Stuff have an article about a scam involving iTunes vouchers.
$8000 in iTunes to pay tax? iDon’t think so
The scam plays out like this
- Phone rings, it’s the IRD, you owe us mega bucks and there’s a warrant out for your arrest
- Pay us in iTunes vouchers to make this problem go away
- Victim buys vouchers
- Victim phones back with the codes
Don’t be a mug – anyone who wants to be paid using something other than actual money is a con. Go to the Police. Even if there is a warrant out for your arrest it’s far better, and safer, to go through that rigmarole than to risk being sucked in.
Be the good guy – If you are in a shop and you see someone buying a bundle of these have a chat with them. Maybe they have 80 grandchildren and they’re generous, but it’s far more likely that they’re being scammed.
Absolutely outrageous that someone who defrauds “customers” of $700,000 would have the gall to claim that 10 months home detention is “manifestly excessive”.
A woman who fleeced small businesses in a “sophisticated” fake invoicing scheme that used forged documents made in India has appealed against her sentence.
Sonia Klair, who is now living in Australia, in 2008 set up NZ Look, an internet-based directory where consumers could look up products and services.
During that year, the company began sending out documents that falsely told the recipient that they already had listings with NZ Look and invited them to sign on for another term.
The customers contacted were from a database that originally belonged to NBO, a similar business previously run by Klair and her then-husband.
From early 2010, Klair used forged documents made in India in an attempt to convince businesses they had previously signed on for NZ Look’s services.
These documents copied over customers’ signatures from NBO documents to NZ Look documents.
Klair would then send an invoice requesting payment for the listing to these “clients”.
Read the rest of the article at the NZ Herald
Read the Judge’s sentencing notes.
Sonia Klair started an online directory called NZ Look after she left NBO. From an outsider’s perspective both were being run as pro forma scams although Klair strenuously denied it. The Police, however, have had a successful proscecution and Sonia Klair has been handed down home detention.
Whatever your opinion of home detention it is a good day for small NZ businesses to have this prosecution. Both Klair and (ex?) husband Shallendra Singh relied on the individual loss being too small to warrant legal action – but they had so many successful hits (victims) that their income was significant.
NZ Herald: Home detention for $700k fake invoice scam
A former company director who fleeced $719,000 out of her victims by sending out false invoices has been sentenced to 10 months home detention.
Sonia Klair appeared at the Auckland District Court yesterday after pleading guilty to 64 charges brought by the Commerce Commission under the Crimes Act.
Between July 2008 and August 2010, Klair ran a business called NZ Look Ltd which engaged in false billing practices, also known as pro-forma invoicing.
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
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.
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!
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!
Pacific Islanders duped in a passport scam were told to stand in line with $500 in hand to get their passports stamped – before being told they were not allowed to leave the country for the next 10 years.
Hundreds of Pacific people in Hamilton and parts of South Auckland are thought to have fallen victim to the scam, in which fake residency stamps and visas were given out at various marae for a charge of $500.Continue reading
NZBO appears to be the latest offering from Shallendra Singh of NBO infamy.
One comment on the iTamer post suggests that they’re using an Indian call centre and renewing 2 year listings. There appears to be no intention of running the directory legitimately. Such a shame.
The NZBO website is registered to a Jitendra Singh – yet the NZBO site seems to be a copy of a recent version of NBO which is owned and operated by Shallendra Singh. Interestingly NBO has reverted back to it’s original look and feel.
Whois for NZBO.co.nz
Jitendra Singh is registered as a company director for Searcha and NZBO. His address is in Papatoetoe and the 2 companies have an address for service in Birkenhead. He is the sole shareholder and director for both companies. Is it odd that the postal address on the domain registration is in Greenlane? Or that the phone number is very close to the phone number for NBO implying they are on the same exchange? Astounding that directory owners prefer to operate from the same locality.
I’ve found some interesting references to NZBOContinue reading