Friday, 26 February 2010

The Voice - Dear Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice #1

An advertisement was run in one of the local newspapers by a company called Dalberto Sponsors. They claimed to be a recruitment agency which finds employment for people overseas at an overall fee of US$500 - P3,650. I sent an application together with the above stated amount for them to process my documents. They promised to take care of everything including a visa, plane ticket, accommodation and all the necessities. After 2 weeks I received an employment offer letter but to my surprise there was another $400 to be paid which I was not informed of before. They said it was for the cruise ship package which included visa fees and I would be ready to leave the country in a weeks time. I paid the extra and waited for them to tell me to bring the passport to the American Embassy in South Africa as they had promised. They again sent me some documents this time asking me to pay another $2,600 USD in 2 to 4 working days. This is when I suspected this could be a scam. Please help me to recover my money and expose these shady dealers.

I’m afraid I have bad news for you. You’ve been scammed.

Dalberto Sponsors are crooks. It looks like you didn’t see our exposure of their scam some weeks ago after they placed a number of advertisements in various newspapers (No, NOT The Voice!) offering jobs all over the world and in all sorts of professions. We thought they were a scam then because of the clues in their advertisements and also on their web site. This led us to think they were no more than lying, scheming criminals. Your experience confirms that.

The bad news is that your money has gone. Scammers don’t give money back and by this time they’ve probably spent it. Although they gave cellphone numbers in the UK and South Africa they are probably untraceable by now.

It might not seen much comfort at this stage but at least you didn’t give them the enormous sum they wanted at the end. I think you should be thankful that your skeptical side showed itself and you were able to protect yourself.

I’m sorry but you can also be a lesson for the rest of us. Dalberto Sponsors and everything they say and do is a scam. They’re crooks, liars, cheats, swindlers and scumbags. Nobody should have ANYTHING to do with them. Ever.

Dear Consumer’s Voice #2

I think I’ve been tricked by some guys who said they can get me a job overseas. I paid them part of the money, later I changed my decision and told them that I have no money. Now these guys don't answer their phones or come to their workplace. All they do is send me text messages making appointments that they never honour.

It sounds like you too have been the victim of a scam. Another travel scam.

Let’s face it. I think we’ve all learned over the last few months that you must be extremely careful when dealing with anyone who offers you trips abroad, particularly if they say they can get you a job overseas. They’re almost all crooks. The lesson is simple. Only deal with companies that you trust. Speak to your friends, family, neighbours and colleagues and ask them about any company that wants your money. Before you part with your money you should check if anyone else has any experience of them.

Dear Consumer’s Voice #3

I saw an advertisement in a newspaper recently that offered P85,000 per month and all you had to spend was P5,500 which they say we’ll recover in a week. This is over 1,400% return on investment, only matched by a lottery win!

I know this is a massive scam and what I find difficult to understand is that the newspaper is publishing this ad without care about the nature of this ad. Someone must have paid for it, and newspaper knows the source of this advert.

I think there has to be a way to limit these guys from reaching the general public.

Thanks for telling us all about this advertisement which also appeared in local newspapers (but not The Voice!). I've done a little research and have been able to identify the company as “Global Distributions” and I find them suspicious. There are various clues but I don’t think they are all they claim to be. For instance the pictures of the building they show don't actually seem to match the address they give and they give no contact details of their management team. They give no details of their business model, and the only clue they give about their product range is a dreadful picture of some cheap hair products.

I think we should all avoid this company until we know more.

An update

There’s been some progress with Uniglobe New Era Travel, a travel agent in Gaborone who took a customer’s money (nearly P8,000), didn’t make the booking he had paid for and then gave him a refund cheque that bounced. The owner of the company was recently arrested for fraud and is now helping the police with their enquiries. Good for the consumer for sticking up for his rights and good for the Police for taking action.

Our recommendation remains simple. Don’t deal with Uniglobe New Era Travel. They can’t be trusted.

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