Posted on April 16th, 2010 3 comments
Reported in the Daily Mirror 15/04/2010 (thanks honest scouser)
Posted on March 28th, 2010 106 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.
Posted on February 23rd, 2010 122 comments
THEIR NOW IMPERSONATING POLICE OFFICERS
I had a call today from a man who said :
” Hello sir I am calling on behalf of the Police”, “We are calling just to say thank you for supporting our latest campaign which I am pleased to say has been a success”
When I asked which campaign he said “The National Crime Prevention Booklet”, So I asked him the name of his company and he said “I am calling from The Police”, I asked his name he said “PC Dawson”, when I asked where exactly was he based he said “The Editorial Department of Cheshire Metropolitan Police”
I said that sounded odd and aksed him for his phone number and he said: 0845 556 7800
I then said If I call that number would I get through to him, he said “No you will get someone else” he then put the phone down.
I rang the number out of curiosity and its a made up number and does not exist. (23 Feb 2010)
SO BEWARE – They are now even pretending to be the police.
Posted on July 29th, 2009 10 comments
This week I have had several reports from concerned visitors who have had calls from verifiable registered charities with proper charity registration numbers and website’s; that are cold calling but using the same “scam script”.
Usually supporting “disabled kiddies” and want you to pay for a “little mention” in their “booklet”.
Posted on May 8th, 2009 1 comment
One of our visitors emailed us today to detail a scam call she got, as follows:-
I had a call today to my mobile, the number was “blocked” and the voice on the other end was clearly from Liverpool with a deep scouse accent.
The usual introduction “Hi there, my name is Paul and I spoke to you back last year and at the time you said unfortunatly you wasnt in a position to help us but you very kindly said you would the next time around”
“We are now producing a KIDS ACTIVITY BOOK for disabled children in your area and we are just looking for a small donation from yourself and in return we will include a short mention about your company in the book”
“As you know, all proceeds will be donated to local charities of disabled children in your area”
“Can I put you down for a credit card size advert or a smaller mention?”
My next question was – What company are you from?” – The reply was very vague and he said “community”, when I asked is that the name of your company he said YES !! (Strange name)
I told him that I wasnt in a position to help and I dont remember the call but he was VERY PUSHY and wouldnt go away. In the past callers like this would normally put the phone down and call the next victim but not this guy.
He said the publication was going to print and he was desperate to sell his last few spaces. He didnt want to dissapoint “the little kiddies” and our contribution would go a long way.
Still a NO from me
“ok as its you, I can do the insert for £50 with no vat”! NO, “ok what If I do it for £40?” NO,”£60 and I will give you a half page”
“OK, Il be honest with you – I get £10 commission for every one I sell and I need to meet my quota for the week or I will get fired – Can you help me out please?”
“You should come and work for us, your good at this!”
No thanks – Caller ends call.
As you can see, he took some talking out of and he was very pushy, he wasnt agressive or nasty but very smarmy and determined.