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[Submission Service] eQuery Online

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ChandlerBing

Hey Guys

As some of you may already know, eQuery Online is back in operation and is sending out emails soliciting new customers.

What you may not be aware of is this: they are a complete and utter SCAM!

How, you ask?

Well, the fine folks (and when I say folks, I mean one guy named Scott Rhodes) is the same person behind such other scams as Hollywood's Next Success Screenwriting Competition and Raven Magazine.

Scott operated as 'Michelle Miller' and 'Beth Taylor' during his Hollywood's Next Success scam. This scam included taking hundreds of dollars from aspiring screenwriters, then announcing the 'winners' on their website. And you know the funniest part? None of the winners or scripts attributed to them ever existed!

Then Scott became 'Zane Valenti'; a men's magazine publisher. In that scam, he had a few thousand copies of a really dodgy magazine printed up, then called for subscriptions on his website. But guess what? Not very many people ever received the first magazine. Nor did they receive the following issues. You know why? Because none were ever made or printed.

And now he's back in action as 'Dominic LaPaglia' at eQueryonline.com! Pretty sad state of affairs when you have to fall back on one of your failed scams.

But why is he falling back on an old scam?

May have something to do with the fact that his 'Zane Valenti' persona has legal action pending against him in the United States, and had to flee to the Phillippines.

Why? Because in his many Raven Magazine SPAM mailings, he contacted well established groups like photography association members, claiming that their organization gave their names and emails, then offered them discounts as members. So these associations chimed in when outrage was expressed, saying "We've never heard of this guy or his magazine!"

http://www.pdca.com/forum/index.cgi/noframes/read/1860

Rather than take his outright lies as fun, they decided that it was unacceptable and filed suit against him. Good for them! If they can catch him!

Here's the address for the Hollywood's Next Success competition, as per their emailings:

4647 Kingswell Ave #134
Los Angeles, CA
90027

And here's the address for Raven Magazine, as per their domain name registration:

4647 Kingswell Ave #134
Los Angeles, CA
90027

http://www.whois.net/whois.cgi2?d=ravenmagazine.com

Hmmm....strange.

And on all three of their websites, they had design work done by Pulse Rate Design. I took it upon myself to contact Pulse Rate Design and dig a little further.

All I could get out of them of something they saw as suspicious is that they had done some recent work for eQuery Online's 'Dominic LaPaglia', but when the bill was paid, it was paid by a Scott Rhodes in the Phillippines.

Hmmm. That wouldn't be the same Scott Rhodes, whose name was on press releases for Raven Magazine, and its parent company 'Energize Media Inc.'?!

http://press.xtvworld.com/article-print-2558.html

So...HNS and Raven share an address. And Raven and eQuery have the same person funding their web design work.

And having (stupidly) submitted scripts to Hollywood's Next Success a few years back, I was a little curious when this email landed in my inbox:

FOR SUBSCRIBERS ONLY -- Chandler Bing

1. Opportunities to Get Noticed
2. Who's Paying For Screenplays


1. OPPORTUNITY TO GET NOTICED:

eQuery Online is currently allowing screenwriters to use its email query service for HALF
OFF. Script info including logline is addressed BY NAME to hundreds of studio execs,
producers, managers and agents.

Their website can be found at http://www.equeryonline.com

They LIMIT THE NUMBER OF USERS to only 10 writers per week and commit to those 10 writers
on a FIRST-COME, FIRST-SERVE BASIS. Logging on to their website right now lets you
reserve a spot for the period starting WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 9th.

"I received 15 requests in one day from industry people! 12 want to read the script...and
the others want me to send them the synopsis!"
----Paul N.

http://www.equeryonline.com

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

2. PAYING FOR SCREENPLAYS:

$100,000-$300,000:

Writer Bill McConnell sells his drama spec "The Dying Time" to Merchant/Ivory Films for
low six figures.

Fox 2000 pays low-six figures to writer Art Gibbs for his spec crime drama script
"Slumming".

Comedy spec "Better Half" earns writer Eric Chasin low-six figures from Alliance Atlantis.



$400,000-$600,000:


Writers Sara Penn and Riley Bedard get mid-six figures from Spyglass Entertainment for
their thriller spec "Pulse".

A drama spec "The Spitfire Complex" gets mid-six figures for writer Chris Gambino from
Mandalay Films.

Lions Gate Films pays mid-six figures to Scott Markey and Greg Szew for "Android City",
their sci fi comedy spec script.


$700,000-$900,000

"Boxcars", an urban drama spec from Damon Pettigrew earns him high-six figures from
Paramount.

Writer Jay Karz cashes in for high-six figures from New Line Cinema for his suspense spec
"DSK".

Universal pays out high-six figures for spec romantic comedy "Teacher's Pet" to writer
John Lim.


$1 Million or more:

Writer Barry Zoller enjoys seven figures from Sony Pictures for his dark comedy spec
"Clones".

Knowing Scott's scam from the HNS competition of completing fabricating winners and their scripts, I decided to look up some of these so-called 'sales' that his service had made.

What do you know...not a single one of those writers, or those scripts, exist, let alone having been sold to the companies mentioned! No mention in Variety, Hollywood Reporter or even ScriptSales.com. That's a bit strange, isn't it?!

I wonder how Sony would feel if they found out they had just brought the 'Clones' spec script for a million dollars?!

There's more, but to go on would be rubbing it in. They all used similar registrars and web hosting services for their websites. They all paid for their goods and services through a man named Scott Rhodes. Oh boy.

So there is no eQuery Online or Dominic LaPaglia. There's no Michelle Miller or Beth Taylor at Hollywood's Next Success. And there's no Zane Valenti at Raven Magazine.

There's just a sad little man named Scott Rhodes, hiding out in the Phillippines, hoping his latest scams get him enough to pay the legal fees if/when he's extradited back to the USA.

Thanks

Chandler
 

WritingFool

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Now anyone that would be foolish enough to visit such a lame looking website, and actually give their money to such an organization is asking to be taken advantage of.

Be smart people!
 

ChandlerBing

Sorry guys if I just popped in and out without warning and if that lead to any inauthenticity in my claims.

I just tried to get the word out to as many people as possible.

I've been following and researching the activities of this scam artist for a number of years and I invite Scott to refute my claims if he can.

Under his many aliases, Scott has spammed thousands of people for his different ventures. He constantly fabricates quotes and fabricates people to attribute them to. As I said before, he also has legal action pending against him from the PDCA for spamming their group members and claiming to have a deal with the organization.

None of those supposed script sales in his eQuery newsletter exists. Please feel free to look them up and see if even one of them is remotely true.

Scott is more than welcome to defend himself against these claims by providing photo ID of Michelle Miller, Beth Taylor, Zane Valenti and Dominic LaPaglia.

With their clear and obvious connections, they must at least all be friends right? I'm sure they would all be happy to help their friend out when he's being accused of fraud wouldn't they?

Just get them to provide scans of their drivers lisence. They can black out the lisence numbers if they want. We don't want to steal their identities or anything. We just want to know that they DO exist!

And if they are all prepared to help you out Scott, I can arrange for a third-party verifier like a police officer or lawyer to approve the IDs. He/She can speak to each of these people via the telephone if they are willing to provide phone numbers.

That's my challenge to you, Scott. My uncle is a police officer so I can easily have him arrange a legal mediator if you wish to clear your name.
 

Aconite

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ChandlerBing, I'm making no statements as to the truth or untruth of your claims, but insisting that a person you've accused of unethical behavior and fraud can clear his name by convincing several other people to undergo an intrusive verification process doesn't strike me as reasonable.
 

ChandlerBing

Why?

Maybe if I was asking my daughter for proof of ID for every imaginary friend she was inviting to her tea party, then that would be unreasonable.

What's wrong with asking a grown man involved in fraudulent activities to provide ID for his imaginary friends?

The outcome will be the same. There will be no ID, because these people don't exist.

As I stated earlier, I am more than willing to arrange a third party to verify these identities if Scott wants to refute the claims.
 

victoriastrauss

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Chandler, given that one of your allegations is that Mr. Rhodes uses aliases, would you explain why you are using a pseudonym?

Would you also explain how/why you became involved with Mr. Rhodes? In other words, what's your interest in all this?

You say there's legal action pending against "Zane Valenti." Can you provide some verification? Which organizations have initiated legal action, and what are the charges?

I did attempt to research the deals in the e-mail Chandler quotes, and could find no mention of any of the writers or scripts anywhere else. I'm not surprised. Leaving aside all the other allegations, services like eQuery are a waste of money--they're basically expensive spam--and they often fabricate "success" stories to make themselves seem more appealing.

Here's another forum where this issue is being discussed.

Given that there's so much question at this point, I'm going to amend the title of this thread to make it less inflammatory.

- Victoria
 

ChandlerBing

I'm not going to explain myself. I don't need to. I'm not trying to scam hundreds of writers for their hard-earned money. I simply came here to make sure that YOU guys didn't end up getting scammed.

Whatever. Take my warning or don't.

ChandlerBing is a name I have used on other forums that I regularly participate in. There's no sinister motivation or conspiracy. I like my anonymity.

I thought I'd do some good with a public announcement. Didn't realize I'd be dragged over the coals for it.

The verification of legal action is already in a link contained within my original post. Or do a google search for PDCA and Raven Magazine.

I apologize if I tried to save some of you a few dollars.
 

CaoPaux

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We appreciate the warning, we're just shy of folks who post 'n' run as you seemed to do at first. Thanks for coming back.

FWIW, Chandler does "out" himself on the Hollywood thread.
 

victoriastrauss

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CaoPaux said:
FWIW, Chandler does "out" himself on the Hollywood thread.
Ah. That post wasn't there earlier today, when I posted my message.

Edited to add: On the other hand, if ChandlerBing is Michael Frost of Hollywood CA, why is he posting from an Australian ISP?

- Victoria
 
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Aconite

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ChandlerBing said:
What's wrong with asking a grown man involved in fraudulent activities to provide ID for his imaginary friends?
Because someone could legitimately refuse to do so for reasons other than the people being imaginary. I wouldn't ask my friends to do such a thing, for example, and even if I did, they could refuse to cooperate. If you want to prove these people don't exist, and so prove your claim, you can't do it by simply saying that he has to supply proof they exist or that proves they don't. FWIW, I think you're probably right that there are no such people, but I don't think it's reasonable to demand the kind of proof you're insisting on and then claim his refusal to give it to you means he's guilty of what you've accused him of.
 

Mac H.

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Chandler: Relax. We are thankful for the warning.

Really - you don't need to try so hard. eQuery's reply in another thread was enough to make me really dislike them.

But asking for certain specific proof, like you have, is not going to help. You are asking people to put jump through hoops (putting some photo ID on the web) that I wouldn't do. And since I'm fairly sure I exist, this doesn't really help as proof that they don't exist.

You've put forward your original allegations. eQuery has given an over-the-top reply which didn't address any of the issues.

Relax. You had the argument won at that point.

Mac.
 

Mac H.

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James D. Macdonald said:
It's impossible, by definition, to prove a negative.
That means that it is impossible to prove that something is impossible.

Thus, it is impossible to prove that "It is impossible to prove a negative".

Mac.
 

ChandlerBing

victoriastrauss said:
Ah. That post wasn't there earlier today, when I posted my message.

Edited to add: On the other hand, if ChandlerBing is Michael Frost of Hollywood CA, why is he posting from an Australian ISP?

- Victoria

I use a random changing proxy program, and I use it precisely for reasons like this. There are too many people on the internet with access to your personal details who like to show off their technical wizardry when they are trying to make a point, or sometimes worse.

It looks like I'm posting from Australia now...
 

ChandlerBing

...and now I'm posting from China! I can post from Brazil if you want. Or just pick a country.

And before we get into a conspiracy, I use this proxy program for everyday surfing, not just to expose frauds on the internet.

Maybe you should write detective novels instead of trying to live them, Victoria.

And everyone else, good luck with your writing. See you around.
 

CaoPaux

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ChandlerBing said:
Maybe you should write detective novels instead of trying to live them, Victoria.
*throws self into line of fire* Easy, man, we're all on the same side here. Victoria runs Writer Beware which, as a screenwriter you may not be familiar with, but is a major watchdog organization for fiction writers.
 

DaveKuzminski

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ChandlerBing, a number of us frequent this site because it's an excellent forum for discussing problems. For that reason, it's equally good for learning what's new, especially if it appears dodgy. However, I can state as one of the watchdogs, that we tend to remain skeptical because we don't want to just do a kneejerk reaction to every report. There are a very few individuals who will report false information about others who rejected them. That's why we pay attention to IP addresses and other things that many writers don't notice or worry about. We have a standard that we voluntarily strive to adhere to because that's what's expected of watchdogs.
 

Garry Bowie

Hi
Apologies for joining your forum just for this single issue (also, apologies to members of the 'arcane artistry' group, to whom I've posted the same message). I'm trawling around the forums (fora?) that Mr Bing has posted this message to. Basically, I'm a happy user of eQuery Online. I signed up to eQOL on 5th November, the query was launched on Thursday 10th. It's now the 15th and I've had nine script requests.
As one should when dealing with unfamiliar businesses on the web, I've checked my credit card account for any unusual transactions, and that's fine. I've also checked the requesting businesses (agents and production companies) and they appear to be genuine. I can find no substance to Mr Bing's assertions.
Kind regards,
Garry Bowie.
 

victoriastrauss

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Garry, why do I suspect you're not for real? (Apart from your suspiciously opportune appearance.)

- Spam is not an effective method of querying. And what eQuery does is spam. Sorry. No other word for it.

- Even if spam were an effective method of querying, it's unlikely you'd hear back from so many prodcos and/or agents in just five days. The gears grind slowly, in Hollywood and elsewhere. One response in such a short time might be plausible. Nine is not.

- Victoria
 

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victoriastrauss said:
- Even if spam were an effective method of querying, it's unlikely you'd hear back from so many prodcos and/or agents in just five days.
Not legit ones, at least. :Hammer:
 

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