Beyond

Beyond the Border

Hello Storytelling friends and colleagues! Perhaps some of you have received an E-mail from someone purporting to be from Beyond the Border Storytelling Festival in Wales, UK. Perhaps you wondered "is this real?" as they offered you between £3000 - £3500 to perform, plus all expenses, round trip flight, hotel and food. Well...If I were dreaming, I might get paid that amount!

Note: Beyond the Border Festival is a real Festival in Wales, but these e-mails do not come from them. It's a scam.

This scam has been around for quite some time now. The hook is that they tell you to get a UK work permit and ask you to wire the fees (between $500-$600) and say they will reimburse you. Obviously, they do not.

I have actually received three invitations over the years. The last one I received recently, and I decided I would respond and see what happens. Don't worry, I won't give them any money, and, in fact, I asked them for MORE money than they offered.

Let's see what happens. read from the top down.


August 15, 2018
David Ambrose <buildcomcgmitl@gmail.com>

Beyond the Border - Wales International Storytelling Festival 2019
21-23 June 2019
Baltic House
Mount Stuart Square
Cardiff
CF10 5FH
Tel: 02921 660501
www.beyondtheborder.com

Hello Mark Goldman
3415 N. 36th Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85018
602-390-3858
Mark@StorytellerMark.com

Beyond the Border is a charity which exists to create, encourage and promote traditional storytelling for contemporary audiences.
Our vision is to 'bring the world to Wales, and take Wales to the world'. Our biennual international festival of storytelling is the cornerstone of our work, and in addition we run events and projects year-round to build audiences for storytelling and to communicate its power to entertain, transform and inform people’s lives.

Beyond the Border International Storytelling Festival is a magnificent weekend festival of stories and music from Wales and across the world – a feast of storytelling, poetry, music, singing, theatre, circus, puppets, films and much more.

Our home is the magical castle of St Donats, overlooking the beautiful Glamorganshire coast. The festival is small and friendly, vibrant but relaxed. It involves local artists alongside internationally-acclaimed performers.

I would like to invite you to perform/tell  your stories  at Beyond the Border - Wales International Storytelling Festival 2019.

Beyond the Border - Wales International Storytelling Festival 2019 Will Provide The Following Below:
1) Hotel Accommodation.
2)Round-trip Air- ticket to United Kingdom.
3)Remuneration fee of £3,500 GBP
4)Local Transport within UK
5)50% Performance Deposit Upon Signing The Contract
6) Back Line Gear

performance Date/Time:  (1) set approximately 1Hour in length date:
(20th June 2019 .Time: 5:00pm---6:00 pm)

Kindly confirm/provide the following details below to enable us confirm your Participation/Contract agreement.

1)Your Full  Name
2)Your Contact Address .
3)A Scanned Copy Of Your Permitted Paid UK Visiting Work Permit Papers 4)Contact Phone Number

We look forward to working with you.

Ms Lucy Moore (Festival Dir.)
Beyond the Border - Wales International Storytelling Festival 2019
Tel: 02921 660501


August 15, 2018 - I replied quickly:

Dear David & Lucy,
Thank you so much for this fantastic opportunity to tell in Wales! I am so grateful that the festival has recognized my storytelling abilities and has invited me to tell.
I would agree to perform at Beyond the Border under the following conditions:
Under your list of what you would provide,

1.            I would need to receive an additional £500, thus, a total of no less than £4,000 GBP for my services.
2.            I would need First Class, Round Trip Airfare to the United Kingdom
3.            I do not currently have a Permitted Paid UK Visiting Work Permit, and thus, I would need the Festival to pay for the process of procuring said Work Permit
4.            Under the conditions above, I would be happy to do MORE THAN one set at the festival. (As many as you want.)

Here is the requested information:
Mark Steven Goldman
3415 N. 36th Street #1
Phoenix, Arizona 85018 USA
+1 602-390-3858
Regarding the Work Permit: see above

Please let me know at your earliest convenience if these added conditions are satisfactory.

Looking forward to meeting you in person and presenting at the festival!

Regards,
Mark Goldman
Phone: 602-390-3858   
E-mail: Mark@StorytellerMark.com 
Storyteller Mark
www.StorytellerMark.com


Lucy replied a day later - August 16, 2018

Hello Mark Steven Goldman
3415 N. 36th Street #1
Phoenix, Arizona 85018 USA
+1 602-390-3858

Thanks for your quick response.

Its good to know that you are interested  in working with  Beyond the Border - Wales International Storytelling Festival 2019 held from
21-23 June 2019.

We understand that you do not have the required Permitted Paid UK Visiting Work Permit Papers. To avoid further delay,i am going to introduce you to our UK visas and immigration/ work permit agent in the person of Ms Sarah Benson.

Name: Ms Sarah Benson
Address: 263-265 Soho Road,
Unit 1, B21 9RY
inforegentvisas.couk@gmail.com

Send a mail informing her that  Beyond the Border - Wales International Storytelling Festival 2019 held from 21-23 June 201 invites you here in UK but you need her services to obtain your permitted UK work permit papers to enable us confirm your  contract agreement.

Your  sponsorship letter will be forwarded to Ms Sarah Benson as soon as possible to enable her file application on your behalf.

Keep me posted as you communicate with Ms Sarah Benson.

We look forward to working with you.

Ms Lucy Moore

-- Ms Lucy Moore (Festival Dir.)
Beyond the Border - Wales International Storytelling Festival 2019
Tel: 02921 660501


I waited a week and then sent the following to Sarah (and copied Lucy) - August 23, 2018

Hello Sarah Benson,

Sorry for the delay in contacting you, but I have been teaching and performing out of the country for a few weeks with limited access to the internet and E-mail.

On August 16th ,  Ms. Lucy Moore, Festival Director of Beyond the Border Storytelling Festival in Wales informed me that you can assist with procuring a UK Work Permit.

Beyond the Border - Wales International Storytelling Festival 2019 held from 21-23 June 201 has invited be to the UK to perform, but I  need your assistance  in obtaining UK work permit papers to enable them to  confirm my contract agreement.

Lucy has said that my sponsorship letter will be forwarded to you as soon as possible to enable you to file application on my behalf.

Please let me know if she has sent the Sponsorship letter and what additional information you may need in order to complete the paperwork.

Thank you for your assistance with this. I look forward to performing at Beyond the Border next year!

Thank you!

Regards,
Mark Goldman
Phone: 602-390-3858   
E-mail: Mark@StorytellerMark.com 


I immediately got a response August 23, 2018

Attn:Mark Goldman

 From: Ms. Sarah Benson

  This is to acknowledge the receipt of your email today August 23.
2018.I understand that Beyond the Border - Wales International Storytelling Festival 2019 held from 21-23 June 2019 invites you to perform here in UK.

 Below is our Government (United Kingdom) Main application/processing fees for a permitted paid UK work permit paper.

     Application  fees £97 GBP =$135 USD
Processing fees £185=$245 USD
Total=380 USD  only

 Find attached to this email a copy of the permitted paid UK Application (FORM) for your view. Kindly  fill / sign and return a copy of the (FORM) via email attachment to enable me  proceed on your behalf.

   Yours Sincerely
Ms Sarah Benson


And here is the VERY OFFICIAL-LOOKING Application (Yeah, right!)


I replied on August 24th, 2018

Hello Sarah

Thank you for your quick response.
Attached is my application form. Please note that my current passport expires on 17 April 2019, however, I am applying for an updated passport.

Please let me know about the progress of the application.

Thanks.


Then comes the "hook". However, I received this message three times, with two different names to send money to. August 24, 2018

Attn: Mark Goldman

From: Ms. Sarah Benson

This is to acknowledge the attached completed application form.To avoid further delay,i will advise you to remit the Main application/processing fees through Money-gram using the following name and address below to enable me proceed.

Name: TERRY O BELL
Address: 263-265 Soho Road,Unit 1, B21 9RY
Amount:$380 USD  only
Via:Money-gram

Visit any Money-gram location or store near you and make the payment using the above name and address.

Note: I need you to send a copy of the Money-gram payment receipt for confirmation.

Ms. Sarah Benson


So I responded that I was confused - August 24 2018

Hello Sarah,

I am quite confused, as I received three different notices from you (Terry Oso) with two different people listed in your message: Terry O'Bell; and Matsc Rehnman. I am unclear of what you are asking, and why they are coming from someone elses email but have your name in them.

In any case, regarding payment, I had stated in my first e-mail to you that I would need Beyond the Border to pay for the work permit. Please make arrangements for Beyond The Border to make this payment.

Thank you.

Regards,
Mark Goldman


August 24th

I just confirmed that Mats will not be available for pickup.

Kindly use :
Name: TERRY O BELL
Address: 263-265 Soho Road,Unit 1, B21 9RY
Amount:$380 USD  only
Via:Money-gram

Yours sincerely
Sarah


August 27th - Lets see what the mention of the Website does...

Hello Sarah, or am I writing to Terry Osa?
This is extremely confusing. Why are there so many names intermixed in your e-mails? I am beginning to think there is something wrong  here. Please clarify for me.

In addition, I went to the Beyond the Border website, and it says that Naomi Wilds is the Artistic Director of the Festival. Why have you not mentioned her name?

Once again, I reiterate that I cannot wire any money. I do not understand why Beyond the Border cannot pay this fee as they are also sending the Sponsor Letter to the permit committee.

Please respond to these inquiries.

Thank you.


August 27 - Well this clears up everything! - Not

Attn:Mark Goldman,

For your information Ms. Sarah Benson i my secretary.

Thank you.


August 27

Thank you for that clarification.

Please let me know when I can expect the completed work permit.

Thank you


Attn:Mark Goldman, - August 24

I will commence  the process of obtaining your work permit papers upon receipt of the application/processing fee of $380.

Kindly remit via Money-gram using the confirm name and address below.

Name: TERRY O BELL
Address: 263-265 Soho Road,Unit 1, B21 9RY
Amount:$380 USD  only
Via:Money-gram

I will need you to end  copy of the Money-gram payment receipt for confirmation.


Aug 27

Terry,

I am sorry, but my business manager has instructed me not to pay the permit fees, but once again, ask why the Festival cannot simply pay these fees and submit the paperwork together, as you are in the UK and you are inviting me to perform.

I must trust my business manager.

Regards


Aug 30

Hello Terry,

I have not heard from you in a few days and am wondering if there is some problem with the work permit?

Please let me know.


Aug 30

Attn: Mark

Greetings

I was waiting for you to remit the application/processing fees to enable me proceed on your application.

Kindly remit the application/processing fees via Money-gram using the confirm name and address below.

Aug 30

Hello Terry,
The Festival is offering me Thousands of dollars to come and present. Why are they not able to pay for the permit? I will gladly agree to having the amount deducted from my total fee. I am wary of sending the money by money gram. My business manager advises against it. He thinks this is a scam. How can I convince him it is legitimate?


Aug 30

You have two options to remit the payment if still interested.


Aug 30

Hello Terry,

From your brevity, it appears that you are unwilling to answer my questions. This makes meworry even more that you are NOT from the oficial Festival, but that this is some sort of scam. How can I be reassured that I will be reimbursed after sending the fees? I am trying to trust you, but it is difficult. Pplease send me some information that will convince me that this offer is real.


Aug 30

I don't need your trust please. I have lots of work papers to attend to. If you have a problem please contact the festival director.


Aug 30 12:005 PM Phoenix time

I will gladly contact the Director. What is the director’s name and e-mail?