Personal Chef Scam Alert
ALERT TO PERSONAL CHEFS:
It has been brought to our attention that certain scams
are being attempted on personal chefs, some of whom
are listed in this Directory.
You should beware of any customer who wants cash back on a money order or other
non-cash payment sent to you in advance. They want you to deposit their payment quickly, then ask
you for a full or partial refund to be wired to them before you realize that their payment is fraudulent.
are also phishing scams designed to get your personal info
any emails asking for your location. For legitimate customers, your location is normally unnecessary,
since our website is already organized by location. We suggest you ask lots of questions and insist on phone or face-to-face
contact before divulging your information.
NOTE FROM PCHEFNET.COM
We never sell the info on our directory - it is freely published online in the Directory for all your potential customers.
The Directory cannot distinguish between your legitimate customers and those who wish to perpetrate a scam. However,
claiming they paid the Personal Chef Directory for your info
as if they are more legitimate.
Here are excerpted emails to us from personal chefs that show what these attempts look like:
Email 01/09/2013 (Potential Scam):
Just got this one today. You mght want to add this to your list so folks can find him by name on google.
Google his name, and you'll see posts where others were scammed by someone using that exact e-mail.
Also, It's the
same style and format as the previous emails,
Best regards, a Chef
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Abraham Curtis <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, Jan 9, 2013 at 10:45 AM
Subject: PERSONAL CHEF SERVICE NEEDED.
To: chef's email
I will like to know your availability, I am in need of a competent Chef to make meals for my family while we are on vacation in areas of XXXXXXX. We are coming to United States from United Kingdom. We are going to need your service for a period of 6 weeks long. Kindly let me know if you are available, your quick response will be appreciated.
Email 02/04/2010 (Phishing):
Dear Gary, here's the e-mail as it was sent to me. a Chef
From: Steve <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
Date: Thu, 4 Feb 2010 04:04:55 -0800 (PST)
To: chef's email
Subject: Personal Chef Needed
I am writing to inquire about your service as a Personal Chef. Kindly
tell me where you are located so as to know its proximity to my work
place and also to make further arrangement.
You can reach me on email@example.com for more details. Looking
forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.
Email 02/02/2010 (Phishing):
They start with this same email. The kids are different, the story is the same. Once I respond, I get another email requesting all my personal information. Name, address, phone, cell phone, etc. Had I not started getting the exact same wording, I may not have been suspicious. But, then once they started asking for my personal information, I knew it was a scam. Thanks for your help on this.
Date: Mon, 1 Feb 2010 00:33:24 -0800
To: chef's email
Subject: PERSONAL CHEF WANTED
From: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
My name is Walter Cox, I came across your ads on pchefnet.com and i saw your good works reading through and i would like to employ you as my personal chef. Let me know what area you are located in so i can tell how conducive that is close to my new inspection job which is bringing me to your area. Am coming in with my son and daughter they are 2+ and 5+ years of age and i want a reliable chef to take care of all our dietary needs and meals.
I wait to read from you with your readiness taking care of our meals and let me know your area location so i can see its proximity to my new inspection job.
Best Regards. Walter Cox
This is a Chef
Around Christmas 2006, I received an email from a person stating he was a business Man from
Also, many of his words were miss spelled, grammar is key element for me in te
Many personal chefs handle their business from their home base. For some you maybe using your home address. STOP! Please rent a P.O Box of some kind its tax deductible. This world is crazy! When I get knew customers I try to do a background check on them before I conduct the first interview at their home Its better to be safe then sorry. The name of my business tells perspective clients I am a female, so I try to protect myself anyway. However, I deleted the email but I remember the first part of the name was Sir Something? Personal Chefs, Let’s stay safe. A big thanks to the chefs who started this dialogue.
a Chef, AASCA, CPC
A Chef in XXX later sent this potential scam sample. Here is what "Rev. Preye Macama" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
I saw your add online, and I got facinated at your profile. I am Rev. Preye Macama from
International (BWI). I will be coming over to
Actually, we will be requiring the service of a Cook/Chef during our stay, in the
period of the contract.
We can pay in advance to cover all your logistic issues. besides, my wife would like it that way, so that we can be assured we have someone to handle that aspect on our arrival. All your expences would be taken care of by our International Sponsor.
An early reponce from you in this regards would be appreciated. Please acknowledge if you can offer this service and give me a price quote.
Rev. Preye Macama
Believer's World Int'l (BWI)
Tel:+299 21 138 7989”
Email 05/01/2007 (Phishing):
I think I just got
phished (fished?) from someone who got my name off the directory, and I was
you might like this message on your bulletin board. Rather than list the five letters we wrote back and
forth to each other, I will paraphrase:
The 'Fisher' wrote me a letter, asking me for mypersonal info
buy me a ticket to come try out for him in London. Real good money potential, free apartment, etc. Had a
sick wife and hungry children and was too busy to do it all himself. He/It refused to meet any relatives I
had in London, either at home or at work, as a prerequisite I made before I gave him any real contact
directory to acquire my email address, but this directory says that no one has to pay for p.c. names, and they have
no records of dealing with this person. The fisher's given name was Greg Woodard.
The whole thing felt fake to me and I hope people can use this as a warning for what might happen to them.
Email 05/01/2007 (Refund scam):
Subject: Scam taking advantage of chefs: please read!
This person found me through your site and tried to scam me too. Thought you might want to know.
Here is what he sends as contact info:
Bishop Ben Okafor
Kingdom Life Ministries Int'l.
Tel:+299 88 75 72
Subject: Scam taking advantage of chefs: please read!
Forgive me if this seems out of the blue, but I'm sending this to every chef in my address book, to warn you about a scam. Recently I received an offer of employment, which sounded "Too good to be true". After reading it over a few times, I thought sounded like a check-cashing scam. To make a long story short, I have been posting about it in my blog, including his replies and comments from other chefs who almost got taken by this guy. Today, I got the first message from someone who DID succumb to the scam. She lost $1,100.00. I'm furious that this jerk has taken advantage of someonešs efforts to make a living, and I feel that it's important to pass the word around.
Please, forward this message to other culinary professionals, so nobody else loses their hard-earned money to this jerk... and if you know someone else who lost money, invite them to contact me directly.
Email 10/05/2006 (Refund scam):
Subject: Scammer on your network... almost got me.
Hi Gary. Thanks for your quick reply.
He contacted me
via email, asking how much it would cost for a large catered event. After
several questions about what type of food, decorations, etc... I emailed him
with an estimated cost of $6,670, and I only asked for a 50% deposit at first,
then to be paid the reminder the day of the event. He sent me $7500 in "money
orders", saying that he wanted to pay in full. He also asked me to deposit
them into my account ASAP. I took one money order to a MoneyGram cashier (maker
of the m/o)... instantly the cashier said it was fake.
Before I could email the guy back that day, he sent me an email saying he needed half of the money back, and asking if I would wire it to him thru western union. I called the cops, and they say that it is a scam. (duh!) The person sends fraudulent money orders, that will take about 5 days to show up as cleared in your bank account after you deposit them. Then the sender of the m/o's asks quickly for a refund, and only to wire them, or send them a cashiers check. You actually end up wiring them YOUR OWN money before their m/o's even show up as fake / bounced. I do not know for sure whether or not he contacted any other people in your directory (thats what I meant by "your customers"... sorry bad description), but I am only assuming he would try to do it /has already done it/ to someone else, too... you know? People like this probably do several scams at a time. Thanks for emailing me back. I dont want anyone else to get screwed over. Im just glad I caught it in time before I deposited those fake money orders.
I am alerting you
of a scam... you may want to post on your site that there is someone sending
FAKE money orders via UPS overnight to personal chefs (well, he did to me,
I am sure he contacted lots of people in your directory with the same scam).
He does this in attempt for payment, then says he need some of it back so
he can buy a gift for his wife. He "is in Europe" and "Doesnt
want to use his credit card" out there. He wants the money sent through
Western Union. He says the party he needs services for is in XXX.
If anyone puts these in their account, they will come back as fake, and may get into alot of trouble. I have contacted the local police in this area so I wouldnt get in trouble for having fake money orders on me. His email address is "email@example.com" and the sender is "Faisal Hasan".
He poses as
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