MSE News: £6m up-front fee fraud hits 15,000 victims

Former_MSE_Rose
Former_MSE_Rose Posts: 128 Forumite
This is the discussion thread for the following MSE News Story:

"Two advance fee frauds involving over a dozen debt elimination companies have been uncovered, affecting 15,000 victims and netting the companies an estimated £6 million ..."
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Comments

  • dunstonh
    dunstonh Posts: 116,252 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    edited 5 November 2010 at 11:10PM
    It should be noted that the companies involved have frequently been mentioned on these boards as potential scams. It just backs up what forum members have been saying for a long time.

    Expect more of these companies to be caught in the same way as the advance fee fraud is still going strong.
    If you were affected and paid by credit or Visa debit card, you may be able to reclaim the money. If you paid over £100 to one of the affected companies by credit card, section 75 laws mean the card issuer is jointly liable for the amount, so contact the card company.
    You may also be able to use the Visa Chargeback policy to reclaim if you paid with a Visa debit or electron card, or if you spent under £100 using a Visa credit card. If this is the case, contact your bank.

    It has been reported (meaning I dont know if its true) that if you used a credit card to pay for the fee and you were claiming unfair credit/unenforceable credit on that same card then you may not be covered and could actually be considered fraud.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The comments I make are just my opinion and are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice and you should not treat them as such. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
  • marshallka
    marshallka Posts: 14,585 Forumite
    dunstonh wrote: »



    It has been reported (meaning I dont know if its true) that if you used a credit card to pay for the fee and you were claiming unfair credit/unenforceable credit on that same card then you may not be covered and could actually be considered fraud.
    About bloody time too. Its so annoying how you can claim back using section 75 when you were trying to get it written off too.
  • N9eav
    N9eav Posts: 4,742 Forumite
    Another scam I came across this week was a Loan scam.

    A victim wanted to borrow £800 from a loan company. They agreed the loan but asked for the first installment of the repayment up front as a security. She paid them £80. Guess what? No loan and the contact details disappeared.....
    NO to pasty tax We won!!!! Just shows that people power works! Don't be apathetic to your cause!
  • marshallka
    marshallka Posts: 14,585 Forumite
    N9eav wrote: »
    Another scam I came across this week was a Loan scam.

    A victim wanted to borrow £800 from a loan company. They agreed the loan but asked for the first installment of the repayment up front as a security. She paid them £80. Guess what? No loan and the contact details disappeared.....
    I would tend to think that this was a broker fee for getting a loan upfront. There are a few loan companies that do this and the client never has an offer.
  • N9eav
    N9eav Posts: 4,742 Forumite
    marshallka wrote: »
    I would tend to think that this was a broker fee for getting a loan upfront. There are a few loan companies that do this and the client never has an offer.

    That may be true, when you send a payment and expect the loan witnin 24 hours and it is not paid and the contact numbers no longer work. I would say it is a scam
    NO to pasty tax We won!!!! Just shows that people power works! Don't be apathetic to your cause!
  • Premier_2
    Premier_2 Posts: 15,141 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    edited 6 November 2010 at 4:15PM
    ...Following promises to wipe their debt, the individual pays £400-£500 - but no service is provided...

    The other ... Having been assured there are no costs until their first job, victims are then asked for registration fees of £219-£350, but receive no further contact from the company...

    It's little wonder these scam artists exist when it appears easier than taking candy from a baby sometimes.

    Debts won't just disappear, even if you pay someone who promises otherwise.

    The idea behind employment is that the employer pays you, not the other way round.

    If someone wants payment to give you money, (lottery winnings, tax rebate, loan, etc) tell them to take the payment out of the money they plan to give you and pay you just the balance.


    ... oh and btw, there's no such thing as a free lunch ;)
    "Now to trolling as a concept. .... Personally, I've always found it a little sad that people choose to spend such a large proportion of their lives in this way but they do, and we have to deal with it." - MSE Forum Manager 6th July 2010
  • B.E.N
    B.E.N Posts: 193 Forumite
    edited 7 November 2010 at 11:46AM
    To be honest, I have no sympathy for 'victims' of these scams*.

    'Write off your debt' - You borrow money, you have a moral obligation to pay it back. Getting scammed whilst trying to wriggle out of it, is, in my opinion ironic justice.

    'Earn £1,000 a week, at home....just send £450 admin fee' - Come on! How [STRIKE]utterly stupid[/STRIKE] native can you be?

    I admit these are harsh statements, but it is how I truely feel about the matter - does anyone else feel this way?


    *Except those who through genuine mental disability know no better.
    Hi, we’ve had to remove your signature. If you’re not sure why please read the forum rules or email the forum team if you’re still unsure - MSE ForumTeam
  • chillxxx
    chillxxx Posts: 33 Forumite
    How ironic that people are quite happy to shaft the credit card / loan company. However when it all goes wrong the come runnig back with their tail between there legs. Begging for their assitance.
  • Paul_Varjak
    Paul_Varjak Posts: 4,627 Forumite
    Photogenic First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    An ex-Detective Sergeant from Wakefield has now been implicated in this international fraud...
    http://www.eadt.co.uk/news/ipswich_ex_fraud_squad_cop_charged_over_alleged_internet_escort_and_debt_scam_1_1515996

    That ex-Detective Sergeant was a director of First Debt Recovery, which was wound up in November 2012.

    Three other Debt Collection agencies in Wakefield were also closed down by the High Court earlier this year following an investigation by the Insolvency Service...
    http://insolvency.presscentre.com/Press-Releases/Debt-collection-company-wound-up-following-Insolvency-Service-investigation-6888d.aspx
    http://news-insolvency.bis.gov.uk/Press-Releases/Linked-debt-collection-companies-wound-up-following-Insolvency-Service-investigation-6888c.aspx

    Baker and Bond Ltd, Baker and Bond (UK) Ltd and Goldman Vicenti Ltd all charged upfront fees of £595 for debt collection services as well as charging additional sums when debts were collected. In many cases, collected debts were not paid to clients.
  • Paul_Varjak
    Paul_Varjak Posts: 4,627 Forumite
    Photogenic First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited 13 April 2013 at 2:51PM
    The trial of five defendents has commenced at Ipswich Crown Court. The alleged ring leader, Toni Muldoon (a notorious timeshare conman) has already pleaded guilty to many charges so is not standing trial...

    http://blogs.mirror.co.uk/investigations/2012/09/muldoon-and-oot-conman-toni-fe.html#comments


    The five defendants are:

    Ex Detective Sergeant Christopher Taylor
    Mark Bell
    Colin Samuels
    Geraldine French
    Bradley Rogers

    http://www.eadt.co.uk/news/ipswich_spain_five_deny_escort_agency_and_debt_elimination_scams_worth_5_7million_1_2010288

    http://www.eadt.co.uk/news/ipswich_spain_5_7million_scams_continued_as_swindles_hit_trouble_court_told_1_2015763

    The most interesting defendant would appear to be ex-Detective Sergeant Christopher Taylor, as he is a retired fraud squad officer from Wakefield.

    Taylor was a director of First Debt Recovery and is alleged to have laundered money through his Wakefield-based debt recovery business for Toni Muldoon. First Debt Recovery Ltd was dissolved in November 2012.
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