Some time ago I bought shares in a micro cap company traded on the pink sheets. Lesson was quickly learned as I have ever since tried my best to sell them without success, as nobody seems to be interested in buying the small amount of stock that I held.
I had all but forgotten about them until a few weeks ago when I was contacted by someone at the website http://economicfrauds.com/ who said that I was the victim of a scam by the company (Midas Capital) that originally sold me the shares and that they were filing a class action suit against them and invited me to partake.
After much eulogizing of their own skills and of the potential success of the case I was convinced and sent them $150 in legal fees to register my name with the suit and cover other costs, which I sent to their bank in Cyprus.
Shortly afterwards Economic Frauds contacted me to tell me that the case had hit a stumbling block and that a further $500 would be required from each participant in the suit in order for the case to proceed. $500 which I stupidly sent them.
I was then informed that because not all of the original complainants decided to pay their share, and because of additional costs incurred by the delay, I would have to pay a further $450 in fees. Better late than never, but it was at this point that my belief in http://economicfrauds.com/ seriously wavered.
Once it became clear to Economic Frauds that I was not going to send them any more money they broke off all contact. They stopped calling me, which they had been doing several times a day when they were looking for money, and stopped taking my calls or responding to my emails.
Hindsight is the only perfect science, but I am incredibly embarrassed with the fact that http://economicfrauds.com/ contacting me unsolicited didnt set off any alarm bells and that a company based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with a bank account in Cyprus also failed to rouse my suspicions.
However this third request for money with literally nothing to show for it finally woke me up and I started digging around a bit on Economic Frauds. Firstly it turns out that their website (http://economicfrauds.com/) was only registered on 30th of May 2011 and it was registered using an email address from peoplealliancecorp.com.
Now People Alliance Corp http://www.peoplealliancecorp.com/ has a very similar website to http://economicfrauds.com/ (content, not style), claiming that they will provide legal help to victims of stock fraud. What is also surprising is that peoplealliancecorp.com have the exact same postal address (PO Box 22247, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 333 35) and telephone number (+1 954 449-6235) as Economic Frauds have on their website http://economicfrauds.com/.
Further Googling of the address reveals a link to Financial Frauds http://financialfrauds.us/ (yet another website with the exact same modus operandi), http://www.independentwebdesigners.org/, http://www.emiliachidester.com, http://www.emiliachidester.org/ and two sites that are only now referenced by Googles cache (possibly because they were shut down?) Citi Capital Partnership (http://citicapitalpartnership.com/) and Phoenix Cooper Financial (http://www.phoenixcooperfinancial.com/) both of which have a number of warnings against them issued by several European financial services authorities.
Now while there is nothing legally substantial in any of that, it is certainly strange at the very least. What is just as strange is that the purported CEO of Economic Frauds, Emilia Chidester, despite having a long and varied CV including a regular Television slot with Univision (Spanish speaking network in the USA), has zero internet presence that was not created by her (or her creators). No independent articles anywhere, not even a reference to her from Univision, for whom she anchored their financial news segment for years (apparently), just Linked In, Twitter, Wikipedia and several blog posts, all of which I would dare say have been created since 30th of May 2011. If you watch the videos it is also apparent that this person is far from comfortable in front of the camera.
What is even stranger about Ms. Emilia Chidester is that the woman who appears in the videos on the http://economicfrauds.com/ website looks nothing at all like the photo of the woman on her twitter feed (http://twitter.com/#!/emiliachidester). They are both vaguely Hispanic looking, but that is as close as they come to being the same woman. In fact, the woman in the videos looks more Asian to me, so considering the accent my guess would be she is a Filipina. No surprise that the Philippines is a haven for many fraudsters.
While continuing my internet research, I came across this forum warning people against many different fraudulent websites http://www.trade2win.com/boards/brokerages/14154-boiler-room-scams-385.html they link Economic Frauds with two other companies labeled as a scam that are working the same advanced fee fraud Global Investor Alerts (globalinvestoralerts.com) and Investor Alerts (investoralerts.com).
While my limited private detective skills can only come up with the above, that, along with the actions of Economic Frauds leaves me in no doubt that they have scammed me out of my money and that http://economicfrauds.com/ is a scam website. The fact that they pretend to be fighting against fraud makes their actions all the more disgusting.
I have no doubt that it will prove impossible for me to retrieve my money, so if outing the scam that is Economic Frauds and their website http://economicfrauds.com/ on the internet makes their attempts at defrauding someone else that little bit more difficult, then I will have to settle for that.
Just for the benefit of the search engines Warning that Economic Frauds (http://economicfrauds.com/) is a scam website looking to defraud people through charging bogus legal fees.