Fraudsters' virtual office on 37th Floor, 1 Canada Square, London. E14 5AB
The real TMT Investments Ltd has not have an office at Canary Wharf
RZ, a client of bust European Fine Wines, who had sparked my first post on the Barkingside Premier Storage scam was duly contacted by 'TMT Investments Ltd'. They were told that they had a buyer for their four cases of Bordeaux that had miraculously turned up at Barkingside Premier Storage....
RZ told investdrinks: 'They claim Waldorf Astoria hotel group has offered £22,894 for the wine. Buyer will pay them 7% fee. I have to pay £2,747 deposit first They are sending through terms. There’s an escrow arrangement so my wine is safe (LoL) until buyer pays. TMT will the inspect. If OK I will sign ownership over to buyer and get paid. If not OK - I will get my deposit back.They are sending terms now and want deposit today.....
RZ correctly concluded: 'I think the con is that I have to pay a 12% refundable deposit - which they claim I get back if the deal doesn't go through...'
The whole 'deal' is a complete fantasy – the wine doesn't exist nor does Barkingside Premier Storage. The four cases of Bordeaux could be bought from legitimate wine merchants for £19930 (checked through wine-searcher) – substantially below the offer of £22,894 through 'TMT' . RZ challenged the higher valuation 'TMT' salesman played up the higher value as the end user (ie Waldorf Astoria group) will be selling on at "the sort of prices you would see in hotel/bars"!! LOL!!
TMT soon sent their invoice, terms and conditions and a letter apparently signed by Ronald Terence Stocker (director).
It was this letter that made me think that TMT Investments Ltd might well have been cloned. It is rare for fraudsters to use their real names but here was Stocker signing a letter promoting an advance fee fraud!
Checking through Companies House showed that 70-year-old Stocker was a director of 10 companies including Screen & Music Travel Ltd and D.T. Properties, which all looked to be legitimate companies. Furthermore TMT Investments Ltd is a property company and none of Stocker's companies are connected to wine. It seemed highly unlikely and curious that a 70-year-old based in Berkhamstead would be actively involved with these fraudsters, who are probably in their 20s and 30s and likely to be based in Bromley or Croydon.
The signature on the letter was the real giveaway. Looking at Stocker's actual signature on a number of documents filed with Companies House over more than a decade the signature on the letter (26.8.2020) bears no relation to Stocker's habitual signature, which has remained consistent.
Terence Stocker's signature: 17.3.2020
Scam letter – 26th August 2020:
Clearly not the same person
investdrinks has passed these details of this advance fee fraud onto the Serious Fraud and Cyber Unit of Hertfordshire Police based at Welwyn Garden City. Anyone aware of a company being cloned or this type of advance fee fraud should submit a report to Action Fraud.
The more complaints received about a particular fraud/scam the greater likelihood of it being taken up by the police .