Beware poker community, an imposter is adding poker players from a fake Skype address acting as if he is the real Craig Tapscott, who is a respected writer for Cardplayer who has done several articles and interviews with the biggest poker players over the years. He was only given away by the fact that he has 13 contacts in his Skype contact list with Sweidsh as his language, which seemed suspicious to high stakes player Martijn Gerrits.
The fake Craig Tapscott contacted Gerrits in order to conduct an interview with him for Cardplayer magazine, saying that he would write the interview differently from what is the industry standard.
Picture of the Skype profile that added Martijn on Skype and asked to do an interview with, claiming to be Craig Tapscott.
The Skype Conversation
Below you can find the Skype conversation between Gerrits and the person claiming to be Craig Tapscott, which clearly shows that he is acting as if he wants do an exclusive interview with him.
[26/03/2014 16:26:53] Craig Tapscott: Hey Martin, Happy birthday
[26/03/2014 16:26:58] Martijn: ty :)
[26/03/2014 16:31:38] Craig Tapscott: I was wondering when you have some time over we could discuss perhaps an opportunity for me to make a coverage with you for cardplayer magazine
[26/03/2014 16:35:38] Martijn: Ok tell me what are your ideas exactly
[26/03/2014 16:36:25] Craig Tapscott: Well, I've seen some interview about you but still not one good enough to expose the player behind the name in the spotlight
[26/03/2014 16:36:48] Craig Tapscott: If you want i can write down some ideas and email you a concept of the interview
[26/03/2014 16:37:00] Martijn: wich interview have you read?
[26/03/2014 16:37:44] Craig Tapscott: I read a few.. the dutch pokernews article
[26/03/2014 16:37:55] Craig Tapscott: and another with pokernewsdaily
[26/03/2014 16:38:04] Martijn: ahh yeah I remember that 1, and that other 1 also
[26/03/2014 16:38:19] Martijn: I try to stay as a person out of the spotlights nowadays
[26/03/2014 16:39:00] Craig Tapscott: How about you give me a chance present to you a concept idea.
[26/03/2014 16:39:34] Craig Tapscott: if you don't like it I will fully respect that,, but I have a feeling you might. I've met poker players that quickly get skeptical about interviews because it's the same old same old, but I work in a different way in my honest opinion
[26/03/2014 16:41:11] Martijn: ok just sent me an email to *************@gmail.com and I can have a look at it
[26/03/2014 16:41:53] Martijn: will it be in the magazine or on the website?
[26/03/2014 16:42:10] Craig Tapscott: in the paperform magazine
[26/03/2014 16:43:39] Craig Tapscott: Great, I will let get that done, thanks for giving it a chance and I do apriciate your time
[26/03/2014 16:45:50] Martijn: will it be for the European or the American Cardplayer?
[26/03/2014 16:46:45] Craig Tapscott: the american right now
[26/03/2014 16:47:00] Martijn: ok
[26/03/2014 16:47:03] Craig Tapscott: Id have to check with my boss but we could maybe put it into both if that would be ok
[26/03/2014 16:47:52] Martijn: if I do it then both is obv no problem
[26/03/2014 16:48:19] Craig Tapscott: well i mean some european players dont want to much exposure in Europe because of tax issues, especially Germans
[26/03/2014 16:48:27] Craig Tapscott: I don't know how the case is in Netherlands
[26/03/2014 16:48:28] Martijn: can I ask you how you came to ask me for an interview?
I am still playing highstakes poker, but I havn;'t done any interviews for years, so tried to stayed out of the spothlights
[26/03/2014 16:48:42] Martijn: so how come you thought about interviewing me all suddenly?
[26/03/2014 16:49:41] Craig Tapscott: I'm a researchive journalist, with alot of friends in the poker scene and your name popped up as pretty much a highstakes talent that we have not covered to much
[26/03/2014 16:50:12] Craig Tapscott: So I got curious and dig a little bit more and I brainstormed it with my boss and he liked the idea
After the conversation Gerrits felt that something was off, due to him being out of the spotlight for several years. The suspicion only grew stronger when he took a look at the Skype profile and saw that Craig Tapscott only had 13 people added on Skype and that language was set to Swedish, despite Tapscott not being from Sweden.
At this point Gerrits was still not completely convinced that it was a scam, as it could be a new Skype profile and the language settings could simply be a mistake. He then received an email from Dropbox, inviting him to be a part of a folder which contained suspicious files. At the same time the imposter wrote to Martijn on skype:
[26/03/2014 18:21:19] Craig Tapscott: I shared a folder with you trough dropbox, should be sent to your email - take a look when you have an oppourtunity and let me know what you think
[26/03/2014 19:07:35] Craig Tapscott: Did you get my invite?
The email that he received from Dropbox said:
"Craig invited you to a Dropbox shared folder called "Martijn Gerrits" and left you this message:
Due to the overall weirdness of how things had evolved, Gerrits decided to find the real Craig Tapscott on Facebook and send him a private message, which said:
"Hi Craig, Can you please confirm to me that this is your skype: tapscott.craig Someone added me with this Skype and he is claiming to be you, but he only have 13 friends, so I don't trust it for 100% Cheers, Martijn"
Tapscott provided Gerrits with his real Skype information and quickly shared the conversation he had with the imposter with him:
Craig Tapscott: That is not me, thanks.
Martijn: for REAL? SICK!
Craig Tapscott: Not me
Martijn: Someone acts to be you and tries to scam me then, this is really bad!
Craig Tapscott: I had people pretend to be me on Gmail etc to contact poker players.
Craig Tapscott: It has happened before. a few years ago someone contacted Phil Galfond and did same thing and Phil called me
Craig Tapscott: i am on with skype chat now with skype explaining the situation
Craig Tapscott: they are going to shut him down shortly
Craig Tapscott: going through a verification now
Craig Tapscott: thx for getting this to me. I will do what I can to shut this down immediately
Craig Tapscott: skype just sent me a user verification form. in process now
Craig Tapscott: filled out form and sent to SKYPE. they will respond in 24 hrs. They have my real bdate and asked to confirm other actual contacts I have on my account to verify
Craig Tapscott's Statement to iGaming.org about the situation:
"I have great relationships with most of the known players around the world and hate that someone would try to take advantage of that. I have been very lucky to create friendships and contacts in the poker world that are generous enough to share their knowledge and trial and tribulations in the game in my work for Card Player. I am saddened by this outrage of ID theft and taking immediate actions to shut it down."
We are hoping that the 12 other people in the fake Craig Tapscott's contact list have not lost any money so far on the scam and we would like the community to be aware that such scams are currently happening. If Craig Tapscott has added you from the profile, do not open any of the files that he is trying to share with you through Dropbox and delete him from your contact list.
The imposter may also use other well known names from the industry to try and scam money out of poker players, so always double check if you are talking to right person if you have got a contact request from a well known person in the industry which you find weird.
The real Craig Tapscott does not add people on Skype this way and he does not share interview ideas through Dropbox either. Lastly we would like to confirm that the Facebook link provided is for the real Craig Tapscott, eliminating all chances of this just being a major misunderstanding.