Bixford Watch Scam

If you’ve arrived here it’s probably because you’ve seen (or been a victim of) the Bixford Watch scam.

I first came across the scam in December 2017 after clicking on a Facebook advert. The advert claimed to provide one or two watches completely free of charge. All I needed to to was pay for the shipping at $10.99 per watch. I was immediately wary, after all, there’s no such thing as a free hot dinner. So I took to the internet to see if this was a genuine deal or a scam. As I suspected, it was the latter.

They say that if someone looks too good to be true it usually is, and there’s no finer example than the Bixford Watch scam.

 

Why are Bixford Watches free?

The reason that Bixford Watches are free of charge is because they’re cheap and nasty pieces of crap, probably produced in a scummy sweatshop in China. It’s as simple as that.

Actually, you’re paying for them in the over-the-top shipping costs. The timepieces probably cost around $1 to produce and perhaps $1.50 to ship, leaving Bixford Watches with a 339.6% increase on the initial cost and shipping once they’ve charged you $10.99 for shipping. It’s a huge money spinner.

What you’ll receive will be a cheap and nasty watch, with the only moving part being the clock mechanism and none of the push buttons actually working.

 

Where are Bixford Watch based?

According to Whois, boxford.com is registered to a company in Arizona called Domains by Proxy. In otherwords, the people behind bixford.com are hiding their details online.

In fact it’s impossible to find any address or phone number on the companies website. However, the email that they send to you if you don’t order confirms an address as: 15/F Cerulean Tower, 26-1 Sakuragaoka-cho Tokyo, Tokyo 150-8512. This appears to be the same office as a company offering the wonderful investment opportunity to purchase ‘¥Coins’ (which incidentally also looks like a scam).

 

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UK Construction Guide scam – 07539 829363 – James Cooper

If you’ve received a phonecall from a James Cooper claiming to be from the UK Construction Guide, you’re probably the victim of an attempted scam. Another day, another attempt at extorting hard earned cash from hard working people!

I received a call today from him. He claimed at I agreed at the end of August to place an advert in their September edition and that payment was due. I knew this was a lie because I know exactly what I spend my advertising budget on and where it goes; and that’s purely online advertising. I don’t advertise in magazines or trade newspapers for various reasons.

When I informed me of this he said they had a call recording of me placing the order and an order form. I asked for a copy of both, to which he replied “I’ll get a copy and come back to you”.

He never did…

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Commercial Register Canada – latest Scam to hit Canadian Businesses

Commercial Register Canada letter

The scammers at Direct Publisher are at it again, this time with the Commercial Register Canada scam which attempts to dupe small business owners out of $1414. This is starting to gather pace and I have seen a noticeable increase in the amount of people contacting me regarding the scam.

I’ve written in the past how the Commercial Register Scam has been used to extort money from UK business owners, and now the same company have widened their net to Canada.

 

How the Commercial Register Canada scam works

The scam is designed to dupe genuine business owners into thinking they are legally obliged to complete a form. The letter will arrive looking official, asking the business owner to update the details of their company and return the letter.

What many people don’t realize is that the reverse of the letter has a number of terms and conditions on it, and by signing the letter, the business owner then agrees to the terms of the ‘contract’. Part of this ‘contract’ is that the owner agrees to pay $1,479 CAD to advertise on the scammers website.

I was contacted by Canadian business owner Cathleen Fillmore who said that she began to complete the form but quickly realized that it wasn’t genuine when the scammers omitted her business registry number.

“My form says Commercial Register Canada which is name of the Canadian government and it says to update my business information. When I began to fill it out, they didn’t seem to know my business registry #! So then I began to read the fine print. What a scam….”  – Cathleen Fillmore

I was also contacted by Donna, another Canadian business owner, who confirmed that the letter was marked ‘Commercial Registration Canada’ and the return address was to Direct Publisher in France. She says that DP are getting very clever and this document actually looked legit.

 

What to do if you receive a Commercial Register Canada letter

The most important thing is not to return the letter.

If you have returned the letter, don’t enter into any correspondence with Direct Publisher. They will threaten to sue you. They will send you letter from supposed law firms (none of which will be genuine). They’ve never taken anyone to court as they know that their contract is unfair.

You certainly shouldn’t pay anything.

 

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com-reg.com closed down

It seems that someone has caught up with the people behind the Commercial Register Scam and com-reg.com has been closed down.

I have long been campaigning to ensure that as many Small Business owners are made away of the scam as well as reporting it to Action Fraud.

Why was com-reg.com closed down?

The actual reason for com-reg.com being closed down is unknown. Either the scammers had their hosting package and domain name shut down due to the nature of the scam, or they decided to move domain names due to the constant bad press associated with the com-reg.com domain name.

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Utility Alliance – another Cold Call possible scam? (01429802623)

I  received a call from a company calling themselves ‘Utility Alliance’, asking to speak to the “person responsible” for the utilities at my company. When I explained that we don’t take cold calls, I was informed that the call was related to “important change in government legislation” and that she wouldn’t tell me what it was due to DPA. She also claimed that Utility Alliance was appointed by the UK Government (a claim which I can find no evidence of online). They called from the number 01429802623.

When I asked the caller to explain what the call is regarding, and the “important change in government legislation” I was told this wasn’t possible due to the Data Protection Act.

My company receives daily calls from companies selling gas and electricity services, some of whom are evasive and aggressive in their tactics, so I am reluctant to speak to anyone over the telephone who I have never heard of and who is unprepared to explain the full reason for their call. So I contacted Utility Alliance to ask what they legislation was and why the caller wasn’t prepared to give me at least some basic information. I was told to contact ian.willis@utility-alliance.com, which I did.

Utility Alliance is NOT associated with the UK Government

I later received a call from Ian Willis who said that the reason for the call was regarding either Business to Business energy supply, or because of new water tariffs coming into force in the future (which I was already aware of). He confirmed that Utility Alliance is NOT associated with the UK Government and that he would be looking into why the staff member lied.

Turns out my hunch was correct and the employee at UA hadn’t been entirely truthful. Mr Willis may not have known about this tactic of lying about being associated with the Government, and he may not have known about staff hiding behind the Data Protection Act…but I’m pretty confident that culture has come from someone within the company.

 

Update: 06/02/2016

On 6th Feb 2017 I received an email from Ian Willis, defending his employee and threatening further action – presumably legal – if I didn’t remove this post. Naturally I won’t be removing it; the facts are as I have said them. Presumably Mr Willis’ company record their calls so I’d be happy to revise this information if he can provide me with the evidence to support his claim that I am be untruthful.

I don’t take threats lightly, and I will not be hushed just because the manager of a business doesn’t like being called out on the behaviour of one of his employees. If course, if Utility Alliance can supply evidence to prove I’m being untruthful I’d happily apologise, but of course they won’t be able to as a call recording will clearly support all of my points made in this post.

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Ireland Commercial Register Scam

The Ireland Commercial Register Scam is just the latest in a long line of scams targetting businesses. It attempts to con unsuspecting business owners and sole traders for €993. It is a copy of other scam letter just like it such as the Commercial Register, the Scottish Commercial Register and the England Commercial Register.

If you read into the comments of the aforementioned scams, you’ll see that the company behind it call themself Direct Publisher S.L.U and are based in Madrid. However, the letter usually has a French postmark on it.

The letter is made to look official and gives the impression that it is linked to or affiliated with the Irish Government. It isn’t.

Don’t pay – just file it in the bin

I strongly recommend that you don’t pay or converse with the Ireland Commercial Register in any way. Just throw the letter in the bin where it belongs along with all the other rubbish.

 

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Scottish Commercial Register Scam

Scottish Commercial Register scam

Direct Publisher SLU are at it again with another scam, this time the Scottish Commercial Register Scam. Those pesky Spaniards just don’t seem to give up with these attempts to defraud business owners out of money. So, I continue my quest to warn more people of it and help save people some of their hard earned money.

This scam has many different faces, the main one being the Commercial Register scam. The fraud is pretty much identical in every way. It starts with a letter which asks you to update your records and which appears to be from an official UK Government body. However, if you turn over the page there are a lot of terms and conditions in gray. Once you’ve signed you’ll be hounded monthly with threats of legal action.

“‘Scottish Commercial Register’ notices requesting €990 to approve info held. They’re not legitimate and have no connection to us.” Companies House Edinburgh Office

If you’ve found yourself in the same boat that I did, don’t panic. My advice is to ignore them and eventually they will go away. In the meantime, have a read here. It’s got loads of information from other small business owners who have been targeted by other various scams.

If you’ve found this page helpful, drop me a line in the comments section below. You might also like to consider making a small donation to help towards it’s upkeep.

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Welsh Commercial Register scam | Direct Publisher S.L.U.

Welsh Commercial Register scam

The Welsh Commercial Register scam is one of many scams designed to dupe genuine business owners out of money by getting them to sign a letter to agree to advertise on their website. It is being made by a Spanish company called Direct Publisher S.L.U. who claim to be based in Madrid.

The website in question is poorly designed and only their as a way to convince business owners that they must pay for the advert or risk legal action.

The Welsh Commercial Register scam is very similar to other scams targeted at small business owners in Scotland, England and across the UK in general. There are various websites warning business owners not to pay for the advert, but sadly some business owners are scared into paying. The most recent scam is the England Commercial Register and Commercial Register which all have similar guises and are designed to con business out of money.

Many people have reported the Welsh Commercial Register scam to Action Fraud and it has been reported on numerous websites including Wales Online and the Farmers’ Union of Wales. The advice is not to pay the bill.

For more details on how this scam works, click here.

 

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Commercial Register (company information and contact details)

Commercial Register

Commercial Register is a scam trade name set up by a company called Direct Publisher S.L.U based in Madrid, Spain which attempts to dupe companies into pay a 993 fee (or similar amount) to advertise on their extremely amateurish website.  There’s nothing particularly new about this scam and it has all the traits of previous attempts to defraud small business owners. For information relating to the Register of Companies or Commercial Register scam, check the relevant links.

Commercial Register dupe companies into signing a contract for an advert on a very poorly designed website. Once they form is signed companies are bombarded with demands for payment and threats of legal action.

The scam works by sending letters to companies registered with Companies House. The letters are design in such a way that they make the recipient believe that they are required to complete a form to keep their company registered with Commercial Register. In most cases, small business owners are tricked into thinking the letter is an official requirement from the UK Government.

How Commercial Register works

Initially, Commercial Register write to a company and suggest that the company needs to complete a form, suggesting that a failure to do so will result in your listing being removed from the website. Within the letter – cleverly hidden in later paragraphs – is an explanation that you will have to pay for your listing. The letter is made to appear official.

Once the company have your signed response they become very aggressive in pursuing you for the money, hoping that the pressure – along with a lack of understanding of the law – will convinced companies to pay the 993.

There are no reported instances of Direct Publisher S.L.U taking a company to court.

Commercial Register is a bogus website

The Commercial Register is bogus. Advertising on it will do absolutely nothing to promote your company. In fact, paying for links is something that Google is doing their utmost to prevent. If Google discover the Commercial Register linking to your website, it will probably do it more harm than good.

What are the contact details?

Commercial Register claim to be based in Madrid. There contact details are:

Direct Publisher S.L.U.
Fuencarral, 160
Entpta. 7
E-28010 Madrid

Tel: +34 917 728 032
Fax: +34 912 727 288

You can see a map of the area that Direct Publisher S.L.U are based in here.

scam

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Threatening letter from Commercial Register

Threatening letter from Commercial Register

I’ve received yet another threatening letter from Commercial Register and their so called ‘Legal Department’.

Dated 07/10/2016 and received 11/10/2016, this letter informs me that Direct Publisher SLU are giving me a “final deadline of eight days”, failing which they will be “forced to forward the car to an international debt recovery agency”. The letter also goes on to say that my company will “have to bear all additional costs generated by their services and those related to any legal action brought in court to enforce [my] obligations”.

As usual, Direct Publisher are demanding 993 and requesting that I forward the money to their Ibercaja Banco S.A. account. And as usual, I have not intention of paying them.

 

Reported to Royal Mail

I have also been contacted today by a reader of my blog relating to the Commercial Register Scam, who has advised me to report this fraud to Royal Mail. Royal Mail operate a department which aims to prevent scam letters being delivered. The contributor, DC, has received a response from Royal Mail which says that will use the evidence to prevent further fraud mail.

You can find our more about how to send a report of scam mail to Royal Mail here.

 

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