There’s been a film industry hiring scam going around for about two years. Evidently, the scammers are tweaking their craft as they’re being exposed.
The crux of the scam: The impersonation of a legitimate production company, but with a slightly different domain for their e-mail address.
It’s important to realize Mario Kassar is not at fault here. They’re a perfectly legit production company. They, too, are a victim.
Where The Mario Kassar Scam Exists
A reader submitted this as a potential scam after responding to a seemingly normal job posting ad on Craigslist in the Atlanta region.
About the Mario Kassar Hiring Scam
Like the original film industry hiring scam, this is too good to be true:
Hello,After carefully reviewing your application and resume, I am pleased to inform you, we would like to offer you the role of (Part-time or Full-time Assistant) depending on which best fits you at Mario Kassar Productions.About Me. I am David Peter the Divisional Director for Mario Kassar Productions, I am originally from Texas and i was just moved here for the new office we had set up, We are in the construction of a little office branch here in ATL where we will be needing you to work. You will be working directly with me .About Mario Kassar ProductionsWe are a small organization that is passionate about providing the physical basis for work in the realms of the performing arts, new media art, film, television, radio, and video. As a CSR initiative, a sub-division that provides training and equips teens with the skills that they need to excel within the media and creative arts sector has been created.About The RoleThe role you have been short-listed for is that of an Assistant for myself, The Divisional Director of the mentioned sub-division. Seeing as it’s presently in its incipient stages and we are short-staffed, there are several administrative and logistic related tasks that I will need you to assist with. The tasks you will be required to perform on a weekly basis are as follows,Tasks-Liaising with clients via telephone both here in ATL and other parts of the world-Managing emails-Payment of bills and mailing of parcels (Please note monetary provisions will be made in advance for the payment of all bills and sending of parcels whether throughFed Ex, UPS or any other means)-Parcel pick-up/drop-offRequirements-You will be required to work 15 hours a week-You will be required to work on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday (maximum of 5 hours or less daily)You will be paid an hourly fee of $25 and bonuses will also be provided twice a month if you adequately fulfill the aforementioned tasks. Additionally, if your performance is exemplary, you will be offered an opportunity to take on a full-time role with us, where you will be meeting with our top directors and Movie Producers officially, the aim of this is to help you understand and build a proficient careerUpon my arrival at the end of next week, We will have a proper sit down and discuss relative development ideas directed at just how well your intellectual properties might impact our Company as we move forward.You are required to start work immediately if convenient. Kindly respond to this email with acknowledgement, You will have 2 weeks trial which after that you will be working at 730 Peachtree Street Atlanta as soon as our modifications are completed.Best regards,David PeterMario Kassar ProductionsDivisional DirectorVisit Our Head Directors Page at : www.mariokassar.com“
How To Tell This is a Scam
Oh man, where to start.
- The tone and jargon and over-explaining of everything is a huge red flag.
- Unless you’re an established pro or have a mutual connection, you will RARELY be hired over email without a face to face interview first.
- The hours are insane. 5 hours a day, 3 days a week? Yeah, right.
- NO ONE TALKS LIKE THIS: “You will be paid an hourly fee of $25 and bonuses will also be provided twice a month if you adequately fulfill the aforementioned tasks.”
- No one new to the industry will make $25/hour. It’s usually a day rate of $125-$200.
- NO ONE offers to introduce a complete newbie to the industry to “top directors and Movie Producers” through e-mail like this….
- “We will have a proper sit down and discuss relative development ideas directed at just how well your intellectual properties might impact our Company as we move forward.” I don’t even know where to begin with this, this is so off base and ridiculous. Again, NO ONE TALKS LIKE THIS.
- And, lastly, the biggest tell tale sign: The email address is from a different domain than the actual production company’s domain. Anyone who is actually staff for Mario Kassar would have a @mariokassar.com email address, not a weird offshoot like @kassproductions.com. (A freelance producer will sometimes hire per project, and their email address would just be @gmail.com or @me.com or something generic.)
How You’ll Get Scammed
I think they’ll try to pay you in advance (another red flag, this never happens), and they’ll somehow tap into your bank account via fraudulent check. As you can tell, I’m still trying to figure out. Anyone with any additional insight, please get in touch or leave a comment!
Help Others: Report Scams
Are you the target of a potential industry hiring scam? Feel free to reach out so I can share it here for others to find. Join our Facebook group, The Production Meeting, for discussion and mutual support.