Craven Capital is carrying out a follow-on-fraud targeting investors in Win River Developments. On 15th January 2020 we reported the winding up of Win River Developments Ltd in this blog article.
Less than two weeks later a bogus organisation calling itself Craven Capital has launched the first follow-on-fraud. No doubt more will follow because when investors buy products through unregulated sales agents their personal details are never protected. The personal details are either stolen by a salesperson who is moving on to another firm or who is setting up on their own, or they are sold on to other firms for some quick cash, or they are used by the back-office company which provided the admin support for the scam and which has its own set of follow-on-fraud scammers ready and waiting, generally located in a dubious offshore location.
Follow-on-frauds generally follow a similar method. Scammers clone the identity of an existing company and, using that fake identity, try to deceive scam victims into sending them more money. They normally claim they are working with the liquidator or administrator, or that they have found a buyer for the investment, or that they already have money in the bank ready to pay out to the victim. Unfortunately many investors/creditors are taken in by the approach and end up losing a lot more money.
The organisation making contact with investors is not the genuine company, Craven Capital Ltd. It is a fake organisation which has cloned the details of the genuine company. The genuine company was established in March 2010. The Craven Capital follow-on-fraud company doesn’t exist, but someone bought a .co.uk web address only 8 weeks ago and hasn’t even got around to building a website to support the fraud. This Craven Capital approach is a very new and very fresh follow-on-fraud. It’s also, thankfully, not a very good one.
Investors in Win River Developments are being approached by a man calling himself Jeremy Hunter using telephone number 01476 589332. “Jeremy” (he won’t be using his real name) is advising investors that Craven Capital (the fake one) is working with the company administrator to sell the assets on behalf of creditors. The recovery method ‘Jeremy’ is proposing is called “The Capital Exchange Program”. Ooooh – that sounds rather professional Jeremy.
Below is a typical email sent out by ‘Lydia Josephs’ (most likely Jeremy in a dress). Some details redacted to protect the source.
Subject: Craven Capital Portfolio – Acquisitions & Sales Reservation
Please find relevant correspondence attached below. Please feel free to contact your portfolio advisor on the telephone number stated below with your reference no. If you cannot remember your reference, that is not an issue, but you may have to pass security before being allowed to discuss your portfolio with your advisor.
T: +44(0)1476 589332
E: [email protected]
I just love it when they make up nonsense like “you may have to pass security before being allowed to discuss your portfolio with your advisor“. One word of advice Jeremy – it’s very difficult to believe that your Craven Capital scam has a professional client protection structure behind it when you haven’t even got a logo ! Get yourself a logo man. It’s bad enough that you’re a thief, but do you have to be such an amateur and cheapskate thief ?
Jeremy’s favoured approach is that once he has made contact with the unfortunate scam victim, ‘Jeremy/Lydia’ sends out the explanatory letter below (no logo, but they’ve written Craven Capital REALLY BIG to make up for it). “Hey guys, we don’t have a logo. Let’s make the company name ridiculously large and they might not notice”. Then some idiot came up with the idea that if they’ve written the company name REALLY BIG they can compensate for that by making the fake address at the bottom as teeny weeny tiny as possible. “Hey guys, what’s the smallest font size anyone’s ever used ? Let’s use that for the bottom of the letter”. What’s the matter with you Jeremy ?
If you read the total garbage they’ve written you might wonder where the scam actually is. Well, the key phrase is right at the very end….
“For this reason, we are unable to offer positions within asset-specific programs prior to there being an order to fill and positions cannot be held open without contractual commitment due to time constraints put in place by the end buyer”.
We can’t be sure what Jeremy’s intention is because this is a very new follow-on-fraud, but from our experience a phrase like this normally means “We are going to pretend that there is someone who wants to buy your investment, but first you must sign a contract saying that you want us to sell your worthless investment for you. Once you have done that we will claim that the buyer is ready to complete giving you a huge profit, but he wants you to put $XXX into escrow with us first to show that you are genuinely serious about completing the deal.”
At this point the victim normally has second thoughts because the contract they signed never said anything about having to make an upfront payment. That’s when Jeremy and the Craven Capital Follow-on-Fraud moves into the ‘Mr Nasty’ phase. They start telling the victim that Craven Capital has incurred a lot of costs in setting up this sale and the victim has already signed a contract to go through with it. If they don’t pay Craven Capital and/or the buyer will take legal action to recover their costs. They make it sound like the poor victim will face a very large extra bill for costs. This would never stand up in court because it is just a scam, but the victim does not know that and it creates a massive amount of stress and worry. These scammers are horrible people. Truly awful people.
Of course Craven Capital doesn’t have an escrow account. The investor’s money will disappear as soon they pay it over.
We’ll probably get told off for this because it might sound like legal advice, but it isn’t. It’s just our experience. If the investor pays the scammers there’s a very real danger they will come back for more money. They will view the investor as a soft touch and they will try to squeeze more out of them. That’s how these evil people work. If you ever find yourself in this position TELL SOMEONE YOU TRUST. DO NOT PAY THE SCAMMERS. GO AND SEE A SOLICITOR. THEY WILL OFTEN GIVE YOU A FREE CONSULTATION AND IT SHOULDN’T TAKE THEM FIFTEEN MINUTES TO TELL YOU IT’S A FOLLOW-ON-FRAUD AND YOU DON’T OWE THE SCAMMERS ANYTHING.
Or just tell us and we’ll be happy to point you in the right direction.