PLEASE You MUST Be Careful

It is so troubling that scammers are out there trying to take advantage of people in these very hard times but this has always taken place and always will.

Today I received two emails from a person wanting to purchase two different items from my Ventriloquist Marketplace ads. As soon as I read them I was suspect because he used terrible grammar and misspelled words and then also asked me to send him pictures of the items in question. I always put enough pictures on the ad to show a perspective buyer exactly what the item is without needing to ask any questions.

This person also asked in his emails for me to provide my contact information. I then reversed the situation and emailed saying I needed all his pertinent information for shipping and packing and insurance and that I also would only accept payment by PayPal. His response was that he wanted to pay by money order. Never did send his information. I again replied PAYPAL only. He returned saying his PayPal account had problems. I replied “SORRY…. No more emails.

I received an email this evening from another seller on the Ventriloquist Marketplace who received the same type of email from the same person. I let him also know this exact story but I wanted everyone to know that if you have something on the Ventriloquist Marketplace to be aware of this and you must always be very cautious with online sales. If it feels wrong IT IS !!!

Also if you receive a money order for more that the price you are asking it is for sure a scam. Never cash a check (money order) made out for more with the request that you send back the difference. Your bank will clear the funds to you then 2 or 3 weeks later the check bounces and you are stuck having to repay the bank.




Dan Willinger is a ventriloquism enthusiast and ventriloquist figure collector. He has been collecting for over 25 years. His collection of ventriloquist figures now numbers over 100 figures of which there are over 50 Frank Marshall figures. Because of his love for the art of ventriloquism, Mr. Willinger created the website Ventriloquist Central. For more information about the website, go to:

Copyright 2008 by Dan Willinger

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This entry was posted in Personal, Ventriloquism/Ventriloquist, Ventriloquist Central, Ventriloquist Figures, Ventriloquist Marketplace. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to PLEASE You MUST Be Careful

  1. Isabella Price says:

    I had this same problem too when trying to sell one of my mascot costumes. Pretty much the same thing; the guy refused to use paypal and only a money order and wouldn’t give me his info. I quickly refused and blocked his emails.

  2. Lee Dean says:

    Also, it is too bad about all the garbage on ebay, using the descriptor ventriloquist dummy and ventriloquist dummy, puppet. For the time being the descriptor ventriloquist figure cuts out most of the garbage, and sellers of figures should use that only, not ventriloquist dummy or ventriloquist puppet, for sale of vent parpharnalia. FlimFlam Man, made in Lawrenceburg, KY ten miles from my home, covers the situation you described, called a pigeon drop, I think. See,

  3. Dan Leighly says:

    I received the same email scam in the past few days. The guy stated that he wanted to buy mu Dummy. he used poor english and also wanted me to send my contact info and extra pictures. Then he offered me more than I asked for. When I asked for his mailing address and contact information, I did not get a reply. I thought it was Fishy! Thanks for the heads up Dan.

  4. Chris Orlando says:

    I’ve been emailing Mr. Johnson back and forth, figuring I’d call his bluff, waiting for a fake Money Order to print out or whatever. Anyway, so far, he SEEMS to be legit. Here’s the last email I got from him. Just wanted to run it by you and see what you think. If this IS legit, I owe your site a debt of gratitude, because I could really use the money right now…
    Here’s his email:

    I got your information and the payment have mailed out to you…You will receive the payment next week.
    The payment includes the handling fees which after your bank as clear the money to you..You will forward the handling fees to the agent that will be coming to your location for pickup with all needed documents..
    The shipping company will contact you with all needed information and process of the pickup.
    Notify me as soon as you received the payment..
    Have a nice day and Get back to me..

  5. That is the scam exact to what I was talking about in the blog!!! He is sending you a money order which looks PERFECT , but it is a fake , for more than the amount. You will hand over the difference plus the item and then when the check bounces you have lost the amount of the check ( you must repay the bank ) plus the money you turned over and the ventriloquist figure too.!!

    Just mail him back the check or better yet call the FBI or Local Police when you receive it so that the authorities can go after this scammer. This is exactly what I was talking about in this blog!!!

  6. Dan Leighly says:

    I got the exact same email my friend, If a money order arrives I will be handing it over to the Authorities for Investigation. It won’t be going into my bank account. I also replied back to the scammer not to bother me again. Dan Leighly

  7. Tom Crowl says:

    This is an old scam that has been applied to a variety of items and even services. For a while, people were trying to “book” acts to perform overseas, using the same ploy. Common sense has to be used. Great topic Dan – thanks for educating people about this!

  8. Bob Leathers says:

    Thanks for the “heads up”! I got the same exact letter from a Mr. Johnson. I contacted the FBI on-line. I thought something was fishy but when I read your message I was convinced this was a scam. Thanks again to everyone who posted on this blog.

  9. Dan Leighly says:

    I notified Yahoo about this guys Fraud Scam, and sent them copies of his emails to me. I received word today that Yahoo has taken appropriate action against this individual. They wouldn;t say exactly what, but they probably shut down his email account at least for now.

  10. Dan Leighly says:

    Just another heads up, Mr. Johnson aka Spammer is already back. He contacted me this morning with a new yahoo email address. It was now it is
    I already reported it again to Yahoo, but beware of this guy should you get an email from him. Dan Leighly

  11. Theo Roos says:


    I too tried to buy Steve’s DVD course on figure building but was unable to complete the transaction on PayPal from my country, due to our central bank refusing PayPal transactions. (You may remember my emails in this regard.) However, I received assistance from a very kind US Magic Dealer I often do business with, who’s identity I will keep to myself. He accepted my payment (and a little bit extra) by credit card (as always) and then ordered Steve’s course from you through PayPal and thereafter shipped it to me. I am sending you this e-mail to show your other foreign legitimate customers that where there is a will, there is a way – therefore there is no need for insisting on strange dealings. You are quite correct in saying: “If it feels wrong, it is.”

    One more thing: The DVD course is everything your advertisement claims it to be! It is truly worth much more than the amount asked! Thank you very much. (It would however be nice (as you allow for some other items in your “Marketplace”), if a double barrel payment option of either PayPal OR legitimate credit cards could have been available to overseas customers. Nevertheless, if I were you, I would also structure my business methods so I feel most comfortable with them – so, since it is not impossible for a PayPal-less customer to also obtain Steve’s product, there is no need to change your tried and tested sales and payment approach).

    Kind regards and all that,

  12. Steve Hurst says:


    First off, I’m so glad you were able to obtain the DVD course, “The ULTIMATE Guide To Building Your Own Ventriloquist Figure, Volume 1”. I know you were having issues and happy that you found a way to work around them.

    Right now, we are only set up to accept credit card payments through PayPal. Hopefully in the future, we’ll be in a position to set up a merchant account and accept credit cards that way.

    One more thing, thanks so much for the accolades about the DVD course, “The ULTIMATE Guide To Building Your Own Ventriloquist Figure, Volume 1”. My goal in creating it was to help those wanting to build ventriloquist figures.

    Please keeping touch and let me know how you’re progressing.


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