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User "Elbert" scammed me for $2,500

Discussion in 'The Shit List' started by RedOctobre, Jul 6, 2014.

  1. RedOctobre

    RedOctobre Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    User "Elbert" of "locals4you.com" scammed me in a Pay Per Call deal out of a $2,500 fully refundable pre-pay.

    First contact with Elbert was on 1/13/2014, when we were discussing via PM the markets for which he generates calls. At this point I was already working with a number of networks, and looking to expand my reach. He assured me the calls were real, that he had worked in my market already, and would be able to generate 50 paid calls per day (first red flag, but alas, I gave him a chance.)

    The conversation then moved to phone and e-mail, and we continued to establish details. At this point, in early February, we were simply hashing out particulars such as IVR details, traffic sources, call qualifications, duration, etc. We agreed to these details, and I asked him to send over a contract on March 18th. By March 22nd, nothing had been sent over, with him continually telling me that the document was on one or another computer that he just didn't happen to be on (red flag #2).

    On March 28th he finally sent me his contract. The language looked like it was very crudely based on some online template and edited by someone with absolutely no background in legal agreements (red flag #3), so I refused it and elected to use my own - one I use with most of my own clients, which was sent to him and signed (via RightSignature) on March 29th.

    One stipulation of my contract was a smaller pre-pay than I usually agree to ($2,500). In hindsight I should have made him use credit terms given how green he was, but alas. Another provision of the contract was that the pre-pay is to be FULLY refunded upon the contract's termination, with only legitimate, qualified leads being deducted from it. I also had the full rights to terminate the contract at any time, for any reason, with a simple written notice to that effect.

    Fast forward, and by April 6th I had received NO calls yet for this campaign (except for a few from Elbert himself pretending to be a prospect - he said this was to get an idea of our conversion process, apparently by wasting my rep's time.) Throughout this period I was calling and e-mailing him frequently, figuring out why nothing had been begun - and was met with extremely sparce replies and excuses.

    The "calls" finally begun on April 7th, but, as my clients were keen to point out, the calls were fake. They provided fake financial information, fake names, used disconnected numbers, always hung up at around the same time, etc. I informed Elbert of this, and he promised me he would "kick that person off the campaign." I thought, fine.

    Even still, the volume was deplorable, we were lucky if we got even a single call every several days - and they were all either fake and/or they didn't make the qualifying call duration.

    Things came to a head when his next marketing idea was to plaster a local neighborhood with flyers to drive calls. Since this took place in Florida I didn't see the extent of his litter, but we received an astounding number of furious callers extremely irate that we were ruining their neighborhood with our trash, and vowing to take down every flyer and report us to various governing bodies.

    If you couldn't guess, our clients were less than pleased, so I e-mailed him to officially cancel our contract: http://screencast.com/t/OVGz6QlUBSCD

    To which I quickly received this reply: http://screencast.com/t/z9bKcnGtMS (he always seemed to have an excuse)

    I told him a week is fine, and so we agreed on May 18th being the LATEST that I would receive my money. Well, of course, May 18th came and went. I e-mailed him, and he said he needed "a couple more weeks". I said that I needed my money back, and he ceased replying to any of the several other e-mails I sent from that point until I sent him a formal "Demand for Money Owed" and legal threat on June 10th: http://screencast.com/t/8BBh8kYVTkC5 (I didn't post the SL on that day, due to his reply)

    His reply, and my reply to that: http://screencast.com/t/HjdVvyQBhN

    In reference to a comment I made in that e-mail, I had just the day before received an e-mail and call from one of my clients who is investigating the issue of steadily increasing fraud in our industry, and in the course of our discussion, he shared with me one name that he found to be popping up everywhere - you guessed it, our friend Elbert.

    It seems Elbert and some other fellow who's name I didn't recognize have been posting job ads on CL advertising "call reviewers", paying people a small fee to call a phone number, pretend to answer the person's questions, and then "rate the call" to the job poster. What ends up happening is that they are sent to a phone number for a pay per call campaign, and the advertiser thinks they're getting a legitimate lead, but are in fact being defrauded.

    This client of mine has been in touch with 4 networks, all of whom have independently brought up our friend Elbert as a fraudster, and 3 of them are currently preparing legal cases against him. One of these companies apparently has a very poor "red flag detector" - even worse than mine - and lost a lot of money to him.

    This was our last communication, a continuation of the e-mail thread in the screenshot just above: http://screencast.com/t/PBt7WUc1MSX He, of course, denies involvement in any other fraud. I, also of course, have still yet to receive any phone call.

    I'm making good on my promises to "Elbert". As much as this kind of crap is annoying, I've had to do it before, and I'm happy to do it again. So I'm sending a debt collector after him, and already have a case prepared. It doesn't have to be this way, and all he has to do is make good on our contract to make me go away.

    I'm even willing to let him pay me on an installment plan - which was what I was going to offer him when he called me. I'm still willing to offer something like this, but I need you to CONTACT ME, Elbert.

    Obviously with a saga like this that took place over this many months, we have a very long history of e-mails and other such communications, and including screenshots of everything would have made a mess of this post, so if there are any particular e-mails or documents that the Mods or Admins would like to see, I can quickly produce them at a simple request.

    Let me know if I've left anything out.

    Thanks,
    Red
     
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  2. OldSalt

    OldSalt Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Elbert has been notified he has 48 hours to respond to this thread.

    OS
    PS. REMINDER Shit list rule #4:
    If you are not directly related to the situation, or are not offering information directly related to the situation: do not post in the thread.
     
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  3. RedOctobre

    RedOctobre Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Thanks, OS. I've also just notified him via e-mail. Let's hope this is swiftly resolved.

    Red
     
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  4. Elbert

    Elbert BANNED BANNED

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    Hey I am going to call You today and make arraingments to pay you a little bit at a time it is all i can do right now.
     
  5. RedOctobre

    RedOctobre Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I'm wired in all day - awaiting your call.

    Red
     
  6. Elbert

    Elbert BANNED BANNED

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    Sent you an email asking for your phone number as i dont have it.
     
  7. RedOctobre

    RedOctobre Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    For the record, I've given you my phone number at least twice so far, so you have it in your email history already, but I have sent it again.

    Also, for one reason or another, your e-mail got filtered to my spam folder, thus the brief delay.

    Red
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2014
  8. RedOctobre

    RedOctobre Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    As of 7:30pm PST I have still not received a call.

    Red
     
  9. Elbert

    Elbert BANNED BANNED

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    Hi called Ya and left a message at around 9am this morning.
     
  10. RedOctobre

    RedOctobre Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Todd and I have agreed to a payment plan of $250 a month until the debt is repaid. While it's a very low amount, as long as it is consistently maintained I'll keep the dogs at bay.

    We have further agreed that the first payment will arrive within the week. I'm sending him our deal in writing now to be executed, and will require the first installment no later than Saturday.

    Red
     
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  11. OldSalt

    OldSalt Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Once the first payment is made, I'll remove this thread from view.

    If at any time, he fails to keep up to the agreement, RedOctobre will only have to PM me and I'll pull it back into public view and continue with the SL.

    OS
     
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  12. RedOctobre

    RedOctobre Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Thanks for all of the help, OS. I'll update this thread accordingly.

    Red
     
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  13. RedOctobre

    RedOctobre Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    The repayment agreement was sent to Elbert last night. I haven't heard back yet.

    Red
     
  14. RedOctobre

    RedOctobre Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    As of 11:20am on Saturday, I have not received any signed Repayment Agreement, nor the first installment of $250.

    He has until the end of the day, and then I'll be passing the account to collections.

    Red
     
  15. RedOctobre

    RedOctobre Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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  16. OldSalt

    OldSalt Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Since Elbert has already breached the agreement, I am temp banning him until the first payment is received.

    Once RedOctobre posts here that he has received the first payment, I will lift the temp ban.

    OS
     
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  17. RedOctobre

    RedOctobre Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Thanks, OS. I'm beginning collections now, and will update the thread with any developments.

    Red
     
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  18. RedOctobre

    RedOctobre Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    As a small update, today is when Elbert promised to send the first payment, and none has arrived. Further, I have received an unsurprising outpouring of PMs from people he hired for lead gen and similar services, and then refused to pay. This situation is plain as day - as far as I consider it the case is closed, and I'll let my guys have their fun.

    Red
     
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  19. OldSalt

    OldSalt Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I have changed Elbert's temp ban to a perma-ban.

    This can be revisited if he repays RedOctobre.

    OS
     
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