Friday, April 15, 2011

Smog Art Gallery Job Offer Scam

This is just a recycled version of the Justin Art Gallery scam I wrote about earlier.

This time, it's the "Smog Art Gallery" (I love this name) and they've posted ads all over the place, except in Hawaii. I guess the fact that several people wrote to me and expressed their gratitude for the previous post made the scammer realize that posting in Hawaii was simply a bad idea, unless they wanted to have themselves exposed as frauds.

I was bored last night and did a search for "We are looking for individuals (Male/Female) Start Making $1,300 Weekday P/T" and found several ads [1] [2] [3] and other places too numerous to mention.

Links 2 and 3 featured the name "Marcus Reese" and link 3 included a phone number 206-666-4849, which is a cellphone, of course.

To see if the Justin Art Gallery scam was alive and well, I sent an email about the "job" and received this reply 
Re: Reply to your Classified Ad #4283971
From: "Marcus Reese" 
To: me 
Smog Int'l
63 CM Recto,Manila
Reflecting Natures Beauty!
Thanks for getting back to me regarding the Delivery Position.However, I am Marcus Reese a Branch Manager of Smog Art Galary and I have been given the task of setting up Smog Art Galary in the United States to further expand and also meet the high demands of our numerous customers in the United States.More so, I will be arriving on the 25th of April 2011 and you can have the Delivery Application below filled out and sent to me by email so we can have it added to the company's data base.More so, the start of date as a Delivery Agent will be on the 27th of April 2011 and you are to work from Mondays through Fridays while you take the weekend off.Your weekly pay will be $1,300.You can also call me on my cell phone +639159275768......dial as typed
Introduction to Smog Art Galary
Smog Art Galary Furniture was established by Samuel Moore and Olivarez Grante in 2001. Originally setting up their workshop in an unassuming Recto side street the pair lovingly created quirky, brightly colored bookcases, charming cupboards and chests made from bits and pieces reclaimed from skips or foraged from the tip. A style developed that was reminiscent of early Australian or depression furniture crafted from need and ingenuity. They honed their skill, with Molly the dog standing sentinel and usually one or two small children scrambling in the wood shavings.
They catered to a very local clientele, trading directly from the side door around which the first makeshift ‘shop front’ evolved. From here the business has grown to incorporate a large Molino Street frontage. The “two men” swinging above the door remain a recognizable part of the landscape. Gone however are the days when Samuel and Olivarez would lock up shop and amble around the corner to the Black Cat for lunch. Nowadays, although the boys have staff, they still make all custom furniture in Manila themselves and we are all far too busy to down tools for too long. Well… you must however understand that the morning and afternoon tea tradition stands firm . If you happen to be passing the workshop door around the hours of 10 or 4 you may just catch a few ‘pearls’ emanating about anything from why Molly retrieves sandpaper from the bin, or the cultural implications of reality TV to (very vocally) the outcome of the cricket!
Challenges we face
The audience for exhibitions of contemporary art and furniture has increased widely during the last 5 years as general awareness and interest in contemporary art has developed both in the Philippines and abroad, thus making us one of the world's Interactive Art Gallery and now we are face with a challenge of keeping up with our numerous clients in the United States as they sometimes prefer making payments by cashier's check or money order, that's why we are in search of Representatives in the United States that will act as an aid between us and our numerous customers in the United States.We would be happy to receive your resume if you are interested in working for Smog Art Galary as one of our Representative in the United States.More so, Vacancy for the position of a Driver/Delivery Personnel is now available for an Immediate Appointment with a weekly pay of $1,300
Nevertheless, the Van will be provided by the Gallery before your 1st Assignment.More so, you are also to act as Smog Art Galary Payment Representative by receiving payment from our customers in the United States in Cashier's Check ,money order or bank draft.
You will be making deliveries of our Art Collections bought by our customers to different locations with a Van that will be provided to you.More so, you are to receive the payment for each art works purchased as our Delivery/Payment Representative and have it sent to our Accounts Officer and I hope you can handle this....
* The averagely income is about $5,200 Monthly depending on your Efficiency.
* No form of investments from you....
* This job takes only 4-6 hours per day....
* You do not pay any form of taxes as it will be paid by the Gallery.
* Weekends will be your days off
* Good Retirement Plan and Health Assurance
Kindly Have the Delivery Application filled out and sent back to me if you are interested in working for Smog Art Galary as our Delivery and Payment Representative so we can have it added to the company's date base. you can find out more about Smog Art Galary at
Best Regards,
Marcus Reese
Smog Int'l
63 CM Recto,Manila
Reflecting Natures Beauty!
Delivery Application:
Contact Details:
First Name:
Last Name:
License Class:
Address Line:
Zip code:
2 Years Employment History (Most recent first)
Employer's name and any further details that may aid your application
Employer’s Full Name (1):
Start Date (1):
End Date (1):
Start Date (2):
End Date (2):
Employer’s Full Name (2):
Start Date (1):
End Date (1):

I visited the website via the link they gave and there really is a site. Not a well-designed one, but a site nonetheless. A definite improvement over the Justin Art Gallery scam, even if these morons don't know how to spell "gallery" correctly. I think that these are the same people who ran the first scam I wrote about, since they are using the same phone number.

But, much of the old scam is apparent in the new one 1) placing Want Ads anywhere and everywhere, 2) lack of identifiable information in the actual ad itself, beyond a name and cellphone number and 3) requesting copious amounts of information to be sent via email.

I did a WHOIS search to discover the owner of their website. One might think that the site would be registered in the Philippines, since the "galary" is supposed to be there? Right?

Nope. Wrong. It's registered in the United States of America.

Patricia Markie
98 Thompson Road
Avon, CT 06001 US
Phone: (646) 673-7229

So, there are a few differences between this scam and the first, but not many. The scammers have also been active posting fake ads offering to sell a house in Manhattan while using the same phone number. They also ran a fake job offer scam under the name "Duncan Art Gallery".

As for the Philippines-based phone number, it is a mobile phone registered with Global Telecom. I went to their website in an attempt to report this number's connection to possible  illegal activities in the United States and I was promptly disconnected from the chat server when I told them why I was contacting them. I'm not sure if it was deliberate or just a malfunctioning server.

So, there you go: the latest update on this group of scammers from the Philippines.

Duane Browning

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