16 Jun 2001
My name's Mike and I live in England. I'm seeing what appears
to be a clear scam but I need your help/confirmation as I've never
come across anything like it. The operation presently involves
mobile phones and works like this;
My trader advertises/sets up a website to advertise mobile phones,
prices are hidden by password. He gets a call from someone
else in the scam offering to buy 1700 Nokia phones at £240.00. A
purchase order is sent to my trader.
My trader then contacts another scam member and offers to buy 1700
phones for say £238.00. My trader's customer then pays £408,000
into my trader's bank account. My trader then pays £404,600
into the supplier's bank account. This happens as I've inspected
the bank accounts.
The supplier then sends a purchase invoice to my trader informing
him the goods are in a particular warehouse (Always the same warehouse). My
trader then issues a sales invoice to his buyer informing him where
the goods are and also issues a 'Release note' to the warehouse.
Each transaction is known as a deal and the paperwork for each deal
is kept together (Purchase/Sale/order/Release note)
The profit is always approximately the same £1,900. In 16
deals in one month over £4,000,000 went through my trader's bank
account. He made over £33,000 profit without spending a penny
of his own money.
Factors indicating a scam are;
a) His main business activity is not mobile phones. Why should
phone companies approach him for phones? Surely with this amount
of money they have great buying power and better contacts.
b) The Companies involved buy and sell to each other via the
same companies. For example my trader will sell Nokia's from
one Company for say £242.00 and one the same day submit a purchase
order to the same company for the same number/model phones at £240.00.
Basically the phones 'stand still' in the warehouse and are being
bought and sold hundreds of times in one day. Nobody ever takes
them into possession. Nobody uses their own money apart from
right at the beginning.
Nobody buys without already having a buyer. Everybody is making
a small profit. The depositing of money of such magnitude appears
unthinkable but when you think of it they are always depositing someone
else's money rather than their own.
To be honest I'm unsure what happens at the beginning or at the
end but I'm clearly seeing a scam of some kind. I've been churning
this over in my mind. Can you clear the mist? All the above
You've got me on this one. I imagine someone who understands
the process would immediately see the problem but I'm not a forensic
accountant so I can only guess.
My first thought when you churn money but not goods is money laundering. The
profit is a small expense for the service as the average cost to
launder money has gone up to about 25% due to enforcement efforts.
Beyond that I have no idea I'm afraid other than one horrible possibility.
Should your trader get a transfer based on forged drafts or securities
and he then pays out with real money or "an obligation to his
bank" before the truth is discovered the scammers could just
run off with the cash from all the participants who are real business
Sometimes it takes days or in the case of foreign accounts weeks
to discover the truth. But when the bank does they simply charge
back the person who "deposited" it, mainly the trusting
business. He is then left trying to track down the perps in
some far-off retreat.
Please let me know what eventually happens.
Thanks, I will. Laundering is a huge possibility as most of
the phones are obtained in the first place by business entities that
We're finding the evidence of say £1000,000 of mobiles being imported
by a business but when we visit the premises it's just an accommodation
address and the people and the phones have gone missing. We're
used to this but I'm not quite sure how this leads into the 'continual
buying and selling' scenario I detailed in my earlier e-mail. I'll
keep on churning it through my brain.
Also, it's quite clear that the world's criminal organisations are
heavily into mobile phones laundering their ill gotten gains with
purchase of these high value products. I believe that mobile
phone sales is one of the few areas the US is behind Europe. Almost
every individual in the UK from 12 years of age has one with 'text
Subject:: Memorial Day Software Liquidation Sale! - a new vicious
28 May 2001
I got the enclosed email and remembered some old schemes in which
people advertised merchandise in major newspapers over holiday weekends
(when it is difficult to check much)-- collected a lot of cash and
certified checks from gullible people and then ran.
The ad below is MUCH too good to be true. It is also weird
because there is no mail or phone associated with it AND the supposedly
secure form it leads to is not in fact an HTTPS but an HTTP address... and
there is no shipping charge (it's a heavy bundle of stuff) and so
on. So it CAN'T BE.
Either these jokers take money and ship nothing or they are just
collecting card numbers-- in my opinion of course. I do not
have anything to prove it and I am not about to risk the money or
the card number to do a "demo".
I contacted VISA investigations and the FBI (San Diego office) and
both took the info but wouldn't comment further except that VISA
said they are working a number of internet schemes where people are
apparently collecting card numbers to use to get merchandise before
the card owner realizes the number is stolen.
There is a WHOIS on the site owner-- and I forwarded that to FBI
as well. If you would like the full header and the WHOIS info,
please advise. I think people need to be warned about stuff like
"Pierre" (a physician in Southern California)
----- Original Message -----
Cc: recipient list not shown:
Sent: Sunday, May 27, 2001 2:50 AM
Subject: Memorial Day Software Liquidation Sale!
Incredible Software Bundle
- AVAILABLE NOW!
We have recently received an over-shipment and are actively liquidating
our excess inventory. Check out all of the great software titles
included in this incredible software bundle:
Adobe Photoshop 6.0 with Image
Taking the world-standard image-editing solution to exhilarating
new heights, Adobe Photoshop 6.0 offers innovative artistic tools
and new Web features -- and now gives you the power of Adobe Image
Ready 3.0 for advanced image processing for the Web. The first integrated
toolset for taking your images from creation to launch in print and
on the Web, Photoshop 6.0 maximizes your productivity while helping
you achieve the finest quality output in both media. PLUS...
Microsoft Office 2000 PREMIUM,
including WORD, ACCESS, EXCEL, OUTLOOK, POWERPOINT, FRONTPAGE,
ALSO included in this amazing
ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR 9.0
ADOBE PAGEMAKER 6.52
ADOBE PREMIERE 6.0
ADOBE GO LIVE 5.0
ADOBE INDESIGN 1.5
ADOBE AFTER EFFECTS 5.0
ADOBE FRAME MAKER 6.0
(All titles are FULL version for Windows
PC -- not Demos or Upgrades!)
This amazing graphics suite is available for only $49.95 (Same day
Express shipping included.) We accept Visa and Mastercard through
our safe and secure order page for your protection. Upon completion
of your order, you will be instantly provided with tracking information
regarding your order!
To order the Adobe software
suite with Microsoft Office 2000 Premium, simply click on the order
button below: http://www.fosdirect.com/order.html
If you have any questions or
comments, please send an e-mail to:
Act now, this offer is valid
only while supplies last. Limit one order per customer.
Thanks for your time and enjoy!
Boy, don't I wish it was true. A few thousand dollars worth
of software for fifty bucks. Even as cheap as I am I think
I would have sprung for it had they used a better story to dispel
skepticism, such as minor smoke damage to cardboard packaging,
rather than just being overstocked.
Option Billing Leaves No Options
I really appreciate your site. Between yours and Quatloos.com, I
have been able to reveal several scams in progress that have been
presented to me in recent years. This latest problem I face
may be up your alley, maybe not.
Recently, I received "membership packets" from several
different companies describing themselves as travel clubs and buyers
clubs. The common thread these "clubs" all share
is that they are offering a free trial membership to whatever it
is they peddle and if I DON'T take action to either call or write
them to cancel my "membership" during the trial period,
they will bill my credit card for whatever membership fee they're
Keep in mind that we were not contacted by any telemarketer or
by any other method beforehand, and never authorized these companies
to enroll us in anything, and never provided them a credit card number!
Crown Holidays "Membership" scheme
Date: Fri, 03 Aug 2001
I recently found your website dealing with scams and fraudulent
schemes. I have a story to share with you which is similar to the
posting that Mile Wilcox has on your site.
My wife recently bought a gadget thru a television ad and we were
told that we would be enrolled for a free 30-day trial membership
in "Discounts USA" (a company offering discount travel
programs and such) and my card would automatically be charged a membership
fee after the trial period unless I called up and cancelled.
We cancelled the membership on the same day.
When my credit card statement came the next month, there was a membership
charge from this "Discounts USA" and from a company called "Crown
Holidays" that we had never even heard about.
Vacation Offer No Laughing Matter
Your website is chock full of information, and I read with both
horror and fear about the Vacation
I think I just feel victim to this scam just a few hours ago. Sadly,
my friends and I had been discussing a vacation in the past few days
and I was a little overwhelmed by the sales pitch for vacations to
On looking back it seems like a really poor idea. The whole thing
went nearly exactly as describe on your page. A company called me,
told me about several packages, asked for $598, and then transferred
me to another department. I was told I would get an email verification
(which I haven't received) and a package in 7-10 days.
Do I have any recourse here? Do I have to wait to find out if I
have been scammed? All the elements are there. Including the 18 month
open ended trips. Free tours, etc. After reading your page, I have
decided that even if the package comes, and I cannot get my money
back, I will probably avoid using the "vacations" for fear
of wasting even more money on the trip once I arrive.
I've already contacted the credit card company. They are of little
help at this stage. You can imagine my horror when I found out that
cross-border crimes are even harder to redress.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Howard Ha 6/28/01
Are the solicitations offering $10-$150 for being in a focus group
legit? All of a sudden these are everywhere. I'm getting them by
phone and by email at a dreadful rate.
What's the surprise? Are they willing to pay me $10 just to find
out what kind of a sucker I am?
Good question. Any views appreciated as it hasn't hit my radar
I am writing to get your views on the sale of high priced organs
to the elderly. My mother got involved with one of these operations
about 6 years back, but I figure this has been going on forever.
They continue to have contests for 'free lessons' that you can enter
at the supermarket. If you are 65 or over, you win. They
don't want to deal with anyone younger for some reason. You
have probably seen their locations; they are music stores in the
If someone younger walks in, they are not usually even welcomed
as a potential customer if there are any old suckers around who might
hear them asking unpleasant questions. Their sales techniques
seem to be borderline legitimate high-pressure, like some of the
techniques for contests and such you describe on your site, or like
what many insurance or car salesmen use.
The prices on their organs are up to whatever a retired person with
savings can afford, maybe $10,000-$100,000. I think that my
mother got involved to the tune of $50,000 or so, and I'm honestly
glad that she did, because her life was very dull before and much
more interesting now, but I don't know if there's any reason that
someone couldn't have sold her the same instrument for $10,000 and
made a nice profit.
If you buy an organ, they promise you free lessons for life, also
various concerts and events held at the retail locations. This
keeps you coming back to the store to get pressured again and again
to upgrade your instrument to the latest model, and musical talent,
accomplishment, ability or need is very little involved in any of
It's great for some of the old folks to get out of the house, meet
people, be active, socialize, etc, but the cost is high. I
don't know much about the product, but the price tags seem way too
high. And they try to arrange the social activities so that the people
who have bought the most expensive instruments are the most respected
in the group, as they have contributed the most to the business that
subsidizes the entire social structure.
Many of the old folks who can't play too well buy and buy and buy
to keep up their self-image and social standing. My mother
has played piano for about 50 years and can play her organ pretty
well and hasn't bought anything from them in five years, but
I always wonder if she will be able to continue to resist the sales
pitches as she ages.
Maybe it's just a good example of traditional American salesmanship,
but there is so much salesmanship in that package that it's a little
suspicious to me. According to their standards, Professor Harold
Hill was an honest businessman. Maybe he was, but he was targeting
the wrong demographic. I wonder what those organs go for in estate
sales, how much markup and commission the salesmen and stores take
out, and what the manufacturer's financials look like, too.
Skeptical in Oregon 06/06/02
One company you should investigate is APPGAS.com which offer 20%
gas discount cards that work like a Visa card except it's $300 to
join and you can buy up to 15 cards at $200 each in the year.
It seems you have to buy and use virtually all the cards to even
get your money back The gas station isn't giving the discount,
so it's coming out of the membership fees.
Buying 15 cards X $200.00 bucks is $3000 worth of gas for $2400
but as it costs you $300 to join you could potentially save only
$300 bucks. The focus seems to be on promising big dividends
for signing up folks in your down line.
Also, we run an internet help desk and have been helping the elderly
get computers on the internet that they bought just cause they're promised
that they can sit at home and watch their bank accounts soar with all
the people that will join up under them. I'm really saddened
after helping some retired folks do this cause their dreams are NOT
going to be realized!
I used to date a guy who was involved in some type of investment
he called KOMAX...I
think that is how it was spelled. The gist of the deal, as
I recall, was this group of people were trying to get these
millions of dollars out of Europe.
I can't remember why this money was there, but they were
collecting money for legal fees etc. while they worked on it.
Most of the people (that I knew) who were involved had approximately
$500 - $1500 invested.
There were phone numbers you could call for recorded information
and updates. They did have a meeting once in a hotel in DC. My
boyfriend went to hear about what was being done and get some
answers and of course he gave more money.
He came back from that one and told me there was a special
offering to get an additional person in on the investment for
just $20.00. He wanted me to get in on it. I told him forget
it, I didn't want my name associated with that ridiculousness!!!
I always thought this was a scam and told him so. The phone
numbers with the recorded information kept changing and sometimes
there would be no number to call at all, or sometimes the message
wouldn't be changed for months. He would get a letter every
now and then with some "information" in it. All
in all, he was expecting to get something like $2 to 5 million
dollars though his cut kept going up as well.
Anyway, I was wondering if you had heard of this one? Is it
a known scam?
Bobbi Savaliski 06/14/02
Have you heard of the BTStrust. This is something my Mom has
gotten into for $750 and I think it is scam. She signed
a paper saying that the money was a GIFT. They told her
the money goes into a trust and that within about 45 days she
would get that back and more.
They claim to send your money in cash by Federal Express. The
Web site is www.BTSTRUST.org though a user ID and Password
is required to look at the site.
Kathy Baver 06/16/02
While I'm sure that worldwidescam has more details it is likely
a high yield Prime
Bank type scam.
I was brought into an "IPO" offering by "Camry
Consulting Services Inc" of Las Vegas for some company
whose name could not be disclosed because of privacy agreements. I
recently looked back through the paperwork and noticed inconsistencies
between phone numbers and email addresses.
From the internet I was able to find that the company did
have an address and phone number in NV, but also that the person
who signed off on this offering (Colin Nathanson) had been
given a Cease and Desist order in the State of Ohio for selling
FCC rights, and stocks without a prospectus.
I want to at least get my money back. What can I do?
Update: Wanted to let you know that after sending in my request
for a refund on August 14, 2002, payment from Camry Consulting
arrived last Friday (8/29/02). Since then I have deposited
the check, and received confirmation from the bank of its clearance. Thank
you for removing the more derogatory statements I made earlier.
Derek Pulvino 06/19/02
Lighthouse Credit Foundation and Integrated Credit Solicitation
called many times an 81 year old woman and asked for
all account balances. Their address is 8550 Ulmerton Rd #F200,
What's the scam? What do they do with balances?
John Davis 06/28/02
I found your amazing site while sifting
through info on our little friends like Chuck from Primebuytown/network/international/godknowswhatnext
and discovered your postings on igennex. Well let me tell
you something! These are the same guys that started Titan
/ Newport / TheAlphaClub etc etc.
The latest rip-off was Netguard in New
Zealand marketed by Stuart Baldwin and Malcolm Stockdale
(Great friends of John Carway).
They were networking a vehicle tracking
device (great product) they sold it out of the same igennex/alpha/titan/Newport
system for $6800 per pop. The only trouble was that the people
who joined never got to see their tracker or their money
They allegedly jumped on a plane and have
not been seen since, both wanted by the Australian/New Zealand
authorities. Check out this site www.clintrdog.demon.co.uk for
more info. We'll be adding a link to your great stuff,
Graham George 08/06/02
Lost in the Void
A "Harris County Investigator with the Texas Check Fraud
Division" informed me that I had a hot check for $33 outstanding
and I needed to pay $133 ($100 in investigative fees) or I'd
be arrested at work the following day.
After much hassle and questioning, I gave in to their demands
and paid over the phone.
The following few days I had a chance to investigate the
matter myself and found out that the check number they gave
me was not a hot check, but rather a "voided" check
I submitted to authorize a bank-draft for a salon membership
almost a year ago.
The membership was cancelled in March of this year and all
was well until last week.To try and get more information
on this matter, I went to the salon, but they could
provide me with no information on this matter other than the
actual cancelled contract.
I then found that the "Harris County Investigator with
the Texas Check Fraud Division" was actually a nickel
and dime collection agency and all they could provide me with
was the same cancelled contract and a copy of the check
that had VOID written across it 3 times. I visited them in
person and while I was there waiting to speak to them, their "receptionist" informed
me that "all their collections were on voided checks".
I advised that there was a mistake somewhere on
their part but they refuse to acknowledge this.They
said that I should "sue them" if I had a problem
with what they said or did to get the money from me. Well,
since then I've become fairly well versed in the FTC laws regarding
what they did and of all the laws they broke in their
collection process, including the fact that prior to speaking
with me, they phoned my father and another party stating
that they had a warrant for my arrest.
But now what? Where do I go from here to stop them and
their ruthless practices?
At this point I know longer care for a refund.I've
written to DA Cornyn, the Attorney General, and the FTC and
they have done nothing. No attorney I've spoken to is willing
to take this on as there is "no real money" involved.
Should I give up? Will it be worthwhile to go take this
matter to civil court? Do you know of an attorney or organization
that will assist me in this matter?
Amanda Warren 09/26/02