You may or may not have heard about the ongoing con being pulled by some thieving crook against those within the surf industry. If you haven’t heard yet, you will in just a second. And if you have, more details on the latest attempt have just been put out by our friends at Surfing Mag. The bottom-line in all of this? We need everyone’s help now to keep this low-life from continuing to prey on the goodwill and generosity of those he’s meaning to rob.
For the last year and a half or so, a slimy, slick scam artist has been contacting people within the industry and giving them some sob story that goes something like this: “Hey this is [insert pro surfer's name here], I’m stuck at LAX/ my car just got towed/ I’m stranded in a foreign country. Could you wire me $450/ buy me an airline ticket?” While most who have been contacted by this creepster have declined, some have unfortunately been duped into sending the money. Evan Slater and the rest of the crew at Surfer have been doing their best to put the kabosh on this, so far to no avail. The police have essentially been unwilling to help as they have given the response- “If we don’t know where he is, there’s nothing we can do about it. We’re not going to spend hours waiting for a guy who might show up when it’s a $300 crime. The best thing to do is educate the public so no one falls for it again.”
Well, a number of $300 crimes begin to add up to a whole lot more. Of most importance, however, is the fact that this crook is blatantly violating the rights of his victims and he needs to be stopped.
Here is some info that Surfing put out in order to raise awareness and hopefully lead to finding out who this is-
- He frequently adopts the following personas or drops these names: Nathan, Christian and Greyson Fletcher, Brad Gerlach, Dino and Kolohe Andino, Chris Malloy, Adam Wickwire and John-John Florence. Don’t be surprised if he latches onto another well known father/son combo in Matt and Ford Archbold.
- Names he’s given include: Shawn Hontin and Kenneth Gaul. He’s also tried to have money transferred to a company called “Going Places Travel”. They’re probably fake names but still worth keeping in mind.
- He plays on his victim’s compassion, often creating fake situations that make you feel sorry for him: Car got towed, death in the family, stranded in another country, wrongly imprisoned, etc, etc.
- If he thinks he’s sucked you in, he’ll get more aggressive.
So friends, we need anyone with any ideas or thoughts to come forward on this. Also, be aware of this situation just in case you happen to wind up as the next target of this criminal. Together we’ll put a stop to this fool once and for all!