About us: Barkingside Premier Storage
Last week I was contacted by RZ, a former client investor of now bust European Fine Wines. They had been contacted and told that miraculously they had some additional wines that had been bought by EFW (European Fine Wines):
'EFW bought wines with my money, they may have not been totally transparent with the use of my funds and may have bought additional wines and stored them in my name. These wines appear to have been kept in store at Barkingside - which I have never heard of - and for data protection reasons, Barkingside has sent me a list of wines that appear to be in their store under my name.'
The investor then received an email from a Mr Daniel Wickman, 'storage manager' at Barkingside Premier Storage:
'As requested, we are writing to you in regard to your request for a stock report, we have therefore documented below your stock rotation report (*******) inclusive of the wines that we are currently storing under our administrator account on your behalf:
Chateau Haut Brion 2009
Chateau Haut Brion 2010 (12x75cl)
Chateau Montrose 2011 (12x75cl)
Chateau Lafite Rothschild 2009 (12x75cl)'
The investor doubtless had mixed emotions when they received Wickham's message. Delight that unknown to them they had four cases of wine that EFW had kindly bought for them. Suspicion that that this unexpected windfall was part of a scam, so they contacted investdrinks to ask what I knew of Barkingside Premier Storage.
It soon became clear that the investor was wise to be suspicious. There is no such business as Barkingside Premier Storage and the four cases of wine is the figment of a scamster's imagination.
The Barkingside Premier Storage website is a clone of the London City Bond (LCB) website. LCB is a legitimate company and is the UK's largest bonded warehouse business, which was founded in 1870 and has a fine wine division with storage available at a number of sites as well as providing bonded warehouse facilities for the wine and spirit trade. Alf Allington is a director of LCB and Ben Jones is a former director. Neither have any connection with Barkingside Premier Storage.
It is instructive to compare the two websites to see that Barkingside is a direct copy of LCB.
The scamsters behind Barkingside Premier Storage website, which is hosted by godaddy.com, have used the text from the LCB with out their permission and knowledge.
Details of Barkingside Premier Storage site
(registered 27th May 2020) hosted by GoDaddy.
However, LCB is now aware of the scam Barkingside Premier Storage site and on 29th July 2020 they wrote to all of their private customers warning them Barkingside Premier Storage was a scam. Although Barkingside copied LCB's text they have no access to LCB's customers' data.
So what's the scam?
The four case of Bordeaux do not exist and Barkingside Premier Storage, which has no entry on the register of UK companies, certainly does not have a warehouse at 565 Ripple Road, Dagenham RM6 4QL – Barkingside's address included in Wickham's email. As the satellite photo above shows No 565 is a private house beside the busy A13 hardly a suitable premises for the 'largest and most successful privately-owned tax warehousing company in the UK'....... However, the postcode (RM6 4QL) given by Wickham is not for Ripple Road but for The Coppins, Chadwell Avenue, Romford RM6 4QL.
This is 'white knight' operation and almost certainly an advance fee fraud. The investor will be told that to sell or get hold of their 'wine' they will need to pay a fee .... The wine, however, is very unlikely to be sold nor and it is equally unlikely that will they see these four cases of fine Bordeaux.
The telephone number (020-7971 1208) for Barkingside is listed by Who Called Me? as 'dangerous':
Barkingside Premier Storage claim that 'We trade under the current conditions and contracts of the UK Warehousing Association and Road Haulage Association'. Another highly unlikely claim.
I trust that LCB can get the Barkingside scam site closed down. They have been in touch with godaddy who host the Barkingside scam site. My strong advice is to steer well clear of Barkingside Premier Storage.
Update: victims of other companies contacted
Following a tweet about the Barkingside Premier Storage scam, it is now clear that clients of Imperial Fine Wines Ltd, which changed its name on 10.1.2017 to Imperial Wine & Spirits Merchant, has also been contacted by Barkingside. The accounts and confirmation statement for Imperial are both overdue and a compulsory strike off has been suspended (8.5.2019).
A client of the well-established and legitimate Ditton Wine Company also received an email (above) from Daniel Wickham (unlikely to be his real name) claiming that Barkingside had some stock for him. The client was advised that this was a scam.
Warning of this scam sent to members of Wine Owners (24.8.2020):
Barkingside Premier Storage has been invited to comment.