I am writing my book from a different perspective as I was recently scammed by someone who I thought was my best friend in the USA for my IP to my life’s story and most of my life’s savings.
The scammer pretended to be an author and a motivational public speaker and offered to get me a great publishing deal on my book. He said he had lined up a typist, website developer, and an editor to help with my book. He also pretended to have amazing contacts with agents for publishing, movie writes, and audio book writes deals in the USA. He promised he would help me put my life’s story into a book that would read very well as I have never written a book before, only articles and blogs so the concept of writing in chapters etc was new to me and I wanted it to be a success.
I was silly in believing that he cared and really wanted to help. He convinced me to courier over to him my only copy of my books manuscript which I had written asap and once he had it he would scan it and send me the scanned digital copy back for safe keeping. He promised to ghost write the parts from video interviews we had done over several months into my book and turn it in to an amazing book. He claimed that he has ghost written for famous people like famous singers’ wives and a famous baseball player.
I did a search on him when things started to go wrong but because I was searching his pen\author name nothing came up in google but his website, Facebook, LinkedIn and good reads reviews. I needed to have searched on his real name which I did not know until a month before I sent the funds over to him.
I knew him for 3 years on Facebook prior to this happening and he used to ring me on the odd occasion to see how I was going. It was only since October last year that he started making more regular contact with me.
For a year he would ring and text and have zoom meetings with me on a daily basis about life and the progress of my book. Six months into it I thought I could trust him because by that time I knew him well. So I sent him the money for the typist, editor and website developer to him. At that time, he told me he had completed the clean-up of the book and added what needed to be added to the book. He said he was not computer literate and so scanning it and sending it to me would be hard for him to do.
Once he had received the wire transfer, he told me his typist he had on payroll had resigned and he had to find another typist he could trust to type it. I was so annoyed about that. Over the space of 4 months, he told me about 4 other typists that either didn’t have the time to type it or they cost too much.
At this point in time, I was getting so frustrated with him and so annoyed with him over it all. He regularly told me he felt humbled and honoured to be helping me with my book and if I ever felt that I could not trust him that I could get another ghost writer to help me with my book as it would be a massive success anyway with or without him.
When he finally found a typist, he said she had COVID and needed to recover. A month after that she recovered but she had the manuscript on the table at her mother’s house where an industrial fan blew the pages all over the place and he apparently did not find out about that until he was out of town doing a major motivational speaking gig in America at some of the black rights protests, where he ended up getting sick and misdiagnosed with COVID when he had food poisoning. And got given a double dose of the COVID medication, had an allergenic reaction and almost died from it.
He had 2 of his cousins Vicky and Dee text me from his mobile while he was in the hospital giving me updates on his progress. Once he was well enough, he had one of his cousins Vicky contact the typist and find out where the typing was at and apparently the typist when she found out he was in the hospital she went on a holiday with her mother and travelled all around the USA and would not be back for 7 weeks to complete the typing.
When the typist finally did return home, she then got problems with her laptop and could not use it to do the typing which meant that any typing she did do was lost. My so-called best friend then tried to recover the data from the laptop but it was too far gone and so he gave her a new laptop to use for the typing. He said she was lazy and kept stalling with the typing and had already been paid $1500 of my money as a down payment for the typing. He met with her and gave her another chance even though I told him to fire her. A week later he forwarded on to me a very basic query letter for my book, then he fired her.
Since I had the typists email address from the forwarded email I contacted here and told her what he had told me about her and what was going on and I threatened to take legal action if she self-published and didn’t send the manuscript back. It was odd that she never contacted me back. He told me she contacted him and was angry with him saying she might as well keep the manuscript and the notes for my book since she was going to be sued. I had a massive fight with him on this and he was so mean and horrible threatening my job and all sorts of things even though I only had contact with him after work hours and on weekends when I was not working.
I then looked up the typist on LinkedIn and contacted her again and that was when the truth came out. He never gave her the notes or the manuscript for my book and he never paid her to type it up. We compared stories as to what he told both of us and everything he told me was a lie. Everything he built our friendship on was a lie.
The truth was that his Facebook profile was his author pen name and fake and he did not make any money from his book he had apparently written. He was a broke poor man who lived in the roughest part of his city and he had a son in prison and was suing his local church for racism among other things.
When I told him, I had the goods on him and wanted my money back and the IP for my book he refused to return them and started emailing, WhattsApping and sending me messages on messenger every hour with nasty horrible things to hurt me. He pretended to be a very religious person always praying and going to church on Sundays and spurting verses from the bible at me regularly and he was big on preaching forgiveness even though he was they type to hold grudges for a very long time.
He had me completely fooled thinking that we were best friends when all he was really doing was scamming me and making sure I could not get my money back.
I found out he wasn’t who made himself out to be and he wasn’t doing what he said he was doing in the past number of months, so I have had lots of emotions to process.
I am sure he has done this to other people before. When I first found out I was SOOO angry with myself and extremely hurt because this was someone who I let my guard down with and he knew everything about me, even things I had never told anyone in my life. I felt betrayed as he was a friend of mine for 3 year prior to us getting close October 2019. I felt annoyed with myself for falling for his scam and not listening to my gut instinct when it first told me there was something wrong and that I thought he was legit as an author. What made me think he was legit was the fact he had the cover of his book as his profile picture on Facebook and LinkedIn. I was also angry that Facebook and LinkedIn do not prevent people from creating fake accounts on their social media platforms. I was also angry at myself as he had played me like a fool for the past year.
However, I don’t want you to think of me as a victim as I have learned some very valuable lessons from this.
1) Don’t open up too quickly to people on the internet (COVID or not)
2) Check out if they are legitimate when it comes to what they say they do for a living
3) Never get to involved with people online
4) Always get proof of progress when checking in on a project you are working on with other people particularly if they are online
5) Never wire funds over the internet to anyone always use credit card facilities or a system like stripe or PayPal so you get buyers protection and invoices and receipts
6) Don’t give people too many chances
7) If they are on social media, then they are not computer illiterate at all
8) Always keep a soft copy of whatever you send to people even if it is just a scan of it on your computer with you.
9) If it sounds too good to be true, then don’t invest in it
10) Always try and find out if people are who they say they are before getting to close to them
11) when my gut says something then trust it as it is always right so don’t give them the benefit of the doubt
12) Don’t trust other people to do things for you that you need to make the time to do yourself.
13) These scammers are professionals, and they do courses and go through a lot of heavy training to be able to play a person like this so do not blame yourself if this happens to you.
The reason I am telling you this is to make you aware that these scammers are out there, and they will invest a lot of time to get you to trust them before scamming you so be careful and learn from my mistakes.
This scammer has another 9 books coming out to be released next year which I am sure are not his work but are from his fraudulent activities online. I have reported him to the authorities and my bank.
If you think you have been scammed put a report on SCAMWatch and report it to your local fraud squad in the police and report it to your financial institutional institution as they may be able to get it back if you used credit card, PayPal, stripe to send the funds. Be aware that if it is through PayPal I think they give you protection for 6 months and credit card the protection and time-frame to get your money back is 3 – 6 months so you must report it to your financial institution as soon as you possibly can and don’t leave it too late. For internet transfers you may not be able to get your money back unless it is within the first couple of months that you report it as it is harder for the bank to get the funds back as the company or person, they funds got transferred to has to give permission to send the funds back which is silly and you may need to take legal action if they can’t get it back for you. ©
Copyright © 2022 Lynette Diehm.
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