Media & Press
What should law enforcement be doing about all the scams out there?
I began thinking about this as I researched the number of scams that have occurred in virtually all industries — 4.8 million scams in the U.S. in 2020 alone according to a report in Bloomberg Businessweek in July. No wonder law enforcement can do little except take a report, because they are swamped!
That’s what the police tell you when you call to report a home or auto burglary. Just file a report and talk to your insurance company. Given the huge number of scams, the police, FBI, and other law enforcement agencies, treat scams in much the same way.
However, if they get repeated reports, they may then take some action against a particular scammer or scam company.
Report them to your credit card or the payment platform you use to pay them. Not only may you get back your money if you make the report quickly enough, but the card or payment platform that processes their funds may close their account and stop allowing anyone to make payments to it.
That’s what happened to a company I reported to PayPal for victimizing dozens of clients who told me about their experience with that company. Other payment platforms like Remitly and Moneygram began refusing to take any more payments to them, too.
The other big key to unlocking some law enforcement action in a particular case is getting some media interest. For once there is popular interest in a case, the police take notice, start to take some action, and report that to the media to keep the public informed. The response is much the same for the FBI and other government agencies.
Thus, if you are a scam victim, report any scam both to the law enforcement agencies that might handle your case and to your local media, so they’ll take some action as the number of victims mounts up. It’s like recognizing there is a serial killer attacking victims, although in this case, it’s a scammer scamming more victims.
It’s a cruel scam that dashes the hopes of thousands of writers and self-publishers to see their book turned into a film. But now there is a GoFundMe campaign and soon a book and film that tell the story of ten writers who lost over $150,000 – up to $20,000-40,000 each, and some really did have potential blockbusters.
Instead, the scammers entrapped them into spending money for an offer that turned out to be fake.
How did the scammers reel them in? They offered the writers what seemed like a great deal – $80,000 to $180,000, even $1.5 million in one case, to adapt their book into a film. All they had to do was pay money to prepare various types of materials which would be of interest to a producer or agent, such as a logline/synopsis, script, treatment, show bible, and sizzle reel, or invest in other marketing activities.
Yet, it was all a sham with an offer that used the names of real executives from real companies. In the end, after the financially drained writers stopped paying, the offer disappeared, and the scammers were onto the next victim.
The scam was discovered by a ghostwriter who was hired by the scammers to write what she thought were legitimate materials which would help to sell the book to real producers and agents.
The fraud continued until the ghostwriter happened to speak to one of the victims after a mix-up about payments.
The victim told her that several payment platforms were refusing money transfers to the company due to suspicions of fraudulent activity. This led the ghostwriter to recognize the company’s exorbitant markups and to discover they were using the names of real executives at real companies to lure the victims to a deal that disappeared once the victim stopped paying.
So now, due to a scam built upon fraudulently using legitimate names and reputations to take thousands of dollars from writers, a GoFundMe campaign has been set up at https://gofund.me/eab763a9
It is designed to provide funds to compensate the victims and to help fund the documentary film The Big Con that tells this story, with half the proceeds going to the victims. In addition, to prevent others from being conned, the funds are being used to share more information with law enforcement and the media about the many scam companies now offering writers various types of direct marketing and phony deals.
The ghostwriter who organized this campaign has done so after discovering the scam in mid-May and realizing that she was a victim, too. The scammers used her good name and reputation to lure in customers, since she had published about 200 books and produced 14 films, which are featured on her websites.
Throughout the scam, she even spoke to some clients describing the writing and work she would be doing for them. But she knew nothing about the scammers’ financial arrangements, since she was an outside subcontractor hired to do the work for the company.
When the ghostwriter discovered what the scammers were doing, she was appalled and outraged, and started this investigation, film, book, and GoFundMe campaign to make things right by helping to expose the scam and the scammers.
Though the campaign does not use the name of the company or the victims to protect the victims’ confidentiality and not provide public information that can interfere with any investigation, the ghostwriter and some of the victims are available to speak to the media.
Since she has learned more about the scam and discovered more victims and other scam companies, she can also share in confidence more details about the investigation, including reports to PayPal, updates to the victims about the investigation, and letters to law enforcement.
For more information and to set up interviews
Jones & O’Malley
Toluca Lake, California
Now there’s a whole new way to understand your personality and that of others — by knowing your Dog Type. The system helps you understand your personality type and apply it to better understand and relate to others in your family, with friends, and in your work.
The Dog Type personality system builds on widely recognized ways of characterizing the four main personality types – like Myers-Briggs, the DISC system, and color profiling – but it features some popular dogs that make personality typing even more relatable and fun.
These four types are the more assertive leader type, the very sociable people person, the helper-supporter type, and the more serious researcher type. Then these are combined with four types of popular dogs to create a fun relatable way to use the system.
In this case, the four dogs are the German Shepherd for the leader, the Pomeranian for the social people person, the Golden Retriever for the supporter helper, and the Border Collie for the serious researcher.
The system is based on knowing the types of dogs you and others like the most and least.
A new book describing this system What’s Type of Dog Are You?, just published by Waterside Productions & available on Amazon, features these topics:
– How the Dog Type personality system works
– Recognizing the four dog types: the German Shepherd, the dominant leader; the Pomeranian, the social people person; the Golden Retriever, the supporter helper; and the Border Collie, the data-driven researcher type.
– The characteristic of the four types of dogs
– Applying the Dog Type system
– How to better communicate with and interact with others based on their Dog Type
– Using the Dog Type system in different situations
Here’s a short 2 minute introduction to the book
There is also a popular song: “What Type of Dog Are You?”
In today’s tumultuous times, life in America and the rest of the world is becoming more and more like life in medieval times, as described in The New American Middle Ages by Gini Graham Scott, PhD, just published by Waterside Press.
Here is a short 2 minute introduction to the book:
There is also a popular song: Are We Back to the Middle Ages?
The book is based on the premise that today’s growing split between rich and poor is like the divide between royalty, nobles, and rich merchants versus the medieval peasants and artisans. The book makes comparisons between the rise of the medieval kingdoms and the battles between the high tech titans, the division of labor then and now, the parallels between different institutions and lifestyles.
It concludes with some recommendations on what to do about the problem.
The book raises a number of important issues that can bring new insights about what is happening today and what to do about it. These include:
– Why it is it important to know why America is like the Middle Ages in many ways and what we can learn for today about what happened in medieval times?
– How the growing inequality in society is becoming a major source of division today, as it was back then, with the superrich like the nobles and royalty of medieval times and the growing poor and middle class like the peasants and merchants of the past.
– How the peasant rebellions have parallels with the rebellions we are experiencing all over the world today, and just like the royalty and nobles cracked down on the peasants so the police and military are cracking down now/
– How today’s pandemic is like the Black Death that swept through Europe, the UK, Middle East and Asia in the 14th century which wiped out about a half of the population and much like today had the most severe effect on the lower income groups.
– There are also parallels between the courtiers in the courts in the Middle Ages and the retinues of publicists and advisers around celebrities now.
– Another comparison is the role of the Church in medieval times and the media today.
Yet the Black Death in the Middle Ages prepared the way for the Renaissance which followed because of the many social changes that resulted – suggesting we might similarly experience an inspiring renewal as well as come up with ways to heal the great divisions and conflicts in our society.
Dr. Scott did extensive research to write the book, and was inspired by noticing the comparisons with modern society as she viewed a series of historical documentaries about medieval times in Europe and the Ottoman Empire on Netflix and Amazon Prime.
If you are interested, let me know, and I can send you more information, including a PDF of the book and arrange for an interview.
The Authority Magazine Interview features a series of questions about how I became an authority on the topic of thought leadership, how I started my career, how I would define a thought leader, and the benefits of becoming one. It also provides some examples of how being a thought leader can help a business grow and five strategies an individual should employ to become known as a thought leader in their industry.
The strategies I suggest are writing a book or series of books, creating a series of informational and promotional videos, using the social media to build an audience for our ideas, creating a regular series of articles or blogs, and turning your book into an online course or webinar.
The video also provides an example of someone who I think has done a great job as a thought leader: Malcolm Gladwell, suggests what a thought leader should do to avoid burnout, and what I would do to inspire a movement to bring the most amount of good to most people.
Finally, the video offers my favorite life lesson quote, which is Nike’s “Just Do It,” slogan and the one person in the world I would like to meet with for lunch or breakfast.
My choice was Joe Biden, because he brings a spirit of care, compassion, empathy, and a desire to help others to the White House, along with skilled people to play various roles in the administration.
Radio Interview with the Al Cole on the People of Distinction Show November 17, 2020
- Features a discussion of these topics:
- How to Write, Publish and Promote Your Book
- Working with a Ghostwrite for Your Book or Script
- Creating Book Proposals, Show Bibles, and Sizzle Reels
- Connecting with Venture Capitalists and Angel Investors
This video features our virtual booth at the 2020 AFM held November 9-13 in Santa Monica, California. We showcased 18 films, and this video features each of our films. To read the details, you can stop the video or request a PDF with this information.
Changemakers Productions, which produces feature films, documentaries, and TV/film series is a division of Changemakers Publishing features books on self-help, memoirs, self-publishing, social issues, criminal justice. It helps clients with self-publishing and ghostwriting their books.
The company has published over 150 books, 50 with traditional publishers, 100 independently published.
What Happened to the American Dream? Songs About the Struggle to Keep the Dream Alive in Times of Division & COVID-19
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
What Happened to the American Dream? features a series of songs about what has been going wrong in American society at a time of great social division, inequality, protests, and COVID-19. These songs also suggest a need to come together to fix the mess we are in today.
The first group of songs deal with our everyday social conditions; the second group adds the pandemic, a health, social, and economic crisis that has descended on American life with a curtain of doom and gloom.
All of these songs have been recorded and include the YouTube link to each song, so you can listen to the recording, and even sing along with the lyrics. The book includes the cover image for each song.My hope is that these songs will contribute to increased awareness about these issues facing America today and inspire people to take action to seek to mend these problems.
The songs featured in this book are:
- What Happened to the American Dream?
- Democracy Is Dying
- We’re All Right?
- The Down Side of Town
- A Shot in the Dark
- I’ll Put Another Log on the Fire
- Save the World
- I Feel Lucky
- Life Is So Crazy this Year
- Covid-19 Blues
- There Is a Plague
- Mouse in a Maze
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Democracy is under threat in America, and there is a need for a wake-up call. In this spirit, book writer and songwriter Gini Graham Scott has written a series of songs describing how democracy is dying and how we all need to act quickly to fix things. The songs have been recorded by the nationally known Crystal Image Band with singer John Covert, and they are represented by the Missing Link Music publishing company that handles licensing.
These songs with a call to action include: Democracy Is Dying https://youtu.be/_Fj1GV6-iQM, What Happened to the American Dream? https://youtu.be/mOC1BPW80D4 , and Save the World https://youtu.be/nBc6gJzTaOI. These songs have been turned into a songbook: What Happened to the American Dream? https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08L8G6C94
As part this wake-up call, Gini has written her latest book comparing life in modern American to medieval times: The New American Middle Ages. For example, the pandemic is like the Black Death that swept through Europe, the UK, and the Middle East in the 1300s, while the Black Lives Matters and other revolts against injustice and the establishment are like the peasant revolts in the 14th and 15th centuries.
But just as the medieval plague and revolts gave way to the Renaissance in the following century, Gini sees a similar new beginning in modern times if people wake up and act to save democracy and the American dream.
For more information, PDFs of books, and to set up interviews, please contact:
Jones & O’Malley
Toluca Lake, California
For Workshops on Self-Publishing & Finding Publishers, Agents and Film Producers
Make More Money with Your Book Workshop
Gini boils down years of experience and multiple areas of expertise into a simple presentation with helpful goodies tailored to participants’ interests.
Very informative and well presented. A real eye opener on monetizing your book.
I’m glad that I came.
Very informative and well presented. A real eye opener on monetizing your book.
I’m glad that I came.
Very helpful in providing resources and options for publishing a book and screenplay, and seeing how to self-publish as an option. Gini is a wealth of information based on her hands-on experience with publishing and educational background.
If you are interested in getting published, she’s the person to see.
Very informative… I found it very helpful.
I liked this workshop. I would recommend it to others, since it was very information with a good broad-based approach.
Very helpful hints.