Tag Archives: scam

Roberto Mecca Massage Therapy Scam Continues

If you are on this page, it’s likely because you’ve received a message from Roberto Mecca, wanting to send you one of his massage clients.

In the case of his contact with me, she’s supposedly a very attractive Australian model.

This is a scam.

What follows is a full account of my correspondence with this individual/group.

It starts with the letter I sent to the Colorado FBI, accompanied by the $4600 REAL money order I received.

So that you know, if you cash a money order, you can legally be held responsible for the action you’ve taken, and can be held accountable as an accomplice to a crime.

The reason I carried this as far as I did was to have enough information to share with the proper authorities who can work to get this scam stopped.

Roberto Mecca

Here is the full account of my correspondence on this issue.

——–

Dear Denver/Colorado FBI,

My name is Jonathan Kraft.

I am a certified massage therapist in Colorado, though I’m not currently running a massage therapy business.

I also, for 6 years, have run a website called IdentityTheftSecrets.com, which is a site designed to help people protect themselves against identity theft.

In that time, I’ve seen a lot in terms of how people get scammed.

There are all kinds of scams targeting business professionals, as you well know. Because my massage website is still online, or for whatever other reason, I was contacted by someone identifying himself as Roberto Mecca.

from: Roberto Mecca: mecca_roberto@yahoo.com

The full correspondence is attached, but I knew it was a scam from the first email.

  • He identifies himself as a massage therapist referred to me by “a friend”
  • he email was sent to “undisclosed recipients”.
  • He also uses the psychological tactic of referring to me as a client a very attractive, minimally clothed, model.

 

Later, more inconsistencies

  • “She speaks good English”. I would hope so. She’s supposedly from Australia
  • She’ll be “in town” from the 10th of next month to October 2, but she needs “2 sessions/week for 6 weeks.”

However, I responded because…

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good [people] do nothing.”

-Edmund Burke

 

If knowledgeable people take a hands off approach, then these crooks continue to prey on those who don’t know any better.

I am attaching a money order which I received in the mail today.

I attempted to have them deliver it to a FedEx drop-off address (just a local FedEx store), but they instead chose to send it via UPS.

Somehow they looked me up and had this sent directly to my apartment. I’m not too concerned that they know where I live… that’s easy to find out.

In any case, I believe this to be a real money order as it has the watermark and the paper is actually heat sensitive.

I think it’s come from someone’s account named Linda Mamello in Danvers, MA. That’s the address that was on the UPS label, which I have also enclosed.

I have not contacted Linda. If Linda is being scammed, and she is far enough into this to send $4.850.15 to a complete stranger, my contacting her probably won’t make any difference.

She probably would not believe me anyway.

Can you please use what I’ve sent you to track down these guys and get this thing shut down?

In one of the emails, they send bank details for a bank in Malaysia… maybe that account can be investigated? I know it’s difficult internationally, but I trust you’ll do your best.

Also, can you please ensure that wherever this money order came from, that the money is returned to it’s rightful owner, and that this person knows they’ve been scammed?

Thank-you for the work you do to get scams like this stopped.

Kind Regards,

Jonathan Kraft

P.S. There are others being contacted by this guy/ring. A quick search of the Internet for Roberto Mecca, therapywork2@hotmail.com, or mecca_roberto@yahoo.com, will show you others who are being hit as well.

Correspondence with “Roberto Mecca” follows

——–

Therapy Work therapywork2@hotmail.com via strive4impact.com
Aug 21 (9 days ago)
to undisclosed recipients

Greetings from Sydney!!

My name is Roberto mecca I live and work as a massage therapist here in Sydney, I am originally from Italy, I am 45yrs old. I have been doing massage since 1991. I do deep relaxation massage in which the muscles relax without pain. I also do energy massage that helps people feel great when I am done. I am also certified to do pregnancy massage. I have lots of happy clients here in Sydney.

I have been looking for a  for A massage therapist for over a week now till i met an old friend yesterday that referred you to me, so i decided to contact you to know if you will be able give my client some massage  sessions. My client’s name is Ms Shenae Gillespie,  A model here in Sydney who will be needing some massage therapy sessions when she arrives the States, She will be coming to the U.S in 3 weeks time for a modeling job and will be residing in your Area temporarily until the necessary arrangement for her job has been made before she leaves.

She will be needing 1hr Massage session per day, 2 Sessions per week for 6 weeks. Ms Gillespie, asked me to come with her to the States but i told her i would not be able to go with her as i have a course i will be going for in a week time, so i promised to help her get a good Massage therapist in your Area.

Pls tell me a little more about your self,  how long have you been a Massage therapist? and would you be able to provide her with the sessions from the 12th of next Month to the 25th of

October, 2 Sessions per week for 6 weeks.

I need you to get back to me with the amount you charge per session and also let me know if she can pay you with a Certified check drawn from a US bank?

You can view some of Ms Gillespie Pictures from the link below:

http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/2662217/viewall#/28508442

Till I read from you remain blessed.

Roberto Mecca
Wentworth Avenue
Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

——–

Jonathan Kraft
Aug 22
to Therapy

Hi Roberto,

Thank-you for your contact.

I do have availability in my schedule for that time.

I am a certified massage therapist here and have been practicing for 10+ years.

I charge $95/hour, but will reduce my fee to $85/hour if all the sessions are paid in advance.

Of course she can pay me with a certified funds check.  No problem.

Please let me know what dates and times and I will get this scheduled.

Thank-you!

Jonathan Kraft, CMT

——–

Roberto Mecca mecca_roberto@yahoo.com
Aug 24 (6 days ago)
to me

Greetings!!

How are you doing today? Hope all is well with you? Am very sorry for the late reply, I was away in Verona for my daughters wedding and  just returned, Am very pleased to read from you, Hope you having a nice time over there, I am doing great here, You sound like a very nice person am sure Ms Gillespie will love your work.

I sent a copy of the message you sent me to Ms Gillespie and she is very happy you will be able to give her the sessons, I also want to let you know she speaks good English so you do not need to worry about communication, She is in Malaysia at the moment for a runway show which will end next week, She said she would give you a call when she is done with the show so you can both go over all the details you might need for the Sessions before her arrival.

She said you should make a Schedule from the 10th of next month to the 25th of October, 2 Sessions per week for 6 weeks. and she would like all the sessions to be before 1pm or after 5pm because she will be going out for her photo shoot between the hr of 1pm – 5pm and you should not Include Sundays because of Church.

Ms Gillespie said she would be making reservations in the hotel below next week and will give you all the details you will need as soon as the reservation is done, Let me know if the hotel is close to you, She would be having transportation when she arrives so i dont think distance to you should be a problem.

Hilton Hotel

About Payments, She said she is doing a Billboard job for best buy, so the payments would come from best buy Company in Chicago, She said she would tell the Company manager to make her cashier check in your name, The cashiers check is for ( $4,850 ) so that when you receive the Certified Check on her behalf, you deduct the money for her Sessions, and have her scheduled and you help her wire the rest of her Money to her account as she would be using the rest of her money to pay for her photo shoot Equipments she is renting for her job.

Pls let me know if you can assist her with that? All you need do, is email me when you received her check and i will give you all the instructions on how to get the rest of her money to her to pick up her photo Equipments before her flight to the States. she said if you will need a tip for that, it should not be a problem.

She would need the details below below so she can pass it to the Company manager to make her cashier check in your name and overnight it to you via Fedex so you can have her booked.

Do email me all the information below so i can send it to her for the Company manager to mail the Check to you.

1) Name on check:…………………..

2) Address check will be sent to:…………………….

3) Phone Number to call on delivery: …………………..

4)Total amount for sessions ……………

You can reach Ms Gillespie on this number incase you have any questions: 6148738295

Have a beautiful day!

——–

Jonathan Kraft
Aug 25 (5 days ago)
to Roberto

Hi Roberto,

Thank-you for setting this up.  I’m have a lot of appointments today, so my reply will be short.

Here is the information you requested.  Please send to my PO Box in Las Vegas as I will be able to get the check there when I’m traveling:

1) Name on check: A Great Massage
2) Address check will be sent to:
Jonathan Kraft
PO Box 29502-7405
Las Vegas, NV 89126

3) Phone Number to call on delivery: (303) 847-0588
4) Total amount for sessions: $85/session x 6 sessions = $510

Thank-you!

——–

Roberto Mecca
Aug 25 (5 days ago)
to me

pls do send me a house address, fedex would not deliver to a p.o.box Address… thanks

——–

Jonathan Kraft
Aug 27 (3 days ago)
to Roberto

Hey Roberto,

I didn’t know you would send with FedEx.  That’s great because there’s a FedEx right near to me, and this is a great place for me to pick things up.

Please send to

Jonathan Kraft
FedEx Office Print & Ship Center
2630 South Parker Road
Aurora, CO 80014

On the label, please check the box that says “hold” and I’ll go there and pick it up.

Please email me the tracking number for the FedEx envelope so that I will know when it arrives.

Thank-you again Roberto for this opportunity to work with your client!

Kind Regards,

Jonathan

——–

Roberto Mecca
Aug 29 (1 day ago)
to me

Good Morning, How was your weekend? I just Confirmed that the  package would be delivered this Morning in the Hr of 8:30 – 10:30 This is the UPS tracking number ( 1Z0478790198215795 ) You can track the package so as to know what time it would be delivered, After you receive the check, deposit the funds and when its available deduct the amount for her sessions from the funds you receive and you help her wire the rest of the funds from your bank to her Equipments rental company account so they can confirm the payments and have her Photo Equipments ready before her flight on Saturday.

You will be charged for the transaction which you will have to deduct from the funds you are sending to her Equipment rental Company , Then you will give them the information below and the Money will be wired to her Equipment rental Manager.

Below is the BanK Information to her Photo Equipments rental company.

Bank Name : HONG LEONG BANK

Account Name : LALITHA A/P SARAVANA VELLU

ACCOUNT NUMBER: 0095-20-004059-2

SWIFT CODE: HLBBMYKL

BANK ADDRESS JALAN PERDANA 4/6 PANDAN PERDANA

55300.KUALA  LUMPUR . MALAYSIA

You are to scan and email me the wire slip so i can send it to her Equipment rental manager to confirm the funds have been wired.

Lastly she wants you to set up a schedule for her on time and days she would she would be having her sessions.

I await the wire slip as soon as the wire is done.

Thank You very much

Roberto

——–
Jonathan Kraft
1:20 AM
to Roberto

Hi,
I thought you were sending this package via FedEx, so I had you send it to a FedEx location very close to my office.
Do you need a UPS address instead?
Please let me know at your convenience.
Thank-you!

Jonathan Kraft, CMT

——–
Roberto Mecca
4:34 AM
to me

Pls do call ups with the tracking number and tell them where to deliver the package. thank

——–
Jonathan Kraft
8:29 AM
to Roberto

They will only change the package delivery address for the person who sent it.
The closest UPS Store to me is at:
820 South Monaco Parkway #4B
Denver, CO 80224
Please call UPS and have them deliver and hold the package there, and I will pick up the package there.
Thank-you!

——–
Roberto Mecca
10:03 AM
to me

I have just spoke to them, they said you can come to their office to pick it up.. thanks

Another Massage Therapy Scam – Nearly Naked Models

This Massage therapy scam is actually quite good…

It probably was sent mostly to male massage therapists. You’ll see in the email below.

Roberto Mecca is likely a fake name.  This whole thing is a fake tailored to massage therapists.

If you’ve received a message like this, run away. It is a scam.

You might be tempted by the pictures… do not be. This is a scam to get you to launder money for them, similar to the Ben Raes massage therapist scam.

Here’s the email.

Again, this is a SCAM!

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Therapy Work Date: Tue, Aug 21, 2012 at 6:30 AM
Subject: Massage therapist Enquiry
To: to undisclosed recipients

Greetings from Sydney!!
My name is Roberto mecca I live and work as a massage therapist here in Sydney, I am originally from Italy, I am 45yrs old. I have been doing massage since 1991. I do deep relaxation massage in which the muscles relax without pain. I also do energy massage that helps people feel great when I am done. I am also certified to do pregnancy massage. I have lots of happy clients here in Sydney.
I have been looking for a for A massage therapist for over a week now till i met an old friend yesterday that referred you to me, so i decided to contact you to know if you will be able give my client some massage sessions. My client’s name is Ms Shenae Gillespie, A model here in Sydney who will be needing some massage therapy sessions when she arrives the States, She will be coming to the U.S in 3 weeks time for a modeling job and will be residing in your Area temporarily until the necessary arrangement for her job has been made before she leaves.

She will be needing 1hr Massage session per day, 2 Sessions per week for 6 weeks.

Ms Gillespie, asked me to come with her to the States but i told her i would not be able to go with her as i have a course i will be going for in a week time, so i promised to help her get a good Massage therapist in your Area.

Pls tell me a little more about your self, how long have you been a Massage therapist? and would you be able to provide her with the sessions from the 12th of next Month to the 25th of October, 2 Sessions per week for 6 weeks.

I need you to get back to me with the amount you charge per session and also let me know if she can pay you with a Certified check drawn from a US bank?

You can view some of Ms Gillespie Pictures from the link below:
http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/2662217/viewall#/28508442
Till I read from you remain blessed.

Roberto Mecca
Wentworth Avenue
Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

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