(CelebrityAccess) — Promoters, festivals, and venues across Asia have been targeted in recent weeks with a sophisticated email “phishing” scam.
China Music Radar reported that talent buyers throughout Asia have received fraudulent emails soliciting offers for top touring artists, including Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Eminem and System of a Down from individuals purporting to be the artist’s reps.
In a screenshot posted by China Music Radar, an email, supposedly from Hannah Edds, an assistant to Eminem’s agent, Steve Strange at X-ray Touring, invites the reader to submit an offer on an upcoming tour by the rapper.
The scammers appear to know enough about the business to use common industry parlance and to provide the emails with a semblance of a believable offer solicitation.
According to MCR, the scammers respond quickly and provide follow-up materials, including riders and marketing assets in what appears to be a bid to collect deposits from unwary talent buyers.
While the emails are crafted to look genuine, including the use of a company signature block, they originate from a domain that is similar enough to the actual domain to pass casual scrutiny. In the case of the Eminem email, it originated from xraytouring.co instead of the company’s actual domain of xraytouring.com.
The false domains are registered in China and the registrations are less than a year old but provide little else in the way of tangible clues.
Other telltales appear to be the use of anonymous salutations with emails addressed to ‘Dear promoter’ when the purported agent in question is often on a first name basis with the talent buyer who received the email.
In the wake of a similar round of fraudulent emails last year, the UK’s Entertainment Agents’ Association released a checklist for promoters to avoid this kind of swindle.
“Please be very careful if you get emails that don’t quite look right. Follow the common sense steps that the Agents Association have suggested and don’t send any money until you have double checked that the ‘agent’ is indeed who they say they are. Please get on the phone to the agents you are doing business with – everything on email makes these scams so much easier for people to instigate,” CAA’s Emma Banks said at the time.