FBI: Scam is targeting entertainment industry professionals

WASHINGTON — The FBI announced Monday it is looking to locate victims of a scam that entices U.S. citizens to travel to Indonesia seeking jobs from fraudsters posing as well-known professionals in the entertainment industry.

The ongoing transnational fraud began in 2013 and its victims have included writers, stunt people, make-up artists, security providers and photographers, according to the FBI.

The victims are typically contacted via email by someone using the name of a well-known entertainment industry professional, then convinced that they will be hired for a lucrative job in the entertainment industry once they travel to Indonesia — usually Jakarta — in order to complete a trial run of their services, the FBI reported.

The contact person provides a realistic scope of work documents and non-disclosure agreements and also sets an itinerary that appears legitimate, according to the FBI. Upon accepting the opportunity, victims are provided with an itinerary, but are told they need to pay their own travel and accommodation costs. While in Indonesia, they are met by a pre-arranged driver and pressured into paying U.S. currency at an exorbitant rate for the ride. They are then prodded into providing more dollars until the trip is completed or they realizes they have been scammed.

Victims are never reimbursed for the cost of the travel, the money provided to the drivers or the cost of their services while in Indonesia.

The FBI created a victim page and form, available at fbi.gov/IndonesiaShowbizScam, to identify additional victims of the scam.

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