Axe Capital Scam
A group of scammers is contacting victims of investment scams claiming to be from the UK’s Official Receiver. The Official Receiver is the UK Government body which deals with companies which have gone bust. Here is a LINK to the UK Government’s explanation of the role of the Official Receiver.
This is a follow-on-fraud. As you will see from the information below the aim is to steal money from investors. They do so by advising their intended victims that they need to pay 10% of their original investment amount to a fictitious organisation called Axe Capital.
We were alerted to this scam by a person who reported the matter to the Official Receiver’s Office. We could put this into our own words, but the report has been forwarded to us and it explains the situation very clearly. Therefore, we have copied the report below (with some words altered in bold type to protect the investor’s identity).
Subject: Attempted scam using contact from ‘Official Receiver’s Office’
I contacted the Official Receiver’s Office by phone to report an attempted scam by someone purporting to be from the ORO and I was asked to send the details by email so the matter can be investigated further.
Many years ago my partner invested in [investment type and company name]. We had invested around £XXXXXXXX.
We were informed a couple of years ago that [Company Name] had gone bust and that an insolvency company had been appointed and indeed they were in touch with us and I sent as many details as I could, but eventually we were informed that they had not been able to identify our holdings.
Around that time we were plagued with unsolicited calls from companies offering to find our wine and requiring a ‘small’ investment in their company to set up an account. We did not hear from any further contacts until very recently.
The caller identified himself as Jeff Cox, a civil servant from the Official Receiver’s Office, part of the Insolvency Service.
He stated that the ORO had been brought in since BWC’s holdings had been seized by the Financial Ombudsman and they had so far dealt with 10% of the clients of [Company Name] restoring their investments.
I asked him again about himself and he repeated he was a civil servant in the ORO and had no personal pecuniary involvement in the matter. I asked him for a contact number and he gave me the number 02078673729.
He told me that in order for them to refund our investment we had to agree to handover our interest in the investment to the ORO through a solicitor/capital asset company and that 10% of the total amount needed to be transferred to Axe Capital Ltd.
I was told that we would have all of this refunded along with our £XXXXXXX that the ORO was supposedly holding for us.
He told us we would hear shortly from Axe Capital Ltd by post and we could phone the number they gave us to reassure ourselves about the safety of our deposit and they were covered by all the necessary regulatory authorities including the FCA.
Contact from ‘Axe Capital Ltd’
We received correspondence from Axe Capital in the post. See attached documents.
What I have done subsequently
I checked on the ORO website to see if a Jeff Cox was employed there and was somewhat reassured that there was someone of that name.
I did a Google search on the phone number I had been given (02078673729) which took me to an entry on a website safeorscam.net referring to something from Feb 2021 concerning the ‘Harvard Capital Scam’ which seems identical to the contact with me i.e. they give investors the story that ‘ the Insolvency Service had made contact and Harvard Capital will be in touch with them.’
On this site (safeorscam.net) they provide redacted copies of letters from Harvard Capital which are identical in every respect to those I received from ‘Axe Capital’. [SOS Comment – Here is a LINK to that article].
Withholding my number I phoned 02078673729 (the number Jeff Cox had given me for the ORO) twice.
The first time I asked who I was speaking to and was told ‘Harvard Capital’.
The second time I asked whether this was Jeff Cox and was told he was his colleague and they asked who I was, but I hung up.
Since ‘Jeff Cox’ seemed plausible to me at first I thought it important to alert the ORO that someone was impersonating a staff member and the ORO might want to know of a scam involving their good name hence my call.
Clearly I will not be sending any money anywhere.
I would be most grateful if in due course you will let me know what you have found out about this matter.
It is pleasing to know that our Scam Alert in February 2021 prevented this investor from losing more money in the Axe Capital Scam. We have not copied this person’s documents into this article because they are identical to the Harvard Capital scam.
The person answering the phone must have kicked himself after the phone call because he didn’t remember that his team had changed their scam identity to Axe Capital. He answered the phone as Harvard Capital – not the sharpest tool in the box !
Quite often scammers use the name of a genuine employee at the organisation they are impersonating. This case proves our theory that the same groups of scammers are responsible for multiple follow-on-frauds. They just keep churning out the same scams under different identities.
Axe Capital Scam.