London International Music Festival has issued a statement to alert Indian classical artistes as their office in Kent, London flooded with calls for clarification on concert bookings and payments….reports Asian Lite News
The scammers are using fake email accounts to sent invitation to Indian classical artistes informing them about the event and booking details. They are offering a remuneration of £4000 and other benefits. The scammers are sending emails using the details of some other major festivals too.
Asian Lite, an Indian community newspaper in the UK, has created a HELP DESK to verify the authenticity of invitations and job offer letters from the United Kingdom. the email to contact is firstname.lastname@example.org)
“Due to the concept of our festival, we do not invite professional artists to perform,” said Anastasia Clayton, Festival Coordinator, London International Music Festival . “London International Music Festival is designed for youth amateur ensembles of over 10 performers, who pay a fee to participate. We regret, but we are unable to offer fees for the performances or any remuneration for accommodation, transportation or other expenses.
“Sadly, we have become aware of a scam that is using our festival name in order to attempt to extort payments for UK working visas from international professional artistes. The same scammers appear to be targeting a number of other UK festivals as well. We have reported this to the UK authorities. In the meantime, here is a recap of what we know:
“Email invitations have been sent to international professional artistes offering them a chance to perform at our event. If a reply is returned, the scammers then offer a significant amount of money in payment to the artiste along with other benefits (eg accommodation, airline tickets, travel insurance), and suggest a contact for obtaining a working visa for the UK.
The emails have so far been sent by people claiming to be called “Kenneth”, “Vincent Kenneth” and “Mrs Nestor Kohut” and occasionally mention Brownson Music or Kohut Travel. The email addresses used appear to be gmail, yahoo and excite addresses, including “londonfest2017”, “dickwilson54”, “heritagemusicaward4”, “bingleymusic1” and others.
The scammers also sent emails that appear to be from Artistic Director, Andre de Quadros.
“Prof. de Quadros does not send emails of this kind to any festival participants, and these are not from him. We are seeking legal advice on this matter,” said Anastasia.
The Isle of Wight Festival have also published information on their website about a similar scam.
“We can categorically state that we do not know these people or companies, nor do we use email addresses that are Gmail or yahoo based. If you have received these emails, please ignore them. We are a festival for amateur groups with at least 10 musicians, and groups are charged a participation fee to attend. There is an application process and we do not offer places to professional musicians as that does not fit with the remit of our particular event.
The scammers are offering a remuneration fee of £4,000.00, Hotel accommodation and meals; round-trip air- ticket to the United Kingdom; £2,000.00 advance deposit; local transportation within the UK and insurance cover.