Scam targets local ballet company

Posted on: 9:26 am, January 23, 2012, by , updated on: 09:26am, March 16, 2012

ROCK ISLAND, Ill—At first glance it sounds legitimate, an email describing a tragic trip to London. Ballet Quad Cities director Joedy Cook’s been mugged at gun point, she’s now unable to get home, and needs $1,800 dollars wired to her as soon as possible.

“I am stuck in London, and I need money to get home,” says Cook.

The problem is Cook isn’t in London; she’s been in Rock Island this whole time with her dancers.

“Probably anybody that knows me knows we didn’t send that out. It’s just one of those unfortunate things that happen from time to time. But we’re just going to have fun with it,” says Cook.

Cook says whoever managed to hack in to Ballet Quad Cities email also did their homework. They got several key details correct, things like the ballet company’s address, phone number, they even spelled Joedy’s name correctly. And that’s why her phone’s been ringing nearly non-stop since about 8-30 this morning.

“She left me a message says, what happened and at the end she said why don’t you just call me so I know you’re not in London… So I’m going to call here in a minute,” says Cook.

Cook’s been doing this for more than 2 decades, and knows a thing or two about fundraising… But says sending cash to London really isn’t her style.

“Yeah, we need money, but not that badly. Haha!”

To be absolutely clear, the Ballet Quad Cities or any of their members are not trapped in London, and none of them have been mugged. They do say if you want to support them, the best way to do so is to buy a ticket to one of their upcoming performances.

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