Anatomy of a Scam Investigation, Chapter Eleven

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19 Responses

  1. tpp says:

    C&D is weak.

    They need to haul his behind behind bars, permanently.

  2. christina says:

    I'd love to know how much money they've made so far off this scam… their office is right down the street from me, I wonder how they pay the lease.

    So happy it's finally catching up with them, although if it weren't for Pedal Spin Studio I wouldn't be surprised if they took off to Mexico.

  3. Grandy says:

    "Bird Dog him, Frankie."

  4. louise says:

    Looks like Pedal Spin is adding a fourth location – wonder what is "greasing the wheels"..

  5. Hasdrubal says:

    Providing tech service nationally is a pretty common thing, actually. Everybody from giants like Cisco and IBM down to mom and pop shops do the same thing: Contract with local shops and independent contractors.

    Providing guaranteed blanket service for any telecomm and network equipment, that would light up my BS detector. Avaya is completely different from Nortel and they're both not just different but built from a different paradigm than Cisco, and then you have all those small time vendors that small businesses like to go with making life really interesting. I would expect a list of systems they support, though I suppose saying "We Support ALL the systems!" could be taken as an advertising white lie…

  6. Ken says:

    Well, as I've said before, one of the best proofs of fraudulent intent is a comparison of the face of the invoice to the claim that it's a solicitation. What type of solicitation for business — in an industry that is packed with competitors — includes no ad copy whatsoever about why you should choose the sender's services over competitors?

  7. Joe says:

    Popehat reader Ray "altered" me that the North Dakota Office of the Attorney General has issued a cease and desist order . . . . . .

    Altered you Ken? I hope not – we like you just the way you are ;-)

    BTW – nice job on the series. Looking forward to seeing this guy go down.

  8. Ken says:

    He didn't even use anesthesia! But my ass looks FANTASTIC.

  9. David says:

    And I can't wait to see the Road to Popehat entries that inspires.

  10. Joe says:

    Well David Bell is not the only one coming up with creative ways to try to scam legitimate businesses. Pardon my plagarism of your now famous quote. See below –

    From: Allen Zhang [mailto:[email protected]]
    Sent: Monday 1:57 AM
    Subject: URGENT xxxxxxxxxsystems Brand Registration Confirmation
    Importance: High

    (It's very urgent, Please transfer this email to your CEO or appropriate person, thanks)
    Dear CEO/Principal,
    We are the department of Asian Domain Registration Service in China. I have something to confirm with you. We formally received an application on October 24, 2011 that a company which self-styled "Aso International Ltd" were applying to register "xxxxxxxxxsystems" as their Net Brand and following domain names:
    After our initial checking, we have found the name were similar to your company's, so we need to check with you whether your company has authorized that company to register these names. If you have authorized this, we will finish the registration at once. If you have not, please let us know within 7 workdays, so that we will handle this issue better. Out of the time limit we will unconditionally finish the registration for "Aso International Ltd".
    Best Regards,
    Allen Zhang
    Tel: +86-551-5223-174 || Fax: +86-551-5223-175
    10/F, Jindi International Building, No.588 MaAnshan South Road,
    Baohe District, Hefei. China

    My response to this pathetic scare tactic to extort money from a legitimate business below:

    From: Joe
    Sent: Monday, 9:19 AM
    To: '[email protected]'
    Subject: RE: URGENT xxxxxxxxxsystems Brand Registration Confirmation


    I find it unusual that ASO International, a Tokoyo based company that manufactures dental and medical devices would be interested in obtaining domain names in countries where they (1) do not currently do business and (2) would even consider company domain names which bear no resemblance to their name, and (3) are in a completely different line of business. Last time I checked software and dental/medical devices are two entirely different industries.

    I have found exactly 2 alphabet letters in common between ASO's name and ours. Unfortunately English is not your only problem. After a quick Google search your SEO domain name scam floated to close the top of the list. You must not be trying hard enough.

    It would appear you research companies and attempt to find those who do not have domain names registered in other countries and then you approach those companies in an effort to “extort” money out of them to prevent the domain names from “supposedly” being assigned to someone else.

    I call it extortion – because that’s what it is. And, I find your pathetic attempt of extortion both inappropriate and distasteful. I will NOT forward this to our CEO. In other words “Snort my Taint”.

  11. Rich Rostrom says:

    Good to see a blow struck against these vermin. If they are stupid enough to send another invoice to North Dakota, what would be the legal consequences? Could ND find them in contempt, extradite them, and lock them up?

    Also, is there any hope of getting similar action from other, more populous states? Ohio, say, or Texas? Or even Washington or Kansas?

    I am just starting out on a similar quest to bring down, a scam operation out of Houston. IANAL, but I have lots of time on my hands to make them miserable.

  12. Talisker says:

    I can sort of understand why he keeps on running scams; he probably doesn't know how to do anything else, and it's easy money if you have no conscience.

    What absolutely baffles me, though, is why he's keeping on with the exact same scam with the same company names and the exact same bullshit services — I don't know how you all operate, but if I ever get around to starting up *my* fraudulent racket ("Invoice for warrantied preventive taint maintenance; 10% discount and a free can of polish for payment within 15 days"), once I start to get some serious pushback from government agencies, internet bloodhounds, and the like, I'll change things up to something that can't be googled in under four seconds.

    David Bell is clearly no Norman Einstein.

  13. Talisker: Well, you do have to keep in mind that the "criminal mastermind" thing really is a trope of fiction. As has been noted by others – most criminals are just not that bright.

  14. doug says:

    he is not in jail yet. so he keeps on using the same scam. its not hot enough yet. maybe he likes the chase, who knows why he hasnt changed his MO.

  15. Dan Weber says:

    Opening up a new checking account might be too much risk?

  16. IGotBupkis, Noter of the Obvious says:

    >>> Pull your thumbs out of your asses, people.

    Wrong extension from the torso that's stuck up there, sirrah!

  17. Kelly says:

    @Rich Rostrom – is mail fraud a capital offense in Texas?

  18. Joe says:

    Another posting on RipOff reports today that UST Telecom is still sending these fake invoices out as of TODAY. Clearly this guy has no intention of stopping until someone throws his sorry ass in jail.