Exploring cultures, countries and comfort zones
Scammers Swindle Speakers
“Dear Sir (or Madam),
My Name is Pastor Mark Graham from
the London Youth Community Here
in London UK. We want you to be our
guest speaker at this Year LONDON
YOUTH CONFERENCE which will
take place here in UK. We are writing
to invite and confirm your booking to
be our Speaker at these year LONDON
This is an excerpt from an actual email—typos, bad grammar and all— that scam artists send to speakers, luring them with the promise of lucrative speaking engagements abroad. All
a speaker has to do is wire funds to
obtain a work permit in a foreign land.
In Pastor Graham’s message, he goes
on to promise an expense-paid trip to
London, in addition to paying your full
speaking fee—no matter what the cost.
He also will cover your partner’s travel
expenses. He willingly responds to your
questions with the answers you want
to hear and offers to speak to you by
phone, if you desire.
The NSA staff fields many questions relating to this popular scam and
other fishy offers that entice speakers
who hope to build their global businesses. Many speakers view speaking
internationally so intriguing that they
eagerly wire money to another country
to obtain a work visa. However, they
are devastated when they realize they
If you receive an email that seems
too good to be true it probably is.
Watch for these sure signs of scamming:
• The emails are poorly written and
riddled with bad grammar and misspelled words.
• There is a sense of urgency to the email.
The sender insists that you send money
immediately. Before you wire funds—
especially to a foreign country—do
some investigating. In Pastor Graham’s
scam, he claims the original speaker had
to back out at the last minute, and you
must act quickly so your travel arrangements can be made in time.
• The scam artist will agree to pay your
full speaking fee without even inquiring what your fee is.
Although the email scam authors claim
to be from London, this is rarely the case.
They hide their true identities and loca-
tion, and London simply adds credibility
to their trickery. With so many Western
Union and Moneygram outlets world-
wide, scammers use these companies so
your money cannot be tracked. Even if the
money is sent to London, it can be trans-
ferred out of the country within minutes.
Carrie Morley is NSA’s Chapter and Community Specialist. She was almost scammed while trying to sell a car, which has made her
skeptical of emails like this one. Contact her