Police Community Clubs – Community Aware Magazine

Getting reports in recently of a slight twist in the script for targeting local businesses.

The accent is now North Wales
They claim to be brining back the old style local community clubs in the form of policy clubs they
claim are going to be run by off-duty police officers.

To get this going they want you to support them with an advert in their Community Aware Magazine.

Same Scam, different script! BEWARE

Fake Overdue and Past Due Invoice Reminder Emails

Over the past few months I have recieved a number of emails that look like they are from a legitimate UK company, claiming that I have an overdue / outstanding Invoice to pay.

The email looks very legitimate as not only does it have a email signature from a real company but also includes a footer note that suggests the email has been scanned by an antivirus program and that it is certified "clean".

overdue-pastdue-invoice-scam

Unsuspecting recipients will try and open the attached "invoice" only to then infect their computer with a virus.

If you reciveve one of these emails – delete it and dont panic.  Providing you dont open the attachment, your computer is safe.

However, if you end up finding that these spammers/scammers have used your email address to send fake emails – you will probably find out when you start getting bounce back emails and emails from people telling you they dont owe you money! (like I did yesterday)

DONT PANIC…

There is a 95% certainty that they have "spoofed" your email address (setting you as the sender) and have NOT hacked your email or computer.
(Having said that its always worth getting your PC / Email account checked just-in-case)

If it helps, you can ask your email provider (usually your web designer or web hosting company) to setup something called a SPF record, this will help stop people (scammers) from spoofing your email in future.

 

 

Traders Beware – Scam Targeting Trades People

scam-alert-2

It has been brought to our attention that a focus is currently on contacting Trades People – Electricians, Plumbers, Locksmiths, etc.. where the caller suggests that you have been recommended to them to become "The Official Police" (plumber, electrician, locksmith, etc..) in your area.

You are then contacted to place an advert (which you then have to pay for) in a Police Journal, Police Booklet, Police Diary or some such similar publication. Even if you don's agree – you still get the call chasing payment. Help us spread the word and use the social media share buttons on this site to alert others of this scam before they get caught out!

Drugs UK

scam-alert-2We have had a report in from a visitor that a new scam concerning a company called Drugs UK is going on. Similar concept, here is a brief description from her email:-

Yes it was for Drugs UK. Details are Peter Johnson, 198 Livingston Road, Hitchin, Herts, S59 1RR, tel 0800 519 72984.

I cant find Drugs UK anywhere on the internet, there is no Livingston Road in Hitchin, the postcode for Hitchin is SG not S and the telephone number is currently in use. The chap that rang me said his name was Dan Brown and that the matter has bern passed to him by Drugs Uk and I spoke to a colleague of his a few days ago and said I would pay by Bacs and he was ringing to chase up payment. No such conversation was had by me.

Any further information regarding this company appreciated

Other Scams – Fine Wine Investment

Fine Wine Investment

Whilst we at Adscams are always on the lookout for charity advertising scams, we also keep and eye out for other scams.

Last week I had a phone call from a company who asked if I was interested in “Fine Wine Investing”.  Firstly investing isn’t high on my priorities list right now and as I am not a drinker, investing in Wine was not of interest to me. 

I politely said “no thanks” to the sales guy on the phone and I was then asked “why?” – ahh Mr wont take a polite no thanks, I bet he went to sales school.

I explained my lack of desire to invest in anything at the moment and my dislike of Alcohol and he then quoted an article in “The Times” as recommending a fine wine investment.  This perked my attention somewhat – I recall last year receiving a very similar phone call from a company trying to get me to invest in “Land”. – I still said no thanks.

He then continued his ploy to get me interested by using NLP techniques and trying to convince me I was not doing myself any favours by not investing. – Wont they learn – the more you push me the less likely I will do any business. In the end I said NO and he hung up.

Knowing a friend who does like his wine and keeps a special fridge to store his favourites I thought I would seek his expertise.  He kindly forwarded me this cut out from the Sunday Times:

fine wine investment scam

Recommended Book:   Wine Investment for Portfolio Diversification: How Collecting Fine Wines Can Yield Greater Returns Than Stocks and Bonds

Jail for £700,000 fraudster

ads_fraudA fraudster who deceived businesses into backing a bogus anti-drugs campaign has been jailed for four-and-a-half years.

Peter Kemp was charged with three others following an investigation into the fraud, which was worth at least £700,000, by Staffordshire Police’s Economic Crime Unit and Stoke-on-Trent City Council Trading Standards officers.

The 45-year-old, of Ack Lane East, Bramhall, led the conspiracy which involved setting up bogus publishing businesses that purported to produce anti-drugs leaflets for schoolchildren.

The businesses had names including The Publication Company (TPC), MM Publications (MMP), DotCom Publications (DotCom) and React Publications (React).

Kemp instigated call centres in Stoke-on-Trent, Stockport and Macclesfield which rang local businesses to persuade them to sponsor leaflets to be sent to a school of the donor’s choice. Upon payment, the donor received a sample leaflet but no leaflets were sent to the chosen schools.

Kemp pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to obtain property by deception between January 1 2005 and November 30 2007 to the approximate amount of £700,000 in July 2009.

Christopher Gibbs, 25, of Whiteacre Road, Ashton under Lyne; Michael Schaffer, 23, of Cotswold Road, Stockport, and Denis Earle, 33, of Heath Street in Chesterton, Newcastle, all pleaded guilty to the same offences.

Gibbs, Schaffer, and Earle were all sentenced at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court in September 2009 to 12 months in prison suspended for two years with 250 hours unpaid work. Kemp failed to attend court for sentence and a warrant was issued for his arrest. He surrendered to the courts last Wednesday and was sentenced on Tuesday.

DC Nick Walker, from the Economic Crime Unit, said: “Kemp played the lead role in the conspiracy. He influenced every aspect of the businesses and tried to hide his identity by using a number of aliases. He was involved in recruiting, training, drafting telephone scripts and setting up and organising the call centres for all the businesses.

“The bogus businesses were vehicles for fraud created by the defendants to give a veneer of respectability to their dishonest enterprise. The sales pitch used by the telephone operators, which was scripted by the defendants, promoted what appeared a worthy cause and played upon the public spirit of the people being called.

“The investigation saw close co-operation between Staffordshire Police and Trading Standards which highlights our determination to bring to justice fraudsters who prey on the good nature of small businesses.

Source: http://menmedia.co.uk/news/s/1190383_jail_for_700000_fraudster

Guest Post: one of our readers gets the police scam

policeI’ve been trying to search for where to report this scam, obviously the police have better things to do, but my argument has always been that they are trying to obtain money by deception, even though the caller ID comes up as private, I’m sure they could trace it. 

I’ve had the crime prevention/ police benevolent, etc scams, I’ve never got far enough to be sent an invoice, I like to think I’m pretty savvy in that respect.
Today the guy rang up and blatantly said he was a police office for Yorkshire police, I let him go on for a little bit, he said they were running a campaign on Drug prevention,  So I butted in:

 

Me: Do you run any campaigns on Scam phone calls,
Him: No Do you think we should
Me: I wish somebody would because you’d be the first one arrested,
Him: Excuse me (getting agitated)
Me: Well you’re just a crook pretending to be a policeman to steal money from people
Him: Would you like me to come and speak to you in person
Me: You come here in your police uniform and car and arrest me if I’m wrong,
After this I took charge of the conversation,
Me: tell me which force did you say you work for?
Him: Yorkshire
Me: is that East, West North or South Yorkshire police?
Him: East Yorkshire
Me: Well that would be called Humberside police then right?
Him: No it’s East Yorkshire ( he’s obviously got my address in front of him) but I cover all of Yorkshire and Lancashire
Me: As I used to work for West Yorkshire police I can guarantee you that you would not be referring to Humberside police as East Yorkshire and you wouldn’t cover all of the North of England. ( the guy was a southerner who didn’t have very good Geography

Him: you used to work for the police and now you’re a farmer, good career move
Me: I’d rather do that any day than try to steal money from people over the phone, you’re nothing but a common criminal, ( I wouldn’t let him speak now despite his attempts to barrack me), you’re no better than a mugger who hits old ladies over the head, just because you work behind a desk you should be locked up and I someone steals money from you so you know how it feels)

Him: F*** OFF you C*** BEEEEEEEEEP

I have grown sick and tired of these calls, I’ve had so many, they carry on because firstly nobody complains and secondly those that they make money from don’t realise they’ve been scammed. I dread to think what their hit rate is.

My attitude with any type of scammer is either hang up immediately and not waste breath if I’m busy or, if I have a spare 5 minutes let them get into a conversation, pick holes on their story until they identify themselves as a scammer ( by making mistakes) and then lace into them, At the very least I’ve kept them talking long enough to save someone else losing their money.

The best tricks I use are ask them the name of their Chief Inspector, then tell them they’re wrong, or ask them which station they’re at and name a friend who works there, make it up, they’ll agree with you and look stupid. If they say they’re in your area ask them what area it is, then ask them which town it’s near, if they’ve just got a postcode they’ll mess it up. Whatever you do don’t feel the need to be polite to these people, think of this as an opportunity that someone who has been mugged never had, the chance to vent your frustration verbally at them, I’m sure they’ll soon get sick of being called a thief all day at work by people they ring up.

Liverpool publishing firm at centre of ‘scam’ advertising probe

Weinstein Williams Website

Weinstein Williams Website

A LIVERPOOL publishing firm is at the centre of a fraud investigation surrounding alleged false selling of advertising space.

Trading standards officers raided the offices of Weinstein Williams, which produces booklets and planners, in city centre Dale Street, taking away computers and files.

A private property in Tarbock Green, believed to belong to the owner of the company, was also searched.

It is understood to be the first investigation of its type by the newly-created “Scambusters” unit, which is based in Liverpool and represents 22 councils across the North West.

Merseyside police’s economic crime unit is also involved in the investigation.

The raid followed a number of complaints from across the country about businesses claiming they handed money to Weinstein Williams but were never shown any evidence an advert had appeared or the publication existed.

The company cold-called organisations across the UK offering them advertising space within publications.

Many complaints also focused around claims businesses were pressured into paying for adverts they never agreed to.

Council officials said the evidence collected on the raids will be evaluated to establish whether there is enough evidence to bring the case to court under charges relating to the Fraud Act.

The company could also face civil action if Scambusters requests an order stopping it from falsely selling advertising.

The Liverpool ECHO contacted Weinstein Williams for a comment but the call was not returned.

Cllr Berni Turner, executive member for the environment, said: “Although Weinstein Williams is based in Liverpool, it operated across the country and tended to contact potential advertisers outside the city.

“It made it impossible for a single trading standards team to take any action against it.

“Scambusters was set up to tackle rogue traders who operate across council borders.”

Paul Noone, chairman of Trading Standards North West, said the region seemed to have a lot of companies trying to sell advertising in publications claiming to have links with charities.

He added: “Many of these companies are reputable, but some will use underhand tactics to convince small businesses to advertise in publications which only have small circulations or are never even printed.”

Adscams Comment:  It is interesting to see at the time of writing, that their website claims they are the victims of “unscrupulous publishers claiming to be Weinstein Williams.”  Have you had any dealings with this company?  Do let us know.

Source: Liverpool Echo & Thanks to Commenter “Paul” for the heads up on this.