This is a bit of a strange blog entry. But interesting. We have a request. Do you have a calendar that was done by amanda smith or open range magazine or shooting stars photography from glenrock, wyoming, for 2nd chance rescue center of sioux falls / hartford south dakota?
This is a long long long long story. We'll try to brief it up for you here.
In 2008 we were contacted by this scamanda, oops, I mean, amanda smith. She wanted to do a story about DoubleHP in her magazine. by the time we were done talking she was also going to do a calendar for us. It was to be a 2009 calendar, and she would print for us 700 of them that we could sell as a fundraiser for our rescued horses. We needed $2,400 in sponsor money that would pay for the printing. she would do the rest. well, amanda smith and her friend Judi or Judy Colling came here and did a photo shoot. Judi was introduced to us as a professional writer who had appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show and whose writings had been published far and wide! Well we don't know if Judy can write or not; we never saw a thing she wrote for "our" calendar or magazine story. In fact, we never saw a calendar proof. and there was never a magazine story for us. We did see some individual photo proofs, but we never saw a calendar proof or even a layout idea. Many of us subscribed to the magazine too. open range magazine. some of us received one issue. I personally did not receive a single issue. I had to go through our AG office to get a refund for the 2 subscriptions I paid for. And then, the check scamanda finally sent me bounced! So I had to go through the AG office again to get re-paid. And then the check wasn't even for the full amount (by this time my bank had charged me for the bad check too).
these professional women, this photographer and this writer, did take our $2,400.00 though, that our volunteer models had received from sponsors or out of their own pockets. along with the complimentary hotel rooms and meals and transportation we provided for the wyoming women while they were here. We communicated with scamanda until the middle of October. The photo shoot was in June. In the middle of October, with no calendar proof yet, we finally admitted to ourselves that we had indeed been scammed. We couldn't see any way, if we hadn't even seen a proof yet, that we would have time to sell 700 of these before Christmas. And, we had to do a calendar somehow! we had sponsors who had paid for it. We had other people who had paid in advance for a calendar, and we had the models who had volunteered a lot of time for this. (We ended up just doing our own calendar, quickly, one of our sponsors paid for the printing for the whole thing, so we ended up paying twice for the printing since scamanda had our original $2,400.)
We filed reports with our county sheriff and with our SD AG office. We have the proof. But it was not enough money and not a big enough deal, not enough people involved, for them to go after. kind of like taking a bad check from someone. want to get your money back? hire an attorney, or go through small claims. and if it's from another state, have fun trying to get your money back without it costing you more than what you lost. These scammers have it figured out.
So anyway, we have a box of bad memories in storage here. all the documents and proof. Along with a 6 page response that scamanda submitted to our AG office that includes a blurb about how she talked to other organizations in our area who told her we don't really do horse rescue and other lies like that. And that's why she didn't finish the calendar or the magazine story because, in fact, we are the ones who scammed her! Well, we decided not to waste another penny or second on this mean person who would steal money from a nonprofit that operates through volunteers and donations. I never thought for a second that she actually talked to other organizations around here who would bad mouth our group like that. I always thought she just made that up too.We dismissed it and wrote it up as a lesson learned. And hardly trust anyone with anything anymore.
Then, just a few weeks ago, we get this email from Rosey Quinn at 2nd Chance Rescue Center. It's one of those silly time-wastin' things where you're supposed to send it on to 10 of your best friends. It's odd we got the email in the first place. We rarely contact Rosey. except to pass on possible horse neglect reports to her. This email had been forwarded several times, and all of the names of senders and recipients were there. We recognized some of the other names that Rosey sent her email to. And one of them just plain ol' made us gasp! Amanda Smith from shooting stars photography. same exact email address she used to scammingly communicate with us! Was she scamming another SD nonprofit? could she be that bold? or how would she and Rosey know each other?
Well, we emailed Rosey and asked her how she knows scamanda. Rosey said amanda did a calendar for them! can you believe it! scamanda had told us she had never done a benefit calendar before the one she was to do for us, which would have been a 2009 calendar. We asked Rosey how this came about, how she met her, what the financial arrangement was, what year this was. All we got in reply was that 2nd chance paid a certain amount of cash and got a certain amount of calendars. We have asked Rosey (several times) and another employee there what year their calendar was, and neither responds to that question. We asked Rosey if there is one of these calendars we can buy and she said no they sold them all. A former employee of 2nd chance says he/she has no knowledge of that calendar (but perhaps the timing wasn't right).
We saw an adv. for 2nd Chance's 2010 calendar that mentions a south dakota printer and a photographer other than amanda smith. So I don't think that's the one. It's possible they did 2 calendars in 2010. Or that it was a 2009 calendar that scamanda did for them, which is the year she was supposed to to our calendar. We paid her $2,400.00, and that's what was supposed to go toward our calendar. And she told us she had not done a benefit calendar yet. Ours would be the first.
So, we would really like to take a look at this calendar that amanda smith from wyoming did for 2nd chance rescue center of Sioux Falls / Hartford South Dakota. Does anyone have one we can take a look at? you may call us at 605 359-0961 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Why don't we just drop it, you say? Well, why do you think scammers scam! Because people let them! If nothing else, let this be a warning. A lesson. We sure learned from it. It's something our moms tried to teach us when we were little kids. "Don't Trust Strangers"!