Friday, April 24, 2009

209th Testing Complete!

We just finished our 209th Promotional Testing! Thanks so much to our black belts for taking time out of their day to judge our students:
Jim Goller
Richard Alonzo
Spencer Groh
Jay Schlauch
Rila Chartier
Raef Chartier
Mason Williams
Ada Chong
Yong Chong
Stephanie Trott
Elizabeth Oreck
Lance Gohl
Luis Gaitan
James Huang
Andrew Jones
Sounds like we had a great test! 8 students double-tested this month and several students got an OUTSTANDING. Congratulations!

Remember to memorize your Student Creed!

The testing results post Monday, April 27th. If you passed your test, we will be having our Belt Ceremony on Friday, May 1st at the end of your REGULARLY scheduled class (for example, if you are a purple belt, come to your regular purple belt class on Friday and at the end of class we will have a ceremony to give you your next belt).
If you can't make the belt ceremony, no worries! Starting Saturday, May 2nd you can come to your new belt-colored class and we will be awarding belts before or after class.
Check out our schedule for your new belt on our website!
And here's your daily dosage of medicine:

Make your own signs at Sign Generator!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Check Scam, Part 2!

And the plot thickens!
So I thought after notifying the FBI on Tuesday about this fake check would close th matter, but I arrive on Wednesday to find out that the fradulent check was sent via UPS from a different address than on the check, a Timken Company in Pennsylvania (the check was from CCI in Virginia).
Then the phone rings and it's a man from the United Kingdom asking if we had received a check from him. I realize this man, Gudjohnson, had emailed me regarding information for his son to train in America for 2 months and I gave him our rates and he told me he'd send me a check, although the check he sent was way too high and it didn't have any information on it from him. So now he's complaining that he's been emailing and calling us every day since Monday to see if we got his check and that something was wrong with it. When I ask him what company it was coming from or why it doesn't have his name or information on it, he says his assistant sent it so he didn't know. When I started asking for a phone number and more info, he hung up on me.
I wrote him an email right after asking for the UPS tracking number and decided to call Suntrust bank again, just to be sure that it wasn't a real check. Why would someone call every day to make sure we got a check if it was fake? Could scam artists have that much nerve?!? I also left a message with The Timken Company (who sent the UPS envelope) to ask them if they knew about a check mailed from their company.
The next day I get an email from "Gudjohnson" confirming the UPS tracking number, the dollar amount, and the CCI Company it was from. Then he told me that his assistant had made a mistake and sent us our amount plus the airfare amount for his son's ticket to America. His solution was for us to go to Western Union and wire the excess $2000 to his "travel agent" in New York. HA! I simply replied that we were not comfortable taking care of his finances with his "travel agent" and that he'd have to cancel the check from his end. A few hours later he called the studio again and Master Chong yelled at him!!!!
Today I got a call from the Timken company telling me that someone has been sending fradulent checks out using his UPS account and that he's already notified the FBI. I also called the FBI again and he told me these are known as "Nigerian" scams. I always thought Nigerian scams were the letters they'd send people about a rich Nigerian guy who needs to borrow your money until he can get out of the country and pay you back with extra, but apparenty it's any situation where these scammers (usually from Nigeria or Canada cuz it's harder to track or sue them) always send you a fake check for WAY too much money and then you deposit the check and wire them the extra money from your own funds. Then by the time the check comes back as fake, you've already given them your own good money and you get nothing in return. SCAMMERS!!!!! The FBI guy told me that his last call was a guy who had lost $60,000 in Nigerian scams!
So that's the whole dramatic week-long saga! I just couldn't believe the scammers could have the audacity to call us every day and bug us about his check!! For a minute I wasn't sure if this guy really did send a check and all he wanted was his son to come take martial arts classes...but even if he was, I'm not about to go and waste my time going to Western Union and blablabla! It's just sad because there are plenty of small businesses who would see that money as a great thing during these bad times or who just don't know any better. =(
Here's the fake check below. Notice the "Exchange for Cash" in the memo and the little warning box on the receipt portion about contacting them for questions (but there's no phone number) and not to cash it if you don't know where it comes from (to cover themselves legally). Too bad we couldn't giv them a little martial arts lesson of our own!