Tag Archives: massage therapy

Ben Raes and Steve Abel: Massage Therapy Scam Continues

Today in the mail, I received three money orders from “Steve Abel”. Steve Abel is supposedly the guy who is helping Ben Raes to purchase the massage appointments from me.

Here’s the problem… there should have been 1 money order for $870, the agreed upon price for Ben’s 9 hours of massage appointments.

The money orders I received total more than $2,900.

Here’s how the rest of Ben Raes and Steve Abel’s scam would work, if I continued it.

  • I would write to tell them that they sent me the wrong money orders or that the money orders were for too much.
  • One of them would write me back and say that I should cash the money orders anyway, keep some of the difference for my trouble, and then send them back the rest of the money.
  • However, in a few days, I would discover that these weren’t real money orders, and I would be out the difference.

There was no massage appointment ever desired to be scheduled… the whole thing is a scam/sham.

However, they do send pretty convincing money orders. Here’s what they look like:

ben-raes-steve-abel-massage-scam-1

ben-raes-steve-abel-massage-scam-1

ben-raes-steve-abel-massage-scam-1

ben-raes-steve-abel-massage-scam-1

ben-raes-steve-abel-massage-scam-5

The problem is that right on the money order, it says that it has thermographic images on the money order, and the places you look on the money order to test thermographic imaging don’t actually do anything when you rub them. These “money orders” are fakes that were printed out on someone’s laser printer or inkjet printer.

Words to the wise – Ben Raes and Steve Abel do NOT want to schedule a massage appointment with you.

They want to take your money.

I’ve forwarded the money orders and envelope to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. I don’t know if they will be able to use this, but I hope they will take it and pursue these guys and get this scam shut down.

Beware Of Massage Therapy Scams: Ben Raes Wants 6 Sessions of 90 Minutes

I just recently discovered that I am involved in someone trying to scam me.

Some red flags have been going up, so I googled the phone number of the person who has been emailing me:
“011447424057189”

No results came up so I instead Googled “Ben Raes”.

That led me to this post:
http://www.abmp.com/news/e-mail-scams-continue-to-target-massage-therapists/.

Below is the text of my conversation (so far) with Ben Raes.

At this point, my goal is to learn as much as possible about whoever this is and post it here on MusicOfMassage, so that we can out this guy/group.

If you have any experience with this, please post in the comments below.

Chances are good that if you accept money from whoever this is, it is a scam.

——————————-
from: Ben Raes whqt1941@gmail.com
date: Sat, Nov 26, 2011 at 4:04 PM

The price quote is suitable. In order to hold our reservation,I will authorize payment to be mailed to you in US Money Order by my associate over there in the US after I am in receipt of your full names to whom the payment will be made out and your address/phone number where you can receive the mail.

Looking forward to your prompt response

Regards
Ben Raes
011447424057189

On Tue, Nov 22, 2011 at 11:39 PM, Jonathan Kraft wrote:

Hi Ben,

Thank-you for emailing me back. I hope you enjoyed your time in China. Where were you in China? I was there in 2003, and in Hong Kong this year. Pretty amazing part of the world. Was almost in Guangzhou this year as well, but ended up not going.

As far as your massage times/appointments, this will be great and I am sure you will enjoy your time in Boulder. It is a beautiful city (my wife got her master’s degree from the university there).

6 * 90 minute sessions = 9 hours.

9 hours * $95/hour = $855 (USD).

I have reserved these dates for you in February from 5-7 PM. (This is me testing to see if he would notice that I was off by an hour. He didn’t make any issue of it.)

Again, thank-you for giving me the opportunity to be of service, and I look forward to meeting you on February 10th.

Warm Regards,

Jonathan Kraft, CMT

On Tue, Nov 22, 2011 at 2:24 PM, Ben Raes wrote:

Hi Jonathan,
I am sorry for the late response I was out of town to China and just came back. Your location is suitable for us.On arrival we will be staying at
Boulder Creek Quality Inn & Suites,2020 Arapahoe Avenue, Boulder, Colorado 80302.You can go ahead and schedule our appointment for 3days/90mins sessions for each person and email me the total amount of all the sessions 6/90sessions

I will be looking forward your response

Regards
Ben Raes
+447424057189

On Wed, Nov 2, 2011 at 11:18 AM, Jonathan Kraft wrote:

Hey Ben,

Thank-you for your email, and please accept my apologies for my delayed reply.

I currently only do on-site massage (I bring my massage table to your location) at the rate of USD $95/hour.

I have been certified and working as a massage therapist in the state of Colorado since March 2001.

Your dates and times will work well for me. Please let me know what part of Colorado you will be in on these dates/times.

Alternatively, if you are looking for a spa or massage therapist you can visit (instead of having someone come to you), please let me know and I will offer some suggestions.

Thank-you again for your email.

I look forward to having the opportunity to be of service to you.

Warm Regards,

Jonathan Kraft, CMT

On Sat, Oct 29, 2011 at 9:52 PM, Ben Raes wrote:

Greetings,
I found your contact after a brief search for a Massage Theraphists on the internet and I therefore use this channel to request if you will be available to offer 3days of 90Mins Massage Service to me and my wife. My name is Ben and my wife’s name is Janet, we live and work as textiles suppliers in United Kingdom and we will be visiting the State of Colorado in United States on the 10th of February, 2012.

February 10th, February 17th and February 24th,2012 are our preferred massage dates and morning session between 9am & 12pm will be fine for us,but if this time is not available, then period from 5pm upward will make a good alternative.

Moreover if there is any of the quoted dates/times that is not available,please let me know and possibly furnish me with alternative dates/times.We can on each day do the sessions back to back(i.e one after the other) OR at the same time if you have another therapist working with you. Alternatively I can have my own massage in the morning and the one for my wife comes later in the day. We do not have any medical issues whatsoever and we have received massage services several times in the past .

Kindly answer the following questions if you are available for the service required.

What is your address location in Colorado so as to estimate our proximity to you ?

How many years of experience do you have in this career?

I look forward to your prompt response.

Regards,
Ben Raes

Massage Therapy Marketing: 27 Hooks For Massage Therapists

In marketing, a hook is the thing which gets you to “take it for a test drive”, “have a free sample”, or “Get 30% more for free.”

A hook is the back cover of the book which works to entice you to open the book and buy it.

As a massage therapist, what’s your hook?

When you’re out giving chair massage or table massage at an on-site location, how do you get people to take you for a test drive?

Hint #1: If your “hook” is “free massage,” you’re dead in the water. Anyone can give free massage. What makes you different or unique?

Hint #2: You should think of your hook as a headline. Headlines are proven to be more effective if The First Letter Of Every Word Is Capitalized, and also “If The Headline Has Quotes Around It”. So when you put your headline on a poster, banner, or your website, make sure you use Title Case, and make sure you “Put Quotes Around Your Hook”.

Here are 27 hooks you can use to get people to take you up on your offer of free massage, and to start building a relationship with them before you’ve even spoken with or met them.

Adapt or modify these massage therapy marketing hooks to something that suits your business.

1. “Exotic (Thai/Swedish/Asian/Deep Tissue) Massage That Has Nothing To Do With Sex”
2. “Your Bod. My chair. 5 Minutes. No obligation.”
3. “5 Glorious Minutes In Heaven. Yes, It’s Free.”
4. “7 Points In the Body Can Free You From Pain”
5. “3 Little Known Facts About Fake Massage Therapists”
6. “Your Body’s a Temple. Why Is It Hard As A Rock?”
7. “Your Body Needs These Kneads.”
8. “I’m Giving Free Massage Because I Hope You’ll Want More”
9. “Looks Relaxing, Yes? Yes, It’s Free.”
10. “5 (More) Reasons Why You Can’t Relax”
11. “Your Back + My Hands = Relaxation”
12. “My Massage = You Go Home Happy!”
13. “My Massage Makes Muscles Move Magnificently”
14. “3 Reasons Massage Lets You Live Longer”
15. “This Massage Will Make Your Day Better, Guaranteed!”
16. “People Call Me Magic Hands. Try It. You’ll See…”
17. ”Normally, Only My Mom Gets Free Massage (but today, you can too)”
18. “For Your Loose Change I’ll Loosen Your Muscles…”
19. “Do You Want Personal Perfect Postural Positioning?”
20. “Want To Feel Great? Sit. In My Chair. 5 Minutes.”
21. “Free Sample. I’m Hoping You’ll Love It.”
22. “Free 5 Minute Samples. I’m Hoping You’ll Get Addicted.”
23. “Complete Relaxation In 5 Minutes (Or Less)”
24. “I Don’t Do This Often, But Today Is Free Massage Day”
25. “Step 1: Sit In My Chair. Step 2: Relax With Free Massage. Step 3: Be Happy.”
26. “You. Here. Now. Free Massage. Sit. Relax.”
27. “5 Minutes. Free Massage. Keep Your Shirt On”

You can use one of these hooks as-is, base yours off one of these, or come up with your own hook relating to your massage business.

The point is to be different, and to get passersby to want to sit in your chair because you’ve made them laugh or made them think.

Have a hook that’s stronger than “free massage”, and you’ll find you have a much easier time converting passersby into people who take you up on your offer. If you make them laugh or make them think, you’ll also find that those people will be more likely to schedule a follow up (and fully paid) massage appointment.