Several of Mexico’s most celebrated directors have been targeted by scammers looking to rip off aspiring writers.
According to a report in Variety, directors Guillermo del Toro, Alfonso Cuarón and Amat Escalante, in addition to actor-director Diego Luna, have all been victims of online con artists who contact up-and-coming writers, posing as the directors, and offering movie deals in exchange for the rights to their books or screenplays.
Escalante tells Variety that the scam has been ongoing for two years; the blog Writer Beware — which has been sharing examples of the con — notes that Luna has been the latest to be targeted in what’s been dubbed the “Mexican Film Director” scam.
The artists seem to be powerless to halt the scam, however; back in August 2022, Cuarón sent a Twitter message “to warn of a scammer who is pretending to be me by sending messages like: ‘Project Movie Deal,’ to get people to finance a fake project. Do not pay any money or respond to this person.”
I am the real Alfonso Cuarón. Sadly, I want to warn of a scammer who is pretending to be me by sending messages like: “Project Movie Deal,” to get people to finance a fake project. Please do not pay any money or respond to this person.
— Alfonso Cuaron (@alfonsocuaron) August 27, 2022
Last week, del Toro issued a similar Twitter missive.
Please do not fall for scams advertising meetings, classes, conferences or material from people pretending to be, or represent, me or any directors unless they come from their official channels- such as this- and you can verify them.
— Guillermo del Toro (@RealGDT) January 27, 2023