Home – New Forums Other discussions What Kind of an Idiot…..???

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  • #984408
    Breevree73
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    I never thought I would be the one to say it, but I am in the middle of being caught up in a scam.

    This is actually a ‘legitimate’ scam, but one I am embarrassed to have been caught by just the same. Have any of you heard of [business name removed]? It’s an online directory listing service, who promise the world, then charge for each step of the promise.

    Let me tell you my sad story. I responded to their ad on LinkedIn, which said “Female Managers – apply to the Worldwide Who’s Who network for successful women” Several weeks later I get a call, which took the better part of an hour, which ran through a thousand details about my business and at the end, the telephonist said “In looking at your details, you are eligible to be included in the Who’s Who – congratulations!”

    I should have worked it out right then. “Eligible” indeed. I wonder who – if anyone – was ever NOT eligible.

    She then (in true salesperson style) presented me with three payment options – there had been no talk of payment up until that time. WHY DID I SAY YES??? I still don’t know. I came off the call and said to myself “What just happened?” and I’m still saying it now. Oh, by the way, that was a nice little donation to them of – wait for it – $1000.

    Being that I’m not one to renege on my promises, I made the payments (in two instalments), as requested, got my little page on their site, fixed it up as best I could (so that the dollars wouldn’t be a complete waste) and decided to chalk it up as a (very expensive) lesson.

    Lo and behold, yesterday I received another call from them. “Hi Bree, we’ve finalised your media release, and we’re just getting ready to send it out to over 5000 contacts.” Now, I was in the car on handsfree, and it was raining, so the conversation was pretty difficult to hear, at one stage the phone died, but what I thought to myself was “Well, maybe this will pay back some of the $$ I spent.”

    When he called back (after the phone had died) he kept talking, I kept not really hearing him properly, I thought I heard the word invoice, but I really wasn’t sure, then the call ended.

    Today, I find a charge of $888 on my credit card from them. WTF?!?!?!?!?!?!? I don’t even know what the charge is for! They and my bank got a very quick contact, and I’m hoping to see my $888 back shortly.

    Now, there are so many points here where I should have said “What? Excuse me? Payment?? Invoice?!?!?” that I’m truly embarrassed to post all this. But I just wanted to warn everyone – these guys are out to siphon dollars out of you as quickly as they can. They are very good salespeople, they use all the techniques, but a clever operator (unlike me) won’t be caught out by them.

    As a new small business, I certainly don’t have $2K to drop on some random untested directory site – despite their name, they aren’t associated at all with the university, and anyone with a brain in their head would work that out straight away.

    So, beware legitimate scammers!! Hold on to your dollars and use them for good, not evil!

    #1147469
    bridiej
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    Interesting, as I’ve noticed a few Facebook friends say they’re going to be in this Who’s Who directory, as if it’s a good thing. Will let them know!

    Hope you get your money back, thanks for sharing.

    #1147470
    Johny
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    Sorry to hear about that, but you know what, I think you should be applauded for having the balls (figuratively) for coming out and talking about it. Many would be too embarrassed, so good on you I say.

    Although I am not sure why you would refer to it as a “legitimate” scam.

    I remember reading a few months ago that Australians were done out of around $95 million (over a period of one year I think, but can’t be completely sure) by scams.

    Problem is that many people think of scams like the Nigerian ones where someone has left you several million $. For those that think this is old (I seem to remember a decent amount of that $95 million was from this) there is obviously a lot of mileage in it yet.

    But these things are now becoming much more sophisticated, coming from countries not always associated with these things, as well as well as much more in depth storylines.

    Two good rules of thumb are:-

    1. If you have never heard of it before and
    2. If you have to pay some type of fee

    chances are you are about to be ripped off.

    At least by mentioning this, others may be warned about it.

    #1147471
    Simon Maselli (Metamorph)
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    Hey Breevree73,

    I’ve been in the Who’s Who a few times for different businesses – all be it the free listing.

    I have actually received a couple of good leads from their directory (outbound – I have had to search for them). The last time I was “accepted” to their directory I joked with the salesperson that their sales script was much improved since the last time.

    I suspect they have a very high conversion because their sales process is so slick! The problem is that the value you actually receive from their service is quite low and I would assume many individuals end up with buyers remorse as a result.

    If anything I would take the positive from it and learn from their sales process – again I think it’s slick!

    Ok thats the positive but I can’t condone the $888 charge – that is simply not acceptable. I have no problem with charging for an upgraded service “upsell” but a pet hate of mine is hidden/deceiving charges!!!

    As honest business people we understand Integrity is everything and this sort of thing just hurts our reputation and our business losses its sustainability.

    #1147472
    Anonymous
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    Hi Bree,

    Just a quick note to let you know that I’ve edited out the name of the business concerned in your original post, as per the forum guidelines:

    Quote:
    Public disputes: Flying Solo is not the appropriate channel for disputes or arguments between named individuals or companies. Any specific gripes about a business, product or service should be taken up directly with the company concerned.

    Thanks for your understanding,
    Jayne

    #1147473
    Past-Member
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    In avoiding scammers also beware of the many calls from ‘Microsoft’ saying something is wrong with your computer and they are to fix it etc. (Our local police FB page regularly puts up posts about them.)

    A friend of mine didn’t know about it, downloaded the ‘fix software’ which meant that they could access her computer at anytime. I advised her to immediately take the computer to a repairer who removed the offending program and associated bits and pieces. Never again. It was a hard lesson for her.

    I actually receive those calls regularly and I am very aware of them being a scam. Please particularly let people who are not familiar with them know about it – particularly elderly members on the internet in your family.

    All the best with your business.

    #1147474
    Rowan@quaotic
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    I got caught up in it too a couple of years ago. Luckily I was a bit short on money at the time so I said no to all their ‘value ads’ which made the lady keep offering me new deals which got cheaper every time.
    I managed to get off the phone after an hour by just refusing everything and hanging up.

    #1147475
    Divert To Mobile
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    I’m surprised they’re still around. They used to send out emails for addition to their database over a decade ago. I never registered believing it was just a front for an email address harvesting operation. I’d be trying to get the first 1,000 back too.

    Steve

    #1147476
    PerfectNotes-Kathy
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    • Total posts: 500
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    Hi Bree,

    Thanks for the heads up – I have many emails from them in my ‘To Read when I have a spare 5 hours’ folder, now I know that I don’t have to bother.

    Kathy

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