BBB says Cleveland event planner staged bogus fundraiser

Fake fundraiser Craigslist scamThe Cleveland Better Business Bureau says a local event planner who has logged a history of failing to deliver now is engaging in an employment scam using ads in Craigslist.

After Kelly Wilms sat through a job interview for Media Giant, a man who called himself Rod Marshall asked her to do a couple of tasks before she got the job, she told the Cleveland BBB. One was to sell tickets to a May 23rd fundraiser at the Cleveland Hyatt Regency.

When Wilms became suspicious and called the BBB to inquire, the organization found Media Giant was registered with the Ohio Secretary of State under the name Rod Bowling."The individual that has been connected to the company through various documents first came to our attention back in 2005 with a company doing business as Tiger Media," said Cleveland BBB spokeswoman Sue McConnell. "Since then, this individual has been identified in our files as doing business with ... Big Planet Media ... and the recent incarnation was a company called Media Giant."

Media Giant still has an A listing from the BBB, but Big Planet Media has an F, the organization's lowest. The BBB also checked with the Hyatt and no May 23rd fundraiser was ever confirmed, nor did it happen, she said.

Bowling has a history of not following through on events, McConnell said, and other businesses have complained to the BBB that his businesses did not deliver on promises.

Consumer Ally's attempts to reach Bowling through Media Giant were unsuccessful.

When looking for jobs on Craigslist, the site notes some precautions:
  • Meet in a public place,
  • tell friends and family where you'll be,
  • and trust your instincts.
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