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Butterfly Man 03-01-09 10:46 AM

Emergency Alert! Masaji Terasawa
Attention All Street Performers!

Steve Hansen (the Puppet Man), longtime friend and event organizer notified me last evening that he has been receiving cryptic e-mails from Masaji Terasawa (the Japanese taffy sculpture performer).

The e-mails ask for money saying the "he" has lost all his props and is in England needing money to return to America. These e-mails are perfectly written... ???????? Masaji has NEVER (in my 30 years knowing him) been able to make much sense in English on paper ... thus our concern.

We have called his private #'s (at his longtime home phone and longtime cell phone) and have been unable to reach him.

Our concern is identity theft of some kind is going on here.

Butterfly Man 03-01-09 06:09 PM

Just received this....
This is one of the e-mails I received...the next one was signed masaji (not Brigette.... what's up with this...anyone?


How are you doing?Hope all is well with you and family,i am sorry that i didn't inform you about my traveling to England for a program called "Empowering the Less Priviledged Children in the World,Hiv/Aids and encouraging youth to fight Racism.

I need a favor from you as soon as you recieve this e-mail because i misplaced my little bag in the Taxi where my wallet,phone and other valuable things were kept on my way to the hotel and i will like you to assist me with a soft loan urgently with the sum of $2,300USD to sort-out my hotel bills and get me back home.

I am sending you this e-mail from the city Library and i only have 30 mins.I will appreciate whatever you can afford and i'll pay you back as soon as i return,Kindly let me know if you can be of help so that i can send you my details to use when sending the money through western union or money gram.Hope to hear from you.

Jim 03-01-09 09:28 PM

That is NOT Masaji. Not even close.

Definitely some kind of phishing/hacking thing.

I have no idea how to contact him. How about festival producers? Shelly? Bill Ferguson?

More importantly, it would be better to contact his friends and family and tell them not to send money to the scammers.

Drew Richardson 03-02-09 07:03 AM

Here's the text from an email supposedly sent out by a friend of mine last week:
"I am in hurry writing you this message and I am sorry I didn't inform you about my traveling. I traveled to England and i got my self stranded. I am really stranded in England because I forgot my little bag in the Taxi where my money, passport,
documents, cell phone which i have all my contacts and other valuable things were kept on my way to the Hotel am staying, I am facing a hard time here because i have no money on me."

I called his home in NY to let him know his email was compromised. He already knew and was dealing with levels of Microsoft service to get access back and alert his contacts. Luckily he had a work email account he could use.
Apparently the worst form of this is on Facebook, when supposedly one of your friends (or friend of a friend) instant messages you saying they need money wired and you are the only one who is online who can help them.

Butterfly Man 03-02-09 08:52 PM

Identity theft twart
Thank you Drew ... I talked to Steve & he had just spoken with Masaji and everyone is now aware of the attempted scam.

It was indeed an attempt to steal his identity.

Thank Buddha & Jim for pNet.

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