself as long as its motivational and inspiring! We will as well need Ros’ bio to put up on our website and start to design posters as well as hand bills.

    We would like to know your standard speaking fee for this engagement as we do indeed have a sponsor, Our fees are based on budget But we will also be glad to negotiate.
    All travel arrangements such as Flight fare, Speaking fee deposit as well as Hotel accommodation will be taken care of by us as soon as Ros honors this invitation. The events committee will send you all binding documents including a Letter of Invitation and Contract Agreement as well.
    Email us in ample time any questions you may have so we can move ahead.

    You are blessed.


    Reverend MD Masangu
    +27 74597057

    Evangelical Presbyterian Church
    12 Waterval Crescent South,
    Western Cape,
    Cape Town. 7100–7299
    South Africa.
    http://www.epcsa.org.za

    Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!
    Psalm 33:12 ESV / 24

    Fax: 0867107639

  28. Hi – they are still at it – we received this on 2nd March – for the services of one of talent here at JNM – thank you Patrick for flagging – Polly

    Name: Reverend MD Masangu

    Email: reverendmdmasangu@live.com

    Message:
    Hello

    We hope this message meets you in good health. I am MD Masangu, Presiding Minister of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, South Africa. On behalf of the Church, I am elated to inform you that we would love to engage your services to speak to our congregation who are aspiring sportsmen and explorers (as we have a preponderance of them) and we are oranizing this seminar to educate & encourage them which is why we are seeking your expertise in this field. The seminar is billed for the 22nd, 23rd & 24th of April 2013.

    Please, we would gladly like for you to convey to us your availability for one of these dates(If not all) as it will well fit in your schedule.
    Also, please we would as well appreciate if you get in-touch with us in ample time so we can start corresponding the details.

    Thank you very much and expecting to hear from you soon.

    Remain Blessed.


    Reverend MD Masangu
    +27 74597057

    Evangelical Presbyterian Church
    12 Waterval Crescent South,
    Western Cape,
    Cape Town. 7100–7299
    South Africa.

    Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!
    Psalm 33:12 ESV / 24

    Fax: 0867107639

  29. Thanks to Patrick and all contributors. We are Professional Speakers based in Melbourne Australia and received an email this week via the contact form on our website.

    The names have changed but it appears to be the same culprits.

    From: Richard Hagan
    Subject: Speaker Engagement

    Message Body:
    Hello,
    God’s blessing , We hope this message meets you in good health. I am Richard Hagan, Presiding Minister of the Emmanuel Church Canterbury, United Kingdom. On behalf of the Church, I am elated to inform you that (richardhagan.ministry@yahoo.co.uk) would love to engage your services to speak and educate the congregation towards leadership at our upcoming Business-minded Christians Meeting coming up on the 18th of March 2013 and the Home Group Business Seminar on the 27th & 28th 29th of March 2013.
    Please, we would gladly like for you to convey to us your availability for one of these dates(If not all) as it will well fit in your schedule.
    Also, please we would as well appreciate if you get in-touch with us in ample time so we can start corresponding the details.
    Thank you very much and expecting to hear from you soon.
    Remain Blessed.

    Richard Hagan
    +44 7908717081
    Emmanuel Church Canterbury
    St Dunstan’s Church Hall,
    80 London Road .
    United Kingdom
    http://www.emmanuelcanterbury.org.uk
    In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.
    Genesis 22:18
    Fax: 0867107639

    a second email came from

    Graham Benjamin
    President, Event Organizing Committee
    Emmanuel Church Canterbury.

    thanks to everyone for posting their comments and confirming our suspicion that this is a scam.
    Its saved us a lot of potential trouble.

  30. Myself and my husband have just been duped by these people and we are so embarrassed! My husband is blind and a professional speaker. We were approached last week and have had numerous emails and my husband has spent a lot of time on the phone to Edmund Smith-McMullen and the Reverend Masunga, and they called him! All the documents seemed legitimate etc etc. I had the ‘if it’s too good to be true it probably is’ feeling and researched the church and googled The Epcsa church and the like, but still we went along with it for the opportunity to do the engagement. I still can’t believe I have only just discovered this blog after we lost £490.00! I have been looking all week to see if I could find anything and still paid the flipping money!

    We had a Linda Jackson email us re the work permit, so that is another name to add.

    £490.00 is not a lot of money, but I am so annoyed with myself for not listening to my gut feeling from the start. The fact that we had spken to ‘Edmund’ and the Reverend on the phone so many times, I thought why would they waste money on so many international calls for so little money?

    The money was transferred at 14.57pm today, with the 2 hour time difference, it would be 16.47. The money was collected in Johannasburg at 20.05. We got this info from Western Union tonight, it seems the individual would have to produce ID to collect the funds. We tried to call the Fraud dept, it seems they don’t operate out of hours. I think we should try again, my husband say what is the point , nothing will happen, just move on. I think, if we all thought like that no one would ever get caught!

    At first I didn’t want to say anything to anyone, I didn’t want people to know we had been so stupid, but now I just want to highlight this scam to as many people as possible, I am so angry. My husband has worked his backside off to make his way in this world, and as I am his eyes, I am so angry that I have missed all this information, and gutted for him that he is not going to work his magic in South Africa.

    As my husband always says though, don’t worry about what you can’t change only concentrate on what you can change!

    Personally though…without him knowing, I will get these people, one way or another!

  31. I’m with you all the way Sara.
    Not sure how though. I never got as far as sending money.

    I contacted the hotel in SA I was booked in to and there was actually a booking in my name. I told them it was a scam and expect it to be cancelled soon. Lo and behold I get an email from them yesterday saying the booking had been cancelled! They didn’t seem to grasp that it was a scam though, even though I would assume that a credit card would be needed for the reservation.

  32. They got me too. Sara please keep me posted on how you get these nincompoops, I want to know!

  33. Thanks for your feedback Alex – you might be interested to know that I have had 2 emails from them since the money was withdrawn. In response to my email saying that due to the fact that they had scammed a blind person, they had turned a very dangerous corner. This was my reply.

    This is not a scam!!! We will refund the fees if you want us to, It is not even lodged yet!!!

    Edmund Smith-McMullen

    I then said that if it was not a scam then we would expect the deposit as agreed paid into our account Monday – Today. I didn’t hear back, so I sent another email, saying that as I had not had a response, clearly I was right. I told them that my husband was being filmed for a doumentry that was going to be shown on national tv. I then said that he was going tro ensure this scam was exposed on film.

    I then got this email back.

    The check will be sent tomorrow, Please provide an address. This is blackmail, we are working with the authorities on this as well. We will prove you wrong!
    Edmund Smith-McMullen

    I am certainly not giving them our address! Interesting though and I will see what else they have to say when I email them back.

  34. Good luck getting the money. During “negotiaitions” we told him we require a $5000 deposit to reserve the presentation date and gave him our PO Box address (since by this time we were simply “playing” with him). Despite multiple promises the money never arrived – big suprise.
    Matt

  35. New names or just another Scam artist, but same familiar request:

    Grace and Peace be unto you

    We are Apostle Chris Rowland and Mary Rowland of New Glory Tabernacle Church London, United Kingdom. We are writing to invite you to be our guest speaker at this year GRACE GLOBAL PRAYER CONFERENCE 2013.This is a great Kingdom connection that gets us excited the way the lord connects his people all over the world through internet.

    After reading through your profile. The lord has direct us to email you for this assignment .All travel arrangements, speaking fee and Hotel accommodation will be taken care of as soon as you honor this invitation.

    Venue
    New Glory Tabernacle Church Hall
    Address : Harvey Toad Road,
    London, N10 1LT,
    London, United Kingdom
    Date of Conference: 3rd to 5th of May 2013 See website http://www.newglorytabernacle.com
    Topic: God of Hope

    You will receive a formal Letter of Invitation and Contract Agreement as soon as you honor our invitation .Kindly provide us your cell phone number and mailing address.
    Email any questions you may have. Please feel free to visit our website on http://www.newglorytabernacle.com.More update on this year conference is coming soon

    Remain Blessed
    Apostle Chris Rowland
    +442071005756

    I googled everything I could think of. Address doesn’t exist and these are cell phone numbers. Church website is awful and clicking on links for them 404….

  36. Thank you very much for your warning you save many people from heartache and pain.

  37. Patricia, we received the same email on the same day! Thank you Patrick for keeping this blog going! We never would have sent any money, however, it sure is a waste of good people’s time and attention!

  38. Thanks for this post! I received the email from this group just today, and was very excited at the possibility of taking my ministry international. See note below:

    Glory Tabernacle Christian Fellowship Address : 52227, London SW16 4YL United Kingdom Phone +442071005756 http://www.glorytabernacle.org.uk/

    Grace and Peace be unto you Pastor Erika G Edwards,

    We are Pastors Lance and Mary Jones of Glory Tabernacle Christian Fellowship London, United Kingdom. We are writing to invite you to be our guest speaker at this year GRACE GLOBAL PRAYER CONFERENCE 2013.This is a great Kingdom connection that gets us excited the way the lord connects his people all over the world through internet. After reading through your profile on http://www.woman2womanrevival.org/. The lord has direct us to email you for this assignment .All travel arrangements, speaking fee and Hotel accommodation will be taken care of as soon as you honor this invitation. Venue Glory Tabernacle Christian Fellowship Hall Address : 52227, London SW16 4YL London, United Kingdom Date of Conference: 3rd to 5th of May 2013 Topic: God of Hope You will receive a formal Letter of Invitation and Contract Agreement as soon as you honor our invitation .Kindly provide us your cell phone number and mailing address. Email any questions you may have. Please feel free to visit our website on http://www.glorytabernacle.org.uk/.More update on this year conference is coming soon

    Remain Blessed Pastors Lance and Jennifer Jones
    +442071005756

    Thank you!

    I responded asking for more information and within an hour got a call from “Pastor Lance Jones”. I was curious as to why he had an African accent. However, I agreed to come and asked him to send me follow up information.

    When I received the speaking contract, I was informed that I needed to contact UK Border Agency (which made sense), but the contract person was listed as:

    Name : Dr Alex Scott
    Address:330 Harvey Street Baltimore,MD
    Postcode:21201
    Country:USA
    Email: ukbordercontroloffice@gmail.com

    MAJOR RED FLAG!!!

    Why would an official government agency have a gmail address, and a US mailing address (which by the way is in a not so nice neighborhood in Baltimore, MD)???

    I continued to search the web hoping that my gut feeling was wrong…apparently not!

    So, alas, more names to add to the scam list.

    I emailed “Dr. Scott” so that I could find out the process for getting UK Entry Clearance. I’m sure the “process” will involve wiring money for a “work permit”.

    This is SAD…preachers, motivational speakers BEWARE!

  39. I too received a letter dated March 23, 2013 from Apostle Chris Rowland inviting me to come and be a speaker at their Global Prayer Conference 2013. I think it is a shame that these people are doing this to get money from people. Here is the letter I received:

    Grace and Peace be unto you Apostle Deborah Vails ,

    We are Apostle Chris Rowland and Mary Rowland of New Glory Tabernacle Church London, United Kingdom. We are writing to invite you to be our guest speaker at this year GRACE GLOBAL PRAYER CONFERENCE 2013.This is a great Kingdom connection that gets us excited the way the lord connects his people all over the world through internet.

    After reading through your profile on http://www.setfreeoutreachministries.org/. The lord has direct us to email you for this assignment .All travel arrangements, speaking fee and Hotel accommodation will be taken care of as soon as you honor this invitation.

    Venue
    New Glory Tabernacle Church Hall
    Address : Harvey Toad Road,
    London, N10 1LT,
    London, United Kingdom
    Date of Conference: 3rd to 5th of May 2013 See website http://www.newglorytabernacle.com
    Topic: God of Hope

    You will receive a formal Letter of Invitation and Contract Agreement as soon as you honor our invitation .Kindly provide us your cell phone number and mailing address.
    Email any questions you may have. Please feel free to visit our website on http://www.newglorytabernacle.com.More update on this year conference is coming soon

    Remain Blessed
    Apostle Chris Rowland
    +442071005756

    It is my prayer that more people will come forward and expose this fraud!

  40. well everybody, I just got the same email from the new Glory Tabernacle people, and Pastor Lance Jones. It’s a shame. Is there a way we can get them caught or arrested. They don’t know I’m on to them yet. Our discussions have just gotten started. I got really suspicious when he called me during “Church hours” on Sunday (London time), lol. Maybe we should all get together and do a conference in London ourselves. I thank God for this site. I have a wife and 5 kids, and a growing ministry. I can’t afford to throw away $1,000. Can I work with a law enforcement agency to trap them, etc…??? This needs to stop.

    Pastor John Das

  41. I agree with you Pastor John Das that this needs to stop. It is a shame because you don’t know who to trust. I wasn’t going to give up money because if you have a legitimate speaking engagement this type of thing does not occur. I am praying they will be caught and prosecuted to the further extent of the law.

    Apostle Deborah

  42. Thank you all for joining this blog and warning others of this potential deception. I too received this email from Chris Rowland and was excited about the possibility of traveling to London. But thank God for wisdom, intuition, the internet, and the HOLY GHOST! And Yes, after investigating the site and the “Apostle” are am certain that I will not cast the pearls of God to swine.
    Thanks again this scam alert.

    Pastor Frederick C. Patterson

  43. I’ve received similar SCAMs over the past few years. In all cases, while at-first they looked legit, as I examined the solicitation it became clear that there were several “problems” with it. Here’s the latest, that arrived just yesterday:

    First Baptist Church
    Address: 39 Eccleston Square,
    London, SW1V 1BX,
    E-mail: Firstbaptistchurchengland@Gmail.com
    E-mail: Helpdesk@Achurchnearyou.com
    Website: http://www.achurchnearyou.com/
    Telephone: + 44 704 205 6151

    Dear Dr. Gregory S. Neal,

    My Name is Pastor Tom Edwards from the First Baptist Church we are
    writing to Invite you to be our guest speaker at the up Coming First
    Baptist Church 2013 Anniversary which is taking place here In UK
    England, We are writing to invite and confirm your booking to be our
    Guest Speaker at up Coming First Baptist Church 2013 Anniversary.
    Other Ministers Of God are coming from Different part of the World.

    Expected audience: 500 people Duration of speech per speaker: 1 Hour
    Host: Pastor Tom Edwards
    Topic: LEADERSHIP MARRIAGE COMMUNICATION
    DATE: 20th Till 22th July 2013

    The purpose of these conference is to re-brand the heart,mind,body and
    soul of Christians who have gone astray and are diverting their whole
    attention into mundane affairs and ensuring that it is possible for
    Christians, whether new or of long standing, to deepen their spiritual
    lives and gain eternal life. Also bringing a heart of deep compassion
    and a strong commitment to the fullness of life that is found only in
    the redemptive love of Christ, we are Sorry about our late invitation
    it is due to the fact that our Speaker had back out because of her
    sudden illness.

    We came across your profile on http://www.revneal.org we also listen
    to you on Radio and we say it’s up to standard and we will be very
    glad to have such an outstanding personality in our mist for these
    overwhelming gathering. With your Multi talented speech more lives
    will come close to GOD. Arrangement to welcome you here will be
    discussed as soon as you honor our invitation. If you have any more
    publicity material,please do not hesitate to contact us. We are taking
    care of your traveling and Hotel Accommodation expenses including our
    Speaker fees you are bless as you honor this invitation it is a
    pleasure writing you.

    Hope to hear from you Asap.

    In His Services,
    Pastor Tom Edwards
    First Baptist Church.

    ***

    This is, of course, a Scam. The names are the same, the e-mail addresses and reference links are all wrong. And, I don’t speak on the subject of Marriage. When I accept speaking engagements — real ones — they’re for me speaking on subject where I am a specialist: The Sacraments, The Eucharist, Methodist Theology, etc. So, alarms went off the instant I saw what they wanted me to speak on. Then, as I examined it closer, I was reminded of the scam that was tried on me last year, using a similar e-mail.

    Thankfully, I wasn’t caught by either scam. But, last year, I actually communicated with them in several e-mails. When they asked for money, I googled them and discovered they were a scam. So, I reported them to the church they claimed to be. That was an interesting exchange of e-mails.

    At any rate, thanks for your warnings. I’m glad to add the example I’ve received to the list.

    Blessings,

    Dr. Gregory S. Neal
    Senior Pastor, Northgate United Methodist Church
    Irving, Texas

    Rector, Grace Incarnate Ministries

  44. We received information from the same scam artist……

    Glory Tabernacle Christian Fellowship
    Host: Pastor Lance Jones
    Event Organizing Committees

    GLORY TABERNACLE CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP
    Address : 52227, London
    SW16 4YL
    United Kingdom
    Phone +442071005756
    http://www.glorytabernacle.org.uk/

  45. It’s very unfortunate that scammers are now professing to be servants of God, and unashamedly falsely getting money from innocent people. I received a similar email, and after reading it and seeking God’s guidance, the Holy Spirit said, “no, this is a lie”. so I Googled the church and sender’s name which directed me here. I am so grateful that Patrick Schwerdtfeger started this blog to help all of us understand about these scammers and to help us identify such scam emails. One thing I know for sure is, “when the deal is too good, please think twice” and do as much research as possible before getting involved. Please be careful!!!!

    Here’s the email I received:

    From: New Glory Tabernacle Church
    To:
    Sent: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 8:52 AM
    Subject: GRACE GLOBAL PRAYER CONFERENCE 2013

    New Glory Tabernacle Church
    Address : Harvey Toad Road,
    London, N10 1LT
    Phone +442071005756
    http://www.newglorytabernacle.com/

    Grace and Peace be unto you Dr. Florence Snodgrass,

    We are Apostle Chris Rowland and Mary Rowland of New Glory Tabernacle Church London, United Kingdom. We are writing to invite you to be our guest speaker at this year GRACE GLOBAL PRAYER CONFERENCE 2013.This is a great Kingdom connection that gets us excited the way the lord connects his people all over the world through internet.

    After reading through your profile on http://www.wordaliveministriesintl.com/. The lord has direct us to email you for this assignment .All travel arrangements, speaking fee and Hotel accommodation will be taken care of as soon as you honor this invitation.

    Venue
    New Glory Tabernacle Church Hall
    Address : Harvey Toad Road,
    London, N10 1LT,
    London, United Kingdom
    Date of Conference: 3rd to 5th of May 2013 See website http://www.newglorytabernacle.com
    Topic: God of Hope

    You will receive a formal Letter of Invitation and Contract Agreement as soon as you honor our invitation .Kindly provide us your cell phone number and mailing address.
    Email any questions you may have. Please feel free to visit our website on http://www.newglorytabernacle.com.More update on this year conference is coming soon

    Remain Blessed
    Apostle Chris Rowland
    +442071005756

  46. I just received this same scam from this so called Pastor Tom Edwards, of First Baptist Church London England.
    I do speak on Marriage in Seminars so first of all I thought it to be legit, however when trying to check out the church and the Pastor, it became clear, something was wrong.
    I also checked out where they supposedly had found my profile and found that to be fuzzy in its specifics. It is sad that in a day and age when speakers are needed to reach this world for God, that Satan has used these criminals to wast the time and money of God’s servants.

  47. At it again, this time targeting Australia…

    Just adding this to the list.

    New Glory Tabernacle Church
    Address : Harvey Toad Road,
    London, N10 1LT
    Phone +442071005756
    http://www.newglorytabernacle.com

    Grace and Peace be unto you Apostle……,

    We are Apostle Chris Rowland and Mary Rowland of New Glory Tabernacle Church London, United Kingdom. We are writing to invite you to be our guest speaker at this year GRACE GLOBAL PRAYER CONFERENCE 2013.This is a great Kingdom connection that gets us excited the way the lord connects his people all over the world through internet.

    After reading through your profile on http://……..com.au The Lord has direct us to email you for this assignment .All travel arrangements, speaking fee and Hotel accommodation will be taken care of as soon as you honor this invitation.

    Venue
    New Glory Tabernacle Church Hall
    Address : Harvey Toad Road,
    London, N10 1LT,
    London, United Kingdom
    Date of Conference: 3rd to 5th of May 2013 See website
    http://www.newglorytabernacle.com
    Topic: God of Hope

    You will receive a formal Letter of Invitation and Contract Agreement as soon as you honor our invitation .Kindly provide us your cell phone number
    and mailing address.

    Email any questions you may have. Please feel free to visit our website on http://www.newglorytabernacle.com. More update on this year conference is coming soon

    Remain Blessed
    Apostle Chris Rowland
    +442071005756

  48. I’m an Australian broadcaster and speaker and was contacted via my website a week ago by someone purporting to be Archbishop Thabo Magkoba (an actual Anglican Archbishop in South Africa).
    Their initial email is below. I Googled the Archbishop and returned their emails and for a while, the story stacked up. Someone had heard me speak and recommended me for their conference etc. etc. I was about to sign a contract, hand over bank details so they could deposit 50% of my speaker’s fee and pack my bags for Capetown when alarm bells started ringing. I called the real Archbishop’s office in Capetown and discovered it was all a scam. Someone from the South African High Commission in Canberra sent me the link to this site. The stories are all so similar! I can’t believe they’ve been getting away with this for so long.

    Gods blessing Angela, We hope this message meets you in good health. I am
    Thabo Makgoba, ArchBishop of Diocese of Christ the King, South Africa. On
    behalf of the Church, I am elated to inform you that we would love to engage
    your services to speak and educate our congregation as our goal of
    organizing this seminar is to enact success & leadership traits plus
    motivation in the congregation who are business-minded personnels and the
    youths who are aspiring sportsmen & explorers. The event is billed for May
    this year.

    Please, we would gladly like for you to convey to us your availability for
    the month of May as it will well fit in your schedule.
    Also, please we would as well appreciate if you get in-touch with us in
    ample time so we can start corresponding the details.

    Thank you very much and expecting to hear from you soon.

    Remain Blessed.


    ArchBishop Thabo Makgoba
    +27 74597057

    Diocese of Christ the King.
    Cape Town.
    South Africa.

    Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom he has chosen
    as his heritage!
    Psalm 33:12 ESV / 24

  49. As a UK-based writer, I haven’t had any of these scam emails – though I’ve had my share of others. A couple of things jumped out at me from these ones though, and I hope I can offer a couple of tips to speakers who are trying to spot genuine invitations from fake. I can’t speak for the South Africa emails, but the UK ones are almost definitely NOT originating from the UK!

    The clues lie in the phone and fax numbers. Any phone number beginning with +44 7 is a mobile (cell) phone. +44 207, +44 203 and +44 8 (except +44 800) are UK numbers that can be redirected to international destinations (call manager services are often used by non-UK scammers to enable them to have ‘real’ UK phone numbers). You should be very suspicious of anyone contacting you with these phone numbers.

    Western Union transfers do not require the sender to know the postal address the recipient has registered with WU. So, while the recipient might give you a UK postal address, they could actually be collecting the money in any city or country that has WU agent offices.

    But the big hint, for me, was the wording of the emails. Almost every single one asked speakers to ‘honor’ the invitation! A legitimate UK organization (or organisation as is the more common spelling on this side of the pond) would ask you to ‘honour’ it! A little detail, but worth bearing in mind!

    I hope these little details help speakers to weigh up future requests!

  50. We got the same email invite. Do not fall for this sam. It’s sad that these people have to do this kind of thing to get money.

    New Glory Tabernacle Church
    Address : Harvey Toad Road,
    London, N10 1LT
    Phone +442071005756
    http://www.newglorytabernacle.com/

    Grace and Peace be unto you PROPHETESS PEARLIE ROBINSON,

    We are Apostle Chris Rowland and Mary Rowland of New Glory Tabernacle
    Church London, United Kingdom. We are writing to invite you to be our
    guest speaker at this year GRACE GLOBAL PRAYER CONFERENCE 2013.This is a
    great Kingdom connection that gets us excited the way the lord connects
    his people all over the world through internet.

    After reading through your profile on http://www.openheavenoutreachinternational.org. The
    lord has direct us to email you for this assignment .All travel
    arrangements, speaking fee and Hotel accommodation will be taken care of
    as soon as you honor this invitation.

    Venue
    New Glory Tabernacle Church Hall
    Address : Harvey Toad Road,
    London, N10 1LT,
    London, United Kingdom
    Date of Conference: 7th to 9th of June 2013 See website
    http://www.newglorytabernacle.com
    Topic: God of Hope

    You will receive a formal Letter of Invitation and Contract Agreement as
    soon as you honor our invitation .Kindly provide us your cell phone number
    and mailing address.
    Email any questions you may have. Please feel free to visit our website on
    http://www.newglorytabernacle.com.More update on this year conference is
    coming soon

    Remain Blessed
    Apostle Chris Rowland
    +442071005756

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