Category Archives: Psychology of the Deal

Investment psychology

Lawyer appeal BSD

Jerome Cornejo profile pic
Jerome Cornejo profile pic

I received the following email from Jerome Cornejo. The email address has this profile picture associated with it. Nice beach scene. Pity it is only 70×70 pixels in size.

From: Jerome Cornejo <[redacted]@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 2 Jul 2018 12:27:18 +0300
Subject: Lawyer appeal BSD
To: Paul Zagoridis

Dear Paul.

We ask you to delete the full information about the company BSD in the daytime.

Due to the fact that we have not received a response from you on our official letter, we are forced to take corresponding action. For your false accusations against the Company BSD we are forced to file a lawsuit and defend the name of the Company in a court. You will have to answer in a court for the harm done to the company and people who lost their jobs, and also pay millions of dollars for caused damages.

I think he’s claiming to be a lawyer for BSD but it isn’t clear. It just stopped. There is no footer, or signature section with the usual corporate or lawyer guff. And no title, contact details or anything else.

There is a Microsoft Word attachment which could be a payload for all manner of malware. I very gingerly opened it in Google Drive.

No letterhead, names, addresses, phone numbers or other contact details, just text reproduced in full below.

Dear Paul!

We are obliged to inform you that your unreasonable claims and accusations regarding BSD Trade Service Corp activity caused great damage to the Company. The number of negative and false publications on your website impacted the Company’s activity.

All these people suffered from false publications on your website that adversely affected on Company’s reputation and caused financial losses.
 
BSD Trade Service Corp values its reputation and does not carry out any unlawful actions in which it was accused. We work in accordance with all laws and regulations established by Labor and Employment Department of our country. We said about this in a letter that we sent you earlier.
As we explained on the our previous reply letters Bsd provides Bpo services and has nothing to do with financial advisory.

Bsd is proud with the services that it provides,more than that with all the false information that you published on your website there is zero complaints from HQ broker clients at any level and this mean a lot,this mean that HQ broker that is our respectable client is working by the rules and regulations of the financial industry,more than that if there are clients that are not satisfied from HQ services they are more than welcome to withdrawal their capital at any time.

Due to the fact that we have not received a response from you on our official letter, we are forced to take corresponding action. For your false accusations against the Company BSD we are forced to file a lawsuit and defend the name of the Company in a court. You will have to answer in a court for the harm done to the company and we are suing you personally as well for damages and defamation you caused to Bsd worldwide,the value of the damages is millions and you can assure that with our legal team you will pay us all the damages personally.

The management.

I sent the following reply

Dear Jerome

Without Prejudice

I request further and better particulars, specifically

  • the name of your firm,
  • the name of the client you are representing,
  • for the avoidance of doubt, the address of the client,
  • your legal mailing address,
  • your address for service of documents,
  • your telephone number, and
  • your Roll of Attorney’s Number

I am surprised that you contacted me from a gmail email address rather than a professional firm address. Should I infer that you have not received instructions from your client?

I have not received any official letter before this email, other than an unsigned, unattributed and unverifiable message via my contact page claiming to be from “BSD Trade Services Corp. administration” on 15 June 2018 which I addressed at http://wealthesteem.org/official-letter-from-bsd-administration/ as well as in my message via BSD Trade Services Contact page. Given the lack of names, capacity and addresses on this email plus the dubious and unverifiable gmail source, it is not unreasonable to doubt the authenticity of all such messages.

Furthermore, by using the subject “Lawyer Appeal BSD” and threatening legal action you are passing yourself off as a lawyer. Given there is no lawyer called Jerome Cornejo licensed to practice law in either the Philippines or Australia I contend that you are falsely representing yourself as an attorney. Such deceptive trade practices could be the basis of a civil and criminal complaints against you. Of course I could be misinformed and I look forward to receiving confirmation of your bona fides.

However given the allegedly fraudulent business practices of HQ Broker, BSD Trade Services, GWU Marketing Corp, and other individuals and entities in this enterprise, I wonder if you really exist or is this just another email alias (a.k.a. sock puppet) in a web of deceit?

Should you reply with the requested further and better particulars, I will then address the substance of your letter.

Paul Zagoridis
Publisher
WealthEsteem.org

BSD Trade Services Closing

I’ve reports that BSD Trade Services is closing. They have told staff that today was their last shift, but have not explicitly said they are closing down.

In honour of the report I’ve been sent a photo of Senior BSD Managers Charles, Niav-Nisim Hashoshan, and Shlomi (Shlomo) Avshalom.

Update 5 July 2018: I’ve received a copy of the Memo from 29 June 2018.

BSD Trade Servies Closing Memo 2018-06-29
BSD Trade Servies Closing Memo 2018-06-29

It reads:

[BSD Letterhead]

CIRCULAR MEMORANDUM

TO: ALL EMPLOYEES

FROM: The Management

SUBJECT: COMPANY CLOSURE/DISSOLUTION

DATE: June 29, 2018

This has reference to the above mentioned matter.

Please be informed after careful deliberation, the Board of Directors and Management have unanimously vote [sic] to dissolve the Corporation and therefore, business operation will officially cease effective on June 29, 2018. Reassured that the Company will comply with the legal requirements under the law for this purpose.

Please be guided accordingly.

[signed]

Admin. Manager

Expect that the BSD operation will reopen at a new location, possibly under a new name and corporate structure. Reports suggest to look in Serbia, Brazil and Barcelona.

According to another source, part of the BSD team has an office in Cebu and are operating from there after the Clark office closure .

A source who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation said GWU has taken over most of the services from BSD, “They moved the customer support and some openers, BPO and IT but not the brokers.”

On a related note, affiliates of the HQBroker scam visit that page at the rate of 1,500 users per hour over the last 48 hours. The server is happily dealing with this traffic. So it is a rather poor DDOS attack. They are mainly using services in Pakistan, India, Vietnam and USA so it really stands out. Hey GWU/BPO Telecom hackers, if you are not scamming in the States, there is no reason for there to be any traffic from USA. Update: The USA traffic vanished after this note. In Total they sent us 110,000 visitors over 3 days 20 hours, then it stopped.

Is this Investment Call a Scam?

You’ve just received a phone call on your mobile (a.k.a. cell) phone. The nice person on the end of the line is lovely, polite, smart and caring. They care deeply about you and they have amazing investment opportunities for their clients.

It’s very rude to assume this nice person is a fraud, thief or scammer. So push that thought right out of you mind. But, a nagging thought made you look things up on the internet, “just in case”.

How can you tell if that call is from a fraud, cheat, thief or scammer? Here are 12 ways to tell that the nice person on the phone is a scammer. Note this is a list of red flags, answering Yes to any one question implies it’s a scam.

  1. Have you heard of the company before?
    If you didn’t and you did not talk someone in the previous 24 hours who mentioned that company name explicitly to you and asked to call you back, it’s a scam.
    It’s that simple, if the call is not from your bank, insurance company or stockbroker and you are not an active trader attending networking events, what makes them think you’re a prospect for their marketing call?
  2. Can you fund your initial position with a credit card?
    Real brokers will not accept credit cards, because the fees are too high and customers can charge back deposits in most jurisdictions.
  3. Can you fund the account with as little as $250 US Dollars?
    Even the largest and cheapest US stock brokers charge about $10 per trade so that represents 4% of your capital. Factor the cost of the call, plus time and infrastructure to make these marketing calls, $10 does not represent a decent return on investment for the call centre. Not all Dealer-Brokers charge brokerage. Forex and CFD charge a spread between buying and selling. The fundamental financial equation does not change, it takes thousands of dollars in fees to justify a broker’s one-on-one time and attention.
  4. Is the caller from outside your national jurisdiction (i.e. overseas)?
    Calling across borders has been the basis of investment scams since the invention of the telephone. If your local Securities Law enforcement organisation can’t touch the dealer-broker, you can’t be protected by them.
  5. Does the caller speak with an accent different from your own?
    If the person calling speaks English, French, Russian or your local language but not with your local accent and you can’t visit their local office today, it’s a scam. I’ve had brokers in Sydney, Australia who had a foreign accept, but I can walk into their offices during business hours. I can’t do that with the broker-dealers who’ve called claiming to be in London, Hong Kong or Tokyo.
  6. Is the caller pitching something you’ve never heard of?
    If you are not a sophisticated investor who regularly reviews private placements, and the call is pitching something you’ve never heard of, it’s a scam. Even if you’ve only heard of it in the news (like “bitcoin”) it’s a scam.
  7. Does the caller mention the words ICO (Initial Coin Offering), Bitcoin, Blockchain, Coin  or crypto? 
    If you’ve never invested in Bitcoin or other crypto-currency and those words come up, it’s a scam. If you want to buy bitcoin (or any of the alt-coins) for the first time, meet someone IRL (in real life( in a public place and exchange cash for the digital currency. People like that exist, they’re not all drug dealers.
  8. Is the phrase “Binary Options” used?
    Seriously Israel has banned Israelis from promoting Binary Options outside of Israel because it is that big a scam. It’s up there with the Nigerian Princes.
  9. Do they offer to remotely log into your computer to set you up on the trading platform?
    If they offer to use Team Viewer (or other remote desktop software)  to help set up your account, it’s a scam. If you can’t set up the trading platform without them taking over your computer you don’t have the IT and security skills to use their trading platform safely. It’s a scam to see how much money you have in your bank account. Normally by this time you’ve already sent them money. Cancel you credit cards and stop talking to them right now.
  10. Is this a cold call?
    If you receive a cold call, it’s a scam. Cold calling is dead in the internet era. Every legitimate marketing move is about attracting warm leads from customers who want to call the supplier. Insurance companies don’t cold call. Credit card companies don’t cold call. Car dealerships don’t cold call. Legitimate investment advisors do not cold call.
  11. Does the caller lack an active LinkedIn account?
    Note the existence of a LinkedIn profile is not any guarantee, if could be fake. Check if their connections are all in the finance game. If so, they’re fake. Brokers are sales people and they love having lots of connections. Thousands to tens-of-thousands of connections. Ask for all their social media accounts. Do a search for the firm name and the results should be a lot of people who work or have previously worked there.
  12. Bonus for the cautious – Is the caller speaking a recognisable language?
    This is a variation on “if their lips are moving, they are lying”.  If you want to invest in a new area, do your research and reach out to someone. Never accept a call from someone you don’t know who wants you to give them your money. Always ask for a recommendation from someone more experienced than you.

GWU Marketing Corp

GWU Marketing Corp is now stepping up to provide services to HQ Broker.com forex trading scam.

I’ve got names and photos of senior staff uploaded. But I wanted to alert everyone that GWU Marketing Corp is the new name to research.

Do not email them from a personal or work email as they will put you on a marketing list.

Address :
08-F Clark Center, Jose Abad Santos Ave., Clark Freeport Zone 2023 Philippines

Email :
support@gwumkt.com

Domain name whois info is incomplete. URL of the ICANN WHOIS Data Problem Reporting System: http://wdprs.internic.net/

Domain Name: gwumkt.com

Registrant Country: CY

It has been reported that many of the senior executives tied to BSD and HQBroker have fled the Philippines and set up shop in Eastern Europe.

If you comment and claim to be from GWU Marketing Corp, please use a real name and work email address.

BSD Trade Services was the business in the Philippines driving the HQBroker scam. It seems the name change game is on.

Key Staff

Here are key staff running HQ Broker, BSD Trade Services and GWU Marketing.

Shlomo Matan Shalom Avshalom

Shlomo Matan Shalom AvshalomPresident GWU Marketing Corp
Partner BSD Trade Services
Israeli

Details from Republic of the Philippines application for Alien Employment Permit/s:
GWU MKTG CORP.
08F Clark Center Berthaphil III, JAS Ave., CFZP
Mr. SHLOMO MATAN SHALOM AVSHALOM
Israeli
President

Directorships:
QUICK SOLUTIONS LIMITED
GRIZZLY LTD

Idan Avshalom

Idan Avshalom photo
Idan Avshalom photo

Details from Republic of the Philippines application for Alien Employment Permit/s:
GWU MARKETING CORP.
Mr. IDAN AVSHALOM
Israeli
Office Center No. 05M Berthaphil Israeli Clark, Clark Center, Jose Abad
Santos Avenue, CZFP
IT Specialist for Israel

BSD Trade Services

This post consolidates info about BSD Trade Services, an unregistered BPO (Business Process Outsourcer) in the Philippines that provides Customer Service, Marketing, Lead Generation and Account Opening services to HQBroker.com a known international forex scam platform. In opening accounts for a scam forex trading platform, BSD Trade Services assist fraud and money laundering.

Beware of emailing BSD Trade Services from your personal or business email. You will be added to a marketing list.

Address: 05M Clark Center, Jose Abad Santos Ave., CSEZ Pampanga Philippines

Phone: (GLOBE) 09560595097
(SUN) 09324736800

Email: ta@bsd.com.ph

Websites:  bsdtradeservices.com
bsd.com.ph (registered at 1API.net with domain privacy and no valid whois details)

Whois extract for bsd.com.ph on 12 June 2018

Registrant Name: Shlomo Avshalom
Registrant Organization:
Registrant Street: Office 05M Berthaphil Compound, Jose Abad Santos Ave
Registrant City: Angeles
Registrant State/Province: Pampanga
Registrant Postal Code: 2004
Registrant Country: PH

Whois extract for BSDTradeServices.com

Registrant Name: richard bula
Registrant Organization: Bsd trade services corp
Registrant Street: 770 HIGH WAY ROAD
Registrant City: HONG KONG
Registrant State/Province: HONG KONG
Registrant Postal Code: HK01
Registrant Country: HK
Registrant Phone: +852.3503688
Registrant Phone Ext:
Registrant Fax:
Registrant Fax Ext:
Registrant Email: bankworld227@gmail.com

It seems that most of their work is being moved to GWU Marketing Corp.

Key Staff

Here are key staff running HQ Broker, BSD Trade Services and GWU Marketing.

Michael (Mike) Menahe

Michael Menahe photo
Michael Menahe photo

aka Mike
aka “Big Boss”
Surname needed?

President of BSD Trade Services

Resides in Singapore.

Shlomo Matan Shalom Avshalom

Shlomo Matan Shalom Avshalom photo
Shlomo Matan Shalom Avshalom photo

President GWU Marketing Corp
Partner BSD Trade Services
Israeli

Details from Republic of the Philippines application for Alien Employment Permit/s:
GWU MKTG CORP.
08F Clark Center Berthaphil III, JAS Ave., CFZP
Mr. SHLOMO MATAN SHALOM AVSHALOM
Israeli
President

Directorships:
QUICK SOLUTIONS LIMITED
GRIZZLY LTD

Niav-Nisim Hashoshan

Niav-Nisim Hashoshan photo
Niav-Nisim Hashoshan photo

Details from Republic of the Philippines application for Alien Employment Permit/s:
BSD TRADE SERVICES CORP.
Jose Abad Santos Ave., CFZP
Mr. NIAV-NISIM HASHOSHAN
Israeli
Sales Manager for English Desk

Kseniia Kempa

Kseniia Kempa aka Ksusha Kempa aka Polina Romanova photo
Kseniia Kempa aka Ksusha Kempa aka Polina Romanova photo

aka Ksusha Kempa
aka Polina Romanova
Ukrainian
Manager English Desk and in Broker Desk.

Details from Republic of the Philippines application for Alien Employment Permit/s:

BSD TRADE SERVICE
CORPORATION
Office Center No 05M
Berthaphil Clark, Clark
Center, Jose Abad Santos
Avenue, CFZP
Ms. KSENIIA KEMPA
Ukrainian
Call Center Agent for Russia
Answering of both inbound and outbound
calls.

LinkedIn Profile removed (no longer available)

Eli Yaniv (Eliyahu) Haim

Eli Yaniv (Eliyahu) Haim photo
Eli Yaniv (Eliyahu) Haim photo

aka Yaniv Yaniv
aka Daniel Ozeri
Runs Cebu office

Details from Republic of the Philippines application for Alien Employment Permit/s:
BSD TRADE SERVICE CORP.
Office Center No. 05M,
Berthaphil Clark Center, J. A.
Santos Ave., CFZP
Mr. ELI YANIV (ELIYAHU) HAIM
Israeli
Call Center Agent for Israel
Answering of both inbound and outbound
calls.

Daniel Ozeri

Daniel Ozeri photo
Daniel Ozeri photo

Details from Republic of the Philippines application for Alien Employment Permit/s:
BSD TRADE SERVICE
CORPORATION
Office Center No. 05M Berthaphil
Clark, Clark Center, Jose Abad
Santos Avenue, CFZP
Mr. DANIEL OZERI
Israeli
Call Center Agent for Israel

Topaz Yafa Ashkenazi

Details from Republic of the Philippines application for Alien Employment Permit/s:
BSD TRADE SERVICE
CORPORATION
Office Center No. 05M Berthaphil
Clark, Clark Center, Jose Abad
Santos Avenue, CFZP
Ms. TOPAZ YAFA ASHKENAZI
Israeli
Customer Support for Israel

Bryan Patrick Daly

Details from Republic of the Philippines application for Alien Employment Permit/s:
BSD TRADE SERVICE
CORPORATION
Office Center No. 05M Berthaphil
Clark, Clark Center, Jose Abad
Santos Avenue, CFZP
Ms. TOPAZ YAFA ASHKENAZI
Israeli
Call Center Agent

Vladyslav Vilinskyi

Details from Republic of the Philippines application for Alien Employment Permit/s:
BSD TRADE SERVICE
CORPORATION
Office Center No. 05M Berthaphil
Clark, Clark Center, Jose Abad
Santos Avenue, CFZP
Mr. VLADYSLAV VILINSKYI
Ukrainian
Call Center Agent for Russia

Ori Kedmi

Details from Republic of the Philippines application for Alien Employment Permit/s:
BSD TRADE SERVICES
CORPORATION
Office Center 05M, Jose Abad Santos
Ave., CFZP
Mr. ORI KEDMI
Israeli
Sales Agent for Israel

Fany Bensimon ép. Bizaoui

The “ép.” means her husband’s name is Bizaoui.

Details from Republic of the Philippines application for Alien Employment Permit/s:
BSD TRADE SERVICES
CORPORATION
Office Center 05M, Jose Abad Santos
Ave., CFZP
Ms. FANY BENSIMON ep. BIZAOUI
French
Sales Agent for French

Elior Vaknin

Details from Republic of the Philippines application for Alien Employment Permit/s:
BSD TRADE SERVICES
CORPORATION
Office Center 05M, Jose Abad Santos
Ave., CFZP
Mr. ELIOR VAKNIN
Israeli
Desk Manager

Yitshak Cohen

Yitshak Cohen photo
Yitshak Cohen photo

Details from Republic of the Philippines application for Alien Employment Permit/s:
BSD TRADE SERVICES
CORPORATION
Office Center 05M, Jose Abad Santos
Ave., CFZP
Mr. YITSHAK COHEN
Israeli
Risk Management Manager

Isaac Salomon Kakone

Details from Republic of the Philippines application for Alien Employment Permit/s:
BSD TRADE SERVICES
CORPORATION
Office Center 05M, Jose Abad Santos
Ave., CFZP
Mr. ISAAC SALOMON KAKONE
Israeli
Sales Agent for Israel

Nevo Yaakov

Details from Republic of the Philippines application for Alien Employment Permit/s:
BSD TRADE SERVICES
CORPORATION
Office Center 05M, Jose Abad Santos
Ave., CFZP
Mr. NEVO YAAKOV
Israeli
Sales Agent for Israel

Jérémy Carrera

Jérémy Carrera photo
Jérémy Carrera photo

Runs office in Brazil

Artur Maksymenko

Artur Maksymenko photo
Artur Maksymenko photo

Runs Barcelona Office

Chaim Weiss

Chaim Weiss photo
Chaim Weiss photo

Chaim Weiss runs BPO Telecom in Clark, Philippines providing telecom services for BSD which includes all the fake lines and IT support.

Details from Republic of the Philippines application for Alien Employment Permit/s:
BSD TRADE SERVICES CORP.
Office Center No. 05M
Berthaphil Clark, Clark Center,
Jose Abad Santos Ave. CFZP
Mr. CHAIM WEISS
American
I.T. Technical Support Specialist

Yulia Bozhchenko

Details from Republic of the Philippines application for Alien Employment Permit/s:
BSD TRADE SERVICES CORP.
Office Center No. 05M
Berthaphil Clark, Clark Center,
Jose Abad Santos Ave. CFZP
Ms. YULIIA BOZHCHENKO
Ukrainian
Call Center Agent for Russia

Idan Avshalom

Idan Avshalom photo
Idan Avshalom photo

Works for GWU Marketing Corp as IT Support. Responsible for enabling all the technology behind  the scam.

Details from Republic of the Philippines application for Alien Employment Permit/s:
GWU MARKETING CORP.
Mr. IDAN AVSHALOM
Israeli
Office Center No. 05M Berthaphil Israeli Clark, Clark Center, Jose Abad
Santos Avenue, CZFP
IT Specialist for Israel

No Bitcoin for Sir John Key Former NZ PM

Sir John Key, the former Prime Minister of New Zealand has never invested in Bitcoin. He is not promoting cryptocurrency. If you see it on your news feed or on a website it’s a scam.

Scammers on social media Facebook and Twitter and other sites have set up fake websites to look like the New Zealand Herald. With that photo and a pull quote claiming

I have invested in Bitcoin because I believe in its potential, the capacity it has to transform global payments is very exciting.

~ Never said by John Key 38th Prime Minister of New Zealand but actually said by Richard Branson

Scammers never fully abandon an idea, this will be recycled when the bad publicity dies down.

The article quotes Key as saying he turned a $1000 investment into $300 Million in seven years using a “bitcoin loophole”. Supposedly you can make hundreds of millions of dollars without understanding the market, without effort and without risk.

There’s a hint. Anybody selling you something that uses a “loophole” is a scam, 100% of the time. People who actually discover loopholes (or correlations) keep the secret to themselves while they make money on this arbitrage. When the process stops working efficiently, they sell it to other fools people.

Sir John Key tried to get Facebook to take down ads using the fake image and website. Initially Facebook refused and resisted despite it being an obvious scam. Hopefully six months later and with all the focus on fake news, it looks like the ads are no longer visible on Facebook, but a source who knows Sir John says he is still frustrated and annoyed by these scammers.

The NZ Herald also worked to get the fake site taken down and appears to have succeeded. However the registry information shows the bisimfinance domain is still registered.

Sir John Key made his fortune as a currency trader before entering politics. His net worth is estimated at $65 million NZD.

Official letter from HQBroker

Three hours twenty minutes after sending the Official Letter from BSD Administration, HQ Brokers sent this message with the same subject line.

This is the first time a full name has been used by HQBroker so I’ll ask her for the “official appeal”. This will be interesting.

Subject: Official letter from HQBroker
Date: Sat, Jun 16, 2018 at 12:27 AM
From: [Redacted] <[redacted]@hqbroker.com> sent this message via the Contact page
To: Wealth Esteem wealthesteem.org
Message ID <28e1d5951730d7a253fc8989719913d9@wealthesteem.org>

Dear Paul,

Today lawyers of the BSD Company appealed to us regarding material that was published on your website, this material contains information about allegedly connection of BSD Company and our Company HQBroker. Please note that the company BSD has nothing to do with the broker HQBroker.

We ask you to remove in the shortest time all information related to the company BSD. If you do not do this, you will be dealt with BSD attorneys. Please, contact with us for the official appeal.

Official Letter from BSD Administration

I received this message via the Contact page.

I wish I knew who wrote it, but it states no name or capacity beyond “represent”. The [redacted] email address used to post the message is a generic role-based address not usually used for such communication. It doesn’t state the legal entity or address of the entity. That makes it hard to respond. Will the writer please comment below with those details so I can respond?

Subject: Official Letter from BSD Administration
Date: Fri, Jun 15, 2018 at 9:07 PM
From: BSD Trade Services <[redacted]@bsdtradeservices.com> sent this message via the Contact page
To: WealthEsteem wealthesteem.org
Message-ID: <664963a9ac0ff893b8f4d28dee7a9889@wealthesteem.org>

Ma’am/Sir,

This is an official letter from BSD Trade Services Corp. administration, on behalf of the company I represent, BSD Trade Services Corp., I would like to denounce all claims and allegations the company is receiving from your site. BSD Trade Services Corp. is a BPO operating firm that provides diversified services to various types of industries. Our services include outbound call center for accounts opening financial institutions, customer support that receives inbound calls, digital marketing, and first deposit services. The firms we provide services to include financial institutions as banks, online trading companies, and insurance companies.

However, the services we provide to HQ broker do not, and should not, reflect the entirety of BSD in any way; reiterating that HQ broker is not the only company we cater.

BSD neither handles HQ broker’s clients nor their clients’ accounts and/or funds. Our company also does not give financial advice to HQ broker itself or to their clients; our company does not provide HQ broker financial services, ergo ensuring that we are not involved to any of their transacting activities. BSD yields only the services available in our company, and we do not offer HQ broker further proceedings beyond what I have mentioned.

I attest that our company fulfills its obligations and responsibilities in practicing all laws and regulations stated from our country’s Department of Labor and Employment.

Furthermore, all claims stated heretofore to our company are false and should therefore be removed as we stand to retain the company’s upright name and reputation. It would be of our complete right to institute legal proceedings should any comments, reviews, or claims against BSD is not discarded or removed.

We await your action and response.

Respectfully,
BSD Trade Services Corp.

FTOCapital.com Scam

I received a call today from 03 9077 1873 claiming to be from  Financials Trading Online with a pitch exactly the same as HQ BrokersI’m not sure if H Q Brokers have pivoted to a new name or a different scammer driving this call. It’s a different scammer from H Q Brokers.

It was obviously a Filipino boiler shop, but they claimed to be located in London. The caller stuck to the script like glue. I could trade “forex, commodities, stocks like Apple and Coke and even bitcoin.” Every interruption saw him back up to the top of the paragraph and continue reading like nothing happened.

I asked how they got my details and he said:

Surfing the internet you get popups for bitcoin or forex. You’ve seen them right? Well you accidentally click on them and we have your name, email and phone number.

Now I don’t accidentally click on popups or pop-unders because my browser is locked up so tight that I never see that stuff anymore. So that’s a lie but I don’t doubt they actively remarket and retarget anyone with investing interests (hello Facebook and Google). I also think they’ve got the BitCoinTalk forum user database and other hacked forums’ user-lists and cross-referenced emails to phone numbers. Plus a bot could do Facebook phone number lookups until two weeks ago to match numbers to names.

FTO Capital’s script really focuses on confirming past trading experience. I think this is supposed to get me nodding in agreement with what they are saying as well as reinforce their expertise (?) as a trading platform. I could open an account with a deposit of $200USD. Aha! Now I see the reward the boiler-room is working for.

Their website is at FTOCapital[dot]com and they try to get you to create an account and make an opening deposit straight away.

Asking about regulatory compliance and licensing, I was quickly escalated to the Senior Account Manager Dale Davis. Dale promised me that my very own Senior Account Manager would teach me how to trade using their MetaTrader 4 platform to trade forex, commodities, stocks and even bitcoin.

But Dale is a Senior Account Manager right, why do I need another? It turns out Dale is only for onboarding new accounts. What sort of things will I learn at FTO Capital from my personal Senior Account Manager? I’d learn “How to read price and signals”.  Really?!?!

By now I was bored, but I persevered for you, dear reader.

I asked Dale, If I have a trading account why would I change to FTOCapital? He says I “May want to give it a shot”, which is the most low-pressure answer I’ve ever heard in a high-pressure sales call.

Back to basics. Are they regulated, and in what jurisdictions?  Dale says FTO Capital are physically located in London, operating in Australia & New Zealand for two years, South Africa longer, some Asian and some European countries too.

That didn’t answer my regulation question. Dale said Financials Trading Online are regulated in Canada, USA, France and Cyprus. And despite being located in London, FTO Capital is not regulated in the UK. In what jurisdictions is FTOCapital actually licensed? Dale said he’ll send all that info to my email address right now, put me on hold and 60 seconds later the call dropped out.

I didn’t believe any of that for a second but I wasn’t challenging anything FTO claimed on this call. Normally if I have the time to string these guys along I play hardball. Today I played coy for 19 minutes so they weren’t trying to scam someone else.

FTO Capital are listed on ASIC’s MoneySmart website. ASIC advises this company could be involved in a scam. Do not deal with this business as it is unlicensed in Australia.

The FTOCapital website mentions other company and brand names

  • Nona Marketing Ltd,
  • Financials Trading Online, and
  • Albius Ltd.

Red Flags from the website:

  • All references to companies and brands are pictures of text facilitating the easy swapping out of corporate entities and making it hard for search engines to link the context of the text.
  • The privacy policy does not name the company it applies to merely (“The Company”) hereafter the “Company”,
  • Terms & Conditions does not name the company or incorporation jurisdiction. It  merely states The Company is a brand owned and operated by(“The Company”) incorporated in the; and it peters out there.
  • Anti Money Laundering (AML) policy of for Nona Marketing Ltd with no reference to brands, subsidiaries or related entities. It is also a generic cut and paste AML that offers broad responsibilities of “the board” and “senior staff”

Addresses for this group are

  • Nona Marketing Ltd Ajeltake Road, Ajeltake Island, Majuro, Republic of  Marshall Islands
  • Albius Ltd, 53-55 Totlben Blvd. Sophia, Bulgaria
  • 4th Floor, Holden House, 57 Rathbone Place, WIT IJU, London UK
  • Lincoln House 296-302 High Holborn WC1V 7JH, UK

Phone numbers

+44 208 068 2565

Share your experiences in the comments below.

Update: 13 June 2018

As police raid Israeli-operated boiler rooms in Asia and Eastern Europe, local law enforcement has yet to indict a single operative from an industry that has stolen billions.  – https://www.timesofisrael.com/israelis-nabbed-in-philippines-are-tip-of-iceberg-in-alleged-fraud-gone-global/

There are international news reports that Philippine Anti-Cybercrime Group raided the offices of IBD Marketing on 6 June 2018 arresting 8 Israeli citizens and 474 Filipinos. According to Philippine police, IBD Marketing operated as a call centre on behalf  FTOCapital.com. Hopefully that puts an end to this particular scam, but it seems the scourge of Israeli-citizen operated boiler rooms continues.

Fired on Your Birthday

My daughter heard that a coworker was let go on her 18th birthday.  Her message to me was in ALL CAPS and full of umbrage. The worst was the boss knew it was the kid’s birthday and FIRED HER ANYWAY!!!

That reaction was natural and wonderful. I am so proud of her empathy and humility.

Now, let’s look at the situation. They are all young, casual, employees in retail, customer-service roles. A manager decided a specific employee must be fired and not for theft, fraud or illegal behaviour.

Would it have been better to wait and make the worker come in on another day just to terminate them? Should the manager have made a phone call tomorrow and fire over the phone? What about firing by email or SMS?

Another way I’ve seen this done is merely not roster them for the next few weeks, with a gutless understanding that “they’ll get the message”.

No, there is nothing to be gained from avoiding doing it, in person, as soon as the decision is made. All other options extend the pain and drag the ugly feelings on.

It’s harsh but fairest to get it over with.

I’m sure the Manager took no pleasure in the firing. Managers who don’t feel bad letting someone go need to be fired themselves by their bosses. Managers who cannot feel empathy destroy a business.

And for the record, the Manager did not know it was the former employee’s birthday, but was saddened by the timing and shocked that the rumour-mill works so fast.