From Google Treasure Chest to Ubertan Sun Tan Scam in Nevis on the BBC?
A. yes it’s true!
An article on the BBC website today highlighted the dangers of a tanning products called Ubertan. On reading it, and following up with a simple Google search, the way it is portrayed in forums immediately set off warning bells because of its similarity to other scams I’ve seen.
A simple Google search showed that warnings about Ubertan have been going on for some time. This website warned way back in April 2011 and here we have a Mens’s Health forum being shilled by Ubertanners with a post starting in Jan 2011… The first even shows that the Ubertan website changed it’s copy when folks started complaining.
The Ubertan website is currently ‘live’ however, it is showing no content! At all! The Google cache is interesting though (more on that later)…
Who is Ubertan indeed? !!
What we see is that “Manufacturers Direct” owns several domains and one Vernon Veira is the contact on the dual island nation of Kitts-Nevis.
10 Solomons Arcade
This is when the warning bells started ringing….
Doing The Charlestown in Nevis
It’s two years ago that I started looking at the now seriously-discredited Google Treasure Chest scam (see http://strangelyperfect.tv/3099/google-treasure-chest-its-a-scam-and-a-half/). the amount of information I had, meant I had to post over several different postings, and it was during these later investigations that a Post Office address (P.O. Box) came up on Nevis. In Charlestown.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t remember exactly what address it was. But it’s easily found here a comment from @NotKevin. I think it’s the first time we saw the address, although it has since popped up many times when checking out folks that would be preferred to be known as “online marketeers” but we like to call scammers. This is on the posting, Google Revolution, Different Name, Same Scam!
This is the address.
New Online Systems Ltd.
P.O. Box 642, Main Street
Charlestown, Nevis, West Indies
Ubertan may be silent, but the Google Cache is active and shows this address down at the bottom of the first cached page:
Ubertan.com +44 161 408 5816
Subertan Ltd 642 Main Street, Charlestown, Nevis
Uber morphs into Suber, and because the Post Office on Charlestown is one of the few buildings on Main Street, Charlestown; a whole host of P.O. Boxes exist inside.
P.O. Box 642 means 642 Main Street!
Who are these people using 642? I don’t know.
What I do know is that the domains listed by @NotKevin, although not exactly the same, bear a shocking similarity to those domains used by people like Jesse Willms (say) before he decided to turn into a saint-like activist and Pacific WebWorks (say) before they got their pants sued off them. This is what @NotKevin said:
That West Indies address is also linked with porn:
(another Co Durham address on that one too!)
and Govt Grants:
Now compare and contrast those domains and businesses with the very large list to be found here on WebCops – the plethora of time-limited similarly-named domains means tracking them is an onerous task, well beyond my spare time.
However, yet again, we have seen the same address appear when dealing with dodgy ego-massaging products.
Ubertan may be dead, but it doesn’t take long to find son-of-Ubertan when looking at the decidedly un-Caribbean telephone number for Ubertan.
+44 161 408 5816 is actually a Manchester, UK number!!
A quick search pulls out…..
Now I know they’re trying to hide!!!
TryUbertan.net on the T&C page now shows the address of Ubertan to be:
Ubertan Sunless Tanning System
c/o Toocoo Media Inc.
39555 Orchard Hill Place
Although it’s supposed to be available from ” high end salons in the U.K, France, Germany, Spain and North America” from their FAQ page, these stores will be doing so ILLEGALLY! The UK government has officially banned it (as per the UK news item) and is EXPLICITLY ISSUING DANGER WARNINGS about its usage!
Still, TryUbertan (WHOIS is Pennsylvania USA) don’t care. They’ll just grab the cash and morph into something else.
The decidedly minimalist website of Toocoo Media Inc, http://www.toocoomedia.com, throws up some interesting conundrums, if that really is their mailing address. There are two LinkedIn links:
The latter is for the CEO, a Peter B. Lee whose 3 website links at the bottom of his profile point to the totally and bizarrely un-related websites of:
- http://platespin.com which then redirects to novell.com as Novell has bought them out
Mr Lee, who claims to be Canadian from the LinkedIn profile, also has a poetry blog on blogger assuming the same quite distinct user name is being re-used, which is for invited guests only!!! See The Poetry of Peter B. Lee with the url of http://jumanok.blogspot.com/ I’ve highlighted his key username as it matches the LinkedIn profile. I don’t think that this Peter Lee (interestingly, a place name in County Durham of all places!) is the same who’s name is used in some recent versions of the classic 419 scam. Try these examples for a start:
To add to the surreal mix that I’m uncovering, there are also two videos on YouTube uploaded by a “jumanok”!! One of half a minute looks very much like Mr Lee, doing some testing thing in Nov 2008 here:
This is a screenshot in case it’s pulled:
This is Jumanok from LinkedIn:
And here is “Crystal” telling us how her life state has improved after seeing something on OPRAH (down below she says) – except there’s nothing below!! It appears to be a video plug for something intended to include Oprah in the spiel, except it never happened as there’s nowt to see. This was uploaded in May, 2009. The termination of Oprah-related plans may or may not have had something to do with the legal action, taken in May 2009, by Oprah, and reported here on her website;
- Time and again we come across scams that are based on a business with a very flakey base (here it’s a banned tanning product with government issued health warnings). Usually, they are about improving one’s body or finances via unproven “new” medicines or foodstuffs, or get-rich-quick schemes.
- Time and again we find a myriad of international contact phone numbers & addresses, for businesses that are very minor and specialist yet feel the need to spread themselves to the far corners of the globe. Q. Why? A. Avoidance of easy scrutiny.
- Time and again, we trace these businesses via LinkedIn (a bit like Jonathon Eborn, say) and other social networks high and wide. They all start off appearing very legitimate. As an aside, the Eborn results show a consulting website of http://jonathanebornconsulting.com and another of http://jonathandeborn.com/ which have both been hacked and defaced! Made my day that!
- Many businesses have a very public website, of minimalist design and content. It’s very hard to discern exactly what they’re doing. Compare these “online marketeers” to the website of Ford or Esso, say? Now can you tell the difference?
Finally, (and very importantly for your health). Don’t shove dodgy untested stuff of unknown provender up your nose. Simple eh?