Our office received a fake invoice from Stock Quotes Professional Inc. last Friday.
We had no recollection of asking for a “rotating top banner with hyperlink” to our web site. The exact description on the invoice was: “Bi-annual online investor communications sponsorship”, followed by the hyperlink (spelled as hperlink) text above and then “International Stock Quotes”. The invoiced amount was $449 plus GST, amounting to $471.45.
Their web site is pathetic: www.stockquotespro.com. Who in the right mind would even want to post a banner there. It looks like a quick, five-minute web site. Take a look and see for yourself.
We called their toll-free number, 1-877-859-0117, to ask for clarification and were transferred to voice mail on two separate occasions. Further, I looked up the GST number in the CRA registry. I wasn’t shocked to see: “Not registered on the transaction date entered”.
Bottom-line: If you receive an invoice from Stock Quotes Professional Inc (Calgary, AB), do NOT pay it! As we have done, report them to the Better Business Bureau and the Canada Revenue Agency. A business is not allowed to charge GST unless it has been registered to collect GST.
Another company, Walstreet International, Inc. (Toronto, Ontario), has followed suit. They are charging $399 bi-annually for the same service — a rotated corporate logo on their web site. There’s also a $19.95 charge for GST, but there’s no GST number (another red flag) on the invoice. The web site looks more reputable, but it’s a scam: www.walstreetintl.net. The small print on this one: “All subscriptions begin upon payment and automatically renewed bi-annually for 3 years.” The emphasis is mine. In other words, another scam to make a quick buck from unknowing accounts payable departments at publicly traded companies. Luckily it ended up in my hands — another scam to report. We called their toll-free number only to be forwarded to voicemail: 1.800.581.1559. Look at the culprit behind the domain: http://whois.domaintools.com/walstreetintl.net (scroll down to the whois record).
I’m going to discuss a type of e-mail scam I’ve encountered lately. Actually, I find my spam box littered with dozens of these so-called “job offers”.
I bet we’ve all seen spam e-mails promising $4K to $10K per month (or $200 to $300 per day) in residual income for processing sales orders. Most individuals safely ignore these e-mails, but some seek further details.. and eventually get caught up as a helpless victim (or jump ship early).
There’s plenty of legitimate opportunities for residual income processing sales orders. However, there’s also ones that are clearly illegal. Let’s start with an example. Joe has a factory in Europe that makes shoes. Joe does $100K a month in sales and needs individuals to capture some of the American and Canadian market on his behalf. In doing so, Joe will pay you 10% of the sales volume that YOU process on his behalf. Joe expects you to wire 90% of the proceeds from YOUR sales to either your bank account or a bank account or his choice. Sound familiar?
Let’s break this example down a little. Joe wants you to set up shop on his behalf, in your own country. With the sales volumes Joe’s doing, he could easily set up shop in your country using various methods. Next, Joe wants to use your bank account to collect the funds. Never give out your banking information. On top of this, Joe wants you to set up a merchant account with an online order processor. Then, Joe promises you he’ll send you a couple hundred orders per month for you to process. Well, guess what? Those orders aren’t really “orders”. They are false orders created using STOLEN credit card numbers and customer data. Now, I hope you can put two and two together and see where I’m going with this (money laundering). In the end, you make nothing and actually lose money spent on credit card processing fees and chargebacks from unknowing “customers”.
In the end, you will be held accountable for YOUR actions, not Joe in Europe. If you have landed yourself in hot water by falling victim to such a “job offer”, I have information that can help you out.
Disclaimer: I discovered the information above a couple of years ago, being inquisitive and pressuring details out of a individual posing as a marketing manager for an online company. Sometimes, you just have to play dumb, but yet not fall victim.
I received an envelope from Imperial Majesty Cruise Line Vacations (aka Ramada Plaza Resort) today.
Inside the envelope, there was a travel voucher worth $1300. I was promised 4 days & 3 nights at a Ramada Plaza Resort in Florida, another 3 days & 2 nights at another Ramada Plaza Resort in Florida, a 2 night Caribbean Cruise and 7 days transportation by Alamo Rent-A-Car with unlimited mileage.
Too good to be true? Well, you know how the saying goes.
This Ramada Plaza Resort scam is fairly well-known. In fact, back in 2005, I filed a complaint with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and also the Florida Attorney General upon receiving this scam. They acknowledged the complaint as I received a formal response from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
This “deluxe” vacation package consists of two sub-standard hotels and a very old, poorly kept ship. This “deluxe” vacation package also violates the following sections of the Sellers of Travel Act: 559.932 (Vacation certificate disclosure), 559.933 (Vacation certificate cancellation and refund provisions) and 559.9335 (Violations).
If you have been scammed by Ramada Plaza Resort, contact me using the comments section of this blog entry. I have enough legal documentation to get you a full refund.