Windows Media Community Journal Advertising Scam
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Windows Media Community Journal Advertising Scam

We have been approached by Gentleman from Windows Media pretending to be a Policeman selling Advertising space for a Community Safe Journal which at first was almost plausible until the seed of doubt began to niggle away in the back of our minds. So began the research into this Company and we came across a lot of information about this type of scam around the world & Windows Media seemed to be at the centre of the UK version of this. Windows Media approach small businesses who have recently entered their details on a Free advertising page & then offer a 1/4 page advert in their Community Safe Journal suggesting they are from the Police saying comments like "Don't worry your not in trouble" all very friendly, then you receive a copy of an advert that any fool with a basic ability on a computer could have thrown together in a few moments,an invoice and attached letter with a very basic logo and no Company details at the bottom eg: Registered Office & Address, Vat Reg No etc asking for £150 with a 10% discount if you settle quickly. Now the fun starts as you start to receive a lot of phone calls from them asking have you had a chance to look at the advert to approve etc bearing in mind that you have been provided with a copy proof to sign and make any changes with 14 days so why all the phone calls all of a sudden. I have contacted Fife Trading Standards who have confirmed it is a Scam and there is no journal & when would the Police have time to sell advertising space, we then cam across this Blog that really explains it all much better than our Blog, please read and fully understand the depths people will go to swindle a small business out of their hard earned money enjoy ......

49 Comments to Windows Media Community Journal Advertising Scam:

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Sean sweeney on 08 December 2011 21:09
Hi - Thanks for the link and I am glad that our blog about this company has provided the information you needed to save your company money, aggravation and stress. Thank you for reporting them to the necessary bodies as I think that we will be having a lot more of this scam now they have switched from Municipal Press Office to Windows Media. Happy that the money has stayed in the right hands and that you have blogged it too - the more websites that report it the better. Due diligence for a small company is as easy as google it - if we write about it. Well done and good luck with your business. Sean Sweeney
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Buy Targeted Twitter followers on 14 February 2013 08:10
The blog post is related to the advertising scam by the window media employee.I like the blog post to read and share.Thanks a lot for posting.

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Emotions in Vision on 02 January 2012 09:33
Yes I had these people contact me on 19th December. Had alarm bells going so I too checked with my local police and they confirmed that they knew nothong about the cs journal. Vigorous moves are underway at the moment to bring the matter to the attention of all law enforcement agencies and the government so that Windows Media Limited and the people behind it becomes a top priorty and get the punishment they deserve.
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Emotions in Vision on 03 January 2012 20:35
Have come across this useful bit of information: Dear Mr XYZ and other agencies You are right in noting that Municipal Press Office / Windows Media is using a mail box address. 152 - 160 City Road, London, EC1V 2NP is known to Islington TS as a mail forwarding facility. Municipal Press Office/Windows Media has no physical presence in Islington. Their mail is redirected to an address within the area of Wirral Council. I have therefore copied this reply to Wirral Trading Standards so that they are aware of your complaint. yours Liane Liane Bishop Principal Trading Standards Officer Islington Council
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Charles Joseph on 04 January 2012 10:15
Some very useful information on the Wirral Trading Standards site*BADV641-1011.txt
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Patricia on 17 January 2012 20:15
Unfortunately, my husband and myself fell for this trap and we only found out about the scam after we paid these people. We are only starting our businesses, so we are feeling very frustrated with all this. Money gone now...fraud report to follow though. Thanks for letting people know about all this, but why it isn´t more widely known? Surely Business Link should know about this and warn new businesses.
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Jason on 18 January 2012 10:19
Patricia...recommend you contact the following person without delay Helen McGuinness Senior Assistant Trading Standards Officer Wirral Trading Standards 3rd Floor Town Hall Brighton Street Wallasey, Wirral CH44 8ED Tel: 0151 691 8003 Fax: 0151 691 8098

HAYLEY JENNINGS on 03 May 2012 11:02
also have been caught out by crook peter daley today -foolishly-will never make mistake again. am currently taking legal advice and consulted with police and trading standards to pursue him and want to make others aware of his scam tactics -the more that know and contribute to pursuing him the quicker this man will be stopped and put away. thanx for trading standards wirral contacts -very helpful.

Emotions in Vision on 21 January 2012 20:56
Hi Patricia... Did you ever receive a copy of the journal itself containing your advert?
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Catherine on 22 January 2012 17:43
I have just set up my own driving instructor business and have receieved a few calls regarding advertising space. Last week I had someone called Graham calling me saying he worked with the police and wanted to sell me exclusive advertising space for a year in the Community Safety Journal. He told me the Government had given them £18,000 to help new businesses with advertising so he could offer me a really good rate. Plus an advertising agency that designs ads for BMW would be designing the ad. When I got the letter from Windows Media and saw the ad they'd just copied and pasted parts of my own website. I thought it all looked really dodgy. Best thing is to do your research as I nearly fell for this.
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Emotions In Vision on 23 January 2012 13:27
Too right! Due Diligence Due Diligence Due Diligence - every time.

Jason on 24 January 2012 11:32
The Unsolicited Goods and Services Act 1971 (as amended) places obligations on operators which, if not met, mean that the person from whom payment is being demanded need not pay. It is a criminal offence for a trader to demand payment for something when they have not complied with the requirements of the Act, including a proper exchange of contracts for the service and that the order for the service includes specific information to be provided by the seller. The Act is enforced by local authorities. Trading Standards Officers also enforce the Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations 2008. The regulations make it a criminal offence for a trader to advertise in a way which misleads others. Advertising is defined very widely in the regulations and includes any form of representation which is made in connection with a business in order to promote the supply or transfer of a product. Product includes goods or services. In the absence of a contract then it is unlikely that any liability towards a trader exists. If a contract has been entered into as the result of misrepsentation, there are of course a number of remedies, including having the contract rescinded
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Computerjohn on 26 January 2012 00:35
Let me tell you a sad but true story. Back in September 2011 I received a phone call from a friendly chap who claimed to be working on behalf of the police. I was asked if I would be interested in advertising with the Crime & Safety Journal. He explained that they were looking to print and distribute 55,000 copies in my local area and asking a very reasonable price with a further 10% discount if I acted soon. As at the time I had only recently started to go self employed it seemed like an opportunity not to be missed. I paid for the advert and was told the publication would be released sometime in November. All the correspondence I received was handled by The Municipal Press Office and with the artwork all done and approved it seemed like a professional job. Some time early in November I was contacted by the same friendly chap asking about the advert that I placed in the Fire Safety Journal . I politely told him he must be confused as it was the Crime & Safety Journal I had paid to advertise in. He apologised but asked as we were talking about it would I like to advertise in that publication too. Again offering me what seemed an amazing deal with yet another discount. I said "yes I'll give the Fire journal a go." While he was there I asked when the Crime journal I had already paid for would be coming. He explained that they were still crossing the T's and dotting the I's and it would now be in December. Though the correspondence I received was now being handled by a company called Windows Media. I didn't question it at the time and assumed they had outsourced the work to a 3rd party company. Come the middle of January I was starting to wonder if these publications would ever be released so I decided to Google The Crime & Safety Journal. I was shocked to find many websites with many more people complaining that they had been taken in by this scam. So without letting on that I had read these complaints I decided to give these Windows Media people a call. I started off by asking why had I been given letters and emails from two different company names. He told me that they were well within their right to change their company name. I then proceeded to ask why are these companies named after the Municipal offices and Microsoft's windows media player was this to mislead people? He told me that this was a decision made by a board of directors and accused me of shouting at him. As he claimed they were working on behalf of the police I asked if I could have the contact details of the police department they were liaising with. He refused to tell me as he feared I would be abusive to them. Yeah right as if would be abusive to the police. At that point it was clear I had hit a nerve and any further question I asked was answered with him accusing me of being a nuisance. He did however say to rest any doubt they would send me a copy of each of the publications I had advertised in. The next day I received an email saying that the magazines were in the post and that I could track them with Royal Mail. So I entered the tracking numbers into Royal Mails website. And there was the conformation that they had been sent on the 21/01/2012 from their branch at 29-31 Market Street CH41 5BS, which is in Birkenhead. Not in London as per their letterhead. Now absolutely convinced this company was a scam I made a call to the police headquarters in Dorset. I explained everything to their enquires office and after they had conversed with their supervisor I was told that the police will never ask any company to advertise in any of their publications and nor would they entertain such a publication in any of their branches across the UK. The police must remain neutral and is against their practice to even recommend the AA if you broke down for example. They recorded my complaint including all their contact info and bank details and I was given a crime reference number. Yesterday I was surprised to see in my letterbox copies of the publications Windows Media had sent. They came in clear shrink wrapped plastic with a hand written label with my address on it. You would think a printing company would at least have and address label printer especially if they are sending out oh so many of them. I unwrapped the plasic and oh my god I wish you could see them. The quality of the print is terrible the layout was just laughable and the content was obviously a complete copy and paste job. So much for crossing the T's and dotting the I's. I could have done a better job with my £150 laser printer. I was intrigued to see what the 10 other companies (yes only 10 between both publications) that advertised had to say about Windows Media. Well this was very interesting 4 of them told me that they had never paid for the advertising and had received threatening letters from windows media that they juts ignored. Yet their ads still featured. One of them told me they had paid for advertising well over a year ago but mentioned a journal of a different name. They had a similar story to mine, paid good money for a pack of lies and nothing else. It was the same story all with all the other companies I contacted. This morning I met with one of them so I could show them the publications. He was shocked at the bad quality and the fact that the ad he paid for was not in the style that was agreed. He also let me have a look at the letter threatening legal action after he forgot to send a cheque initially. This afternoon I contacted trading standards who told me they've had many similar complaints from others and are looking into it. Everyone who also paid money to Windows Media that I've spoken to will be making complaints also. They were all very supportive and some even willing to go as far as court. I gave Windows Media one last call today to demand my money back. Of course I was fed a load of tripe and told never to contact them again. I would like to finish with these questions to Windows Media: Windows Media, I know you're not, but if you think you are genuine why hide so much? Why the forwarding address in London? Why not tell us your real address? In this climate you would think a company would be screaming out this is where we are and this is what we do! You sell advertising so you know best obviously. Why not tell what departments of tax payers institution you are liaising with? Why only 5-6 ads in each publication? Surely that's not going to cover the cost of manufacturing and distributing 55,000 copies. I don't work for a printing firm what do I know eh? (a personal dig that) Why such threatening letters to those who don't pay within a couple of weeks? Are these reports of you editing recorded phone conversations to mislead people true? Why are there sooo many mistakes on your website and why is it so out of date? I'm no words worth but Christ look at the state of it. Did this smear campaign you bang on about really loose you £200,000 like I was told on the phone? Why lie mislead and cheat so much? You've been caught out! you're a fraud and everyone here knows it. Do the right thing and give us our money back! On a very last note while I've been typing this my friend here's been on Google and discovered that every last word of the articles printed in the Fire & Safety publication has been copy and pasted from this website in the USA : So I guess you really never were crossing the T's and dotting the I's
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Charlie on 30 January 2012 12:22
Sorry to hear about your stories. Lucky for me, my suspicions arose on reading through the unprofessional letter with the preview ad. After chacking the company online, it was clear they didn't exist. I then received another phone call, days letter from another company pretending to be working on behalf of a police for another crime journal. When telling them I had already received a call from the police, they were quick to tell me the other company were simply a scam and they were the real deal. Needless to say, I was quick to tell them I would not be doing business with them. They got very close to getting my money but still relent in calling me every few days pestering me for my money. This is despite me telling them I know they're a scam and they won't be getting any money from me. You would think they would at least give up when someone figures it out.

Henry on 08 February 2012 10:33
Yes, ditto to all of the above! Thank you all for reporting your stories. Like you, I can't understand HOW these criminals can have avoided the law for this long. I too have reported them to every Government body possible and am now going to write to my local MP to highlight the misery and frustration this complete scam brings. I am not even going to bother opening any more of their ridiculously childish letters - I will keep them, though and I would love to present this evidence in Court.
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caz on 20 February 2012 14:19
hopefully this will be good news. we opened a business recently and were contacted by windows media, the guy on the phone claimed to be a psni officer, so we trusted what he said. when we causht on we contacted windows media who is fronted by a smarmy know it all who kept talking over the top of me, accused me of using foul language which I didnt, threatening him which I didnt, simply refused to give me my money back and actually denied even calling us in the first place. little did he know that we had the call recorded,we record all our calls for consultation purposes, and all information has been passed to the psni who are very eager to find out just who has been commiting fraud in their name. the very manner in which these people spoke to me and my husband says it all, busineesmen do not speak in yhis matter. I really really look forward to seeing them in court face to face, as it will give me enormous pleasure, noone steals from me and my family and expects it just to be forgotton about, he had 5 oppertunities to return my money but refused.
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Jean on 22 March 2012 16:59
Sadly, I too have fallen victim of this and wished I had been more thorough in my due diligence. As a small business start up, every £ you make in the first few months of trading is so valuable to making the business a success. It's hard enough in the current climate as it is without being conned out your money. I very much doubt that any money will be recovered, but I have filed complaints with Trading Standards, BusinessLink and Action Fraud...I hope at the very least others can avoid falling into the same con. Anyway...should there be any legal proceedings against these cheats please count me in!
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Plaster M on 25 March 2012 21:22
I have been contacted by these people and after my initial conversation, I became dubious. So with that did my googling and found them to be a scam. After god knows how many emails-nice and then demanding, I have not paid them a penny. Now they are threatening legal action for failing to pay and fraud.? My wife works in banking so this, IS NOT good.I`v contacted Helen at Trading Standards in the Wirral to see if any help is at hand? I`ll hopefully have more details tomorrow.
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Rick M on 07 April 2012 09:49
My partner was approached by this lot in February and was sold the usual story of a Crime journal that was circulated to X number of houses, schools etc in the local area. . She agreed on the phone - I suppose with the nature of the money involved (i.e just over £100 rather than £1000) makes it seem plausible - and was warned she was going to be recorded. It was only afterwards we were warned it could be a scam so looked them up and found out. . We then emailed them and said we weren't interested, they e-mailed back with a recording of the conversation and said legally we were bound. Which in principle is correct. BUT not to a 'company' like that. As they are scammers they don't have a proper VAT number or registration number which would have been clear on any website or invoice so legalities like recording dealings are void. . Did anyone see the WM company website? Hilarious - just 2 pages - a home page with a collection of stock graphics and no information and a Terms & Conditions page. Clearly just set up so theres nothing else for viewers other than the 'binding' terms they keep reemphasising. . They obviously use the line of 'you were recorded which is legal' line to scare people. Don't fall for it. I asked my friend who's a lawyer about it all and he just laughed and pointed out all sorts from their side legally wrong. He said don't worry - we sent an email to WM saying we know what they are about, we are in contact with our legal representative and not to contact us again. 2 months later and they haven't. . And don't worry about debt collectors letters like the said they would send - only a judge can appoint debt collectors, no-one can just do it off their own back. . What was concerning though was at the time we didn't have a company website, just a Facebook page, and they took the logo from there to make an advert which they supplied in an email for our approval. I should have wondered why they would be so quick to do it i.e. not ask us for the appropriate graphics. I suppose however that if they asked us to supply them and we were to get in touch with our designer about being in this fake publication, they might realised it was scam. So by doing it themselves quickly stops the chances of you having to ask others, who might pick up on the scam. . So if you are caught out and haven't paid, DON'T WORRY. Legally there is not a damn thing they can do about it, no matter how threatening they turn with voice recordings, debt collects etc.
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The enforcer on 27 May 2012 10:50
They now call themselves Community Publishing instead of Windows Media, but its the same old Crime Safety Journal bullcrap and the same people behind this obvious SCAM.
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