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"Brian" claims to be NBC's Executive VP

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Joined: 27 Feb 2006
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2006 5:26 pm    Post subject: I am alerted to "Brian" claiming to be NBC's " Reply with quote

Early in the afternoon on Wednesday, April 21, I received a phone call from Neil Goldstein (313-222-0545), the Vice President of News at WDIV TV - an NBC station in New York. He had been contacted earlier that day by Tom Beresford, who owns a company (Beresford Company) that makes custom ID badges. Tom Beresford had received an email from a "Brian Night," using a Urangatang email address, and claiming to be the "Executive Vice President of NBC," and asking the badge company to make an NBC badge for him. "Brian" attached his photo and the NBC peacock logo and provided detailed instructions on the layout that he wanted.

As standard procedure, Tom had contacted NBC to make sure that "Brian" was who he claimed he was. The entire idea, though, was ridiculous since Executive Vice Presidents of NBC do not arrange trivial things like badge purchases. I'm not privy to the path that Tom took, but ultimately he wound up in contact with Neil Goldstein as the appropriate contact point at NBC. It was Neil Goldstein who called me and alerted me; and I got in touch with Tom Beresford to get the details and to try to make sense out of what was going on. I had a conversation with Tom, who confirmed that he had received the emails from Brian, which he forwarded to me. Later, I asked Tom which FedEx account number "Brian" had used. It occurred to me that he might have used my FedEx number (another account that "Brian" opened without my knowledge or authorization); which turned out to be precisely the case. I have since cancelled my FedEx account. The fact that he referenced that FedEx account number, though, confirms that it is the same "Brian Night" that tried to get badges as the "Brian Night" that has been working with me on the TV show.

I sent an email to "Brian" asking what his affiliation was with NBC. "Brian" phoned a short time later and I told him that I had received a phone call from someone who said that a "Brian Night" had claimed to be a VP with NBC, and that that person had tried to order custom badges and had used a Urangatang email address. I asked if he had tried to order any badges at all, and at first "Brian" totally denied it. I didn't tell "Brian" that I had the email, or that I knew that he had tried to charge the delivery costs to my FedEx account number. I withheld that information because I wanted to see if his explanation would conform to those facts before he know that I knew those facts. I said that I needed to do some thinking, and we hung up. I immediately enabled the monitoring feature on my company's private email server so that emails addressed to "brian.night@urangatang.com" were also sent to me; I needed to know what was going on and what commitments and statements "Brian" was claiming on behalf of Urangatang.

Less than 30 minutes later, I got a phone call from "Brian" saying that he had just heard from his Internet Service Provider and that they had gotten 7 complaints, that morning, of spam being propogated by his Internet account. His explanation, at that point, was that somebody had stolen his computer's identity. I didn't tell him, at that point, that I didn't believe him, because a third-party spammer would not have known my FedEx account number, and would not have told the badge company to send the requested badges to "Brian's" home address.

Over the course of the next 3 or 4 emails and phone calls, he changed his story, something that evolved and changed pretty quickly. In the end, "Brian" said that months ago, when he was doing work for NBC he had tried to order badges. He said that the evening before he had grabbed that old email and done a copy and paste; substituting new information where the old information about NBC had previously been. His explanation was that he had not finished substituting the appropriate information before he hit the Send button, so the email read as though he were claiming to be the Executive VP of NBC, when he was actually trying to say that he was the Executive Producer of our television show. He said that the NBC logo had been attached in the original email and he had simply forgotten to replace it.
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