Liverpool publishing firm at centre of ‘scam’ advertising probePosted on March 28th, 2010 92 comments
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.
92 responses to “Liverpool publishing firm at centre of ‘scam’ advertising probe”
Mrs P April 7th, 2010 at 16:19
As this company targets “traders” (opposed to “consumers”), the traders are not entitled to the statutory 14 day cooling off period. Therefore, unless you very specifically say “no”, you may find you have entered into a contract. The company are robustly litigious so be very careful what you say.
Reported to be calling businesses in Bedfordshire on 6th April 2010 so the raid does not seem to have deterred them.
John Harley April 8th, 2010 at 23:50
They are still trading! Beware….they are linked to other companies that share the same database.
John Harley April 8th, 2010 at 23:50
They are still trading! Beware….they are linked to other companies that share the same database.
Pip roucet April 19th, 2010 at 19:04
Have recently won a writ against them and they have refused to respond. this goes back over 2 years and they certainly do not publish anything like they claim. Based in Hants, why would I like to place an emergency plumbing advert in Lincolnshire and Tyneside. They promised me it would be local to my area for 80,000 printed copies. To Date I have not received an Art proof or invoice.
the Original Advert was upgraded but they took out both fee’s and refused to give me a part or full refund. In the End I used there own tack-ticks against them. They and all the staff need bringing down and locked up, the staff knew what they were doing.
D Martin April 23rd, 2010 at 09:38
We have been a victim of something like this , all saying that we placed ad three months ago, which is not true. There is only two of us here that run the holiday business. I had another call of the same this morning, I did not get the company’s name, but the guy had a Liverpool accent. Can anyone advise me as what action I can take.
my daughter is at a unniversity in liverpool and she was looking for a summer job and entered a job vacency on internet she was told that she had got a managers post with no qualifacations and was going to be earning 100.000 a year and was going to leave uni for this job luckily i was worried and went on internet and noticed a lot of letters sent in of this scam so could somebody email me
Jackie Talbot May 13th, 2010 at 14:02
have been bitten by this firm Weinstein Williams, selling me advertising space for a magazine they claimed was for West Mercia Police. I cancelled the ad within 24 hrs once I had checked out their website & it became clear that they did not represent the West Mercia Police at all.
It has been impossible to get in touch with them via telephone and there has been no response via email. I recieved a demand for payment this week so have attempted to contact them all over again. I found myself getting a bit worried until I googled them for complaints and found that there were several complaint forums and a few expose articles, so I copied and pasted the links to my original emails and sent to their customer service dept wth smiley faces attached telling them to enjoy their reading material and advising them to start looking for new jobs!! Ha let them get worried for a change instead of spooking hard working honest folk!!
Diane May 13th, 2010 at 15:23
yep me too.. sold advert for my acupuncture business in a magazine with promise of reaching 18000 emergency services workers households
Now can’t get hold of them and haven’t received any artwork..
what can be done??
going to contact my bank to see if they can reclaim the money
I agree they should be locked up
We are a small business and took a call from a Police Office 10 weeks ago asking if we would like to advertise in their in house emergency services magazine. As the peice was relevant to our industry I said this would be a good idea BUT needed to see evidence of the magazine first and needed to see in invoice and costings before any monies were paid.
Whilst the ‘police’ were off the phone and getting the information we required I Googled the phone number and found out that they were a ‘scam’ marketing agency. I quickly called back and said thanks but no thanks, you are not the police.
I managed to find 100′s of links to complaints all over the internet.
Today we took a call from them again explaining that our advert was ready to go live. I did tell them that we have never offered up an advert and never agreed to work with them. Their response is ‘they have a recording of the phone call where we made a legally binding commitment to pay for an advert’…I told them to shove off basically and they told me their marketing agency would be in touch.
Since taking that call this morning I have spoken to Consumer Direct and also Wirral Police (as the scammers are based in Liverpool). The police are aware loosley of the company and will look into it for us.
If you HAVE paid money then Trading Standards suggest you may well end up in court HOWEVER any reasonable judge will see that Wienstien Williams are mere scammers and you will be fine.
If you HAVE NOT paid any money and they chase you, simply refer them back to the Wirral Police and Trading Standards / Consumer Direct.
Chris June 4th, 2010 at 12:20
A company, suggesting that they are calling on behalf of the ‘National Crime Prevention Council’, are cold calling people with the scenarios as descibed above…’we recently spoke to you, and you supported our last campaign etc’
They are operating out of Room 503, Cotton Exchange, Liverpool, L3 9LQ
Lorraine June 30th, 2010 at 13:48
I was contacted back in January for what seemed a reasonable price for an advertisement in publication called StreetWise magazine. The man who called had a strong liverpudlian accent and claimed his name was John and from the police. After receiving drafts for the advert I paid monies to [edit-Name passed to police]heard nothing else about it. Have had calls in the past two days from what sounds like the same man thanking me for support. [edit-name passed to police] then called to make arrangements for payment. I said I’m not interested. Liverpudlian phoned up today saying this was an advert for SafeGuard’ magazine (or something along those lines). SCAM!!!!!
admin June 30th, 2010 at 14:20
Lorraine – Thank you for your comments. I had to edit out the company name as we are currently in a legal case with them. We have however passed theur details to the police who are currently investigating these companies.
Oh boy! This is happening tome, and they may have changed their name, or there is a lot of them operating from the cotton exchange, Liverpool, L3 9LQ. I have been offered advertising space from a cold caller from CSPlus selling themselves under the guise of Community Safety Plus. I have said I did not agree to anything. I have now received a letter, (poorly photocopied) from Commercial Credit Solutions, who also appear to be from the same building. The demanded monies, have now gone from the original £95.00 to £161.00 with further threats of ‘litigation’. But, for what?? and, where on earth did they get my details? Please, something must be done.
The names I have of these nasty people are:
Community Safety Plus, 16 Cotton Exchange, Suite 503, Bixteth Street, L3 9LQ. Phone number 0151 236 1871. Jennifer Roberts was the cold caller, and the second follow up caller was John Anderson, (who then sent me a ‘second’ copy as I had not received the first ‘advert proof’). The woman called again, and said I must pay them £95.00, I do not have £95.00. and hung up. I have received a letter from Commercial Credit Solutions, 5th Floor Cotton Exchange, Old Hall Street, Liverpool, L3 9LQ, phone number 0151 236 4284.demanding £161.00. Can they not be closed down?
I’m a new small business in yorkshire, I have been scammed by all these companies & I’m getting treats daily, has anyone heard of imperial media???:
I also received a call form (the police office)over a year ago, I foolishly agreed to place an add, after many phone calls and e-mails to them they prommised that the ad would be printed. I have just now found I have been screwed. I contacted trading standards, they say I need to write to George Michel Williams t/a Wenstein Willims to ask for money back and then take him to small claims court. I know he live in Tarbock Green but I dont know the full address, can any one help. I should have known but much wiser now.
I have just been contacted by a Liverpulian publishing company wanting to sell me advertising space. /they said they would email me with all the details but have not requested my email address.
I do not know where they got my details from and since the intial contact 31 minutes ago I have had 7 further calls from them. The second one was from a different person and he wanted to confirm my order!! I had not placed an order. The 7th call was from the original caller giving me a mobile phone number to ring if I have any queries. They seem very eager to get me to confirm my order and rather reluctant to post me any information. If you would like the name of the first contact and his mobile number I have them saved.
Just a quick update, I have phoned the advertising company and told them I did not wish to advertise with them and not to contact me again. The woman I spoke to did not know of the person who had contacted me and so could not put me through to speak to him.
Thank you for this website, keep up the good work.
I really can’t believe that this scam is still running. Many years ago I was involved with several of these advertising companies as a rep/manager and I’m glad to say I got out and never went back to it.
Mel,the reason that they are so keen to confirm your order is because that is the only conversation that is recorded.
The amount of bad debt these companies aquire is amazing, something like 50% of advertisers never pay! The reason for this is sales reps move from one adscam company to the next and call the same clients they sold space to at the last company they worked for. Most of the time the sales rep knows the client will never pay but he/she doesn’t really care because they will of moved on to the next company before the their bosses get a chance to clawback any commission.
To the best of my knowledge no bogus charity publisher has ever successfully taken anyone to court! If you receive any court papers check to see if they are stamped by the court. If they aren’t (and they wont be) then bin them or take them to trading standards!
If you are contacted by a debt recovery company chances are it’s run by the same people who sold you the advert in the first place. Trust me, they will give up eventually if you refuse to pay.
Angela October 25th, 2010 at 14:06
Please could any one tell me if they have had any dealings with Emergency Services Press Of Liverpool. I am at court letter stage and am very frustrated, they recorded me and only wanted a yes and not interested in the details. Help someone please.
Ive not long started up my buisness and i think im now a victim of this scam.
I got a phone call from a man with a liverpoolian accent and he offerd to sell me advertising, and stupidly i said yes, ive recived the artwork and everything,
but stupidly ive only just decided to research the company, and it all points to this being a scam,i now fear that i will have to pay them the money and when i last spoke to them on the phone they told me there was no way i could cancel
is their anything i can do?
I im at court letter stage aswell these people can not be trusted ive had loads of phone calls asking for payment but im not paying for something i do not want please could some one help .
I was caught by these people not long after opening a new company. Very niavely I took the opportunity to have an advert which would reach so many people in the emergency services and public sector. However the art work sent to me was awful. To cut a long story short luckily the took the advrt artwork from my business card which was tiny. I kept getting demands for the advert but managed to get out of paying as the ad was not what I was being charged for. I did contact the police who confirmed that they did NOT endorse the magazine and have never heard of it. My husband has started a business and low and behold, they are already phoning. I just told them I was reporting them as impersonating a police office is illegal. They soon hung up.
Nicole December 13th, 2010 at 15:26
Have a company been removed from this post, as I’ve searched a company (I’m not putting their name in just in case it gets removed) and this post come up, but their name isn’t on the page?
However, they are still trading and making a nuisance of themselves calling up small companies like ourselves forcing advertising on us when we don’t want to advertise. They are based in Birkenhead, and seem very much like Weinstein Williams in their process.
Joseph December 15th, 2010 at 01:07
I have had endless calls last week from people trying to sell me electricity, so when I hung up on what I thought was another one and got a call back from claiming to be the police, I panicked and let him talk me into the advertising after trying to pull out for ages.
Got another phone call minutes later from a man claiming to be confirming this order when he said he could offer me the ad cheaper I finally clicked that it was a scam and told them him I wasn’t really sure I wanted it and didn’t have anyway to pay that day so he said he was going to call me back and created a password.
Called back the next day my wife answered and told him to get lost and we knew he was a criminal and to go away, as we had not recieved any invoice either by post or email as promised.
Didn’t hear anything from last friday till yesterday with the guy being very hostile and claiming he was going to send Bailiffs and if I agreed to this instrustion, I told him the only instruction I would give him was to go to hell as I knew my rights and could cancel the order especially as I hadn’t confirmed any form of payment. He tried to claim his verbal contract was founded in law.
He kept calling but I kept hanging up, my nerves were shot so I had to close my studio/shop at lunch time. Number 0151 652 1615
Today got a call from an unknown number claiming to be their Solicitor and they were taking out a CCJ against me I repeated the Distance selling regulations of 2000 against them they said I had waived my rights to that over the phone by setting up a password. He was told we were looking forward to his letter.
My nerves aren’t doing too good, I am only a studio potter I don’t earn enough to be closing my shop/studio every time they call.
tracey walton January 22nd, 2011 at 11:44
Yes this happened to me yesterday, I received three calls but didn’t fall for the whole “if you give us your card details we can give you a discount”.I received the email but probably won’t receive any literature as they have promised within 3-4 working days along with a call regarding your company logo for the artwork.If you receive the call it will show as “blocked” on your phone.Be warned as these people come across as very professional and courteous.
I took out an advert with one after a fairly convincing phone call. I received a copy of a fairly glossy magazine that included my ad. There were other local companies listed who I know of.
After 3 requests I received a copy of the local area distribution list. Doctors surgeries, dentists etc. Of the two I chose to call in to they have never heard of the magazine. I also have not received a single enquiry from the advert (I always ask how people found out about us).
I believe I have been scammed from reading the above. I was also told on receiving the magazine that I shouldn’t forward it to other people as scammers would get hold of it and harrass the advetisers using details from the magazine. It took me a few seconds to click that surely the magazine was freely available to everyone at lots of venues???? HMMM.
p j turner February 4th, 2011 at 00:30
THIS is happening to me!!I got caught with the same,yesterday,and again today,claiming they are from the local council,etc.BUT THIS HAS BEEN RUNNING FOR OVER 15 YEARS NOW!!,AS I GOT CAUGHT OVER 15 YEARS AGO,WHAT SORT OF MONEY ARE THEY MAKING!WHEN FIRST CALLED 15 YEARS AGO,they spent ONE AND A HALF HOURS RINGING ME ON MY MOBILE!So far this has happend to me at least 10 times in the last 15+ years.They obtain most information from the yellow pages,where they copy the advert,WHICH IS A BREACH OF COPYRIGHT!.buyer beware!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Bother got cought by these guy’s Nov10,had been concidering doing some advertising when I got the call. Have spoken to trading standards, who have been great but mistook me as a consumer not a buisness to start so the first letter of cancelation was not correct….. Still waiting to here what I said yes to in the call, but bet your bottom dollar all the stuff they promised won’t be there!! noticed Chris got caught the same way, what did she do ??..And how did CAZ get off paying???
Have since heard of some one else in the Town has paid for an add but not received anything!! which breeches what they told me as I was going to be the only therapist in my field within the county to advertise with them
ghazala February 24th, 2011 at 00:24
i have been conned by two companies one is essex road safety and the other is advanced publications on 18 january 2011. Cant believe ive been stupid twice! but had another call from 3rd company today but luckily wised up. They apparently have recording of me accepting the contract and their legal department will be in contact! Im surprised that they sent me a sample and all the paper work in the post that is so convincing. Will the bank not get the money back as you have paid for goods that you did not recieve?. I don’t usually fall for it, but have been had this time.
Nathan March 2nd, 2011 at 13:54
Can anyone strike a connection between Alderleys and Weinstein Williams?
I had a call from these people today saying I would be the recommended Hypnotherapist in the area for police personel for the next 12 months. I got suspicious when they started quoting advertising rates and the guy sounded too much like a salesman. I guess I had a lucky escape, karma will get them eventualy.
Rob Sims April 5th, 2011 at 14:33
My Medical practice has been inundated with threats of legal action for adverts. Our practice manager had allegedly commissioned space on various websites. Only today we have been aggressively chased by a character for hundreds of pounds for an advert (they say) was ordered last August. A companies house search showed that the company was only incorporated in January 2011!
In some cases scammers have cut and pasted items from our website and added them to a website that they have created. This does not constiture a legal right to charge us!
The scammers don’t advertise the websites in any media and so there is never any traffic seeking the sites out. So, the advert is always a waste of money.
If you have money to spend on advertising, seek out reputable agents and ask for proof of their work and evidence of how they drive people to thir sites.
We have been told on several occasions that a taped voice order was made of one our staff. The letters say that the company has obtained a judgement and the baliffs will be entering our premises to seize equipment.
Never Ignore and hope it will go away.
Don’t panic and don’t secumb to ther threats.
Do not pay and never give bank or credit card information to them.
Robustly challenge and demand proofs of purchase in writing.
Ask for a copy of any alleged taped order conversations.We always do this, they always agree and not one has been forthcoming!
There are sites listing the names of known scammers. However, they create new companies to stay ahead of the game. Check out the company on the Companies House webcheck service, invariably they are brand new with no track record.
Report to the police, some forces are interested others less so.
Don’t bother with trading standards they don’t deal with commercial issues.
If the scammers call and threaten you or your staff, end the call by saying that you are calling the police .. and do it!!
Some of the scammers also have mates with heavy Mancunian voices (It’s invariably Manchester!!). These lovely characters pretend to be collection heavies. Don’t be thretened and end any difficult calls immediately.
Stay calm and professional, don’t let them intimidate you or upset you, that’s their main means of forcing you to pay up.
They will tell you the debt has gone to court and daily fees are accruing on the balance. In the absence of documentary evidence of court action or of earlier recovery activity it won’t have gone anywhere near court!
Don’t let them get away with this folks. If in doubt take legal advice and chat with your local police.
My son received a call from them recently, initially he said no – they called and were persuasive, he said he would look at the art work, which he never received. They started to harass him for payment, however, he does not know what he has purchased! who pays for something they cannot see! Apparently he could view what he purchased online, but he had to accept their terms and conditions first.
I have advised him to ignore them and not to pay – he has now received a FINAL DEMAND from a debt collector, again i have advised him to ignore this too, they do not have rights without court papers.
I may also advise him to report them to the office of fair trading for harrassment, but i think after reading what has been posted here I may also suggest he send them the links to their own bad press!
What do others think I should advise?
BCS multimedia PO Box in Liverpool
these are active now maybe they have changed identity to carry on
i worked for george williams for inexcess tv in citrus house for about a month in april 2011. it was my first sales job and was told to sell this app called recovery finder from itunes. i thought it was dodgy from the start. i was told one morning they had to let me go and i never got paid!. they gave me a cheque and it bounced. i feel like such an idiot for being so naive. i made 3 sales in that time then when i went to get my money was told i didnt make any. i bet the people didnt even get their advertising space. ive just found all this out by typing his name in google.
Well I have been conned over several months, may as well put my hands up!! I have bought advertising space in a few magazines, always I have been pursuaded that I have agreed this, they seem to wait a while, todays latest told me they spoke to me on 12th Jaunuary. I have taken a stand and told them Im not doing any of it, and of course then come the threats, they will take me to court, they will ring me all day everyday until I agree to pay. I have not nor will I, These ones are a new one Ive never heard the name before Sunnymead publishing?? has anyone else had experience of them, they say they are doing crime prevention magazine. Perhaps thats their idea of irony.
I think I am in the middle of this scam. I have been contacted a few times from a company called Alexander Group, or something like that. They say they are creating a magazine on behalf of Police Community Clubs. The website looks good and there is a lot of information on it too. The call is always from a blocked phone number and always saying that I had advertised in the past. Unfortunately I did place advertising in a magazine that was supposedly on behalf of Kent Fire & Rescue, I even received a magazine with the ad inside, although noone else in the area received such a magazine. I lost over £350 then.
The calls this week have been asking me for early payment which I refused, I said send me an invoice. They said they would send an invoice and artwork to approve. I always create my own artwork as we have a company brand to promote, so I would not let a print firm design something I had not had any input.
I have reported this to Kent Police and received a report number which is going to the intellegence team.
Ripped off !! May 14th, 2011 at 11:51
Well I’m so glad we weren’t the only suckers fooled by these crooks who have already been paid for the magazine publication…which I havn’t seen anywhere in Hull where our business is… and they are now threatening us with Court for a Wall Planner which I did not agree to, have not seen a copy of, do not know where it has allegedly been distributed to, yet they sent me a taped recording of me sounding very bewildered and agreeing to it .I think that they have played around with the recordings as lets face it with computer technology available a child could probably do this and they do go on and confuse you which I think is part of their tactics. We too are a new small business and it seem after reading several forums about Safeguard Magazine it’s ourselves they target. I am so angry that we let these criminals scam us but even more so that they are now threatening us with legal action … aaarrrggghhhhhh !!!!!
Received an unsolcited call from a professional sounding gentleman who claimed to be the press officer for the fire and police services. Without prompting he quickly moved into his sales patter about how as a local business I could help support the emergency services. I stopped him at this point and explained that I had worked for the Home Office and was confused as to what role he claimed to hold. At this point his verbal pattern fluttered. He rapidly changed his approach saying “I can see I have obviously confused you as to my role, so I will send you a press pack which will make things clearer and ring you next week”, and then promptly ended the call. Trading standards and Police will be informed.
Max Green June 8th, 2011 at 16:34
My wife was caught by this we realised early but makes no diffrence. We are at the early stage.
Considering calling there bluff and taking them to the small claims court as it cost very little.
I wouldn’t expect them to turn up therefore would win by default. But if they turn up it could get difficult at the moment just going to ignor and file the letter and report them to the police for harrasment.
Possible Advertisement Scammers targetting new business in Wiltshire and elsewhere – Advanced Publications, Liverpool - Salisbury Computer Repairs | Salisbury Computer Repairs June 12th, 2011 at 14:41
[...] A little bit of digging and I found this from a year ago, involving the same company – http://www.adscams.co.uk/liverpool-publishing-firm-centre-scam-advertising-probe [...]
[...] A little bit of digging and I found this from a year ago, involving the same company – http://www.adscams.co.uk/liverpool-publishing-firm-centre-scam-advertising-probe [...]
Hi Sue, I have been scammed by Sunny Meadow too. They also pretend to be Data Protection and Data Removal Service. I haven’t paid them – they apparently called me in January too. They keep sendng me letters and have chased me by phone too. But I won’t pay.
Hi Ian, I got involved in charity advertising because of the Police Communities Club of Great Britain, which gets very positive coverage on the intenet. They deliberately raise money by offering advertising in their magazine knowing full well that anyone who advertises with them will be targetted by the scammers in the future. I have also been in touch with Kent Police.
we had a call from what appeared to be the emergencey services magazine well it did not dawn on us until later the same day a scouser called anyway we emailed to cancel then we called them and he reckons under section 13 we could not cancel i blew a fuse and threated the fella who remained calm i said i would call at the office a so called london address then i said tell me the proper address he said it was in london i said no chance a scouser in london any way if they send anyone or start the baloney then we will certainly deal with them however vision is another bogus group and this firm is espress anyone with information of where it it please enlighten us .
espress ltd registered in london last year scouser well what more can we say, buisness line was engaged ect ect EMERGENCY SERVICES BULLETIN iS A SCAM SCAM SCAM SCAM 1 liverpool street london ec2m 7qd probably a virtual address
Karen June 23rd, 2011 at 13:27
emergency services press just phoned me, yes a scouser. i was initially sceptical and een mentioned a scamre wallplanners I came accross at work. I agreed to the discounted ad and confirmed the order to the second caller.
Now i don’t want anything to do with them – any advice from anyone?
Do you have an address for Inexcess TV?
Steve July 5th, 2011 at 12:50
Karen, best advice I can give you is:
1) Email/write to them confirming the cancellation
2) Speak to your local trading standards office, and possibly the only dealing locally with the company.
3) Check if your business has access to good legal advice via trade association membership or your issuers. If not, have your company consider joining the federation of small business or similar. I’m a member of the fsb, and have access to a *very* useful legal advice line to offer good support.
Martin July 6th, 2011 at 18:17
Well, well…..I have had these people on the phone yesterday and the same applied. Guy rang me stating they are from Energency Services and he is the principle press guy. Sounded great deal and then another guy rang stating that I was happy with the way his collegue had sold the ad. Discounts were available if I paid straight away. I then realised that all I had was two phone calls and I was going to part with over £300!! Stalled him and the invoice came today for £420. I got a bit curious so started looking for this Aware EMS Magazine. Could not find anything except scam forums!!
Just suussed in time and going to tell him politely to go and take a rain check when they call and I’m sure they will!!!!
Just got off the phone from someone claiming to be with the police, and taking advertising for a publication promoting their ‘drink aware’ campaign. Circulation of 60,000 copies and following rates:
1/2 page: £395
1/4 page: £295
1/8 page: £195
Lowest rate dropped to £145 after I declined.
Usual stuff of being the only company of my type in the magazine (I am a plumber) and them wanting to help new businesses.
It did sound good, but fortunately I declined as I’ve been receiving non-stop calls from all manner of people trying to get me to buy premium versions of their free advertising services.
Glad I googled this though. What a bunch of scum.
They are trying to scam me at the moment after I agreed to the advert in principle over the phone. They are calling themselves Emergency Services Bulletin and also using Espress Ltd as a front for their company which is apparently registered at 1, Liverpool Street London EC2M 7QD. I have a poorly typed letter from a John Peterson confirming my order. I will pay a visit to 1. Liverpool Street and post again with my findings.
I just got called by a woman called Susan with a Liverpuddlian accent, something to do with a £99 ad in a charity mag which I think was crime prevention. She said she had spoken to me in April, when I said she may have spoken to my clloeague, she rang him. When he denied all knowledge she rang me back. I started asking questions and stated that I did not expext to recieve and invoice and would not pay it if I did, then she hung up. Losers!
I have been the victim of the same outfit …. just after i set up my business i got a call from someone who said he was a police officer , naively i said i was interested and recieved another call from someone else 10 mins later talking about pricings and sizes…. i paid 1 month later for an 8th page ad in "Safeguard Magazine " ,,, two weeks ago i recieved another call from them saying i had signed up for 4 issues!!?! …..have told them i am not happy and began to think it was a scam and they could get lost , but after reciving some artwork and a CD through the post with my " verbal contract(?) on it i am now a little worried as the are demanding 230 odd quid this time….hey ho it turns out i appear to be right, what a bunch of crooks
Bethan August 4th, 2011 at 15:43
I was called this morning by quite a well spoken man asking to speak to the Principal by name. I told the man that the Principal was on leave until September but could I help. He explained in as vague a way as possible that he was phoning about a schools booklet saying that the Principal had agreed to an advert and that the ad needed to be proof read before publication. As I am the Principal's PA I knew full well no such agreement had been made, also I was fully aware of this scam as we had been fooled last year and ended up with an invoice (which we did not pay). I asked him which company he was calling from and when he was unable to give me a straight answer I told the man that 'he had tried this on us before' at which point he became very aggressive and said 'how dare I speak to him like that', that he had proof of the signed purchase order (I raise all the PO so again knew this was a lie) and said he would send an email immediately – suffice to say no email has arrived. He asked for my name but was not willing to give me his and then said how very rude I was and that he 'was not willing to carry on this conversation' and hung up. The cheek of some people – they try to scam money and when caught out get irate and aggressive!?!
Got a call from a man with a Liverpool accent calling himself Phil, said he represented the emergency services and could place an advert in the exclusive emergency services magazine 'Aware!'. Said that a draft of the advert would be sent to me for approval together with the invoice for £175 for a years subscription. I received the invoice and draft copy of the advert from a company calling themselves Wallace Sutton – simply media. Address at the bottom was a Bristol address (probably false). I e-mailed Wallace Sutton to inform them I would not be taking out an advert with them. Shortly afterwards 'Phil' phoned enquiring why I had cancelled. I advised him to search google and have not heard anything more yet! [edited by admin]
My husband is a small one man builder, close to retirement and terminally ill. He made a poor judgement and agreed to an advert. the artwork arrived but it was a poor advert and featured our home address. I was unable to reach them on the 'phone, by email and their website is 'under construction' so I got suspicious, did a web search and found this site. Now, we are in a complete state of panic and quite worried, this is money that we can ill-afford and i see that previously people have been threatened with the baillifs. This is our home what can we do to protect ourselves. we would be grateful for any advice.
yeh. inexess tv is at citrus house, dale street
I have just got my gas safe registration in and was called by wllace sutton. I have just been looking to pay on there website and it was down. I have just stumbled across this and apears to be a con..is this right ? I am not going to pay this 148 quid how are they getting away with this?
Just experienced the same thing from a gent called 'Phil'-they sound very convincing but having done some research- I wont be paying their invoice!!
Went onto their website http://wallacesutton.com/contact.html and left them some choice words with a bogus email address-If everyone did that it would cause them some grief just to have to delete them all!!
Best thing to do is not panic, They cannot send bailiffs etc as they are NOT a legit company, I have just been dealing with them, i decided to phone my local police to see if the magazine was true and i can confirm it was not, So am waiting for them to call so i can give them a right earful ! After speaking to the police he told me the best thing to do is if you get a call like this from the emergency services mag etc to get the police officers name and number (THERE WILL ALWAYS BE A POLICE OFFICER DEALING WITH THIS) dont get fobbed off by someone who says there a crime prevention officer and dont have a number (like they tried to do with us!)
If they send anything to you strike a line through it and send it with a letter saying you are cancel;ling all dealings!
In late August I was contacted by someone who called himself Alan Marshall from Wallace Sutton (on behalf of the Kent Emergency Services). I was told that my Ad was ready to go out and that I needed to pay £395 and was entitled to a 10% discount if I paid by credit card. I told them I’d never heard of them and had never agreed to this ad, to which he replied that I had agreed to this ad in June. When again I told him that I hadn’t placed an ad with them, he got quite aggressive and repeated that I still owed the money. He then told me that he would get on to his head office in order that they could play me a recording of the telephone conversation where I agreed to the Ad.
Well that was nearly a month ago and I’m still waiting to be contacted…..
Graham Costin September 21st, 2011 at 16:27
Has anyone else had the Firms PLATINUM PRESS, PEAR DROP, ADVANCED PUBLICATION and IMPERIAL MEDIA calling and sending invoices for advertisement in THINKSAFE,CRIMEPREVENTION AND STREETWATCH they can not take no for an answer
I am currently experiencing the same thing, was called by a man claiming to be from the police and would i like to place an advert in their emergency services 'charity' publication. Unfortunately i said yes and an advert was placed, i had already paid and then was sent a payment reminder. After phoning BCS multimedia they told me they had no record of payment – so who have i paid? I started to do some background research and found that i have paid a company called peardrop? then found various forums like this all saying the same thing – scam! I have received final demands from BCS and an invoice from Wallace Sutton as well? It has now been passed on to CFand L debt collectors who i think are the same people? they have an advert in the back of the magazine – funny that! I have joined TAPA who are now dealing with this, hopefully it wont reach court!
Hi, I have done a couple of adverts with Advanced Publications, I have just checked companies house and They are now in liquidation. http://companycheck.co.uk/company/05003003.
I have never recived the magazine that I paid for, I think I have been scammed.
Nathan Barnaby October 4th, 2011 at 13:48
There are so many of these companies out there it is quite shocking.
There seems to be a very weird connection between these guys and also another group who go by the name of Wyvern Media, but they are based in totally different areas.
Wyvern Media publish titles like Lincolnshire Telegraph and London and Home Counties Today, but use the same sort of tactics and even sell awards, which I'd won after only a week of advertising with them. Luckily, I hadn't paid the first one, and certainly wasn't willing to pay £948 for an award, I mean how do they get away with it and do people actually buy them?
Latest news on Wallace Sutton…..
Their website has disappeared and I understand that they are under investigation by both Bristol Trading Standards and the Police.
Ive been trading for 15 years in the plumbing and heating sector and have been contacted by these idiots on numerous occasions generally a guy with a scouse accent is claiming to be selling advertising in a police magazine I nowadays just string them along wasting a bit of their time like they waste mine and then mug them off when they think they have a deal they then scream every name down the phone and claim because I have agreed verbally that im legally bound to advertise which is not the case they actually tape your phone conversation and play it back to you as if this is some kind of contract Then come bailiffs letters from the same PO Box number from where they scam ignore these as well as no court in the country will take these seriously just remember not to pay them a penny and eventually they crawl back under their stone
Still at it. Bloody crooks.
They are still out there, the Companies to look out for are Advanced Publications, 'publishing' (lol!) Street Watch Magazine, Sigma for Blue Light Magazine and Vision for yet a third publication. All come up with telephone numbers in Ormskirk although they all have office addresses in Liverpool. The smooth operator making first contact has so far come up with 2 pseudonyms of John Phillips and Alan Anderson both times claiming to be a Police Officer, fortunately for us he has an extremely distinctive and recognisable voice. They have all been reported to the local Police and Trading Standards. Blue Light magazine pretends to be a police backed magazine which you do get sent a copy of, you will find that the only advert which has a recognised phone number is yours! All the rest do not exist.
DAVID LE QUESNE November 25th, 2011 at 11:43
We operate some 50 pubs in Jersey, and are regularly targeted, with companies such as above phoning managers and using the pretext of having spoken to Directors in our operation and someone purporting to be a Police Officer. These calls precede usually by only a few minutes the scammer who mentions the previous call and attempts to solicit a yes or agreement from the manager to place an ad'.
They then submit an invoice with the usual T&C which mainly relate to how they collect their unpaid invoices, currently doing the rounds is an outfit called Community Service Plus. We have asked that they bring an action against us in order that this scam can be identified and opublised in the press. I will keep the forum updated as to any progress or otherwise.
I also fell for this last year. Plausible sounding guy from The Emergency Services Press Office cold called me. Idiotically I agreed to accepting an ad over the phone and to a 'no cancellation' cause as the magazine was due to be pubished very soon. Very quickly realised it was a scam as the artwork was ridiculous and google search brought up an equally ridiculous 'site'. I cancelled by letter and email which was obviously ignored by the scammers. Now I am getting phone calls – I do not answer. And emails which I am also ignoring. I have already contacted the ASA, Trading Standards, Action Fraud and am going to the police today. Has anyone actually had debt collectors call / take goods to recover the 'unpaid' so-called invoice?
Dominic February 18th, 2012 at 13:00
ive got involved with what seems to be a scam selling false advertising space in you guessed it emergency services magazines, titles of magazine,s IN ATTENDANCE and ON THE BELL spoke to loads people who have paid and seen no work for there money taken some guy rings calls himself john scot asks you to fund the magazines etc etc anyway i got hold of five copys and guess what im not in one, only the one sent by the printers!!!! GATEACRE PRESS LIVERPOOL, what happened john scot were is all the work i was gonna get from the ad, were has my money gone, were is my advert , never mind i have evidence and will be persueing!! the matter trading standards and police helping
Gill Nuttall March 29th, 2012 at 11:03
I have just spoken to the Managing Director of Hannay Associates, Steve Russell. Still didn't get to the bottom of how my firm's name appeared on his list of people to be called, but did mark his card insofar as I know exactly every bit of adverising that we commit to – and their attempts to tell me they are confirming my booking made in January and "do I have copy, still going ahead" etc, wasn't going to wash with me.
CHRIS BRETT March 31st, 2012 at 19:57
Hi, I have been inundated by a firm from Liverpool called IMPERIAL MEDIA , the lady that spoke to me last week said that I spoke to her in Jan 2012 then it was a childrens charity, which I politly told her sorry no thanks Ihave spent all my money on advertising for this year , she mutter somthing like F*** OFF , and then the phone went dead.Last week when she phoned me she kept on about a advert in a mag that I had ordered for a £145 , Isaid no thanks , she said we can reduce the size of the ad for £65, I said no thanks, so she said you will have to pay a £45 to cancell as it was about to go to print. In the mean time time she kept on chatting me up to spend a week end in her caravan in Bogner Regis. By the way the mag is called THINKSAFE . I have not sent them any money. Also have you herd of MODEPR also from Liverpool with a mag called OVERDRIVE. Many thanks Chris
I am in the midle of a battle with this company and they are sooooo rude. Firstly I have been told I have more money than sense as I do not want to listen too statistics on internet crime. I have also been told that I should be careful whoI speak to on my phone. I have asked to listen to the transcrpt of the call where I was supposed to agree to something and as I asked the question can I cancel this the tape stopped and they would not let me continue to listen. I am awake late at ight and rather upset by this, which is so unfair. I will now answer the calls and ask them to wait till i find the person they are looking for annd just leave them on mute so I can get on with the things I need to do. I may even sleep now thatt i have shared this.
peter gotwise April 23rd, 2012 at 07:52
i have had this gateache press ring me as well after money for adverts ,its so rude they must have no work some man with strange voice rang an waffled on about how great the magazine was for the fire service its a ripp off he sounded a ripp off and this company i checked with trading standards are heavily known for this and have been reported many times ,its a clever scam where they can decide to print your ad or not, you cant check because they only send the magazines to fire stations! you can get a copy with your advert in if you pester them BUT thats the only copy so they run with the dosh its years old scam my dad said, so mean rude and a ripp off run them in the courts i say
beryl hughes April 24th, 2012 at 15:43
I have been dealing with these people for the past 2 years – having been caught once and finding a website such as this and realised it was all a scam. I still get phone calls but put the phone down. The calls have all been about "community police", different campaigns, drug awareness publications etc. However,. this week I have had a call from someone who says he is from Wellington Barracks representing soldiers' charities.
Anyone else had this call. ? I have spoken to Wellington Barracks and they know nothing about it
James Atkinson May 11th, 2012 at 12:29
I have been got buy them they keep phoning me regarding more payments required etc etc an they keep changing their stories i have been got for about £400
We have paid Imperial Media £140 for an ad in their Think Safe. Mode PR have had £165 off us (think that was OVERDRIVE), BCS Media have had £145 – this has now, apparantly been sent over to debt company CF&L, We have paid EMS Publishing £295, Security First £290, Hariss Cromwell £367.60 for an ad in their Gareway mag, and also Frontline have had £50 and got very aggressive when I told him on the phone the other day that I was taking this all to Trading Standards. Also concerned that CRASH UK is a scam, their address is Birmingham instead of the usual Liverpool, but similar script. Wish I hadnt been so easily conned out of money, we have only recently started our company and all these have put us in the red with our bank.
Scamming for advertisement sucks. Everything is for money I hate that… :/
James Atkinson May 16th, 2012 at 17:50
They are still activelly selling and are trying to get £95 out of me i spoke to then not 24 hrs ago
I know this is a long thread but i have had dealings with Imperial Media and it came to a head today, i am a local electrician and took out an advert in thinksafe magazine which i thought was ok at £95 my prrof was sent, i altered it then paid my invoice. then today he rang back telling me the website advert was now due for proof and payment, i did not sign up to any website advert, he told me i did as the 2 were linked together, we argued for some time on the phone i asked him to prove it by playing back the recordings after much more arguing he ended the conversation with "you should check what you sign up to in the future and stop wasting my time, we have a saying in this game, all buyers are liars, have a nice day" i shall make sure they never get any business from me again. i have also read a forum on moneysavingexpert about this firm and they are linked to several other firms, the source of this information can be backed up by documentation the firms are:
ESM Media – Millenium Media – Weinstein Williams Assoc – New Look Media Ltd – Range Publishing.
I'm just not buying advertising from any cold calling any more.
wendy June 27th, 2012 at 23:26
Hi, Could you please tell me if the people you are dealing with are Imperial Media Services Ltd about adverts in Think Safe Magazine? Many thanks
jon smyth July 10th, 2012 at 15:08
You can add Assured Publishing to your list of scammers. Same format.
jon smyth July 10th, 2012 at 15:10
Assured Publishing. scammers that record the phone call then threaten you.
Matt Callanan September 25th, 2012 at 15:49
Just to let you know that this is still going on. I have countless calls, some from Manchester, some from liverpool – the most recent calling themselves community aware – still working on behalf of my local police (or so they say… even though they weren't sure where my local police were!) and are still pulling the same old con. I kept them talking for a while, asking them to send me a copy of their magazine so I could have a look at it first. They told me it would cost the company too much, so I even offered to return the magazine after and also provide a cheque to cover the cost of postage. They still didn't like it and when I mentioned that I was worried because other "community magazines" are scams, they got really defensive.
If you want to advertise for free, just put an ad on yell.com – if you want to pay to be in a magazine, then contact your council and find out who to contact.
Other cons that are linked to the Manchester number (they seem to forget to withold their number) are… Facebook advertising and Google Adwords. These especially made me chuckle as my "business" is to do with design and marketing.
I think this bunch of wasters now go under the name of Assured. Keep your wits about you.
Heya i’m for the primary time here. I came across this board and I in finding It really helpful & it helped me out much. I am hoping to offer something back and aid others like you helped me.
They are still operating, still scamming. The name they are using is Quayside Publications (uk) Limited – Suite 247 The Corn Exchange, Drury Lane, Liverpool Tel 0151 227 9262
I've just had a call from a Liverpudlian lady, telling me about the emergency services magazine that's going out this month!
I fell for this once in the past – I did get a copy of the magazine, so it possibly wasn't a complete scam as many people have experienced. However, I have no desire to repeat the mistake, but when I said I wasn't interested, she told me I've already placed the ad and I paid for it in May!
I've had them try something similar before, thanking me for placing an ad and when I said I hadn't, they tried to get me to then buy one. This time however, she said I paid for the ad and then hung up straight away, so now I'm going to go through all my credit card statements for May and make sure they haven't put a payment through that I wasn't aware of.
These people are absolute scum – I'm sick of getting called by them and PPI claimback companies etc. Every time the phone rings I think it's going to be some other con man/woman trying to get my money…….how do these people sleep at night?!
CHRIS BRETT November 18th, 2012 at 20:35
Hi, I had another one phone me up a few weeks ago he just got the spil into full swing, when I said JUST HOLD ON A SECOND, I HAVE STOPED ADVERTISING AS I GOT TAKEN FOR A RIDE WITH A ADVERTISING SCAM ONCE BEFORE, I said I am not saying it was you, he said oh oh oh well you will not here from us anymore
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