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April 26, 2007

Victoria Strauss -- Beware Who's Who Schemes

I've been planning on doing this post for some time, but putting it off because it involved a lot of research. What tipped me over the line? The other day my husband, Rob, got a solicitation from Cambridge Who's Who.

"It is my pleasure," the letter from Editor in Chief Jennifer A. Gonzalez begins, "to inform you that you are being considered for inclusion into [sic] the 2007/2008 Cambridge Who's Who Among Executives and Professionals "Honors Edition" of the Registry." This is a major honor, Jen explains, because the Registry will include biographies of "our country's most accomplished professionals," many of whom regard inclusion as "the single highest mark of achievement." There's an application form that Rob can fill out and send back if he's the snail mail type, or if he's electronically inclined he can apply online. Just in case it occurs to him to wonder whether there's a catch, Jen hastens to reassure him: "There is no cost to be included in the Registry."

Rob lives with me (and Writer Beware), so the first words out of his mouth were "This is a scam, right?" Unfortunately, many people are much less suspicious.

There are legitimate Who's Who publishers--A & C Black in the UK, Marquis in the USA. They research the people they include, and while they'd love it if you bought the book, that's not the main reason for their existence. Cambridge and its ilk, on the other hand, are all about the hard sell. Similar to the vanity poetry anthologizers, Who's Who schemes lure customers by presenting themselves as a no-cost opportunity, but make their money by persuading people to buy books and/or memberships--often at costs exceeding $1,000. They claim to be selective, but in reality they harvest names just as junk mailers or spammers do, randomly and without regard to credentials--which means that their networking value, often touted to justify the enormous membership or purchase fee, is negligible. The bigger ones attempt to tailor their solicitations--Rob is in insurance, so he got the Executives and Professionals letter. A woman might get an invitation to the Executive and Professional Women registry. There's a solicitation for people in education. There's one for scientists. There's one for healthcare professionals. Here's an especially disgusting one targeted to people with religious affiliations.

The Who's Who gambit is a long-running, recognized telephone sales scheme about which there are a number of official warnings. There's a dizzying number of different Whos--many of which, I would guess, are run by the same people, though they're pretty good at making themselves seem separate. Here are just a few examples:

- United Who's Who (which has an unsatisfactory record with the Florida BBB for failing to respond to complaints)
- International Who's Who Historical Society (ditto)
- American Who's Who Association, which has a number of different schemes
- Premier Who's Who (formerly Prestige Who's Who, also d/b/a America's Who's Who)
- Emerald Who's Who
- Madison Who's Who (this one also has an unsatisfactory BBB record)
- Global Register's Who's Who (formerly National Register's Who's Who).

Frequently, the Whos are short-lived. Doctors' Who's Who and Nationwide Who's Who are now only Internet memories, but Google either of them and, as with the rest, you'll see people who list them as a professional credential. Ditto for Enterprise Who's Who--which suggests one reason for the schemes' short shelf life in the legacy of complaints it has left behind.

Back to Cambridge Who's Who. It's half of a two-headed hydra made up of Cambridge Who's Who (which previously did business as Manchester Who's Who and Empire Who's Who--according to a press release on Cambridge's website, these two have "merged" to become Cambridge) and Metropolitan Who's Who. Cambridge and Metropolitan do business separately, and have different websites, URL registry information, and mailing addresses. But their logo designs and their solicitation letters are identical (compare Manchester-now-Cambridge's letter with Metropolitan's)--as are their hard-sell telephone tactics.

People who answer the solicitations from Cambridge and Metropolitan report very similar experiences. (These links represent a fraction of the online discussions and complaints about Cambridge in particular.) A representative of the company phones them, congratulates them on the honor of their inclusion in the registry database, and conducts a lengthy interview, with many questions about careers, professional accomplishments, etc. Once the victim has been softened up by this process, the phone solicitor lowers the boom. The victim--who, remember, is under the impression from the initial solicitation letter that no costs are involved--is told that there are two levels of membership--a cheaper junior membership (currently close to $800) and a more expensive lifetime membership (currently nearly $1,000). This money, the victim is assured, isn't for inclusion in the database; it's for access to the database--which surely they're going to want to have, since the registry is a fantastic networking opportunity. To sweeten the deal, there are extras--gift certificates, airline ticket vouchers, a handsome award certificate, a media kit. If the victim expresses doubt about the cost, the solicitor says something like "You know what? Because I really don't want you to miss out on this fabulous opportunity, I'm going to offer you a lower rate! You'll only have to pay what a charity organization pays!" More hard sell tactics ensue. If the victim continues to resist, the solicitor hangs up on him or her--just like those magazine-sales scams where the people rudely blow you off the instant they realize you aren't going to fall for their line of bullshit.

I'm sure it won't surprise anyone to learn that Cambridge and one of its predecessors, Empire, have poor records with the Better Business Bureau (Manchester has no separate record). Empire's BBB report shows 57 complaints over the past 36 months, most involving (surprise, surprise) selling and refund practices. Cambridge's BBB report shows a stunning 150 complaints over the past 36 months, again involving selling and refund practices, and also billing and credit disputes. The bulk of the complaints--123 out of 150--have been made in the past 12 months.

Metropolitan's BBB report is currently being updated. When I viewed it in February (when I first began thinking about doing this post), it cited complaint patterns similar to Cambridge's. Some of the content of that report is reproduced by blogger T.J. at his dogscatskidslife blog.

Another thing Cambridge and Metropolitan share: a very poor reaction to criticism. The hydra really, really doesn't like it when people say bad things about it. When the Southern Conservative blog featured a satirical post about a solicitation letter from Metropolitan Who's Who, a threat of legal action quickly followed from one Cyndi Jeffers of Metropolitan (she also contacted people at the blogger's job). Blogger Shawn Olsen, whose description of his experience with Manchester Who's Who is linked in above, is being pursued by a lawyer hired by Manchester/Cambridge, who threatens a defamation lawsuit and demands $7 million in compensatory and punitive damages. These two bloggers appear not to be the only ones who've experienced this kind of harassment.

So here's my long-distance gift to all of you: a little dose of the good ol' Writer Beware suspicion that Rob has absorbed by proximity. "Money flows to the writer" is a good maxim to live by--but in cases of unexpected invitations, so is what Groucho Marx said: "I don't want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member." If you hear from a Who--and don't assume it will be one of those I've highlighted in this post, because I wouldn't be surprised if Cambridge, at least, were thinking it might be time for a name change--don't hesitate. Toss the letter straight into the recycling bin. That is, unless you want to make fun of it on your blog.

624 comments :

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Unknown said...

Thanks for your educational post. I was curious about the letter in my mail, having been nominated by my unit for a legitimate award earlier this year, and was wondering how they got my name. Now I remember I am reminded of the a scam letter I received in high school too.

Thank you for your help.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Victoria! I just received a letter to be a part of the Who's Who for Executive and Professional Women. I was suspicious. I googled the organization and found your posting...thank you for taking the time to warn so many of us about this scam!

Anonymous said...

I get a call from them every two weeks. They don't seem to understand the FTC do-not-call list. More importantly: Every call I get that has it's ID blocked instantly raises my suspicion level. I do run a company and am familiar with Who's Who lists. Frankly, I've never been interested in even opening one. I don't think what they do is illegal or even a scam. It's just not for me or most like-minded people with reasonable egos. There are plenty of sheep out there that need shearing. Maybe people will wake up after giving away their money to these people.

Anonymous said...

Nice work. Both yours (positive) and them (negative) as in piece of work. At least it seems you guys got your notice BEFORE it expired. Mine arrived two days after the expiration, and I felt so hurt to miss being included in their farcical comedy.

But rest assured they are still at it.

Being a member of one of I hope more valid collections (Who’s Who in American Universities and Colleges) and I only say I had to do a lot more to get on that short list (no matter how many tens of thousands made the book..)

Mark

Anonymous said...

Nice work. Both yours (positive) and them (negative) as in piece of work. At least it seems you guys got your notice BEFORE it expired. Mine arrived two days after the expiration, and I felt so hurt to miss being included in their farcical comedy.

But rest assured they are still at it.

Being a member of one of I hope more valid collections (Who’s Who in American Universities and Colleges) and I only say I had to do a lot more to get on that short list (no matter how many tens of thousands made the book..)

Mark

AJ said...

I just got invited to the women's edition. I'm so excited, except I think I'm missing one key attribute -- a va-jay-jay!

Unknown said...

Apparently their record keeping at Cambridge is not the best. Like many of the other postings, I supplied the initial information because the posting was supposed to be free but then the call started. So I told them that I was not interested and did not answer any of their subsequent calls.
Oddly, a month later I received my fancy certificate in the mail accompanied by the login information for the web site. When I searched myself on the site, my entire bio is displayed rather than just my name - however they never got a dime from me and never will.

Anonymous said...

I've had an outstanding credit dispute with Who's Who Cambridge for a month now. I wish I read this sooner! For those of you who stopped payment, did you get anywhere?

Anonymous said...

AS someone who is listed in the real Who's Who (for which Marquis does not charge for inclusion) I can tell you I was giddy when I got my letter from them. Still don't know who nominated me. I thought is was my boss. But when I asked him he not only denied it but pointed out that he's not even in it himself! Anyway, I used to get a lot of bogus solicitations from Cambridge and the like. But they stopped a few years ago. Now my wife got one for Cambridge Who's Who Among Executive and Professional Women -- "Honors Edition" no less! I clipped the "application code" off the corner of the postcard and mailed it in so they can pay the postage on a blank card.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this info- I just got off the phone with them and refused to buy and they kept going lower and lower on the price- then the guy just was totally rude after that! I used have researched it before but glad that I didn't buy!
Raleigh, NC

Coz said...

well!!! i just found this blog after receiving my 3rd call from these people. the 2nd on i refused to get what they were offering and the guy abruptly hung up on me. well i get the 3rd one and i got suckered!! AGAIN! like a moron. $189! soooo after i read all this i immediately phoned them back 2x informing them i wanted them to not post the charge to my card and if they did i would file a dispute with my charge company. then, thanks to the person in NY who mentioned the atty general, i called my atty general and have them sending me a form so i can file a complaint against them. will where i get and i will post my results!

Anonymous said...

I echo the sentiments of everyone else who has thanked you for doing research on this "organization." I just received and invitation for Cambridge Who's Who among executive and professional dentist, dental hygienists and dental assistants--Honors Edition of course. The same exact wording as you all have been saying. I realize I am not adding anything that hasn't already been said but want to let you know of a different category of cambridge. And you asked for more people to let you know. Glad I googled and keep up the good work

BradYB said...

Victoria, thanks for the advice - I just received my second invitation to be considered as a member of the Emerald Who's Who for Executives and Professionals.

Although I'm very good at what I do, I wouldn't class myself as a worthy candidate for a Who's who (unless the Who's who was, perhaps, the 'drink and eat too much and really should exercise more Who's Who').

A quick Google led me to your Blog, and a splendid find it was.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this. I've just been approached by Premiere Who's Who and appreciate knowing that it is what I suspected...nothing but a scam. Thanks for putting this info out there!!

Anonymous said...

Everything you have said here is completely true. I received a letter today from Cambridge and immediately recognized it as garbage. It was addressed to a name I only use for junk mail. Makes it easy to catch those stinky fish!

Anonymous said...

I got singled out for the supreme distinction of merely living in the city I do. Kind of a blow to my ego. Maybe they are running out of categories... Are they next going to offer it to those who are members of the human species?

Anyway, I sent the postcard back with a note graciously thanking them and explaining that it is my strict policy to give permission to my being listed in a registry after receipt of $1,000.

Gonna have me some fun if they call..!

Anonymous said...

Cambridge Who's Who has not changed their corporate branding and recieved the "invitation" August 1st, 2008. The game is still afoot. I thought it was a scam and the first thing I do is go to the net to find out "Who's Who" which we all know that's 100% accurate also : ). I'm toying with the idea of setting up a site for the sole purpose of getting this information higher up in search engine rankings. They are preying on ego's. I'm sure if you are of the nature you would want to buy the book to show your friends that you have your 15 nano seconds of fame. I wonder what Ralph Nader would think of this and if he is included in it. It would be a LARGE Buyer beware if they were asking for money for inclusion as it stands with the futher research I've done they are slimey but legal. Best way to get rid of these scumis to inform the public which these threads are wonderful. Trick is to bring it to a broader base. Thanks for having a reference that can save people $$$ and embaressment.

Unknown said...

Thank you for writing this Blog...I just received this. I know a good place this letter belongs...in the TRASH! :-)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing this! I've been getting calls from Cambridge Who's Who for over half a year. Finally they got me and initially, I wasn't at all interested... but then it sounded like a great opportunity until they mentioned the membership fee (Platinum or Gold for either $889.00 or $689.00) with an additional bonus of (2) airline tickets. I wasn't expecting that and asked if I could call back, it was then that "Lori" switched to sounding anxious and pushy by asking me "WHY". I immediately felt a disconnect ... so I mentioned that I needed to speak to my husband and she then said: "Why don't you call him... just put me on hold." After that comment, I thought it over for about 15 seconds and hung up. They haven't even attempted to call me back!!! This is a terrible scam!!! I made sure to check out the website when they first contacted me, and they seemed legit. Unbelievable!

Folly Cove Fiber Freaks said...

I have learned from reading these posts that from now on, before I go down a road like this again, I will google first, talk second. Luckily I made no monitary commitment.

Anonymous said...

I just received a letter today from Cambridge Who's Who. Thank you for posting this information.
If it looks like a scam, smells like a scam....it is a scam!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I just got off the phone with Cambridge Who's Who. I am so glad to have read your blog. I lied and told them I didn't have my credit card info since the whole thing seemed fishy. I nearly laughed when the lady asked if I've ever heard of Cambridge Who's Who--of course I haven't! LOL.

Anonymous said...

thanks much for your comprehensive description of the jackassery that is Cambridge Who's Who. I'm listening to my shredder hum as it chews up their correspondence...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post.

I had these people from Cambridge on the phone and they were giving me their speel, and I thought I would google them to see what came up...... to my suprise a lot of negative items came up, yours being one of them. So I told the lady that I don't spend money on anything without checking them out, and that I googled them as we were talking, and I was suprised at what I was reading..... she said you can get bad info if you google pepsi cola. I then said Pepsi cola is not trying to get $ 1000.00 dollars out of me.... she then hung up.

Thanks for your post


Maximum dB's DJ Service
Northern Ky

Anonymous said...

I was on the phone for 1/2 hour just NOW and became suspicious so I Googled Cambridge Whos Who and saw your blog. Am I ever thankful. You just saved me over $800. Okay, she reduced it to $489 for a 3-year membership. NO? Okay how about a one-year trial membership for only $189? I can't look into it and make a decision later? Well then, thank you and good bye.
Please folks, be careful. My father was in the REAL Whos Who back in the 40s and 50s and I couldn't even get a courtesy copy of his bio as published.

Anonymous said...

Unfotunately, I sank into their sweet deal and was waived a couple of houndreds, because I had American Express, and gave them a hard time. Once you say yes to the "membership" you cannot go back, and if you threaten with legal action, they will threat you back.
M Guzman

Anonymous said...

Anybody knows how to cancel the "membership"?

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I love people who speak up.

Anonymous said...

I just got my Cambridge invitation today and googled this article. While I'm very content with the life I have led, I'm surprised that they are now recruiting full time homemakers and home schooling moms to be included in their who's who book.

Anonymous said...

In 1995, I received a call from International Who's Who and they stated that my membership was free and any other certificates were free as well.

Also, they stated that I would receive a plaque in the mail within 5-10 business days for free as well. I was very honored to had been recognized for my works that I had done throughout my professional life and took it with pride and did not go any further into purchases or anything else. I left it at that. Therefore, since I am a tough cookie for not paying for anything anyway, I felt none of the scam. I still believe that you have to keep in mind that scams are always out to get what they can, only if they can. No one can do what you do not allow them to do. It is still your choice to make.

I love this blog and I wanted to at least put some common sense in the value of critical thinking.

Victoria Strauss I love your blog and always will...

Anonymous said...

A while back i wrote that i too had been taken in by Who's Who not once but twice. To my embarassment. I also promised to let eveyone know what my results were on my request for them to nor process my charge.

They did process the charge, despite the fact that i left at least 2 calls on the same day within an hour of the conversation with Who's Who to not post it. So i filled a dispute to the charge with the credit card company.

I have since heard from the dispute resolution "department" at Who's Who. I stated that i had called back immediately and told them not to charge my card. Also that i was prepared to take appropriate action if they did not do as i requested. I stated that no other resolution was open other than that they completely reverse the charges. I also said I felt that the company was a scam and that i had had nothing but calls asking me to spend more more more. I also mentioned all the complaints online about the company. The rep tried to go on about them being reputable and that there was a suit against people making these claims. I said "well there are also plenty of people filing suits agains you, so what does that say. that you do not follow through on your claims."

I am happy to say that i have received a call from Who's Who stating they will reverse the charges. They have also put a statement on my account stating to not solicit me with calls.

What does this mean? I dont't know. But i do feel to have a fair opinion about things all information should be provided. not just the complaints. I still feel this company is unscrupulous and that something should be done about them.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this blog. Well, these people are alive and well and still at it. My hard sell came with just a phone call, from Premier, targeting me in Arizona. Starts soooo smoothly, soft voice, very complimentary. Oohs and aahs at all the right places as I gave her some bio details. Strange how edgy and car-saleman-like the voice got as I repeated, over and over, that I had no intention of paying the fees. Never knew anything about the existence of this kind of racket until I read your blog. Lucky for me I am just naturally cheap and suspicious! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Not bad Tara, if I recieved a call from you I certainly would have ended the call with a, "...Ummm, Okaaaa, too much information,honey, bye,bye!" [Click]
Kudos,to Victoria Strauss, I had no idea that my former employers were such scumbags. Of course now it doesn't surprise me that they won't be sending my paycheck to me anytime soon.
So Tara, as inovative and clever your ruse/revenge was,(and again I salute you), I guess I'm not so clever as you are. But that's o.k some of the people who wrote and complained about the people that called were scammed and had reason to be mad. Some people almost were and still think they have a reason to complain. Well all I can say is that I'm sorry to the people who were scammed. Let's just say in my defence that I thought just like the clients I called, that this firm (Madison Who's Who) was legit. As for the rest go ahead and use those free post to dis the company if it makes you feel good. They sure feel good riding in their fancy cars while laughing at the fools who sign-up and the despreate people who are just looking for a job to pay their bills.
Still that was funny Tara, I even laughed a little. Well back to looking for work and being on Welfare for me. Ciao.

Anonymous said...

I received a letter from Cambridge Who's Who at work today. You can imagine how shocked I was to learn I was "recently appointed" to represent Portland OR in their online Who's Who registry. I actually laughed out loud when I read it! It smelled fishy from the first line. I decided to Google the company and came across this site, among others. I knew it was a scam, but was horrified at what others have gone through.

Unfortunately or fortunately (however you want to look at it), I have become quite skeptical in today's world. Especially those "too good to be true" deals. Also, if they can't give you time to mull over the purchase, chances are they are just after your money.

Thanks to everyone for sharing. A big kudos to the author for the research. Well done.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your blog. I received an "approval" letter from them with a postcard to "sign up" at no cost. I found your blog and appreciate the research you did in helping everyone filter the legitimate from the scam.

Tamela said...

Thank you for posting this as I was contacted by both Cambridge and the other company. Of course felt honored and sent back the completed forms. Made the mistake of listing cell phone number, I receive dozens of restricted phone calls all day long. I spoke to a representative from Cambridge and asked why they keep calling me and hanging up. She wanted to talk about the apparent rip me off scam, but I was more interested in preventing future calls. Fail. I still get dozens of calls at all hours. Please do not believe this scam or you will be sorry.

Anonymous said...

Excellent posting!! Thank you all for the heads up. I just received one of those Cambridge letters, and am happy that my due diligence panned out. Whew!

Anonymous said...

Hello all,
I dont think there is a Jennifer Gonzalez anymore. I just received the lttter and saw the name M. Foster. Editor in Chief.
So look out for that name as well.
Regards

Anonymous said...

Victoria, Thank you Thank you Thank you.
I was almost suckerd in to this scam. As I was listening to Joanne, I started feeling very good about myself, I am being Recognized. Ha Ha Ha.
Then the pitch. As all it started with 800.00 then 600.00 then 489.00 then 189.00. It got to 89.00.
Thnk God my air conditioner went out on me yesterday and I have to buy a new one... so I was trying to explain to her that I live in Florida... and at the moment did not have the money....
That is when I decided to look them up online, And there you were.
When I told her I could not do it now I also got the click.
Thanks again...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this; I just received a letter from Cambridge's "M. Foster, Editor in Chief", inviting me to be included. Good thing I decided to google them before I submitted my info!

Anonymous said...

I just signed up with the on line application and then I googled them. I know that is backwards but it is never too late. I am not sure what this company is all about but there is too much controversy here to continue with them. It just isn't worth it to take this chance.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you posted this blog. I just got a letter from Cambridge Who's Who today. I'm always suspicious of these types of solicitation. I'm glad I was able to find your blog. THANKS!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this blog! I received a Cambridge Who's Who in the mail. I was wondering if anyone knew where they even got my name and address!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your blog. I had exactly the same experience with Cambridge Who's Who. What a waste of time!

Dr. Scott Acton
Boulder Colorado

Anonymous said...

I would like to chime in as well. They called me at 9 AM today during my work period just to "take a brief interiew". That took an hour of my time. Then at the end here comes the charges. I told them politely that I was not at a time to make such a large purchase and suddenly the prices drop. Asked about taking time to think about it, noo they wanted my card number now. Someone posted that they are good on the phone. Sure are, they talk you up like your the king of the hill and make you think this shit will make you a rockstar. I feel for it. Because I was distracted and caught up. 5 minutes later I called my CC company and had them cancel my card and issue me a new number.
It is a valuable lesson for anyone out there.

What "award" have you ever gotten that you had to pay for? They should be shut down and publicly humiliated.

Victoria Summerley said...

Thank you for posting this and for all your research. I keep being pestered by Emerald Who's Who for inclusion in their Executive and Professional whatever. I thought it looked like a scam, but it's nice to know I was right. I'm a bit suspicious about any organisation that, to misquote Groucho Marx, would want to have me as a member.

Anonymous said...

Well, it's 9/20/08 and this scam is still going. Why??? Why haven't they been closed down yet? My letter is dated September 11th. Think there's any significance?

Thanks much for the heads up! It is greatly appreciated!

Anonymous said...

I too sent the card in. I thought someone at work had made a recomendation,when they called on Sat, I was on my way to a babyshower and did not have time to talk,the lady got really offensive,so I said Bye and hung up, someone else called me at work today and when he started asking or telling me about the fees, i told him i was not interested it went from $800 for a lifetime membership to 99 for a trial membership.also was told i would get a companion airfare ticket, i kept telling him i did not have the money to spend so he said they would try to contact me later i may change my mind, i told him i did not think so. It is pretty bad when you have to pay to be a who's who.

LadyinSA said...

Big scam. I actually (unfortunately) tried to pay a membershp fee and was told I had not paid them anything. Had credit card statement to prove otherwise, let them know and they sent me an email again denying I had paid anything - and that I was entitled to NOTHING. So fine, I contacted my credit card company, sent them a copy of their email, and had the charge reversed. Avoid these people. Wish I would have found this website prior to the hassle. Thank you for your hard work - I will warn others.

Anonymous said...

Funny, I just got off the phone with the Who's Who chick after her spiel she started with the lifetime of about $1,000, by the time I was ready to hang up and had done a little googling while she spoke, she had the price down to $189 - LOL I could tell she was getting a little hot under the collar and told her that when I ran into someone who has favorable things to say about Cambridge that I would give HER a call to join. I guess she won't be getting that call back from me!! Thanks for the Blog!! Pamela@thelathamgroup.net

Anonymous said...

thank you so much for your post. I thought it was a scam, but couldn't find any info on the bbb regarding this specific organization. Your information posted exactly what I wanted and neede to know!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for writing this Blog! I too have been "invited" to represent my community and asked to approve my "candidacy" into the Professional Women in the field of Real Estate" new one for them huh??? Thanks again for preventing others like me in making a huge mistake!!!

Anonymous said...

I am so glad I found you guys. I, like many other people that have posted comments, received a letter from Cambridge. Due to the fact that I am currently unemployed and not an executive or professional I decided to call their Marketing and Research Dept. To my surprise I actually spoke to a "human" voice and inquired as to how they do their marketing and research and the person advised me that my information was likely found by a seminar that I recently attended or from a magazine subscription that I must have subscribed to. Knowing that there is no "unemployment seminar" or "better homes and the unemployed" magazine my question went specifically to tax information and she stated that in no way do they get tax records. With that said if anyone knows specifically how these scam artists are getting our information I think that would be great information for all of us to arm ourselves with. In closing I have never left a post before on any website but i love the fact that there are good and decent people looking out for each other. Keep up the good work and thank you.

Anonymous said...

I just recieved an invite from Cambridge Who's Who today. I looked at the site and was curious as to how a girl going to cosmotology school, 18 years old, was part of the organization. There must be thousands of those right? So I did some research and after reading your wonderful post I decided to send them this letter. Ridiculous, I know, but I was so excited with you post. Here goes.

You know,
I am quite a notable person. I note myself all the time. Im glad the rest of the world wants to note me to. Thanks. So, I decided to research you guys to see how notable I really am. Quite notable! How noteworthy! I think I shall note it as so many other people have. In a BLOG! Wow. Im a noteworthy genius! Im not as notably forward as those folks though. I would never note Cambridge as a scam or a organization that sucks the blood from hard working notable american blue collar individuals like they did. Thats just not the type of person I want to be noted as. Well, once I get my blog up I'll send you guys a note so you can check it out. I love that word, note, don't you note it. HA! I crack myself up. By the way, I love american libel laws. Ah, the freedom of speech. NOTE!

Anonymous said...

THANKS for your warning. My HUSBAND just received an "APPOINTMENT" to the Cambridge Who's Who Registry Among Executive and Professional WOMEN, so clearly their research is exhaustive...AND highly selective!

Sam Graves said...

I just got off the phone with Biltmore Who's Who. They certainly buttered my biscuit during the lengthy interview. Luckily I knew this was a scam after looking it up (sadly after sending in the card). When she asked what level of membership I was interested in, I told her I've never had to pay to receive any of the aforementioned honors she just interviewed me about. She said the membership fee wasfor access to the resources to network with others and inclusion in the book was at no cost. I told her I would like to be included in her book, but I was not interested in purchasing anything. She told me I could self-post online through their website, but I would only have a basic account... and I wouldn't be in the book.

Nice to skip that scam. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Great Post!

I had this experiance just this morning, and was cracking up throughout. Thanks for the confirmation :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks to Ms. Strauss and all the bloggers for the information you've provided. Looks like the Who's Who parasites are continuing this scam business since I just recently got an 'invitation.' Too bad they can't find something more useful and legitimate to do with their time.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone ever heard of Princeton Premier? Do they fall under this same category of scam?

Unknown said...

Wow, glad I googled this. Thank you for your original post, it saved me a few headaches, I'm sure.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for posting this. I just got off the phone with them and the rep for them repeated what you posted almost word for word. I hung up on them after they did the non-for profit bit. Thank you so much.

Unknown said...

There I was flattered and honoured to be finally recognised for something, but really, me, an entry into the glorious old boys club of Emeralds Who's who? Surely it's too good to be true...Clearly from your brilliant post it is!! just another internet scam, another piece of Spam. Hey ho for a minute there I thought I had finally made it!!

Thanks again and congrats for rating so highly, ahem, even higher than Emeralds Who's who!!!

Mike

Laura Zavelson said...

Thanks so much. You just saved me a whole bunch of time trying to figure out whether or not these guys were legit.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for taking your time to fill us all in on the real story! I figured it was a scam, since I'm not all that "accomplished" in my field...at least not enough to be recognized as an "interesting biographical subject". I'm glad I had sense enough to look into it...I hope others do, as well!
Cheers!

LisaT said...

Thanks, I just got one of those in the mail. I couldn't believe it could be free, so I decided to google it, and that's when I found your blog.
I also wondered: How did they know about little old me? I'm just a cleaning lady.
But just a few months ago I took out an ad in the telephone book along with the other cleaning companies to try and get more business. That must be how they found me.

breor said...

Thanks for your help on this. I received my "invitation", was a little suspicious, so I googled Cambridge. I came across your blog. You saved me some time and aggravation.

Anonymous said...

I am happy to add my name to the list of people thanking you for your blog. My friend got one of these a couple of days ago - an email followed by an aggressive phone solicitation. Luckily she's a smart one and told them to sod off.

As someone who reads a lot of resume's though, I can say that anyone over the age of 19 dumb enough to list nonsense like this on his or her credentials will get a good laugh and a quick flight to the circular file.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say thanks! I received my "honor" from Cambridge today and immediately did a Google search - your article was one of the first that came up - glad I was smart enough to check. Wouldn't want to have to rudely hang up on yet another annoying telemarketer....

Anonymous said...

Also was glad to find this blog. I did a quick search (as suspicion prevailed) and found this posting. Thank you for this info - obviously in Nov 2008, they are still at it. =)

Anonymous said...

thanks for the info. if it is free let it alone. if you do not it will cost you in the 'rear'end.

Anonymous said...

The place is a total scam. Worked for them recently in a non-sales capacity. You have no idea what goes on in this place. From abusive behavior from the principals to supervisors monitoring your bathroom breaks. Nightmare. And of course, the scamming and the nastiness that goes on amongst the sales people. Someone should seriously launch an investigation.

Unknown said...

My wife was scammed by the Cambridge folks. We went through the usual credit card (Amex in her case) exercise of disputing charges but without solid evidence it's unlikely she'll get any money back. I thouhgt I would be able to find a looong trail of complaints on the BBB site but strangely enough, after searching by company name, phone number and URL they have no records of a Cambridge Who's Who or Empire Executive whatsoever. I tried the links you posted on your bolg site but they both return "Page Not Found". Any insight into what sort of search method I shoud use on the BBB site to locate any Cambridge complaints ?

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the info....I googled the Who's Who and right below it I saw your info. I am so glad you posted all this information..saved me some money!

Anonymous said...

Thank you , thank you, thank you! I just got this is the mail and thought that someone must have recommended me for this. I am so happy to see this is a scam.

They are so crafty!

A bigger purpose said...

Thank you very much for te heads up. I just got a letter from these sleaze bags too.

Anonymous said...

I really appreciate your blog on this subject. Thank you so much for the info. I received an invitation from Cambridge today. It looked awesome and appealing, but something seemed a bit scam-like about it. Perhaps the lingo was composed of just one bumpersticker-line too many. Last week I received an invitation from a Professional Women something-or-other. I'm thankful for your writing about this subject. It was very informative. God bless and keep you, and happy holidays!

- Samantha

PK said...

Yes, again thanks for the post. They are still at it, I received my attaboy letter today and smelt SCAM as soon as I opened the envelope. Googled them and went straight to your blog:)

Thanks for exposing these creatures.

Michelle said...

SO GLAD I'm a suspicious googler...thanks for this post, your blog was my first hit and clearly saved me lots of unnecessary drama!

Anonymous said...

I figured this was a pretty decent-sized scam, as I just received a letter and have been UNEMPLOYED for the past three months....

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post, and thankfully it was easy for me to find by simply Googling "cambridge who's who." I just opened a solicitation from them today, and who isn't susceptible to the flattery connoted? But fortunately I also have the suspicious gene. You're saving a lot of people a lot of grief.

Anonymous said...

I just recieved the 'you were recently appointed as a biographical candidate to represent "" "", "".' Thank you for this post as I would not want these people harassing me at work or home.

Cheers

Anonymous said...

I JUST received a letter myself, and was skeptical to say the least.. I have a 1 year college diploma in a technical field, but have parlayed that into a 120K annual income which allows me to do medical mission work 1-2 times per year. I am active in my profession, but not to an extent I felt was worthy of inclusion.. So, the red flags went up, I found your blog, and was able to start a toasty fire in the fireplace with my new found kindling. Thanks for the extensive blogging!!

Unknown said...

Today I received a letter in the mail from Cambridge WHO'S WHO. A month ago I received an acceptance letter from the NAPW (National Association of Professional Woman). I did not know who would have provided my information to anyone since I never signed up for anything. After a little online research I found these two organizations are connected. The Cambridge WHO'S WHO letter is persuasive urging me to confirm my biographical information at www.(firstnamelastname).mycwwapp.com If I did not have an internet connection they provided a card to fill out all my information. It appears this company has no information on it's intended victims, but will press to obtain information, which can possibly be sold to marketing firms or steal identities. Thanks for creating this blog and sharing your stories.

stardoll2000 said...

Wow!!!after all this time they are still doing it..I guess someone will fall for it..but thanks to me research and google..and I found Victoria Strauss Blog..thanks for doing the work and posting..I received a letter from Cambridge who's who this month and didn't respond after pulling up the link it want to much info..if you know who I am it should have already been there..I love my poetry though but not this much..and the Editor in Chief on my paper was M. Foster..what does the M stand for? :)..anyway great work..cut my time down. I love the saying each one teach one..Victoria you did it girl!!!!!Happy new year.

Anonymous said...

I wish I read these comments before I was being charged by Cambridge Who's Who. I had similar experience being charge by Cambrige Who's Who and they would not refund me when I told them that I do not need their services. Now, I have to waste a lot of time to dispute the charge of $918.95 to my Chase card.

I appreciate the "duress" information that Victoria Strauss posted on 8/1/2007 11:18 am. I was under duress to agree to pay the $918.95 charge as final sales. It is because 516-535-1515 X 1212 Tricia told me she would not refund my $199 additional charge if I do not agree to the $918.95 as a final sales.

Thanks again for all the information all of you provided.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for all the good people taking the time to contribute your information about this scam. I am using this link and the posts related to my Cambridge charge to dispute for my credit card account. I'll keep you posted if I have the luck of getting back my money. If so, many of you should use this link and the posts related to your situation to get back your money.

Anonymous said...

I'm an idiot *smacks head on top of desk* . Guess I'm just out my $200 rest of Christmas money. Nothing like getting burned to teach you to mind the fire, eh? Stupid stupid stupid.... *large sigh*

Anonymous said...

Great Job!!! I got one of these just a few weeks ago and figured it was crap. After the interview they started wanting $$ and i told them sorry I am not paying for anything then they did not really care to talk to me after that.

Anonymous said...

I just finished my interview with Cambridge Who's Who. :O) They were really proud of my accomplishments. One question I thought it was very good: "What do you contribute to be the reason for your success" (at this point I am still only half skeptical). I replied: "Paying attention to detail, never second guessing my gut feeling and being honest" (which is true by the way). Same story...bottom line is, they started with the usual: Platinum $1250 or gold for $489, to Trial for $289, to "special deal" of $189 and down to (I believe a record) $99 special discount! Thanks to this blog I got none, but I stayed true to my gut feeling, paid attention to detail and was honest (the representative laughed and agreed...and proceeded to call the next potential victim).

Brad Niess said...

I too just finished hanging up with Cambridge. I was feeling pretty good about the phone call until she started talking faster and faster. Once she hit the two level membership, I remembered the word, "Free." I did a quick Google search while still on the phone. I was tying in Cambridge Who's Who, the word scam auto-filled the field.

I hung up the phone and saved $800.

Anonymous said...

I know this blog has been out there for a while- but it helped me today. I was contacted by Cambridge as well. I replied thinking, what the heck. When I spoke with the account "manager" She did all the things you said she would. When pressed for the honor of spending $900, I kept her on the phone long enough to goggle the company. I then found your website. All I can say is THANKS! The adage still applies, "If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is!" She didn't hang up on me though, I quickly dismissed her off the phone before she told me again, that it would be a shame for me to miss out on the opportunity. :)

Anonymous said...

I FINALLY figured out who had been calling me on a Restricted number when I accidentally picked up and hung up immediately. Within a minute, a number I didn't recognize called again. I put the number into google and alas, I find this site. Cambridge has been trying to contact me for years. Bastards.

Anonymous said...

Appreciated this blog, for sure. Just got a Cambridge letter today, found you through Yahoo search. The humorous part is that I have set up a trucking corporation but, due to the recent economic meltdown, have not yet succeeded in actually financing a truck... and Cambridge states their listings are based on "accomplishment".

Well, I may still be a "truckless trucking company", but avoiding the scams must be SOME sort of accomplishment...right? Maybe we need a WWOSA publication--Who's Who Of Scam Avoiders, of course.

Anonymous said...

I received a letter today stating I had "recently been appointed as a biographical"
I knew it was a scam right from the get-go 'cause I'm pretty much a nobody! lol!

Anonymous said...

Add me to the idiot list. I have recently legitimately had some pretty major professional accomplishmnets for which I have been recognized locally so my skepticism level was abnormally low. I agreed to the $89 membership only to decide shortly after that I should look into it. Well, shame on me. Looks like I am now a "victim". I have calld to try to cancel and will cross my fingers that it happens.

Thank you for putting this out there. Too bad I let my guard down on this one.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info...just got my Cambridge Who's Who invite today...I won't be sharing this fake news with my bosses!!! Most of us, especially us new to the business world, are very excited to receive some kind of recognition...the fact that it is a scam is very sad. To think I thought I was special! Glad the internet can firm up what is real and what is not!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your research! I am working hard on my professional career, so I was like aww, this is really cool. I went to the link, but then I thought... you know what, let me search this company first. BAM, here's the bad review. I wouldn't have paid a penny anyways, but I would have been highly annoyed!

Anonymous said...

I just got this letter. If you even want to call it a letter.

Executive and professional women? Hahaha, very funny. I am a high school student who has never worked a single day in my life. I had a good laugh reading some of these comments.

Anonymous said...

My wife got a Cambridge ego letter today and was doubtful it was legit. I Googled Cambridge and found this excellent blog. My wife's letter was for inclusion in (get this!) "Cambridge Who's Who Registry among Executive and Professional Women in Religeous Services" My wife's been a church secretary for 23 years, and she deserves the recognition, but not from these thieves!

Anonymous said...

I got the letter in the mail today. Right away I knew it was phony. I waited til after work to look it up and found this website. Thank you. Some people are just so ruthless. They have no heart. They just keep on taking advantage of others.

Anonymous said...

I received a Cambridge solicitation at work today. I hadn't hear of them, but even with a legitimate W-W I would never make a purchase. To me that just demonstrates vanity. I was contemplating becoming registered, but now that I know their reputation, I would consider it an EMBARRASSMENT to be listed with Cambridge.

A similar scheme among technical professions, although I've never seen solicitations, only advertising, is the vanity "inventors' registration service". In the unlikely event they come across an invention of any value, it probably gives away some of the inventor's rights of ownership.

Grant said...

I feel like the winner in this situation. I managed to keep that "account director" on the phone for nearly 2 hours and didn't buy anything. I also worked her down to $66 before cutting her off. Definately a scam.

Anonymous said...

I received the invitation to accept an appointment as a biographical candidate to represent my town in the Cambridge Who's Who Registry among Executives and Professionals. I guess I'm gullible enough to fall for their flattery (they actually set up a URL with my name in it to "verify" my biological information -- of which they had only my name) but, luckily, I suffer from low self-esteem, so I knew that it had to be a mistake.

Thanks for the confirmation that it is the scam it appears to be.

Anonymous said...

this company seems to have droped to a new low, i found a charge from cambridge on my credit card, and i have NEVER talked to them.i googled them found this among many other complaints and promply called the fraud dept at BofA. there is no way they can come up with a recording of my voice as i have never talked to them!!
Guess they wil have to close this company soon and open a new one....

Anonymous said...

I just got a letter from them too. I have made it a habit of checking on this kind of stuff. I am glad you are here to shine the light of truth on these nefarious dealings. Just for fun, send the pre-paid mailer reply back to them blank. They have to pay the postage on it and if they are deluged by a lot of these it may just put a nick in their income and let them know that people are wising up.

Anonymous said...

Your link on the Better Business Bureau information on Madison Who's Who is a dead link, do you know if BBB has any other info on Madison?

I was nominated to Marquis Who's Who and shortly thereafter received a call from someone at Madison's Who's Who and failed to realize that they were not affiliated (my bad). It made me wonder if Madison has an insider at Marquis. The Madison rep had the hard sell trying to sell everything up to airline tickets. I agreed just to get the one year membership but have been charged for their book twice, which I never received. I hoped that when my credit card expiration date was changed that they would stop charging me but to no avail. I figure I can't get my money back since I have waited too long but at least I can stop them from charging my account anymore. What measures have others taken?

Anonymous said...

Madison Who's Who, buys the books from other Whos who and calls their members. When a new CC is issued they simply change the expiration date, not the number. MWW knows this and will guess the expiration date by trial and error. If you want your $$ back call your CC company and tell them your card was stolen by Madison Who's Who, since it was anyway. Tell them you never heard of the company and never authorized any charges. It is a long painful battle. If they send you something DO NOT ACCEPT it. W/o a deliver confirmation and w/o a signature they have no chance of beating you.

Anonymous said...

Excellent.
x 1000.

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable! Got a letter in the mail today. The scam is still going strong two years after the original blog. I figured it was a scam, but wanted to make sure.

Thanks

Anonymous said...

I just recieved one of the "Who's Who" letters from Cambridge. I am soooo glad I fould you blog!!! I am not a professional so I thought it a bit odd that a bartender be recognized.

Thank you for your work in researching this.

Anonymous said...

So, I just got the mailer stating that I had been chosen by Cambridge in my town (that I moved to less than 3 months ago!) among professional and executive women. I'm a stay-at-home mom and haven't worked outside the home since before I got married 8 and a half years ago. Thank goodness I'm the suspicious type when it comes to things like this!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this. My 13 year old daughter got a mailshot from Cambridge, so I reckoned that it was a scam, but this served to prove it.

Anonymous said...

I got one of these today...........and I am unemployed!

Anonymous said...

As above! Thanks - and I'll post their card (but blank).

Anonymous said...

Thank you for saving me time and effort - I can safely throw this in the round filing cabinet (the bin) without thinking I was missing out on something important!
Great Idea on sending back the mailer someone!

Anonymous said...

Thanks very much for the lowdown on this scam. I received my invitation yesterday and was immediately suspicious.

Linda NR said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linda NR said...

Like a lot of women in the IT profession, I have worked very hard for many years to gain a decent level of success, and have continued to update my skills with both vocational and academic qualifications, so it wasn't completely out of the question to receive the effusively flattering invitation this morning from M Foster, for a biographical inclusion in the Cambridge Who's Who listing. They mis-spelt my name, however, and the url they included for me to check my details doesn't exist. Hmmm. No reflected glories there, then!!
;-) Thanks for your well-researched blog. I thought it probably was a scam but vanity is such a pernicious trait that I might just have succumbed, if I hadn't been so damn' cynical .....

Omega Daniel said...

Great Post. Just received my letter - Like Ros I thought it had scam written all over it but googled it just in case - top of the list was your post.

Thanks

Anonymous said...

Received a letter from Biltmore Who's Who, postage paid envelope to Coral Springs, Florida yesterday. Same scam, just changed their name.
BEWARE. Will return envelope with junk stuck inside and a note "Scammers Beware!"

Anonymous said...

thanks for this info!! i just got a letter from Cambridge for the women's who's who... and i thought i might check it out before giving them any info.
i got bugged about buying a book from a company years ago that supposedly used a picture i had taken in their book. i don't want to go through the annoyance of that again.
thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for saving me frustration of having to deal with the Carmbridge Who's Who. I am a Realtor and receive their Professional Women bla bla bla letter and they were calling my home and cell as well. I assume the got those numbers from my Real Estate advertisments. I have yet to return their calls due to skepisism. So again thank you for sacing me thetime it would take to listen to the scumbags.

Queenie said...

Thanks for this very helpful post.

I got a letter from Cambridge Who's Who a couple of weeks ago, which began 'Dear Ms X, you were recently proposed as a biographical candidate to represent [county] in the 2009/2010 online Cambridge Who's Who Registry among Executives and Professionals.' (Nothing about women, maybe they've dropped that part, for UK targets anyway.)

Two things made alarm bells ring. First, the letter was sent to my home address, not my business address. Second, they didn't use my professional title of 'Dr'. I got my PhD back in 2006, and I use the title in my professional life as it is relevant to my work as a researcher. So I decided to Google them before doing anything else - and I'm very glad I did.

I am a hobby writer and have recently had some success in selling short stories to women's magazines. I use my home address for correspondence related to this, and I use the title 'Ms'. I wonder if that's how they got my details.

Anonymous said...

thank you so much for researching and writing this. BRAVO!

South End Geek said...

Thanks for this post! You just saved me a lot of hassle from Cambridge Who's Who. I've been included in some legitimate Who's Who Directories before, but had not done anything spectacular recently that would have earned such recognition - made me wonder enough to Google this thing before responding, and I found you. Thank you thank you thank you!

Unknown said...

They shouldn't be called a scam. They should be called scum. It is sickening to hear that these folks are still up to their old tricks. I got a letter from them a couple of years ago (I think it was Manchester's), sent in the postcard, and went through the whole detestable phone call thing. It was one of the most memorable and disgusting experiences of my life. I complained all over the internet, in fact if you search for complaints mine is one of the first that comes up! And just the other day, I got another letter from Biltmore! Talk about "doing some research." No one should feel bad about being taken in by these people. They are smooth, they are sly, they can take any level of personal accomplishment you provide them with and make you feel good about yourself, and then make you feel horrible by berating you and eventually hanging up. I wish I could think of a punishment bad enough for them. Should I send in the postcard, get them to call me, and try and keep them on the phone for hours? I don't think I could handle it without giving them a piece of my mind. Thank you for keeping this scum in the public eye - hopefully we can work together to drive them out of business!

Ayesha said...

Thanks on the Who Who's Scam I ran it by my boss b/c I know I should not be in this and she told me to google it and came across your blog.

Anonymous said...

Am a regular British guy who's not had an amazingly spectacular career. I do like to follow current affairs and subscribe to the International Herald Tribune newspaper. Out of the blue arrives this letter from Cambridge Who's Who and I had no doubt why. When an American lady from the organisation rang me, I mentioned that I've hardly done anything worthwhile. I told her I've been in my current post for less than 11 months and because I subscribe to a specialist newspaper am often put into a sterotype as a highflying businessman in my 50s (of which I am neither). She said they have a whole panel that reviews each candidacy. Rubbish. I told her that they can't be doing a very good job! Thought I was being humble - now realise I avoided falling for their scam.

Anonymous said...

I just received a letter in the mail from Cambridge Who's Who letting me know that I've been as a biographical candidate in the 2009/2010 online Cambridge Who's Who Registry among Executives and Professionals.

It tells me that on February 18, 2009, my candidacy was approved! It's that amazing, considering I never applied to be in the registry in the first place.

It then lets me know they've set up a personal Web site for me! There's no way I'm going anywhere near that site, lest my computer be subjected to spyware or worse.

I wonder what would happen if I sent this letter back to the address it originated from with the word "SCAM" written in black marker all over it?

Anonymous said...

I was just working for one of these Who's Who. It is a scam and also a boiler room. They actually got mad at me when I put the phone down for a second to file something; "The phone must stay at your ear, and you must keep dialing for dollars." 99% of the people out there hang up immediately, mainly because they know of the scam or don't like to be solicited - especially people in the US. So they attack Bermuda, Barbados, etc... Where people, to me, seem to be a little ignorant. They all seem to use the same type of scripts and aggressive tactics. They will include anyone in their registry; it's all about the dollar. I worked there 1 week, and was actually fired when I couldn't make it into work one day because of car problems: but, I really don't think they liked me too much, even after I made a $1900 sale. I asked too many questions; such as, how many members are there? Why do you say that you have been in business over 6 years when your domain name was created in Sept. 2006? If I am an independent contractor, why am I not treated as one?
Anyway, I knew there was something wrong the first day when I couldn't take home the script to practice it; and also the owner got real worried when he saw me copying something down off the sales board. It was just the office #. Only one salesman has been there a year; all others have quit in a short time - probably because they knew it was a scam or didn't like to be pushed so hard on the phones. In such a bad economy, why are they having so much trouble finding employees? They also charge the persons credit card before you get off the phone with the sucker -- I mean customer -- to make sure the card clears. On the plaque they say is signed by the general mgr. of the company; just some office girl; they charge $159 for it; must cost $15 to make.

Basically, it's a boiler room; so don't take it out on the "Senior Editor" who is calling you. It's just some kid who has probably been scammed himself to do the job and make 300 calls a day. The real thief is the owner who has been opening who's whos since 1992.
I am surprised the authorities don't catch up to this guy. He sells lifetime memberships to people for a company has a very short life.

Anonymous said...

I recently fell victim to these people, mainly because I was interested in the networkinf aspect of the listing. Now that I have read over and over that it is not really exclusive I changed my mind. I called them less than 24 hours after giving them all my info. They said it goes to be personalized immediately. I told them that I did not care and that if they did not stop the charge I would dispute it. I work for a company that sells things and if we tried to tell our clients that they could not change their mind on an order after we worked for hours putting their order together we would be crucified!! I will post again once I have my resolution to the issue.

stardoll2000 said...

I hope you do get your order canceled..if not you will have a fight on your hands.. gl

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU SO MUCH! I received one of these and I just about filled out the form. I decided to do a little research before I went further. Thank God I did! I appreciate you writing this to save the rest of us from a scam.

Anonymous said...

Small update: 1) They stated they would be pulling my call records and would play the call back to me if necessary to prove their side. 2) They never called me back. 3) I placed a dispute with Amex over the weekend. 4) Today I looked again at the paperwork that was originally sent to me: it clearly stated NO COST which I totally forgot when they called me back. So, in essence they TRICKED me by not even offering me the "no cost" plan/option.

I really hope AMEX agrees to reverse the charges.

Anonymous said...

I know this is probably a tad childish, but if I have a few idle moments on a public computer, there is nothing more I like to to than fill in their online application forms (from their website, not the ones that link from your email) with utter rubbish.
I'm never insulting, and I probably waste more of my time than theirs, but for some reason it does make me feel a warm glow of satisfaction of annoying them, even if it's only for a nanosecond.

Anonymous said...

As of today (3/12/2009) the scam of Cambridge Who's Who is still going. I got the same tactics, pressure, promises, tickets for two etc. Luckily, I caught their scam on time and called my credit card company. It is the biggest scam I have seen, STAY AWAY from those BASTARDS!

Anonymous said...

THe AG's really needs to investigate this company. As a former employee, I can personally attest to the unethical and probably illegal actions perpetuated by Randy Narod, the "real" president toward the employees there. Unfortunately it is the employees who put themselves at risk in following the illegal actions, as demanded by Narod.

retiringsoon said...

Thanks so much for this post. I got one of these in the mail, and I am like you friend that does trust anything. I knew something was wrong because I don't even work now. I retired and I am finishng my degree, and they claimed I was in a professional who's who, PLEASE!

Anonymous said...

I was contacted by the International Who's Who http://www.internationalwhoswho.com/
Same thing, they asked for money. I need to understand, is the Who's Who organization that is creating this scam or people pretending to be part of the Who's Who?

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the information. It will definitely go in the trash. Figured it was a scheme of some sort!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, I got one of these in the mail the other day.

I've gotten invitations from the legit Who's Who in the past but the disclaimer at the bottom of this letter tipped me off: "Cambridge Who's Who is proudly not associated or affiliated with any other Who's Who Publication or Organization."

Thank you for the post. The letter is now residing somewhere in the recycling plant.

Anonymous said...

Loved the story, Tara! I wish I'd looked up Cambridge before they called me this morning so that I could have messed with them too. It's called karma adjustment. Fortunately, I didn't give them anything. Any reputable company will send you information on membership fees/awards/benefits in writing if you ask for it. If they hem and haw at such a request, something is fishy! Thanks for the post and info.

A.J. Blackstone said...

Just got off the phone with a Cambridge Who's Who rep. Everything happened the same way everyone else is speaking of. Platinum or Gold membership, and a companion airline voucher. After I said no a few times the price went down to $100. I told him that I still wanted to do some research and that is when he got mad.

Thanks for the blog!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing this, I had received a letter from Madison Who's Who for my business (with myself as the only employee and a total of 10 clients, HA!) About a month later got a call. After reading your blog, I went through the checklist with the guy on he phone...
$800 lifetime
$600 5 years
SPECIAL DEAL normally only for charitable ogranization.
2 free plane tickets and a plaque! WOW!!!
How stupid do they think we are? We are a better business because we do research and stay away from money blowing schemes such as this!!!

Great article!!!

none said...

An organisation calling itself whohub recently contacted me via my blogspot.

/quote

Hi, BuffySquirrel

We are contacting you because we have seen references about your work online.

We would like to include you in our directory of interviews with creative professionals and artists.

We invite you to take part in this interview. It is free.
You will also be able to include any web links to samples of your work on the internet.

To start the interview just go to this web address and start responding to questions:
http://www.whohub.net/interview/WRITING

Here, you can find some examples from other professionals:
http://www.whohub.net/en/authors.php

Best
Elsa Wide

Whohub is a directory of interviews with professionals in the fields of communication, arts, technology, and marketing.

/unquote

Squirrels are naturally suspicious. So I wrote back and asked them where they had seen my work referenced. So far, no reply.

Any thoughts, WB?

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you posted this! I had an "invitation" from Cambridge hanging around my office for weeks, and this evening I actually went online and started filling out the app. I stopped in the middle and thought to myself, 'You know, I'd better look further into this first.' Good thing I did! Thanks for the tip!

Kathy's Closet said...

I have been dodging these calls for months. Today I answered. Word for word you are right on. If I said I picked my nose for a living; I am sure she would have told me it was a great accomplishment. How can anyone sell this garbage? If I want to see myself in print, all I need do is enter MySpace, Facebook, or EBay and it doesn't cost a dime. Signed: Not born yesterday

Anonymous said...

I recieved a postcard as well. Went through the whole interview and everything. Then, came the whole membership package thing. I actually transferred money over to pay my credit card to pay for this thing. But, I told her that I would have wait until I got paid the next day. Meanwhile, I search Cambridge online. After reading all of this, I reported my card stolen before she could even charge it. I called and left word that the card wasn't going to work if they swiped it. The chick called back and left word on my answering machine, oh we can work something out. Give me a call back. Never called her back. After reading, I was starting to feel bad because I almost got caught in this mess. They go after a lot of people.

The Mom said...

I sure wish I'd seen this sooner! I just decided to google Cambridge Who's Who - I guess I'm a lot more gullible than most of your readers! I just checked, and the charge just cleared my credit card on 4/10/09. I don't suppose there's anything I can do about it at this point. At least I had him down from his first quote of $700 for a lifetime membership to $99.95 (which showed up as $118.95 on the credit card website). I told him "No" several times in the course of the conversation, and almost hung up at one point, but unfortunately I kept going. I'm glad you posted this - just wish I'd seen it sooner!

Anonymous said...

I really want to say thank you for the helpful info. I recieved my letter from Cambridge today. It was so obviously a scam that I actually started to laugh reading it.It says, "Cambridge Who's who among Executive and Professional women." Now what is so funny about that is that since graduating in 2001, as my personal choice, I have been a stay-at-home mom. I have never been a professional at anything outside my home. Again, Thank you for shining a spotlight on just how deep this scam runs.

Mike said...

I appreciated the fact that I was "approved" on April 1. How appropriate!

Anonymous said...

Seriously, this is great information. I love the WWW, since you can really get info on all these scamming companies. I almost fell for the Cambridge scam until I realized that no one at work would put forth the effort to nominate anyone else for something like this. I am glad I came across this.

Now, if someone would have equally warned me about apartment rental scams...I wouldn't be out $2,500. Tsk...Tsk...Tsk...

Liz

Anonymous said...

Wow. And it's still going strong. I got my letter from Cambridge this morning informing me that my candidacy had been approved as of April 15, 2009 for the online version of Cambridge Who's Who Registry Among Executive and Professional Women.

I'm not a professional anything. Thanks for the thorough investigation and report on this scam. After googling and finding your blog on the first page, I feel confident in my own ability to spot a scam a mile away! Thanks again for confirming my suspicions.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the heads up. I put a booger on their card and mailed it back.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for posting this. I received my phone call today and was deeply upset to find out that they wasted my valuable time. I explained that I did not have a credit card currently on me, the caller asked me to walk around and see if i can locate an old receipt with the number on it. That was enough for me.

Jim said...

I was just contacted and sold on this by Elizabeth George, a very nice sounding lady. I went for the "platinum" membership and charged it to my credit card. Shortly thereafter, Elizabeth called and told me the card had been declined. I called the fraud dept and was told that 3 charges had been made by Cambridge Whos Who: 798.95, 398.95 and 118.95. I then googled "complaints" and found this site. Thank God! Needless to say, I declined the membership and canceled the credit card. Thanks for this blog!

Leslie Wind said...

That charges to your card which they reported to you as declined is the worst "charge" I have read on this site. How lucky that this forum exists.

Unknown said...

oh my goodness- THANK you for posting this... I got called by these guys and what you descibed was exactly what happened! Came time for my credit card and I said I wanted to do research- she said as long as she had my "word" that I would pay the next day, she'd go ahead and process my application... good hell, sure enough, I google it and here you go. THANK YOU for people like you.

Jim said...

The story goes further. I emailed Elizabeth to tell her about the 3 charges, at the email address she gave me and it was returned "undeliverable." Later, there was a message from her on my voice mail that possibly I had not yet activated my card (that I just canceled). Apparently, they attempted to charge it again.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting the information. I just received a Cambridge invitation and thanks to you it is now where it belongs, in the trash!

Thanks again

Flavia said...

Hi, Thanks for your work!
I've just hang up the phone with Sharon Block - Cambridge Who's Who. Thank God I didn't give them any money. I said that I needed to think about it and she tried to get something from me. I ended telling her that I would call her back.
Is there a way to sue this people? I was thinking that we innocently add their name to our resumes (or cv's) as a award and people might look at it and laugh. I almost added to my resume as indicated for Cambridge Who's Who 2009-2010. Imagine if an HR from a Nestle saw my resume and laughed because I fell for the scam!

Anonymous said...

I have just received a phone call from emerald who's who. They have started from 899$/699$. While I show hesitation to pay money. The agent started to lower the amount 399$ two year then 199$ for one year. At last minute he tried 99$. As having similar marketing attempts, I do not decide such offers immediately. And after seen your page, I am sure that I did it right. Thanks for the blog for informing people.

AOWong said...

I also got a phone call and mailings from Cambridge Who's Who. I don't know how they got my work address and direct phone number. They are sure persistant and manipulating, but nice enough so that you won't get too mad at them.

They even tried to call me on my home number repeatedly but never leave a message.

Who's Who is definitely a scamming franchise. They amount they charge is obscene considering they do not specialize in a particular industry and the people on their directory are completely useless and not the kind of people I would network or associate with.

LinkedIn and Facebook is way more effective and efficient for networking and finding people, and best of all it is free.

I hope the word spreads around, especially these days where everyone is networking like mad and will do anything to get a lead.

Quinton said...

wow, these sons of bitches are must think everyone is a "someone", im a nineteen year old alcholic. why should i be honored, i dont even have a job right now. When i opened my letter i didnt know what it was, but apperently they already have a website made for me, and to be honest that pissed me off, i dont want my name in a website. Also they said that i was chosen to represnt my city, Temecula,ca, and to be honest im sure their are a plethora of people who are better suited. But anyway, i used the letter to light a cigar, and i gotta say, it even made the cigar taste bad. (I think that was a bad attempt at a joke), anyway anyone who gets a letter and actually calls and is pressured into buying something is really feeble, and even more so if they really are an executive or professional. But anyway, thats what americans are feeble sheep who'll go against everything they been taught for something they have never heard of.
Well thats all i gotta say on that.

Oh and screw obama and his socialist agenda, i want michal savage for president

Anonymous said...

I just received a letter today from the Cambridge Who's Who, telling me I was recently appointed as a biographical candidate to represent my home town in the 2009/2010 online Cambridge Who's Who Registry among Executive and Professional Women. First I am a stay at home mom, I am also in the Army National Guard. I am no professional and I have never heard of these people let alone filled out an application for anything like this! The name on my letter is M. Foster Editor in Chief, I saw other blogs with different names on it. I hope people don't fall for this scam!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Victoria! I just received a letter. I was suspicious. I googled the organization and found your posting...thank you for taking the time to warn so many of us about this scam!

Anonymous said...

I just got this in the mail, "Cambridge Who's Who". I was not sure if it was a scam until I read the post on this site. Thanks so much for all your help. :-)

Anonymous said...

yes i too got a letter and i was certainly honored...but 300 posting on how it was free then they want to charge you 800 dollars FOLKS THATS FOR A MEMBERSHIP, I TOLD THEM I DO NOT WANT MEMBERSHIP, THEY TOLD ME I WAS ENTITLED TO A COMPLIMENTARY MEMBERSHIP,,,,,,I WAS GRATEFUL. THEY STAND BY THEIR WORD ....EVERYONE STOP CRYING...THE LETTER SAYS COMPLIMENTARY LISTING....AND YOU are comparing this to FACEBOOK....lol. AND LINKIN YOU HAVE TO PAY...... please grow up all of you...I FOUND OUT THEY HAVE BEEN IN BUSINESS FOR 12 YEARS....DO YOU THINK IF THEY ARE NOT HELPING PEOPLE THEY WOULD STILL BE IN BUSINESS?????

Cellpro said...

haha I was thinking the same- was going to send the blank post card back to them. But im having second thoughts.

Im thinking about filling it out with all my info on it, then when they call me I may turn the tables on them.

I will go through the interview process, I will talk lots about myself, and make it very lenghty. Once she throws her sales pitch at me ill throw it right back at her by telling her I know what they do down there and im not interested in any of her services. Just wanted to waste some of her time- then hang up on them.

Cellpro Phones said...

A NOTE TO ANYONE WHO HAS RECENTLY BEEN RIPPED OFF:

If you paid them with credit card- and it was recently, you can very easily get your money back.

Simply call them up on the phone and DEMAND a REFUND. If they say no, tell them if they dont, you are going to call your credit card company up and do a "CHARGE BACK" . (be sure to use that word- "charge back") If you say them words they will assuse you know how the system works, and 50% of the time they will go ahead and credit your money back.

If they still say they wont refund you, dont waste any more of ur time with them. Hang up then call your credit card company and tell them you want to dispute the charge because they are fraud.

Some people dont realize how nice credit card comapnies are about stuff like this.

Credit card "charge backs" do have time limits though. Some credit cards have a 30 day limit, meaning in order to do a charge back the transaction had to occur within the past 30 days. Most credit card companies however do 60 or 90 days. My credit card that I use has a 6 month grace period on all charge backs. Thats the best because especially on ebay, if you have any problems within that 6 month period you can make a phone call and get your money back.

This does not apply to bank or debit cards though- charge backs only apply to credit cards.

Anonymous said...

thank you for this warning. I just got a letter in the mail this afternoon. I can't believe it's still going on 2 years later...

Anonymous said...

To the scum that obviously works for either Madison Who's Who or Cambridge Who's Who.

Madoff was in business far longer than 12 years scamming people. Do you think if a scam goes on long enough it become legit? Guess what? We are all on to your scam and its a matter of time before the companies are closed and the owners are put in prison

Anonymous said...

Thanks a million. I was about to respond to this honor mail and read your posting and zillions of comments from other folks and you all saved my money in this tough economy!

I will be watching this blog and if people want to get together and send these guys to jail, I will be more than happy to join the revolution.

Beware scammers, stop here or get nailed.

Anonymous said...

i just received a letter from Cambridge... i drew a penis on the business reply. i hope it gives the reciever a paper cut and they get gangrene and have to amputate.

Anonymous said...

Oh man (imagine whiny obnoxious voice) just when I thought I'd finally been recognized for working in a low paying job, for a tyranical incompetent boss, all to support my writing habit, I had to read this blog!

I got my Executive and Professional Women's nod from Cambridge today. I then quickly fashioned my resignation letter, sure that fame was mine. What a rotten Monday. Almost as rotten as the time Gilbralter Who's Who wanted to recognize me as an International Executive before I'd even been out of the country.

Next you'll be telling me that editors don't really sit in a room and debate how great my manuscript is and they aren't deeply emotionally torn by having to send me a rejection letter!

Anonymous said...

I got this too. The surprising thing is I'm still in Middle School.

upshaw said...

I filled out my Cambridge return card in the name of "Phuc A. Yu" with a bogus address but with real phone numbers....to a prominent law firm in a major city to whom I doubt they wish to speak. I'm glad to have cost them postage AND wasted their time.

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot, just received this mailing and was supecting the same

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I just received one of their letters today and I thought I'd look it up before submitting any info.

The B.B.B. (Better Business Bureaus) bbb.org has all of their websites and names.

Cambridge Who's Who
Emipre Who's Who
Empire Executive & Professional Registry, Inc.
Empire Who's Who
Manchester Who's Who

Thank you,

Melanie C. Jordan said...

I cant believe this. I just hung up the phone from some lady named Lucille. Cambridge Whos who. Last week I received a letter in the mail stating I was honored to represent Miami Beach professional women. I was so excited. I told everyone I knew about this great thing that happened to me. I also placed it on my resume. They called me a few days ago and left a message on my voice mail. Today they called and reached me. She had me on the phone for at least 45 min. I told her from the start,"If this is about money I don't have it". She stated no and interviewed me. After the interview she through membership dues at me. I couldn't express enough that I was not paying anything. She let me hang up with the thought in my head that I was still be honored and if I have a change of heart to call her back. I decided to Google Cambridge whos who to see what information I can get about them. I found your Blog. How can they do that to people. Made my hopes go up high . Made me look like a fool . Thank you for doing this research. I had a feeling about them but didn't want to believe.

Anonymous said...

BEWARE!!! BIGGEST SNAKE IS DEB MORRISSEY HEAD OF HR FOR CAMBRIDGE, IF SHE ISNT THE DEIFNITION OF SLEEZE I DONT KNOW WHAT IS!!!!

Anonymous said...

Just got this letter in the mail. When I googled it, this blog came up and I want to thank you for spreading the word! Very kind of you...

Goldenth said...

Wow I just can't believe this. I just got the letter like two hours ago and when I read it I was confused. So of course, I decided to go to the Website that had my name on it and when I saw the Welcome screen I was atonished!!!then I saw the appication and it hit me. I never give any one my information on line or over the phone unless I know who they are. Since I don't know who the heck is Who's who" I went on goggle first and found you guys. I was not gonna go thru with it but I got really curious to know WHO again this people were,but I siriously never though in a million years to find all this information. This is so hillarious to me but at the same time I feel comple to express my sympathies to the affected victims. I really hope that this people can be stopped one way or another. because of people like them humanity fade each day more and more and people find themselves no trusting anything or anyone in this life which sometimes may cause a lost of real opportunities.

Thanks again for this blog and good luck to everyone!!

Rosalina said...

I just finished one of the lengthy conversations. And she was all nice and caring and saying all the righ words and then she tells me that the membership costs 800 and then other one that was a little cheaper. I told her that I have my student loans to pay off and she said oh of course will give you the membership for $99.00 for a year. I told her no I needed to talk to my husband and she says for $99 oh okay we will just list you in the book. This is such a scam and was such a waist of my time.

Rosalina said...

sorry for the misspellings...I am still upset

Jim said...

Ha Ha. Looks like they are trying to enroll everyone in the US.

Anonymous said...

I just got off the phone with these people. I knew they where going to ask for money. At first they offered my two choices, one was for lifetime for like $800 and the other was for 5-years for $600. They also included the companion ticket. I told the scammer I would like to think about it because it's a lot of money!

So she said she had a 3-year membership, I said I'd like to think about it. She continued with a 2-year and then a 1-year membership. I finally just said "NO" instead of the "I'd like to think about it" no. Then she said congratulations, thank you you for your time, and that is all.

I'm glad I didn't fall for their scam. If it didn't cost so much money, I probably would have because I failed to follow my own rule: Always check online for shady offers.

I'm surprised these scams still exist even after 2 years.

Cambridge Who's Who is a scam!

Lisa said...

Just got my letter today. Am inherently suspicious of anything that says "REPLY NECESSARY" in all caps at the top -- oh yeah? Or you'll do WHAT?

And then at the bottom is the odd phrase, "Cambridge Who's Who is *proudly* (my emphasis) not associated or affiliated with any other Who's Who Publication [sic] or Organization [sic]" -- okay then. Proud of that, are you? Well, yippee-kai-yay for you.

Was going to tear it up anyway but decided to Google it just for grins, and found your great post. Thanks! Most informative!

Anonymous said...

And still in June-09 this scam continues! Can't believe Cambridge Who's Who is still kicking on.

Thanks for the warnings.

Anonymous said...

Thnks So much for the insightful blog. I recieved this letter today. Although it was very flattering. I just completed my internship and will be graduating in a few weeks and thought something doesn't smell right... So I Googled it, and sure enough it was a load of crap. Thanks again so much!!!


- Miss C.P.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the info. Just got my letter and I was all excited! Figured the catch was coming soon.

BBHY said...

Totally turned it around on these guys. I wrote them a nice letter, explaining that "As I'm sure you are well aware, as a person of great stature and importance to society I receive many such offers. Adding my name will certainly give your publication great notoriety and elevate it well above the many similar offerings.

As such, I have established a fee structure for incorporation of my name in your registry. For a one time fee of $5000 my name can be listed for a period of one year. For $20,000 you may gain the rights to list my name on a lifetime basis.

There is also the possibility of having an exclusive listing. Please contact me if you have significant resources and have an interest in pursuing this possibility.

The process works as follows: once I receive your payment and the funds have been well established, a cursory check of your business listing in the Better Business Bureau will be conducted. Shortly after that, I will provide you with the listing information.

Best Regards,"

Never heard from them again, so I guess they aren't interested!

Anonymous said...

I received my letter today. I am skeptical by nature when it comes to this kind of thing. Especially since I just graduated and moved to this city 8 months ago and now I have been "appointed to represent the city" among Executive and Professional Women?? Come on, give me a little bit of credit. While I will admit to being slightly flattered to begin with, sensibility immediately kicked in so I did a Google search. Lo and behold I found this blog. Thank you so much. It only saddens me to know that this has been going on for so long and no one is doing anything about it. This letter is going straight into the shredder. I don't have time to deal with harrassing phone calls or annoying people who want me to part with my money!!

Anonymous said...

Received my letter today, and even went to the website created in my very own personal name to check it out. It was there that I began to get that feeling in the back of my mind that something wasn't right, and jumped over to another window to Google "Cambridge Who's Who". Upon immediately seeing all of the information pop-up against them I knew I was being conned. Thank you so much for putting this out here for the rest of us to access!

Now am wondering if they are tracking the website and will contact me even though I didn't enter any information in. Actually, I am kind of hoping for it just so I can keep the person tied up on the phone for an hour or so (going for the record) and prevent them from being able to con someone else during that time!

Thanks again!!

Anonymous said...

I am too embarrased to identify myself, but I just got ripped-off by Cambridge to the tune of 598.95 for a Platinum membership (which I did not want) then automatically they plan to charge me another $199, and of course all sales are final.......I can't believe this happened to me, I am too old to fall for this but it is true. I should have read your blog earlier......

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much! I just got the letter informing me I'd been selected for inclusion. I knew some of these were scams, so I was going to just throw it away when I thought, "What if it is legit? It might be something to include on my resume." So I googled them and found your blog. Question answered. Letter appropriately filed. Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

thanks.... save me time on this... got one today. They sign it with M. Foster now.

amrcnlbrty said...

Well a situation such as this. Is easy I love consumer issues like this one. Here in Oregon we have several laws pertaining to these kinds of scams.. From both the consumers and the Merchants POV.. the Merchant..
When You Must Cancel an Order

You must cancel an order and provide a prompt refund when:

* the customer exercises any option to cancel before you ship the merchandise;
* the customer does not respond to your first notice of a definite revised shipment date of 30 days or less and you have not shipped the merchandise or received the customer’s consent to a further delay by the definite revised shipment date;
* the customer does not respond to your notice of a definite revised shipment date of more than 30 days (or your notice that you are unable to provide a definite revised shipment date) and you have not shipped the merchandise within 30 days of the original shipment date;
* the customer consents to a definite delay and you have not shipped or obtained the customer’s consent to any additional delay by the shipment time the customer consented to;
* you have not shipped or provided the required delay or renewed option notices on time; or
* you determine that you will never be able to ship the merchandise.
The consumer..
Putting Cold Calls on Ice

So just how did they get your number? Fraudulent telemarketers may get your phone number from a telephone directory, mailing list or "sucker" list. Sucker lists include names, addresses, phone numbers - even how much money you may have spent on telemarketing scams in the past. Unscrupulous promoters buy and sell sucker lists on the theory that consumers who have been deceived once are easy prey for additional scams.

The FTC's Telemarketing Sales Rule helps protect you from abusive and deceptive telephone sales practices. The Rule restricts calling times to the hours between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m., and puts other limits on telemarketers, too. For example:

* Telemarketers must tell you it's a sales call, the name of the seller and what they're selling before they make their pitch.
* It's illegal for telemarketers to lie about their goods or services; earnings potential, profitability, risk, or liquidity of an investment; or the nature of a prize in a prize-promotion scheme.
* Before you pay, telemarketers must tell you the total cost of the goods they're selling; any restrictions on getting or using them; and if a sale is final or non-refundable. In a prize promotion, they must tell you the odds of winning, that no purchase or payment is necessary to win, and any restrictions or conditions of receiving the prize.
* It's illegal for a telemarketer to withdraw money from your checking account without your express, verifiable authorization.
* Telemarketers cannot lie to get you to pay, no matter what method of payment you use.
* You do not have to pay for credit repair, recovery room, or credit services until these services have been delivered.
* It's illegal for a telemarketer to call you if you have asked not to be called.
For more info visit us on the web at http://www.americanlibertyrights.org/consumerrights

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your research, they are still at it. I got my announcement yesterday. I am glad I had your comments ti fill in the missing gaps.

Best wishes; Cindy

Anthony Trott said...

Apparently now the Editor in Chief is an "M. Foster"...

It IS a very unfortunate thing that people get sucked into such scams.

I don't do ANYTHING impressive for a living. I ain't exactly a Who's Who Cambridge! But nice try there buddy!

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