Benjamin Gray Architecture & Christian Smit Construction (Below)
[Published 1-20-20/Updated 11-7-20 below] While investigating a scam reported to us by a woman in Florida we are calling “Celeste,” we discovered that her professional scammer has very likely been using other aliases and websites to scam other women. He has used the name “David Aapro” (Read: “I Love You, Bail Me Out“) in the first half of 2019 and then used “Anthony Fausberg” in the second half of 2019. (Read: “I Love You, Bail Me Out Again!“) We believe that this fraudster has also likely pretended to be “Benjamin Gray” and “Christian Smit” (see below) and a man called “David Jones Sigurdsson.” (Read our article about David Sigurdsson – it is interesting to see that David Sigurdsson’s website is nearly identical to the website for Benjamin Gray!) So we feel it is important to expose “Benjamin Gray” and his website http://benjamingrayarchitecture.com/ as a fraud, as well as Christian Smit and his website (see below). As always, we invite your comments. The information we report below is based on our investigation of the benjamingrayarchitecture.com website between December 20, 2019 and January 10, 2020. (Click on images to enlarge them.)
IMPORTANT NOTE: We believe that this professional scammer has found our website and has read the articles we have written about him. We have seen him learn from the mistakes we have pointed out and try to improve his scams. And so it is possible that he will see this article and make improvements. Nonetheless, we feel a responsibility to inform people about him based on these mistakes.
Benjamin Gray claims to be a professional architect who has been doing business for decades. And yet his website is FILLED with links that go nowhere or don’t work at all. His website is also filled with spelling, capitalization and grammatical errors, as well as awkward English. Take a look at the biography that Benjamin Gray posts about himself on his website. One would think that his web team would notice and correct that his last name is not capitalized in his own bio. (Also, look at the last paragraph of his bio. What professional talks like that? What professional marketing firm would write that?) Continue reading and you’ll see that his website misspells his name and address multiple times!
Benjamin Gray says that he was “won several awards” but doesn’t list the awards or who awarded him. If you search the American Institute of Architects website for Benjamin Gray, you’ll find no such architect listed, which seems odd for an award-winning architect who became the founder of his business in 1983! The top page of his website says “Benjamin Gray works across the globe, developing over 13 countries.” And yet, the American Institute of Architects found no one by that name in the United Arab Emirates (Dubai) where Benjamin Gray says his work includes “over 49 million sq. ft. of residential and commercial space.” (It is worth noting that “Anthony Fausberg” also claims to have a residence in Dubai, AND that “David Aapro” claimed to be an architect. There are threads in all their stories that overlap which lead us to conclude that all three aliases were created by the same fraudster.)
Benjamin Gray claims to have founded his Architectural firm in 1983. Why, then, did he register his website in September, 2019? Also, the website name uses his “personal name” so why would he use a private proxy service in Panama to register that name for him? What’s the point in hiding who he is and where he registered his name UNLESS he is not whom he claims to be.
Check out some of the many errors and oddities on the “Contact Us” web page for Benjamin Gray Architecture, including the fact that both Mr. Gray’s name and address are misspelled! [UPDATE: January 23, 2020: We contacted a realtor who overseas the property at 415 Main Street, Roosevelt Island in New York. She told us “unofficially” that she did not know the name “Benjamin Gray” but could not officially confirm that information, presumably for reasons of privacy.]
Benjamin Gray has a Projects page on his website, showing 14 images of his projects and a “Read More” button to learn more about the work for each project. Except that NONE of these 14 “Read More” buttons work. They simply point back to the top of the Projects page.
Most importantly, Benjamin Gray claims that these are architectural projects he has designed in whole or part and he lists the project name along with location and completion date. Take, for example, this “Palm View” apartment complex (see below) that he claims to have designed in Haifa, Israel. If that is true, why were we able to find 39 instances of this photograph on TinEye.com, dating back as far as 2014? According to the first post on Tin Eye on December 7, 2014, this appears as an image of a resort located in Koh Samui, Thailand. Not an apartment complex in Haifa, Israel.
By the way, Celeste (the Florida woman targeted by “Anthony Fausberg”) sent us this screenshot after searching for images related to Anthony Fausberg. Apparently, Anthony Fausberg also claims to have built this beautiful villa because this photo was on his website… before he removed his website.
Next to that image above of the supposed “apartment complex in Haifa, Israel” is a project called “Villa Scovak.” Benjamin Gray claims that this villa was a residential project completed in Tel Aviv, Israel. This is a complete lie! We found that exact image in Crete, Greece. The image actually shows the vacation villas found in the village of Kalamaki on the island of Crete in Greece. Visit the Villa Avra website to see for yourself and forward to the very last image listed at the top of the website!
Take a look at this beautiful residence that Benjamin Gray claims to have designed in Dubai, United Arab Emerites that was completed in 2017/18. This is also a lie. The image is of a villa located in Benahavis, Spain near the southern coast. We found it for sale on the Terameridiana.com website on January 20, 2020. (See second image of the top images.)
There is so much more about the Benjamin Gray Architecture website that smacks of fraud and deceit but we believe we’ve proved our point. Let’s move on to some of the other names we have found associated with David Aapro & Anthony Gray to see if they pass the “smell test.”
Christian Smit Construction and Solar Energy Company, Canada
In previous articles we have documented fake names and companies associated with the name Anthony Fausberg, Benjamin Gray (Grey) and David Aapro. While researching “Anthony Fausberg” we came across other names and websites connected to him that also appear to be fake businesses and aliases likely used by the same scammer. One such name and business we found is “Christian Smit” of “Smit Construction and Solar Energy Company” in Canada. (Click on any image to enlarge it.) IMPORTANT NOTE: In early November, 2020 a woman we’ll call “Hannah” reported to us that this professional love scammer pretended to be Christian Smit and tried to manipulate her into sending money to him after developing a relationship with her for about 4 months. LOOK BELOW FOR ADDITIONAL IMAGES of Christian Smit and evidence of his fraud!
We found Christian Smit while searching LinkedIn for Anthony Fausberg….
The Christian Smit Construction & Solar Energy website is available online as of April 20, 2020. It was registered on July 24, 2019 through a private proxy service. All in all, it is a pretty poor business website and contains many things that simply don’t add up.
For example, In at least 2 locations on Christian Smit’s website it says that his business was founded in 2006. Why then was his website only first registered in 2019? And why register it anonymously instead of registering it to the very business it claims to represent?
If you click on the “Our Team” page of Christian Smit’s website OR the “Contact” page, both pull up the same webpage with 1 photo of Mr. Smit. Notice, too, at the bottom of this webpage that it says “copyright symbol 2016” which is odd for a business that was founded in 2006. Did someone mistype 2016 for 2006?
We did find Christian Smit on LinkedIn. On January 4, when first started digging, his LinkedIn account had all of 11 connections! He also said that he was an architect for “Fausberg, Inc” and we have already proved that Anthony Fausberg of Fausberg, Inc. is a fraud in our article “I Love You, Bail Me Out AGAIN!”
Christian Smit’s website lists their business address as 3501 Rue Jean-Talon O, Montréal, QC, Canada and they even show a Google pin with their name on it. However when we visited Google Maps and asked it about this address, it did not associate the Christian Smit Construction & Energy Solutions business with that address at all! In fact, a general Google search for this address tells us that another VERY SUSPICIOUS construction website owned by “Scott Millerson” called “Millerson Construction” is located at this physical address. It has not gone unnoticed that all of these fraudulent and suspicious businesses are all in the construction and solar energy industry!
Finally, if you were to visit the Smit Construction & Solar Energy website, you will find many photos on their site that are presumed to be photos of jobs that this company has completed. However, in almost every single image search we conducted of the photos on their website, we found those same images all over the Internet, including on stock photo websites. Below are just two examples.
All told, there is NOTHING about Christian Smit Construction & Solar Energy that holds any legitimacy at all. The entire site appears to be fake. And there is no other website anywhere on the Internet that knows anything about this website. Stay away!
UPDATE November 7, 2020 about “Christian Smit”:
In early November we heard from a woman (we will call Hanah) who had been in an online relationship with Christian Smit since July. Christian Smit had tried multiple times to manipulate Hannah to send him computers, Bitcoin or money. She didn’t fall for it. Here is a bit of her story in her words. Below you’ll find photos that this scammer sent to Hannah while pretending to be Christian Smit, including a photo that we can prove was a fake.
“My name is Hannah and I “met” Christian Sebastian Smit on Tinder in July 2020. He told me he was 59 years old and that his birthday was September 6, 1960. We spoke on the phone often. I asked him where he was from as I couldn’t place the accent. He said he was born in Gibraltar but moved to Australia as a baby and was raised there. I said he didn’t have an Australian accent. He replied that his grandmother raised him and he likely picked up her accent. Later when I said I’d like to go to Spain, Portugal and Monaco as I’d never been to that part of the world he responded he’d never been there either. Yet he was born smack in the middle of those countries.
I refused to meet him face to face due to Covid. Shortly after we started talking he had to go to Toronto for a business meeting and as a result of winning the contract, from there to Northern Cyprus for a job to finish what someone else had started. He was to pay everything up front then get paid by his investors. Several times he asked for my help in purchasing laptops he required to run the programs on for the job. He wanted me to go to the Apple store and buy them and ship them to him. I refused. I suggested he call them directly or go into an Apple store in Toronto to buy them himself. He said Apple wouldn’t use the company he wanted to use to ship the product and it would take too long to get there. He offered to have money wired to me. I told him I’d do it if the money cleared my account, but that would take at least 30 days. Then when he got to Cyprus he tried again, this time his translator, named Hassan Kurt, had to drive him to another city several hours away to arrange for computers to be sent. He had to pay up front and was hoping they’d get there soon as he wanted to come home to me, and his cat “Mr. Wiggles.” He sent me a few photos that I told him looked like they were photo-shopped. (TDS can prove that at least one of the photos sent to Hannah was indeed photoshopped!)
Christian had tried, and failed, to get me to buy Bitcoin for him too. And that when “Hassan” wrote me he advised me that “Christian” had listed me as next of kin which is how he was able to contact me. After several more attempts of trying to get me to send money to him – his investors would send it to me and I could send it to him… I said “umm why not send directly to you? How do you know I won’t keep it for myself???“ Shortly after this I received an email from Hassan advising me Christian had been mugged and was in a coma in the hospital. He told me of how Mr Smit had spoken of his love for me often to him and his wife and he wanted me to know that they were both praying for his recovery. He would have his nurses give him his phone back to call me when, if, he woke up. I waited several weeks before responding pretending that the email was in my junk folder and I had just seen it. I’ve not heard from either since the email I got from Kurt on August 26, 2020. The contact info I have for Smit is 1-604-330-6805. He last called me on August 18th. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Hassan Kurt’s email address is email@example.com.
In the photos he sent me that I forwarded to you the only pics that look like they could be of a man in his near 60’s are the one of him on the couch and the one on the roof of the construction project. I used that Tin Eye link you included in your story and found the photo of him “at work on the roof top” but with another man’s face. I too found the fake website when I googled “Christian Smit” I found it odd that the webpage said “Smit Construction” yet the address bar said “Jones Construction.”
I doubt I’ll hear from him again because I sent him the link to your story with the heading “you’re famous!”
Medical Record “Christian Smit” sent to Hannah is a complete fake!
This “medical record” contains 5 spelling errors
“Nationailty” “Cardio Vasculer” “Bilurubin” “Prenancy” “Is medicaly fit”
Also, medical professionals do not describe a chest Xray as “Chest -Ray”
Finally, if you if you click to enlarge, and further magnify this record and look closely, you can see that the color photo of Christian Smit was clearly photoshop’d and dropped onto this Medical Record:
Photos that “Christian Smit” sent to Hannah: (click to enlarge)
This professional scammer purchased THIS stock photo from a construction site and then photo-shopped his head onto the body of the man standing with his arms crossed. If you look carefully, besides the face of Christian Smit, EVERY detail of this photo confirms that it is the stock photo at StockFresh.com:
Here is the photo Christian Smit sent to Hannah:
Additional photos sent to Hannah: (Click to enlarge)