Friday, 16 May 2008

Scam Warning - Whos Who of Professionals

I've had quite a few responses recently to this post on the WHO'S WHO of Professionals recently, so obviously our friends are at it again...just wanted to to draw your attention to some of the comments I've received - tells it all really:

Comment 1
Good work, Nicole (ok, so they got my name wrong, hey ho). I wish I could say that I hadn't fallen for it in 2004, but I did. At that time they claimed more than fifty thousand members world-wide, but the invitation letter was about the same. I joined and became active. IN FACT I ended up running a club free of charge and of benefit to these people while paying a huge sum of money to them for the honours.Of course, at the time, the supposed book in which entries would appear was constantly "fastly approaching the editorial deadline",... year after year. I never received it and after showing patience began to speak legalese, after which part of my money was promptly refunded. The book still had not come out when I checked in 2006.After visiting the website:http://www.internationalwhoswho.de/and getting a strong "deja vu" feeling, I looked these people up in the Better Business Bureau databases and lo and behold I found a wealth of info on Gibralter Publishing (at the time, the core persona) and the about fifteen other names these people use.Not long after quiting IWWHS, I was approached by a new "networking" society (apparently they had shared my details) and when I asked who their executives in charge were I found several of the same North Carolina-based names from IWWHS!Unfortunately, those vane enough to list this "merit" not only advertise a questionable enterprise, but many times will have their OWN integrity questioned by those in the know! Beware!

Comment 2
Hi all,I (in France) received this e-mail a couple of weeks. And last tuesday, a woman who claimed to be in Washington proposed to me an interview with her "director" for "the final step of selection".The day after, "the director" called me and our "interview" was interesting ... he sounds actualy like a professional interviewer, but he ended the call when I choose a $800 registration option but never give him may credit card details.I hope it's for free!!!Thank you all for your information.

Comment 3

WARNING: “WHO IS WHO”/ internationalwhoswho IS quite probably SCAM !!!I have exactly the same experience: "deadline was "fastly approaching" - this time in March 2008, and one day, when I was busy ,I gave them my information and my credit card number (we ARE busy, and this is what they take advantage of). They immediately withdrew $800 for a book and some pins & stuff I had orally been coaxed into saying "yes" to. I understood the same afternoon that this might be scam and cancelled the 'order'. Got a letter back from them, which said "We will be more than happy to assist you with your membership cancellation as soon as the proper information is pulled. An Account Manager will get back to you as soon as possible and thank you in advance for your patience." Signed Sabrina Fuentes. Many days later the letter from the "account manager", Sandy Garcia, came. According to Sandy Garcia, who would from now on be my contact, the "cancellation policy" of "whoswho" was to retain 358$. I protested immediately in an e-mail to Sandy Garcia, only to receive a bounce-back e-mail that I was "not authorized to contact" Ms (Mr?) Garcia. This is no doubt SCAM, and probably
plain fraud. The method is: 1. Appeal to /boost people's vanity, or other things which may make them feel good (for some time). Promise people something good and cheap (here: for free).2. Give the poor fool an opportunity to buy something expensive, but valuable, in addition to the free stuff.3. Be sure you have a huge "cancellation fee" - more or less hidden underneath the offer.4. Ask for the credit card numberof the stupid fool you are fooling5. Withdraw the money immediately6. When the stupid/ victim realizes that he is about to be fooled, promise your "account manager" will contact you "soon": However, that will take so many days, that the fool/ victim will give up, or the deadline of complaint is running out.

We must warn the world against these crooks ... I was one of the fools. I have learnt, and will do what I can to warn others. I will also try to sue them (very unpleasant, but - if necessary -I will grin and bear it).ViVa

Comment 4
hello, just had an interesting interview with these people too - you can learn a lot from their interviewing style and the gaps in their so called research - the fact that my business is not yet registered or trading, and that the relevant website is not yet active, did not seem to deter them. They also suggested that I would be able to make use of the informal social networking down the road at a local pub (450 miles away in London) and never once gave any indication of understanding what sector I might actually be in. VERY smooth interview style, very much about stroking the old ego. I swear I heard the file being deleted when I said I'd be in touch as soon as I thought such a membership
would be appropriate (ie, no thanks) - in fact I thought I was very pleasant given that someone had just asked me for $950 for what we all do through Facebook anyway.cheers (see you down the pub!), Sarah, Edinburgh

So, learning from these experience, don't even bother to speak to these people (unless you want your ego massaged for free, then tell them you're not interested :-)

19 comments:

Subhankar said...

I too received the same kind of "deadline is quickly approaching" message from the organization. Thanks for posting the above comments because they helped me not to give away my personal details.
Best regards,
Subhankar

Gautam said...

Few months back I got the same posting about membership and deadline closing on.. I somehow posted my credentials.. Few days back I got a call from USA[probably.. since my caller identification can't be detected on my phone due to some reason]. So the lady briefed me about an interview with director which she scheduled for next day.. I was somehow excited thinking the name will be selected for free and than membership if I wish.. I couldn't find any details about the membership from site..

Very next day at exact time I got a call from a guy and he asked me about my profession and company..After which he asked a final question how I think I justify my talent in this industry..

So after this suddenly he started to describe about WHO'S WHO and such a honor being part of such an organization..Than membership fees 600$ and 800$ and there on every year 220$..

I am not sure how I was pretty convinced by his professional approach and he suddenly started asking all my credit card credential along with CVV no. in back side..

To my astonishment I gave all this information with a little hesitation thinking I am going to be part of a really big thing..

Than he transferred the call to quality department where a lady started verifying credit card information ..

Than all of a sudden it seems the transaction didn't occur successfully for some reason and she was asking for other card.. At that time I somehow said I don't have other card and next day I will approach the bank to credit it..

I also asked why there is no online payment from site to which she said this is the only mode of payment..

After this I found this blog and came to know truth.. But they never called me back surprisingly..

Later on I found that due to insufficient fund in my credit card the transaction became unsuccessful.. Also these days there is a master card secure code which needs to be provided before transaction..

There are the two reasons why I turned out to be a lucky guy.. I immediately called my bank and blocked my card...

I am not sure what kind of organization is this and they are running a proper website..

How to take action against this organization..

Anonymous said...

Wow ! I am really thankful to this Blog..I would have been one of the vicims if i wouldn't have been a recruiter ( Headhunter ) myself..I am thankful to one of my friend who sent me this link.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the blog. While I trying to fill the registration form for 'International Who's who', I have noticed your blog by browsing. The information in your blog really helped me to open my eyes and not being a victim of this scam.

Anonymous said...

Something must be done about this website and the people behind it, I too like Helen mentioned received a letter only 3 days back and after uploading my corporate details; today received a call from a lady and a mail named "Paula Thomas" with exactly the same details and requesting to attend a call from the Director. Luckily I am travelling from tomorrow and said I will get back. I now see your Blog and thank my lucky stars for being safe from this fraud

CVS said...

Thank you soo much for this blog!!

Been interviewed 10 min ago. Didn't trust the case. Told them I would call their assistant with bank details (they weren't that nice anymore on the phone)- which I surely will not do after reading this.(so happy I found you)

My ego got pampered yes, but I indeed lost 30 min of my precious time...

Take care all!

Kr,

C.

Anonymous said...

Stockholm, Sweden again:
I just tried to unscribe from their "network" as they in their e-mail give me this oppertunity:
Note: If you wish to unsubscribe from International WHO'S WHO of Professionals please click on the link below:
http://www.internationalwhoswho.com/unsubscribe.aspx

IT DID NOT WORK!!! Got this message:

"There was an error processing your request. Please try to process the page again. If the error persists, you may contact us at webSupport@whoswho.com.

We apologize for any inconvenience."

Scary!

Anonymous said...

Looks like this SCAM is back again. Thanks for the blog. I was not sure what this was when I read it. It seemed a little strange to be getting something like this from people who obviously did not know me, they were making out that they did and trying to play to one's ego.
Anyway, just goes to show we should trust our instincts a litle more.
Thank you. Bill
Sydney Australia
May 20 2011

Suresh Nair said...

Yesterday, 23rd Aug 2011, I got a call from International WW saying my profile would be added to IWW after I have had an interview with the Director, Gerri Hodges.

Just now, I got a mail reminding me of the interview. Then I thought of googling out some info to do the spade work at my end.

I was fortunate to visit your blog and now that I am armed with these inputs I am eagerly waiting for the interview, which is likely to happen within an hours time.

I will be posting the result of the interview then.

Anonymous said...

I get a few emails from these blatantly arrogant scam artists a year. Started a few years back when I first got involved with the University of Phoenix Online, which got me to thinking, the so-called "admissions advisors" there are no more than paid scam artists and telemarketers that this too may be a scam as I was told I was referred by a school alumni. This was a few weeks after I had realized I was being scammed and so was financial aid by this school and withdrew. I thought it was highly coincidental that after I withdrew from the school and reported them that I would get an email from these people, which i followed the link in the email that stated I had been nominated for a spot in their precious who's who, like a fool filled out the form a few minutes later I get another email saying I qualify follow link again I followed and filled out, few mins later I get yet another email telling me within the next few weeks I would be getting a call to set up an appointment. Well wasn't a few weeks more like a few hours I get a call from a woman claiming to be Francis 'O'Hallerin, (nice professional sounding name) says she is a receptionist and wants to set up my "fast tracked" interview. Started realizing at this point something was up I'm no one special just a business student with a political campaign history, I am asked to please and hold a minute or 2 later she comes back on the line and someone is magically available to speak with me right then, I continue it starts to sound like a fast talking used car salesman trying to interest me in buying this book and getting my credit or banking info knew this was a scam as soon as it went from free registration to them trying to sell me this book and wanting banking info so I hung up. For the next 2 weeks I am bombarded with follow up emails and voicemails, and calls, so I changed my number, cancelled my email and opened a new one. After this I am contacted by the school again by mail looking to speak with me in regards to the complaint I filed and assist in refunding my entrance fee I call and they ask for my new info for follow up and at the time still not having had put 2 and 2 together I gave it to them again, not only did I not hear back from the school but my lawyer told me had already been in contact with the school and was waiting for paperwork from both them and federal aid so they would not have contacted me that it may have been an employee with fraudulent motives I forwarded him the information and faxed him the letter because it was sent on their letterhead with their water seal on the paper, dean's signature, seal and all. The school claims not to have sent this letter and the person I spoke to didn't exist it was a false name. Same day phone calls and emails from the who's who registry and a rather large deduction from my bank account, because of the issues I was having with this and the false call it was eventually traced via the extension I used to call the school to that person by use of good detective work and phone records thanks to my lawyers office and their private detective they use when needed. Now due to all of this my lawyer made child's play of getting my bank to refund the money to my account because I never approved the charge and because they had already made an arrest. My point is buyer beware these people are obviously integrated in other businesses that can further worsen things it's best to check into all financial endeavors before making any large purchases always run the background of the schools, businesses etc... www.ripoffreport.com is a great place to start as well as the better business bureau.

Anonymous said...

February 19th, 2011
Thank you so much for your blog. It has saved so many of us. Professional Who's who is still at it. I received their email and was interested bcs I was out of work and thought this might help me. Linked in works much better and it's free.

Stevie Ocean said...

I HAVE BEEN IN CONTACT WITH THESE PEOPLE VIA COLLECT PHONE CALL AND RECENTLY RECEIVED MY CERTIFICATE AND OTHER DETAILS VIA UPS FROM WASHINGTON DC. YOU MUST BE VERY CAREFUL ACCUSING PEOPLE WITH CONCRETE PROOF I SPOKE TO SANDY GARCIA A WOMAN AND BY ALL MEAN CHECK BUT DON'T BELIEVE ALL POSTS BEFORE YOU CHECK THIS OUT I'M IN THE PUBLIC EYE AND DON'T SUFFER FOOLS GLADLY SO CHECK AND DON'T ACCUSE UNTIL YOU KNOW CALL THE FBI OR CIA AND CHECK FIRST BEFORE YOU DROP YOURSELF RIGHT IN IT YES BE SAFE BUT DON'T COME TO THE SAME CONCLUSION WITH CHECKING THROUGH AN LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY FIRST HAVE A NICE DAY !
Stevie Ocean Mr.

Anonymous said...

I did my interview today. A serious organization would not ask you for your credit card inforamtion at the end of the interview. I also thought it was too easy to be approved.

Anonymous said...

Still going strong in April 2012 - that deadline must be near now!

I have recieved these 'invites' over many years, I cannot believe they are able to keep going.

Anonymous said...

Thank you all for your comments. My boss just got the letter (Moscow, Russia). Guys seem to be expanding:)

Anonymous said...

Can anyone guide how to take legal action against them. I have been victimized few weeks ago. I want to take legal action against them. please put your suggestions.

leapea said...

I am so thankful of this blog. I have just had a similar experience as described above... I am also somewhat disappointed. My mother was accepted in this very publication back in 1986 and back then it was a really big thing for our family! It is a shame that this formerly respectable organisation seems to have turned into a not so respectable business... In any case, I asked her to provide me with some more information before paying 1700 usd for the regular membership and she kept on reinforcing the exclusiveness of the membership etc etc without actually providing any facts. Yes, got the joy of talking about myself and my endeavors for 30 mins, but will most likely not continue further with the membership. Thanks for sharing your experiences!

Julia said...

It's been a year apparently since the last comment. I just got a call from them. There has been no talk about money yet. Thank you for the warning - I'll be sure not to respond to them in the future.

Anonymous said...

thank you so much for this blog, i've received the same email several days, but i was fortunate to visit your blog...thank u in advance :)