I put an ad on pixeljoint forums
looking for an artist to do a work for me.
Joshua Astorian sent me a private email with links to his portfolio and linkedin account. I liked his portfolio and he had recommendations on linkedin.
We started talking in google talk, I described work to him in details. He said that it would be finished in 2 days and that he would start working right away updating me every hour, but asked to pay in advance. I did so tranferring him 57 via Western Union. He collected the money ($75) within 30minutes of transfer. But I've never heard back from him. Then I googled his name and found out that he ripped off other people in the same manner in 2009, 2011 and most recently 2012.
I've contacted the people that left him good recommendations on linkedin, trying to understand whether this is the same person. Apparently one individual left Joshua Astorian a good recommendation even though he knew that Joshua is a fraudster.
Below are excerpts of my conversation with Joshua where he promises to do the work. He also says that he is reliable as per linkedin:
Joshua: are you ok with paying it in advance? that would make a huge difference as I could use the cash immediately
15:40 i always request payment in advance as it really helps to have cash on hand to take care of my family while i'm working
15:41 www.linkedin.com/pub/joshua-astorian/11/740/476 my linkedin account with recent employer recommendations if you have trust issues lol
Joshua: mm, i suppose not. though, in fear of sounding like a broken record, i could really use the cash immediately. the fee is more substantial but if you could send it immediately, i could head up to the location, pick up the payment, as well as diapers at the same place (my fiance just told me we're down to 3) it would just be a huge weight off of my mind of today sorry, this is not how i normally work lol its just been a really slow month
Joshua: oh alright. well i'll be updating you as i progress, somethng like every hour or two