BOILER ROOMS USING REVERSE TACTICS
NOW THEY WANT TO BUY FROM YOU ! OR DO THEY ?
LAST WEEK I WROTE HUB REINFORCING ONE I WROTE OVER 12 MONTHS PREVIOUSLY AND WHICH HAD CLOCKED UP THE BIGGEST NUMBER OF READERS OF ALL MY 150 PLUS HUBS. 2 days later I received a "Cold Call" from the USA REGARDING SHARES IN A UK COMPANY
Actually, the caller was seeking my wife, for it her who has the shares in a Company called ARTISAN. The shares have been a Turkey for some years now ,which is why they are put away in the bottom of our appropriate drawer for such certificates. At one time she had 11700 shares but after "consolidation" in 2007, her holding in the new shares was reduced to just 170 shares. Quite a comedown and worse still when you learn the value on the London Stock Exchange is now around 7p to 8p only !
So why would someone in the States take an interest in such a low value holding ? Immediately, the alarm bells rang in my head and with double reason. First because the holding is so insignificant and second because only a couple of days before I had read of some poor unsuspecting chap being taken for a ride in just such a manner, by a caller claiming to represent a client wishing to purchase his shares in another Company as the client was mounting a takeover bid for it. My thoughts were confirmed when the caller told me exactly the same tale. His client was embarked on a full takeover of the Company in question and was prepared to offer, wait for it, BETWEEN 15 AND 20$ PER SHARE. it seemed too good to be true, which meant to me that it was just that, in other words a scam.
As readers of my other hubs on COLD CALLING will know, I have various means of dealing with these guys and, as I had time available, I decided to play along, expressing great interest and asking question after question which put the caller in some difficulties as some of my questions were clearly not covered in his call script. He could not tell me why the offer price was not set at a firm figure but had a 5$ spread but said all would be available on the document he would e-mail to me. This document included a section for me to sign and return to confirm my agreement to sell the shares. Remember, these are not MY shares but belong to my wife, so a genuine dealer would not have discussed them with me, at least without speaking to her to confirm my right to act on her behalf. No such problems for this man though as he got to his real purpose for calling !
In order to confirm the sale apparently, I was required to sign and pay for an "INDEMNITY BOND".in other words, any money changing hands was to be FROM US TO THEM and not the way things usually go when you sell something. Pressed on this our man spluttered that it was fully returnable but could offer no explanation as to why it was required that held even a drop of water. Asked who his clients were, he gave the names of RICHARDS AND SOUTH ASSOCIATES.
NOW THIS MAY WELL BE A VERY REPUTABLE COMPANY BASED IN NEW YORK AS HE STATED BUT WAS UNABLE, OR UNWILLING TO FURNISH ME WITH AN ADDRESS FOR THEM AND SUDDENLY, THE PHONE CUT OFF !
Having been cut off I trailed the number he claimed to ring from, but surprise, surprise, there was no connection. That I thought was the end of the road, but I was wrong, for 20 minutes later he was back again! He apologised for the break in communications and again pressed for the acceptance by me of his Indemnity Bond. Likewise, I stuck to my guns and told him to e-mail the documents which I would study and he could then call me back. This eventually secured a grudging acceptance and the call terminated normally. I sat back and awaited the e-mailed documentation. Best park of a week on and I still wait ! Clearly, there will be no documentation, though I shall continue to search for Messrs Richards and Smith Associates of New York. My caller must have realised or taken advice and decided that I was a risk he and his employers could do without and clearly a takeover will not fail because of my wife not selling her 170 shares. How much did we stand to lose? I know not ,nor do I care, but cite the case to point out to all who read this that the Boiler Rooms do not just seek to get you to buy in the first instance, now they are doing the double bluff of pretending to buy from you initially to hide the fact that it is still your money they are after. In real life and real time this actually happened to me just last week as described above.
HADLING THESE PROBLEMS.
Previous Hubs on "HANDLING COLD CALLERS have outlined my own approaches to these troublesome calls and the scams they often entail. I do not intend to list those ideas again, but would state clearly, that unless you are confident and equipped to deal with such matters, the best advice has to be at the outset to say "No Thank You" and replace the receiver. In any event never ever commit over the phone or give credit or debit card details etc. The chances are that ALL such calls can damage your wealth and should come with a Government Warning. As that will not happen remember the old saying, "A fool and his or her money are soon parted". Make sure you keep a clear head and a tight hand on your wallet or purse when, as they surely will, guys like these come a calling YOU !
This is almost unbelievable but I promise you it is true. O n the very evening that this Hub was posted originally, we received another call from a different voice but dealing with exactly the same matter. I quickly told the American voice that I understood that he was acting for "Richards and South associates", and was wanting to offer between 15 and 20 $ per share. He spluttered incoherently and immediately after, the phone went dead. These guys are nothing if not persistent, so take fair warning.