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Alexander Charles & Browne Armstrong & Co Solicitors

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Posts: 1,796
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #1
17-01-2011 09:54 AM

A few years ago my partner and I were passing through Gatwick and unusually for us I did one of these competitions to win a free holiday on the spot, don't know why, must have been bored.

Anyway a few weeks later I was contacted by someone who said I'd won a free holiday. All I had to do was to attend a market testing session at Brands Hatch one Saturday. We thought something was too good to be true but we went along out of curiosity. The appointment was for 12 noon. There were a number of people there like us and we waited until 12.45 until someone came for us. No refreshments were offered which people grumbled about as it was lunchtime and you couldnt buy any anywhere. We were eventually shown into a presentation room where we were treated to a video presentation and a talk about how much money we could save on standard holidays if we signed up for their deal and paid over 6k key money for the privilege. You can probably get the idea of it all from that. We were put into small groups where a person from the staff asked us for any questions we had. Ours was about bonding of the 6k and net present value and all that stuff. Well not surprisingly the person couldnt answer the question. I needed to go to the toilet and before I did they made sure I couldn't take any advertising material with me. We left early saying it was a scam but on the way out the staff tried to search us in case we'd taken any of their material out of the room. It really started to feel quite threatening. Needless to say this was a scam of considerable magnitude and effort and I would imagine that a number of the other people there fell for it a some chequebooks were coming out as we left. We tried to trace the company but they did not seem to exist and Brands Hatch management had a false address for them.

Beware therefore, some of these things can be very convincing but thankfully we didn't fall for any of it but it is perhaps unfortunate that some people do.

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Posts: 384
Joined: May 2004
Post: #2
27-01-2011 11:22 PM

I got called my a company saying that I had the offer of a cheap holiday. I just managed to stop myself shouting at them that I was on TPS and did not get cold calls, when they explained that I had asked them to call.

What me I thought? Then I realised that a charming young lady in a shopping presinct in Northwich had said 'please give me your details, I only need one more customer' so I did. (The whole thing was genuine but I don't do package hols).

Now back to the point in question, being a genuine ex scam buster myself, some con artists actually use genuine call centres who aren't aware that they are selling dodgy stuff.

Con artists, greedy clever people ripping off (mainly) greedy 'stupid' people. Its a myth that only the vulnerable get taken advantage of. If it's too good to be true, it is.

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Posts: 1,796
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #3
27-01-2011 11:52 PM

Agreed, but is interesting to go along for the ride sometimes to observe the techniques. We realised afterwards that we had absolutely no evidence at all at having been at that session in Brands Hatch and no evidence at all of ever having been invited as they had done it all over the phone. No trace whatsoever. A bit Kaiser Soze really.

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Cellar Door

Posts: 356
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #4
28-01-2011 12:49 AM

I love a good scam.

The best one is about being on a dirty weekend in Brighton. Then someone turns to you and says, "I've got some E" to sell.

You find yourself away from reality, and on a fling, and for a fleeting careless moment you nod agreement.

Then you find youself moments later unwrapping tissue paper holding a lovely Brighton beach pebble and remembering that you'd just parted with a fiver (FIVE EARTH POUNDS!)

That happened to a friend of mine.

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Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #5
28-01-2011 10:23 AM

Dear Roz
Must be honest I thought the story was going to end with you saying your house had been robbed having lured you away.
I have had many calls saying I have won The Angolan Lottery or a free holiday. I just put the phone down..
They sould terrible and by searching you were they acting legally ?

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Posts: 145
Joined: Sep 2007
Post: #6
28-01-2011 11:27 AM

If you knew it was a scam and knew it was too good to be true, but you went along anyway just out of curiosity, then I'm not really sure what you were expecting to happen. I find it a bit difficult to believe you went all that way just out of curiosity!

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Posts: 1,796
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #7
28-01-2011 09:43 PM

My partner also fancied a look at Brands Hatch ( there was a race on that we watched) and we went to Bluewater afterwards, so we made a day of it!

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Posts: 122
Joined: Jan 2010
Post: #8
29-01-2011 04:35 PM

Following up on baggydaves post, if you don't want your evenings spoilt by unwanted sales phone calls, then go to and register yourself. It takes less than five minutes.
It's illegal for a UK based company to make calls to a TPS registered phone, although it takes a bit of time to get onto the database. If you are registered then just saying "registered with TPS" should stop the call immediately. But it doesn't work with foreign call centres, as some time ago I was called several times by somewhere in India (got the number from 1471).
While you are registering for TPS, you can also do MPS (direct mail) and even FPS (fax - if anyone is still using one). And theres even a "MPS Baby" so that your newborn doesnt get overwhelmed with junk mail!

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Posts: 122
Joined: Jan 2010
Post: #9
29-01-2011 04:40 PM

Sorry, forgot the "uk" bit.
Try again:

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