Wine Name:

Monday, 3 May 2021

Storage Resources – another advance fee fraud scam


On Friday I was contacted by WV, whose late father unfortunately bought a number of years ago some wine from scam investment companies. She had recently received a letter (see part below) sent to her late father's address by Storage Resources.


The letter from 'Paul Foley, Director' claims that Storage Resources has wine in its storage facility belonging to clients of Imperial Fine Wine Ltd. It now possible for clients to claim their outstanding funds, except for those who 'holdings have unfortunately been sold by the director of Imperial Fine Wines Ltd'. The clients will be reimbursed through 'Equity Partners Group' who apparently 'have been appointed and authorised by the Insolvency Service to assist in the sale of assets and the reimbursement of client capital. (Equity Partners Group - Tel: 0203 488 8049). 

Foley explains that the delay in clients getting their funds back is because of 'the liquidation of Imperial Fine Wines' 'predominantly due to the pending high court claim held against the company and its sole director (Mr Pan Wong).

WV was told that there was '£43,750 from wine they have sold but I need to pay £3500 to get that money. I need to pay Equity Partners Group'. She was told that the £3500 would go into a escrow account was refundable once the transfer of the capital sum. WV duly received documentation from 'Equity Partners Group Ltd' with a letter signed by the 'director'. WV thought this arrangement was strange so contacted me. 

There are a number of very curious aspects to this 'narrative'.

So where start? Well let's first have a look at Imperial Fine Wines Ltd. The company was founded in November 2012 with Pan Pan Wong, who lives in Hong Kong, as the sole director. The company filed accounts for every year for 2013 through to 2017. On 15.4.2018 Wong applied to have the company voluntarily struck off, which duly happened on 7th August 2018. Curiously Storage Resources fail to mention that Imperial Fine Wines Ltd never traded – all the filed accounts were for a dormant company. Thus there was no liquidation process, no high court claim either against the company or its sole director. 

Nor, of course, was there any wine to be sold. The £43,750 cannot exist either: it is just bait for an advance fee fraud. 

Now let us turn our attention to Storage Resources. It is just as well there is no wine because Storage Resources does not have a bonded warehouse facility in Harlow.


Map of Edinburgh Way, Temple Fields, Harlow
plenty of businesses but no sign of Storage Resources
A bonded warehouse would be a very substantial building,
especially one with 20" thick walls!

Equally no sign of Storage Resources on 
Edinburgh Way from Satellite

No storage facility in Harlow – surely there must be some mistake as their website waxes lyrical over the ideal conditions they offer for storing wine. Time to compare and contrast:

Storage Resources:

'Our Cellar

Fine wine often improves with time, but ageing in the wrong conditions can irreversibly compromise your collection and investment. At 55° we understand how the wine evolves in the bottle.

Our facility’s 20-inch thick walls and insulated interior walls are supplemented by refrigeration for an ideal cellar environment.  The sturdy stone building also protects wine from potentially harmful natural light and vibration.

Vital Conditions

The key to proper wine storage is providing an ideal and unchanging environment, one that allows the wine to age slowly and gracefully.

Climate: It is generally agreed that temperatures from 55° to 59° allow wines to develop at an optimum rate. Higher temperatures will age wine prematurely, devaluing and shortening a wine's lifespan.  55°’s cellar features thermostat-controlled refrigeration which provides excellent air circulation (important for controlling mildew) and ensures even temperature distribution throughout.

Light: Light can prematurely age wine, even when the exposure is very brief. Our stone cellar prevents natural light penetration; we use low-intensity lighting throughout to provide the greatest degree of protection.

Vibration: Vibration can affect the equilibrium and development of wine. Our solid stone walls and concrete flooring minimize movement within the cellar.

Security: For the utmost protection, our facility is equipped with state-of-the-art infrared motion detectors and security alarm systems. Each locker is secured with an individual padlock and key, and all conditions are monitored 24 hours a day.'


Contrast this text from 55˚:

With the exception of 'Built in 1889 as a brandy storage warehouse' the rest is a direct copy of 55˚, a wine storage facility in Napa, California that was established 15 years ago. 




Not only have Storage Resources purloined text from 55˚ they have also pinched their photos:

In summary Storage Resources have copied texts from three Californian storage facilities – 55˚, Armored Storage in Lane County and Vinfolio – plus just for good measure copied a text from London City Bond on deliveries. Amusingly whoever did the copying for Storage Resources forgot to take out the Californian place names such as Eugene and Lane County – somewhat of a giveaway. 

However, the most glaring error is to have left in the Californian earthquake – the first time I was aware that Harlow in the UK was also affected by the tremors:

Storage Resources: 2014 Napa Earthquake – 'only 17 were damaged'

Vinfolio: 2014 Napa Earthquake – 'only 17 were damaged'

Finally what about the Equity Partners Group Ltd? At first sight this company's apparent involvement is a bit of a puzzle, especially as Storage Resources story about funds available from wine sold from a company that never traded. The answer is, however, simple. Just as Storage Resources has used texts from four storage companies, they have cloned Equity Partners Group Ltd and taken over its identity in a classic scam. I should stress that I am sure that Equity Partners Group Ltd and its director are innocent victims of this scam.


Equity Partners Group Ltd was founded in May 2009. Its registered office is at accountants Aston Shaw in Norwich and appears to be based in Great Yarmouth 



A Google search throws up an address at 1 Trafalgar Square, Northumberland Avenue, London WC2N 5BW with a London phone number. Interestingly the supposed 'Equity Partners Group' website that was accessible on Saturday has been unobtainable since Sunday. This website claimed that Equity Partners Group Ltd is a financial services company offering funds along with advice on ISA's and pensions. Naturally the fake company isn't approved by the FCA (Financial Services Authority) to offer financial advice. 


The clincher that the identity of Equity Partners Group Ltd has been cloned by the fraudsters behind Storage Resources is that the signature of the 'director' on the letter with accompanying documents sent to WV does not match the signature of the real director on documents filed with Companies House.


Storage Resources is an advance fee fraud – please avoid!












Wednesday, 3 February 2021

Scam alert: Barrett Storage in Canning Town – another cloned bonded warehouse site

Scam Alert Warning

If you are contacted by Barrett Storage in Canning Town or
anyone associated with it put the phone down.
It's a fake site. 
It's purpose could be to assist
advance fee fraud.   

Barrett Storage, which claims to be based at 162 Bidder Street, London E16 4ST, is the latest scam bonded warehouse website. It is the third known instance of fraudsters cloning the UK's largest legitimate bonded warehouse company – London City Bond (LCB). Barrett Storage's website was created on 12th October 2020.

Barrett Storage joins the two other cloned sites: Barkingside Premier Storage and Metropolitan Bond, which were also exposed by investdrinks. Interestingly both the Barkingside and Metropolitan websites now seem to have disappeared. 

Just as was the case for Barkingside and Metropolitan the text on the site has been lifted directly from the LCB site:


Cloned text ripped off by these jokers:

'In 1870 whom amongst our founding fathers could have imagined the prodigious success which today’s Barrett Storage has become? Starting originally as bargees on the Thames, they graduated to become the pre-eminent bonded warehouse keepers in the Port of London. For over a century, they served the wine and spirit trade with its very different needs.'



The original London Bond text: 

'In 1870 whom amongst our founding fathers could have imagined the prodigious success which today’s LCB has become? Starting originally as bargees on the Thames, they graduated to become the pre-eminent bonded warehouse keepers in the Port of London. For over a century, they served the wine and spirit trade with its very different needs.'

The only difference between the two 'about' texts is that Barrett Storage has replaced LCB in the first sentence. 


It is clear that Barrett Storage is the work of the scamsters who set up the two previous bonded warehouse storage sites:

 'They will join you after you take the first step!' - Metropolitan home page

 'They will join you after you take the first step!' - Barrett home page



Text again a rip off from LCB...
but a novel take on '300 trucks on the road at any one time'
– a guy with a back back delivering wine!!



Location... location...

Barrett Storage's address is in the industrial part of Canning Town in East London. 160 and 162 Bidder Street appears to be part of a large business park where a number of companies are based including the long established Pierone Nightspot, which features African music. I think it is highly unlikely that Barrett Storage   


Above and below 162 Bidder Street, London E16 4ST


 Satellite pic of 160/162 Bidder Street, London E16 4ST

Saturday, 31 October 2020

Shopping and staying local and safe during McCovid

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As we head into the last two months of this strange year there is no sign of us 'turning the corner' in the fight against Covid-19 as the deadly joker in the White House likes to claim. Instead, looking at Europe, many countries are seeing a second wave with much higher daily infection rates than those during the first wave. Thankfully death rates are considerably lower than they were earlier in the year – at least for the moment. Hopefully this is because we have learnt to treat those with severe cases of the virus more effectively.

Covid in Europe – daily figures in selected countries
Table 1: 1st wave – maximum daily new infections + maximum number of deaths during one day.
Table 2: 2nd wave – new infections on 25th October + maximum number of deaths during one day.

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Table 1: 1st wave – maximum daily new infections + maximum number of deaths during one day.
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Table 2: 2nd wave – new infections on 25th October + maximum number of deaths during one day.

These two tables show no sign of life getting back to what we used to consider normal. Only Norway and Sweden (just) have a lower rate of infections in the 2nd Wave than in the first. Instead we are seeing new restrictions being widely introduced. Zooming in' Christmas and New Year celebrations look to beckon......

We are now back in the Scottish Highlands, which like the rest of Scotland with the exception of the Central Belt, now has the following rules for hotels, pubs and restaurants and general socialising:

Nationwide (excepting central belt areas):

  • pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes may only open indoors between 6am and 6pm, with no sales of alcohol
  • pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes may open outdoors until 10pm, with sales of alcohol (where licensed)
  • takeaways (including from pubs and restaurants) can continue
  • evening meals may be served in accommodation for residents only but no alcohol can be served
  • current meeting rules, maximum of six people from two households, continue to apply
  • specific life events, such as weddings and funerals, may continue with alcohol being served, with current meeting rules for these events (20 person limit in regulated premises only)

The rules for the Central Belt between Edinburgh and Glasgow, easily the most populous Scottish region are stricter. Here pubs, restaurants and bars are closed but can continue to offer takeaway meals. Cafés can open for a limited period but can't sell alcohol.

These rules will apply until 2nd November when a a Five Tier system will be introduced – it's three in England. Scottish independence beckons......
Already the rules are complicated – I suspect that the various Covid-19 rules, regulations and restrictions will provide a rich vein for TV quiz shows for decades to come......

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Glen Hotel, Newtonmore
Covid rules OK in practice
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Early Saturday evening we had a drink at the Glen Hotel in Newtonmore – sitting outside in the tent structure, which fortunately includes a heater. Once we had signed in on-line we could order drinks. We couldn't go inside as we were not resident, so had to remain outside seated at a table and ring a bell for service. The Glen is still doing takeaways. However, we couldn't have eaten any takeaway meal under the tent as it is part of licensed premises but if we were staying there overnight we could have ordered a meal and eaten it under the tent with an alcoholic drink. Residents can eat inside but have to enjoy their meal without alcohol. The Glen is serving lunch – inside and also outside for those that want an alcoholic drink with their meal.

Alfresco dining over the winter is not ideal in the Scottish Highlands. However the Scots are a hardy race – they have to be.....

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A cry to support local businesses during the Covid pandemic

Some local options in Newtonmore area:

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It is quite easy to find locally made beer as there is a brewery – Cairngorm Brewery Company – in nearby Aviemore. On Saturday night we enjoyed a pint of their Trade Winds. Usually the Glen has a good selection of cask beers but because of the Covid restrictions they are only stocking one as cask beers have a limited life.

The nearest best known whisky distillery is 10 miles away – Dalwhinnie – one of Diageo's classic malts, which can't really be counted as a small artisan producer......

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Nearby Kingussie has an excellent butcher – Donald Gilmour. As well as the normal range of meats, he has very good venison, black pudding – a speciality – and steak pies. Normally at this time of year he would have game – grouse, pheasant etc. but because of the Covid restrictions there have been no shoots so no game for the moment.

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A recent addition in Kingussie has been this specialist cheese shop (above) with a good cheese selection along with a limited range of wines and other treats.

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There have been some Covid winners among them this mobile fish van run by George delivering wonderful fresh fish from Portsoy. After many years working for another firm George set up on his own last year and has done very well from the Covid pandemic as people are happy to buy from a supplier that comes to their home.

There is, however, an important caveat to the call to support small producers and local shops – in the UK you need a certain income to be able to afford to buy from specialist food shops rather a supermarket, especially from a discounter like Aldi or Lidl. Unfortunately Covid has forced more UK families into food poverty and stopping kids from starving during the holidays has rightly become a major crisis for the Johnson 'government' following their refusal to finance meal vouchers for hungry kids in England during school holidays. 

This post was originally published on Les 5 du Vin. 

From Monday 2nd November the Highlands of Scotland will be in Tier 1. Five Tiers (0-4) come into force on Monday. In Tier 0 life is close to normal . 

Level 1: rules
'Under level one rules no in-home socialising is permitted, with limited exceptions. Groups of six from a maximum of two households are able to gather in indoor and outdoor public settings.

The sale of food and alcohol is permitted in indoor and outdoor venues, though a 10.30pm curfew is in place for all hospitality settings.

Hotels, B&Bs, self-catering, caravan and camp sites are allowed to operate under these restrictions so long as socialising and hospitality rules are adhered to. 

Those living in a level one setting are advised against non-essential travel to/from level 3 or higher areas in Scotland and equivalents in the rest of the UK, with limited exceptions.

Car sharing should be avoided where possible while face coverings are compulsory on public transport. 

Close contact services such as hairdressers and barbers will be allowed to operate in level one. Mobile close contact services can also operate at this level.

In level one stadia can reopen with restricted numbers and small events in indoor settings can take place. Outdoor events with restricted numbers can also take place. 

Weddings, and civil partnerships and funerals are all subject to 20 person limits.

All sports and exercise is permitted with the exception of indoor contact sports between adults.

Public services can open and support services such as counselling are permitted.' 


The big change for pubs and restaurants in Level 1 is that they will be able to sell alcohol instead and it won't have to be limited to having to have a meal to buy a drink. 


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Fall guy