Linux Corporation scam targets the unwary
Be on guard against alleged representatives of Linux Corporation offering to buy your photos -- it's a scam. That's the message that Indian models and photographers should take to heart, if the experiences of Rohan Patwari and Praveen Toshniwal are any indication. They tell a story that, indirectly, shows both how well-known Linux has become and how mysterious it is to people outside the free software community.
Recently, Patwari and Toshniwal individually approached Linux.com with almost identical stories. Both are young models with profiles on Explocity.com. Although Explocity is a legitimate Indian city portal site, their profiles may have allowed those claiming to be from Linux Corporation to locate them.
Both men received emails from someone going by the name Dwight Franklin, who claimed to be a freelance model scout from London acting on behalf of Linux Corporation. Franklin's message, which is full of spelling mistakes and typos, describes the Linux Corporation as "a renowned company" that "is known as one of the world's best SMTP, POP3 & IMAP email service providers and web developers." According to Franklin, the company wished to buy 30 photos at a price of £5,000 apiece for use as screensavers, desktop wallpapers, "flash templates and webmail compose backgrounds."