Friday, 16 March 2012

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice #1

I received two of the same emails last week from a company called Creative Employment. Is this a scam? I checked their website but what is making me suspicious is where in heaven did they get my email address and their contact number which starts with +32 looks a bit suspicious.

Kindly investigate for me?

I think you’re right to be suspicious. Although “Creative Employment Abroad” (their complete name) is a registered company in the UK there’s a bit too much that’s suspicious about them. They describe themselves on their web site as “a leading independent law firm, highly specialized in corporate and private immigration law, employment law, European and international migration law.” That’s curious.
Firstly, because they were only registered as a company on 12th September last year and secondly, no law firm with that name appears to be registered with the UK’s Law Society. The address they give in London is also suspicious. It’s the same address that’s given for at least 80 other companies because it’s just one of the many “virtual offices” you can rent online. They share this address with companies as varied as money lenders, debt advisors and even a sex toy distributor. Charming company they have.

I also find it strange that they give a phone number that begins +32 as that’s the international dialing code for Belgium. Why would that be? It’s also NOT the number that they give on their web site. Like you I am always extremely suspicious of anyone who emails me out of the blue offering me things. Particularly when, as this company does, they want your money. In order to “register” with Creative Employment you need to pay them R600.

What’s more, they make some ambitious claims in their email. They say, for instance that whether “your visa has been denied before we assist and make sure you visa gets approved”. Nobody can really make that guarantee, certainly not a “leading independent law firm” that can’t spell.

I think that all of this is too suspicious and I suggest you just delete their email.

Dear Consumer’s Voice #2

I bought a laptop last year January for P6,500 including insurance and I’m still paying for it with monthly installments.

This year in January my laptop was stolen by my brother from our home and I reported him to the Police. He is currently serving one year six months imprisonment for the theft because the laptop was never recovered. I went back to the store with the police report thinking I would be compensated but unfortunately they said their insurer couldn’t cover me because it was my brother who committed the crime.

So if it was someone else I could be covered? They are saying maybe there is foul play but if that was the case I wouldn’t have reported the theft to the police. I’m still paying for the laptop monthly even though its not there.

This sounds unreasonable. If they have evidence that there’s “foul play” then they should produce it. Until they produce that evidence surely the facts are simple. Someone, it doesn’t matter who, stole your laptop and is currently enjoying The State’s hospitality as a result. However I suspect the problem will be in the small print of your insurance policy. It’s likely that it will exclude thefts from the home when there’s been no forcible entry. Without a broken window they’ll be able to get out of paying you. However, please, dear readers of The Voice, don’t be tempted to fake a break-in to claim on your insurance. You’ll be the one who ends up in prison!

Nevertheless we’ll get in touch with the store and see what they say for themselves.

Investment update

We’re now hearing from many people who have encountered “Three Link Connection” the deeply suspicious pyramid scheme that’s going around the country. We heard from someone who “invested” over P5,000 and was promised a return of P26,000 within 3 months. Other people have even taken out bank loans to buy into the scheme and, of course, haven’t seen that money again. Be warned! This is a scam, it’s certainly illegal and sooner or later someone’s going to be arrested!

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