Filed Under (Questionable) by admin on 19-07-2012
We have a new entrant in the dodgy directory stakes: NZ Business Guide. I was asked to authorise a new listing and our account had somehow been “backdated 2 years”. That’s curious – the domain was registered for the very first time in April 2012.
I asked the woman who phoned who the company was owned by and she didn’t know. I asked who had interviewed her and she only knew her as “Natasha”. I suggested that perhaps she should do some homework before she took a job – to ensure the company would be able to pay her, if nothing else.
So, here’s what I know about the NZ Business Guide
What I don’t know is
- Who is Danny Kariam – I was left “on hold” while the operator asked around the office to try and find out who he is. As the website registrant I had expected him to be either the owner or the IT guy. Apparently not. Its not often Google comes up short on people’s names but apparently this guy is unique!
- Who is Kurt Weber? The address suggests a link with Kurt Weber Tiling but there are no exact matches.
I have no idea of this directory will “take off” and provide value to customers who sign up but on the basis of their current “SEO” or search engine optimisation efforts I’d suggest putting off a decision for a few months to see how they shape up.
Filed Under (Questionable) by admin on 09-05-2011
I just had two calls from “Mary” saying she was doing a More FM survey on what kids do at school and we could win prizes for the best one. Didn’t sound right. Survey people don’t usually call from a cellphone to a cellphone. When queried about this she said it was the best she could do “when the phones are down”.
I asked if there was anything on the More FM website that talked about the survey. “Yeah”, when I said I was looking at the website and could she tell me where to find it she hung up.
Her number is 022 xxx 3435 (obscured because I don’t want to create more problems).
If it is legit I’ll remove this post but its after business hours so I wanted to put a warning out now because she is targeting children.
Filed Under (Questionable) by admin on 22-03-2011
I’ve been alerted to a new directory to NZ’s overheated market – and it appears to be a reincarnation of National Business Online (NBO).
They contacted a client and tried to sign him up with a free extra year listing.
You’d think they could get the country’s name written right – New Zealand and not New zealand!
and we’re asked to
The site is registered to an Aryan Gill and the emails (email@example.com & firstname.lastname@example.org) don’t link to anything – which I always find curious. The phone number (given as 64 2 2102218059 and 64 21 02218059) links to a very busy account on Sella who is selling aviation equipment, property and employing a chef for Sangeet Indian Cuisine in Manukau.
What then catches my attention is what happens when you use Google to search for “NZKeyList” and you get 20 results where there should be 1 for every page in the site. 2 of the results link to this warning on Twitter:
The rest clearly link the site with NBO
Why would NZ Key List be calling themselves National Business Online if it wasn’t being run by the same people?
Why also would the search button on the screen be called “NBOsearchbutton.gif”?
If you look at their Contact Us page there is a form to fill in but not postal address or phone number. Their About Us page is insultingly bare.
I’d be really interested if anyone knows who this Aryan Gill really is because until then this directory is tainted by its association with NBO.
Filed Under (Questionable) by admin on 24-11-2010
I’ve just been alerted to another “brand new” directory with barely any content, hardly indexed by Google (check this out – not promising). Funny how it is brand new but they are selling “renewals”.
UAskNow sports a lovely parrot which made one of their cold call recipients wonder if they are the same crowd as the non-starter U Ask Polly owned by Sonia Klair [more on UAskPolly].
I took a look through the site and they give no hint of the people behind their directory. Their phone numbers don’t appear to be linked to any other business:
The domain registration information is hidden and I would be wary of any company that doesn’t want you to know where they are physically located. Their “information pack” and “listing form” both omit a physical or postal address.
I was curious about how they had managed to get advertising for such a new site and cheekily started this twitter conversation
Its not hard to get accepted for Adsense advertising, or Adbrite or any of the others. So why have they got “fake” advertising on the site?
Read Motella’s post: A New Dodgy Business Guide?
Filed Under (Pro Forma Scams) by admin on 12-11-2010
This is a really serious problem reported in the NZ Herald this week and isn’t that far off the HP staff scam.
Aggressive foreign scammers are again targeting New Zealanders, this time by urging them to change settings on their computers in an attempt to obtain personal information.
Within the past two days, hundreds of people have received telephone calls from people claiming to be Microsoft employees or from IT companies in Dubai and NZ warning that their computers could be infected with a virus.
The caller – a man or a woman with a foreign accent on a poor line – asks for passwords, which they claim they need to get rid of the virus.
In some cases the caller has become aggressive and defensive when challenged by those who don’t believe the story.
Police say anyone who receives such a call should hang up.
Read the full article: Ring, ring: It’s your con artist speaking
Filed Under (Pro Forma Scams) by admin on 09-05-2010
It took 5 years and 257 complaints but the Commerce Commission have finally acted on NBO and all the spin off “businesses” operated by Shallendra Singh, Jitendra Singh and Sonia “All I ever did was work for him” Klair who just so happens to also be known as Sonia Singh.
Search into online scam
A fashion model’s internet business has been raided by the Commerce Commission in an unprecedented crackdown on alleged large-scale invoicing scams.
The glamorous 31-year-old is a model with Auckland agency Clyne, and is the sole shareholder and director of NZ Look Ltd, which publishes an internet directory.
On Tuesday, commission staff served a search warrant on NZ Look premises and removed 15 boxes of documents.
Klair, also known as Sonia Singh, had previously worked with other internet search directories that are also now caught up in a legal dragnet.
Klair refused to confirm her business was the subject of an investigation.
“Even if it is or isn’t, what’s that got to do with anything?” she said.
Stuart Wallace, enforcement manager of the commission, said five addresses in the Auckland region had been served with search warrants in an operation this week.
“Our staff have uplifted a great deal of material – there are computer records and a large number of documents,” he said.
The searches relate to internet search directories National Business Online (nbo.co.nz), New Zealand Business Online (nzbol.co.nz) and NZ Look (nzlook.co.nz).
Read the rest of the article online at the NZ Herald.
Filed Under (Questionable) by admin on 14-04-2010
The NZ Herald’s Sideswipe column raises the alarm on a “Who’s Who New Zealand” which is using questionable techniques to lure advertisers.
Roger writes: “Someone called Jessica Smith has faxed us here in Ngaruawahia to tell us that our ‘business’ has been selected to be included in the 2010/2011 edition of ‘Who’s Who New Zealand’.
Our candidacy was approved on April 9 and Jessica tells us that this was done ‘by the Managing Director from information obtained from researched executive and professional listings’. This is very flattering but I am not sure how they arrived at this information.
Marist Brothers listed in the Waikato phone book is actually a two-man community of Catholic religious Brothers.”
Vanity must be the last reason for any company to advertise anywhere. Just because you’ve been “selected” doesn’t mean the publication is any good or that you will get value for money.
If you are contacted by this company please leave your feedback – are they legitimate but have lame marketers or is there a REAL problem?
Filed Under (Questionable) by admin on 04-03-2010
BidNZ is an auction site that has recently been launched extremely quietly but boasts a good number of auctions. Of concern are forum posts claiming that their telemarketers have been trying hard to get people’s email addresses. I guess it can’t be spam if they plead that “on Feb xth you gave your email over the phone”. Read the rest of this entry »
Filed Under (Pro Forma Scams) by admin on 14-10-2009
I couldn’t believe my eyes when Invoice # 204556 plopped on my desk today from NZ Business Online telling me that I’d listed my company details on nzbol.co.nz. A whois search shows that the domain was only registered on the 7th September 2009 so perhaps they could explain to me why I had listed a company service that haven’t offered for a number of years now?
Oh, that would be because we never listed and this is a scam. Shallendra, when you read this, you can reply with the information on when and how we listed ourselves so that you were able to issue that invoice. Given that we wouldn’t do that, I doubt you can justify that invoice.
Fair Go ran article which claims that Shallendra Singh has invoiced thousands of other businesses. Read it and watch the clip at Don’t pay that invoice!
Fair Go’s article says:
Show me the evidence
I asked Shallandra Singh to provide evidence of the relationship that’s being “renewed”.
He said his telemarketers call thousands of businesses, offering a free listing on the website.
Six months or a year later they send out the offer to renew the listing. I asked him for evidence of that prior relationship – a voice recording of the sales call.
The major flaw in that argument – the same argument every other time – is that he hasn’t been running this one for more than 2 months so how can any of the listings be up for renewal?
If you get an invoice from NZBOL.CO.NZ – DON’T PAY!
Filed Under (Pro Forma Scams) by admin on 08-09-2009
Occassional checks on the Searcha.co.nz website show that it has been offline for a month now.
The domain registration information still shows the same old disputed details: http://whois.domaintools.com/searcha.co.nz. Shallendra Singh’s lawyers claim he’s not the owner but the whois documentation clearly state he is.
I’ve heard that the old NBO (National Business Online) offices at Albert Street are now officially the Searcha offices – which seems bizarre given that the website doesn’t even exist.
So… all the people who have signed up for advertising on Searcha – have you been told what’s happened to your advertising?
- Has it been transferred to one of the other sites?
- Have you been refunded?
- Any explanation at all?
I’d love to know!