Merger Masters International Scam.
A group of scammers operating under the name of Merger Masters International is carrying out a fake share scam on members of the public.
The people they approach do not own any shares in a company called VS Capital Management Inc and have never heard of it, but Merger Masters International attempts to convince them that they do own shares in that company and that those shares were being sold at a huge profit, but there has been a problem. The sale (and the free profits the intended victim did not know about) is under threat unless their intended victim pays some money. They allege that the actions of a rogue shareholder is preventing all shareholders from receiving a large payment, so they need the well-behaved shareholders to buy out the rogue shareholder. It’s a ridiculous scam, but they are putting a lot of effort into persuading people that they own valuable shares.
In this case the company is called VS Capital Management Inc, but it can be any company name they have plucked out of the air. This is probably the fourth or fifth time we have seen this scam model being used. It’s hard to believe, but this stupid scam must work once in a while or else they wouldn’t keep using it. The scam always starts with the intended victim receiving a telephone call out of the blue. Here is a copy of an email they have been sending out as a follow-up:
From: Administration <email@example.com>
As you know, we have been locked in discussions with the tax authorities and have received a proposal from them to resolve the issue of the position that is currently frozen. The shareholder involved is now being prosecuted for tax evasion after fraudulently submitting a tax exemption form.
Without this position, the sale completely collapses, and unfortunately everybody will lose out. We cannot allow that to happen so we have had to submit a request to the tax authorities for the position to be freed up so we can complete on the sale.
We have submitted our case and provided contractual agreements to show that the participants involved will all lose out unfairly due to the act of one individual that is not associated with any of the remaining participants.
The result of this request is that the tax authorities will allow the remaining 16 participating shareholders to take on the position, they have made it very clear that each shareholder must participate. The shareholder who has committed the offense cannot make a financial gain, therefore his position will be made available at the shareholders original cost price. It has also been confirmed that any corporate entity involved will not be allowed to make a financial gain nor will it be possible that just one or two of the remaining shareholders take on the full position to alleviate remaining shareholders from participation, It has been made very clear that the only way to proceed is to equally participate and all 16 shareholders share this responsibility.
I am not naive enough to think that each shareholder is in the position to equally share this and I have expressed this concern to the tax authorities and their response was to come back to them with the suggested split on the share allocation among the remaining shareholders. I tried to press for the split to be staggered among the group however the agent we are liaising with was not forthcoming to this suggestion. I need you all as a group to come back to me with your maximum amounts. I know some of you have requested to take more than what is required and I thank you for your cooperation but we need each of you to come back to us with your maximum amounts so we can work out a fair arrangement and allocate the shares in accordance to the tax authorities requests.
If one shareholder does not participate unfortunately, we cannot proceed, and this has been made very clear during the conference call. I have spoken to all of you and you know how hard we have pressed to keep this deal alive. Furthermore, there is a significant financial gain to be made on the additional share purchase and we must be fair as to how we split these additional shares. Some of you may be allowed to purchase more than the equal split however I won’t be able to confirm this until everybody’s maximum amounts are back, if you can take more than the equal split please make that clear on your offer.
We are hoping to submit the amounts of the split later today. Please see below the breakdown of the position and share prices.
Number of shares to be split between the group 2,600,000
Price $0.30 USD per share
Total – $780,000 USD
There are 16 of you in the group this works out to 162,500 shares each, which totals to $48,750 USD per shareholder. The shares will be sold at the contractually agreed price of $2.60 with the sale value being $422,500 (share price x 162,500 shares) in addition to your original position which is currently held in escrow.
Once we have confirmed the number of shares that will distributed amongst the remaining shareholders, we will draft new contracts for the additional share purchase for each individual involved. The client acquiring the company has agreed to distribute the funds accordingly for the additional amount into your escrow accounts upon contracts being signed and returned, prior to the additional share purchase. We will then be able to complete on the compulsory purchase order.
They have requested that we come back to them as soon as we can with the arrangements of the split as we have to distribute the shares as evenly as possible, as mentioned individual shareholders cannot take a majority of the holdings and others take small positions, so please submit your maximum amounts as and when you are in a position to do so. We are aware that it can take time releasing funds but we need to have clarity on the amounts we can distribute between the group so that the tax authorities can give us the green light to get this signed off and secured.
I wait for your responses and hope to get this matter resolved very soon.
Senior Compliance Officer
Merger Masters, International
+1 646 217 4958
What a complete load of b******.
If an intended victim questions whether this might be a scam they are given an email address of a person the scammers claim is a satisfied customer who will provide them with reassurance. We have seen this before and in the past we have had a tough time persuading an intended victim that the satisfied customer is really a member of the scamming team. The fake satisfied customer even goes so far as to send a fake bank statement showing that he paid his money and he received a very large sum paid into his account not long afterwards.
The perpetrators of the Merger Masters International scam claim that their company has been in operation for 40 years, but the website domain they use (mergermastersinternational.com) was purchased in September 2020.
We’ve also been told that an organisation using the domain name of danielvanderelst-eu.com is involved, but we’re not quite sure what role it plays. That domain was also purchased in September 2020. What a coincidence. We are awaiting further information.
Here is a copy of the Merger Masters International fake ‘Additional Stock Transfer Form’. If you are ever sent anything like this we guarantee it is a scam.
Merger Masters International Scam_Additional Stock Transfer Form REDACTED
We are receiving more enquiries from people who have fallen victim to the Merger Masters International scam. Some of them are concerned that they might have to pay money because they believe they are tied into an agreement that requires them to pay for anyone who drops out. They are concerned about legal action. They do not need to worry. It is a scam. The people behind the scam will never take legal action against an investor because they won’t want to go anywhere near a court.
If you have received these threats please let us know.