Back on the 24th, I received this intriguing letter through the contact page on my website:
I am Suzana J**** by name, I am a Co-Ordinator, Wedding / Event Planner.I have a client wedding,which will be coming up on 25th of October, 2008.
At below venue:
3438 M**** Ave.
Rosmead, CA. 9****
Your service will be needed at the wedding. Over 100 Guests from USA, United Kingdom (U.K) and around the world will be at the wedding. My client (Jeremy) presently lives and work in Leeds, UK. Here is his cell phone number +44 -702-***-**** for confirmation of the wedding.
Kindly get back to me if you would be available for the date.
Waiting to hear from you soon.
It was worded exactly like a Nigerian scam, but I couldn't exactly figure out where the sting was. The address exists, though according to StreetView it's a pretty random neighborhood in Rosemead. A web search for the address found it in a Chinese language list of carpet cleaning businesses.
A web search on her name and email address found nothing - well, at least, nothing much (the address was listed with a bunch of garbage on some random sites). The telephone number is a legal British number, but it didn't seem worth the cost of calling, and the UK considers reverse phone lookup an invasion of privacy.
So, on the remarkably remote chance that someone actually wants me to travel to Rosemead as a DJ, I wrote this (from a random Gmail account, in case they were just trying to harvest my address):
Dear Ms. J***,
Thank you for your interest, and I am, in fact, free on that day. I'm curious, however, as to what made you pick me. Rosemead is 350 miles (560 km) from where I live, and I would assume that there are a number of people who can provide karaoke and sound that are actually IN the L.A. area. In fact, I know of one who might be available, and I can refer you to him if you like. He wouldn't have to charge you extra for time and distance.
Two days later, I received this:
Good to read from you..My client want the best service for his
wedding. I guess you are the best hand i can see for now.. He will be
responsible for your traveling expenses.. so get back to me with the
total charges for your service with inclusion of your traveling
expense (milage, gas)
Waiting to hear from you soon.
with one slight difference - this was actually from "Suzana"'s email account, and included a name - Suzana B**** instead of Suzana J****. It's also, of course, positively dripping with bullshit. I'm very good at what I do, but so are a lot of other people, and the only people likely to insist on using me are those that have directly experienced me work. If she'd said that "Jeremy" had experienced my show and insisted on me, I'd be more willing to swallow the line - but "the best hand I can see for now?" Really?
Anyway, a web search of the new name yielded this wonderful tidbit - which at least gave me an idea of where the sting would lie.
So after waffling for a bit, I sent this today:
Thank you for your response. Your client could, again, do quite well - and quite cheaper - in the area, but if you insist, my charges would be:
* $500 for the wedding proper
* $600 for transport and lodging
for a total of $1,100. I would need to be paid at least two weeks in advance of the event, by check, money order, or Paypal.
And I'm afraid I have to emphasize that I will only accept checks and money orders for the precise amount. I'll simply return checks written for any other amount.
If this is acceptable to you, we can discuss details such as addresses, the precise timing of the event, and the music that is to be played.
And now it's just a matter of waiting to see what I get back...