I got an invitation in the mail yesterday. It seems C. Kevin Oliver (VP Conference Relations) and C.Rex Sanderson (Vice President) want to give me and a friend a free breakfast, lunch or dinner at a swanky hotel here in Melbourne PLUS a free business organiser each. All I have to do is turn up and listen to a 90 minute seminar on how to make money on the internet.
The hotel names were impressive — Park Hyatt, Savoy, Plaza and Marriott. You can’t believe such hotels would ever serve less than four star cuisines and who wouldn’t want a “FREE Premier Dining Package valued at over $120 dollars”? Not to mention a “FREE Business Organiser” valued at $39.99 and the chance to share the luck with one of my friends.
My big problem, sadly, is I am a pessimist. I really don’t believe I can get something for nothing and I tend to be suspicious of companies who send me offers without giving me the name of their company.
C.Rex Sanderson claims to be Vice President but makes no mention of the company he presides over. C.Kevin Oliver states he is “VP Conference Relations” but is that his position in the company or the company itself?
Their promotional material has the eBay, Yahoo, Google and MSN logo’s on it and the fine print says they will teach you how to use them to make money.
The address they had for me is one I have given out only ONCE!
I live somewhere I am able to give my address as either “Unit A/2-3 Wotsit Street” or “Unit A/2 Wotsit Street. I always take the easy option and give my address as Unit A/2 Wotsit Street but, some time ago, I went to strawberrynet.com to purchase some perfume. I decided to play safe and give my full address when they asked for my shipping address. This site is the only place I have given my address as Unit A/2-3 Wotsit Street and, since then, I regularly get scam offers addressed to me this way. I can only presume strawberrynet.com is able to offer the cheapest perfume on the net because they sell your name and address over and over and over to scam merchants.
(I can’t say anything about the quality of the site’s goods or services as the payment I had made on my credit card had not been processed so my purchase fell through. By the time I had sorted out the credit card I was already getting scam mail so I knew they were selling my name and address and I never went back to actually buy anything from them.)
I was annoyed that, all these months later, and despite repeatedly blacklisting emails from strawberrynet.com, I am still receiving email from them and they are still selling my name and address to people. This put me off accepting the invitation despite my desire for a free meal at a swanky hotel and a free business organiser.
I decided to research the people who were inviting me to this seminar. Took no time at all to discover they are a new front for an old scam — StoresOnline and Galaxy Mall and the internet is filled with complaints about them.
I still wondered about the free feed at a swanky hotel though and the free business organiser but then I found a letter from a lady who had gone to one of these seminars. She said the free meal turned out to be a sandwich, chips and a soda and the business organiser turned out to be worth two dollars.
The real scam is they whet your appetite then take up to 50 dollars from you to book your place in another seminar. At that seminar you will be handed over to Stores Online for a hard-sell to sign up to create a web page store in their “Galaxy Mall” where you can sell something. You don’t even need to have a computer or product to sell according to them — they will help you make big bucks even if you don’t have anything to sell online or a computer to sell it from.
You will be offered bargain prices provided you sign up immediately and do not go home to research the reputation of Stores Online, storesonline or SOL. You will be asked to sign a document and the terms and conditions of that document will not be easy to read — no time and other papers will be strategically placed on top of it. You will be required to charge thousands of dollars to your credit card or savings account and there will be no time to change your mind — they take the money before you can go home, research them and try to reverse the transaction. People are seldom able to get their money back and if they are able to avoid paying Stores Online and Galaxy Mall they will be hounded by debt collectors!
I scanned my invitation, envelope and all, and sent it in an email to one of the major newspapers in my city. I asked them to do a story BEFORE people are victimised and told them they are welcome to my invitation if they want to send a couple of reporters to the event in my place.
It’s the best I can do to help the other people who have received these invitations. I really hope the newspaper will take it from here. They have around 20 days to let people know before it will be too late.
See the links below for more info on StoresOnline, Galaxy Mall and the great FREE Premier Dining Package and FREE business Organiser rip-off.
Oh, by the way, I suggest you never give your name and address to strawberrynet.com if you wish to avoid being targetted by these sorts of companies. They seem to be giving my details to the worst of the US scammers as every one of the offers I receive with the Unit A/2-3 Wotsit Street address turns up in a google search with hundreds of pages of complaints!
Seems this company is pretty active in trying to keep complaints about their activities off the internet.
Two of the links I posted for this entry have been corrupted but the third, ripoffreports, is still active although the information isn’t as easy to read as I would like.