Tag Archive: post office

From Google Treasure Chest to Sun Tan Scam in Nevis on the BBC?

From Google Treasure Chest to Ubertan Sun Tan Scam in Nevis on the BBC?

A.  yes it’s true!

Ubertan On BBC

Ubertan On BBC

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.

Ubertan

Ubertan Search

Ubertan Search

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)…

WHOIS Ubertan

Ubertan WHOIS

Ubertan WHOIS

Who is Ubertan indeed?  !!

WarningBell

Warning Bell

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
Charlestown,  00000
KN
+1.3057484919

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,

This is the address.

New Online Systems Ltd.
P.O. Box 642, Main Street
Charlestown, Nevis, West Indies

Google Cache

Ubertan Google Cache

Ubertan Google Cache

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:
http://www.highdefriches.com/contact.php
http://www.eshspt.com/
(another Co Durham address on that one too!)
“health products”:
http://hiltonhg.com/
Colon cleansing:
http://www.colocleansemax.com/contact-us.php
Acai:
http://acaidetoxmaxx.com/
and Govt Grants:
http://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/government-grants-avaliable-cd-c116063.html

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.

Phoenix-Like TryUbertan

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!!

TryUbertan Contact Page

TryUbertan Contact Page

A quick search pulls out…..

Beginnings

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
Suite 600
Novi, Michigan
48375

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.

TooCoo Media CEO

TooCoo Media CEO

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:

  • http://www.linkedin.com/company/toocoo-media-inc.
  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/jumanok

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://www.viafoura.com/
  • https://www.netiq.com/products/migrate/ which then redirects to novell.com as Novell has bought them out
  • http://www.oracle.com/index.html

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:

Jumanok YouTube

Jumanok YouTube

This is Jumanok from LinkedIn:

Jumanok LinkedIn LargePic

Jumanok LinkedIn LargePic

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;

http://www.oprah.com/health/The-Truth-About-Oprah-Dr-Oz-Acai-Resveratrol-and-Colon-Cleanse

Of course, Oprah sued and won damages against a host of scammers, one of which was Jesse Willms.

Conclusion

  • 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://www.jonathanebornconsulting.com/ and another of http://www.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?

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Mandelson: Expenses Morals and Postal Flowers

Peter Mandelson

Peter Mandelson

As MP’s expenses come to the fore again, Peter Mandelson spoke on Radio 4 this morning and did his usual self by not explaining anything and being perfectly unclear about everything!  Listen hear here!

Thank god the interviewer cut him off.

The question was “Have you got much sympathy with MPs who’ve claimed under one set of ‘rules’ and now might have to cough-up under a changed set of rules” (my wording)

“Of course…but…” said Mandelson

“…these are the last painful and expensive throws of an old and discredited system…”

Flower Shop

Flowers and Pot Plants

The trouble is that Mandelson’s flower bills for his office/department are over £24,000 per annum.  When news of this started coming out, Darling’s Treasury flower bill of ~£3000 was cut to zero but the Business Dept.’s of Mandelson has remained the same. (see Government departments ran up £780,000 flower bill)

That’s  the painful truth.  And as the most disadvantaged in society, dependant on the State for their well-being, are now coming into the firing line as the cause of society’s ills, it’s a truth that deserves repetition.

As the money given to bankers to pay for their bonuses (~£1.2 billion!) goes out, consider the £3 billion stolen from the Post Office worker’s pension fund by the State in a ‘pensions holiday’ since 1994.  These Post Office employees are now having to suffer because as part of the Royal Mail’s super-imposed business ethic, it has to recoup the missing Pension money from it’s business at the same time as it’s core business changes and it reacts accordingly.

Now, the focus is on the Post Office worker who must change and not go on strike to ‘save the company’!

  • Q. Who is in charge of pushing these Post Office changes?
  • A. Mandelson
Having a Millstone around one's Neck

Having a Millstone around one's Neck

I think a few more ‘rules’ need changing.  If the Royal Mail was not hamstrung by the Pensions millstone round it’s neck it could compete equally with the piss-poor Home Delivery Network owned by the odious Barclay brothers who have their own idea of democracy on their little island fiefdom.

Without the millstone, Royal Mail could have expanded it’s network of local offices as collection and despatch points for the country’s expanding home shopping bonanza.  Instead, it’s closed many down because reduced investment made them un-economic.

The Dept. of Business is a fool’s paradise of blinkered short-sightedness, completely devoid of morals and common sense.  Mandelson though, is no fool.  He knows exactly what he’s done and is doing.

I think he’s borrowed one of Dr Who’s perception filters because of the way that people’s focus shifts as their gaze falls upon him.

Further Reading:

Home Delivery network

The prime problem for HDNL is that they have few offices and don’t deliver out-of-hours which is no use for normal consumers, the majority of whom work 9-5.  Consequently they are cheap so mail-order companies will use them…

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Tough Old Geordie

Strangely post on October 6th, 2009
Posted in Buddhism Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Gordon Moore's Bonk

Gordon Moore's Bonk

Like a metal mickey, old Geordie Gordon Moore (no, not him of Intel and his ‘law’) has astounded the medical profession with the recent discovery that a big hole in his head has grown back under the protective metal plate that was inserted to fill the gap.  (see the story here: Man grows new skull after horror car crash from the Newcastle Chronicle)

The thing that got me though, is that Gordon seems to be a bit of a disaster merchant, seeking thrills and escaping continuously….

  • He went to Iraq as a tourist when the war was still on!
  • He ran an offy, in Gateshead!
  • He ran a post office, in North Shields!

As if these aren’t dangerous enough, in his early life he crashed his car and got the metal plate in his head for his trouble.

A short while after, he crashed his car again and bent the metal plate in his head!!!

The question that’s bothering me and is the one you should be asking yourself is,

Would I get in a Car with Gordon Moore driving?

After all, he’s alright – but what about if you’re standing next to him?  I tell you, Ozzy Osbourne’s boy, Jack, has got nowt on this guy Gordon Moore.

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How Rowland Hill Turns in His Grave

Introduction

Following up an earlier post of mine “Use the Green Stick, Mr Postman!” and how unfriendly competition in the delivery market actually is from the point of view of the environment and the actual service to the customer (us!), the recent news of a  Delivery firm’s 686 jobs at risk should be taken with a pinch of salt and examined closely.

Home Delivery Network (HDN), an amalgam of catalogue, pools and white van delivery folk pipes up today that jobs will have to go.  This is part of the “solution” to the “Post Office crisis” that various governments have sought to rid themselves.  Others are Citylink, DHL, Amtrack etc.  They are all posturing to grab the best bits of the Post Office’s business while leaving the donkey work to the taxpayer’s employees, the postmen.

However, it’s not the first time that HDN have said this.  Way back in the middle of the boom, ages before the Credit Crunch and recession, they whipped out a similar story;  Job cut concerns at delivery firm. This was for 600+ jobs in 2005!

Call me cynical, but if they can’t make money just competing for the cream of the work, how will they manage in future?

History Lesson

Rowland_Hill___Project_Gutenberg_etext_13103_1_

Rowland Hill

Way back in the early 1800’s, the “post” as it was called was a competetive business.  Official government stuff went by couriers called “The Royal Mail” and everyone else paid a hefty premium to go the same route or paid huge amounts dependant on distance, weight and size.  People paid pounds! This was at a time when bread cost a penny and 10 shillings was a good wage.  There was much corruption, mail went missing for various reasons and it took ages to get anywhere.

Rowland Hill is credited with reforming all of that to end up with the modern fast postal system that people could rely on and for which people were proud to work.  This lasted from 1840 until the 1980’s.  When Thatcher got in of course, she and her ilk poisoned everyone’s minds with ideas of competition and the free market, a legacy that Blair et al have expanded upon.

When the post-as-we-know-it started, it cost a penny (The Penny Post) to send a letter any distance in the UK.  This was radical and it was cheap, if you were middle class.  In real terms for the bulk of the population, it was the same as a loaf of bread.

But the service boomed and like Rowland Hill imagined, it soon paid for itself.

A decent loaf today costs about a pound, whereas to post a letter is less than half that.   But now, somehow people whinge and think it’s too much! Yet the same people will happily hop in a car, spend 50p on petrol, and all for a £5 jumbo kebab.

Priorities are definately wrong.

The Delivery Market

What successive governments have done in the pursuit of making a stamp even cheaper, is make the actual service, you know, the service that you and me get when stuff (possibly) comes through the letterbox,… worse.

This makes it less likely that people will use the service and instead, they turn to the cowboys like HDN and Amtrack, Citylink and TNT, who cream off the business mail (aka junk mail), removing a huge revenue stream from our valuable normal postal service.  They in turn have to reduce costs, close offices, reduce staff, reduce deliveries and increase charges.

It’s a vicious downward spiral and the eventual losers are us, the customers; and us, the employees; and us, the taxpayers.

For parcels, the companies compete against Parcel Force, who used to have a network of wonderfully handy offices, open till late, where undelivered items could be easily collected.  This is seriously undermined nowadays.

  • For a company like Dabs or M&S, the costs are about 50p less for a small parcel.
  • For us customers, we have to travel 70 miles (in Citylink’s case) to collect undeliverable items!

This is 2 gallons of fuel – about a tenner.

So for Dabs or M&S to save 50p, we have to pay £10.  And remember, when we buy something online, we are paying the delivery cost.  If we have to collect it, we have to pay again!

Conclusion

I hope HDN and everyone like it all go bust as soon as possible – or at least stop their operations in the area of postal deliveries.  Union people like;

  • Bob Shaw, national secretary for transport at the T&G;
  • Unite national officer Julia Long;
  • and Usdaw national officer, Irene Radigan;

–  they’ve got it all wrong.  Instead of weaselly worrying about a few local workers, they should instead look at the broader picture of a diminished and collapsing postal delivery service that does no-one any good, not least their members and not least the nation …

  • The postal service has an already existing network of handy local offices, ideally placed to pick up the ever burgeoning business from internet buying.
  • The postal service is efficiently set up to minimise environmental damage from the excess travel required when using independant carriers.  These costs are never factored into the big picture.  Like air transport, it should be the total costs that count.
  • The lost jobs (if it actually happens) at HDN should be easily taken up by a proper national postal delivery service.  After all, the parcels that HDN delivers will still need delivering by someone!

In short, don’t carve up the service – make it bigger and better!

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Use the Green Stick, Mr Postman!

Workers and ordinary intelligent users of the Post Office Royal Mail system (“the post”), must be very worried by the latest news about the holistic vertically integrated business that was “the post” being further split up and creamed off.

see 50,000 jobs at risk in break-up of Royal Mail or Royal Mail faces call to change

The writing was on the wall when the year 2000 split law (twat Blair) came in.

Previously, if I ordered some goods mail-order, I’d collect at the local sorting office.  After 2000, and increasingly so, if I miss the delivery to my home (as do 90% of people as we’re at work), I have awkward and useless phone calls followed by refusals to redirect and finally, in the case of crap CityLink, a 70 mile round trip to Exeter Airport!

In the last case above, it was to collect an item costing about £30.  I wasted 90mins of my time and 2 gallons of diesel costing  a tenner!

This was all because the mail-order company can save 50p over Royal Mail rates.

Just look at the environmental cost!  It’s absolutely appalling.

I used to deal with Dabs many times, Dabs.com.   I no longer use them.  Why?   Because they were bought out by …BT, formerly part of “the post” and the service is falling badly.   They don’t use Royal Mail to provide the delivery service!  See above for the twisted logic.

Home Delivery Network – former FedEx, White Arrow & Littlewoods business.  Another one creaming away core business from what should be an efficienly run SERVICE. Try phoning and re-arranging…

DHL (sorry, it’s my lot) – stinky unhelpful Taunton office with crap opening times.

Amtrak – dismal and pokey warehouse in Taunton.  Vehicles held together with stick tape.

All the above have long transport distances for collection of things that only recently got delivered no bother at all.  THIS ALL COSTS. The sneaky underhand method at purchase time is that the full cost isn’t shown on a web purchase page.  If Misco said that the true cost of an OEM DVD writer was £16 + VAT + £4 postage + (£10 and over to collect it) + 90mins of your time during the rush-hour traffic after you’ve finished work early to get the time to collect it, I think people would think twice.

The sad thing is that “the post” had until recently a wonderful local network of collection points that most people could walk to… (called post offices!)

The only way the mail can fight back against the blood-suckers is to level the playing field towards a proper environmentally friendly inclusive SERVICE.  Make ALL businesses who want to do the work, legally obliged to take all packages that are handed to them all the way from door-to-door for the cost of a stamp and make them responsible for the full economic cost that the receiver of the package is currently forced to pay.

Currently, drive on the motorway at night and you’ll see a few hundred high artics transporting the high-value cream that used to be “the post”‘s work.  It’s no wonder they can make money.  It’s the cream.

Let them try a proper service where the whole cost to the environment is accounted for.

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