Author Topic: I fell for a scammer, now what?  (Read 16390 times)

Offline audal

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Re: I fell for a scammer, now what?
« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2007, 09:52:05 AM »
Oh man.  There are so many red flags in this correspondence from WLWA that I can't even begin to attack it!

I would like to point out one comic classic, though...

"I am a real person, and I do look at every email."

Just my opinion, of course, but a legit agent generally does not feel the need to point out in an email that they are a person.

Also, any reputable agent will want to show off a client list.  Yes, it's our job to impress them, but ultimately they need us to make their money.  Ironic, isn't it?

Thanks for sharing that, Heather...

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Offline LeahClifford

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Re: I fell for a scammer, now what?
« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2007, 09:58:06 AM »
Wow, I actually read that whole thing. I love the part about respecting their clients privacy and not caring about impressing newbies right before they post the "client life story section".  :pirate2:

I've gotta admit though, if I hadn't stumbled onto these boards I probably would have been ecstatic to get that letter. I can only imagine how many people's dreams slowly washed down the drain with that. Kinda bums me out.

Thanks for posting, Heather!
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Offline elknutswife

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Re: I fell for a scammer, now what?
« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2007, 10:07:04 AM »
Yep, I fell for that same exact letter several years ago,  :emb: but it was for the Children's Literary Agency, which I believe is the same company.  I went so far as to have them send me a contract, signed it, almost mailed it but did some checking first (and luckily never gave them any money) :-)  Great catch, love your response letter, and welcome!  ;D
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Offline DaveKuzminski

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Re: I fell for a scammer, now what?
« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2007, 10:10:04 PM »
The chronology is as follows:

Sydra-Techniques Literary Agency became
S.T. Literary Agency became
Stylus Literary Agency which then became a sub-agency under
the Literary Agency Group (LAG) which included also
the New York Literary Agency and
the Screenwriters Literary Agency and
the Christian Literary Agency and
the Children's Literary Agency and
the Poet's Literary Agency and
the Writer's Literary Critique Division and
Rapid Publishing until the LAG became
the Writers' Literary Agency & Marketing Company at which point the names were modified to have WL in front of most of them and two, Stylus and New York, appear to have finally bit the dust because they were simply too notorious.

Offline Patrick

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Re: I fell for a scammer, now what?
« Reply #19 on: October 23, 2007, 10:19:51 PM »
Wow, and somehow they continue to get away with it.  That's what amazes me.  These guys really piss me off (somebody find me a smiley for that.)

Offline DaveKuzminski

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Re: I fell for a scammer, now what?
« Reply #20 on: October 24, 2007, 02:09:38 PM »
Some important things to remember should you discover too late that you're dealing with a scam:

What you write in the US is automatically copyrighted. Automatic copyright came about in a change to US copyright law in 1989. You can sue for infringement, but you will be limited on court-ordered awards unless you also register the copyright. If you write short stories or poetry, you might want to put together a bunch as an anthology of your work and then just copyright the anthology to save on having to individually register each story or poem within it. MORE IMPORTANTLY, it means the scammers can't legally do anything with your work if you immediately cancel any contract with them. Of course, be sure to follow the contract specifications for termination.

With some scammers, you can demand your money back and actually stand a slim chance of getting it refunded. The sooner you act, the better your chances. Remember to keep your communication courteous even though they're operating a scam. However, you can and should be firm and also let them know that you intend to alert the authorities in their area if they do not respond. Some have enough on file that they're eager to avoid reaching critical mass where the authorities just might react.

Never accept a gag order.

Never be intimidated. Scams will try to use that and other means to avoid returning your money and gain your silence. Remember, they hold only as much power over you as you give them.

Always keep copies of everything they discuss with you and always use email or regular mail. Avoid talking to them on the phone. Some scammers prefer the phone because the laws in their state may prohibit recording of telephonic conversations. You can always claim your phone is broke or you're behind on payments and it was disconnected. Neither is all that farfetched for starving artists and writers.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2007, 02:38:44 PM by DaveKuzminski »