China Development Finance Corporation is cold calling people and offering to sell their near-worthless carbon credits. The company is a transparently obvious scam.
Here’s the evidence that the company is running a scam:
- China Development Finance Corporation is cold calling people. No legitimate company would cold call you with financial advice. Tony Levene, writing last year in The Guardian, has some excellent advice for dealing with cold callers:
“The simplest advice is just to slam down the phone on anyone who calls you to sell an investment. That’s it. Simple and to the point. After all, no legitimate investment company ever cold calls for potential customers.”
- The company’s name is taken from a limited company founded in 1934 by a Chinese businessman called T.V. Soong. So, when you search for China Development Finance Corporation on Google, you get historical reports about a company formed 80 years ago.
- A look at the company’s website reveals little about the company. Typical of boiler room operations, the website uses stock photographs. There are no photographs of the people who actually run the company. Not illegal, of course, but hardly reassuring.
- On its website, the company explains what it does:
China Development Finance Corporation facilitates Escrow Services for clients for Mergers and Acquisitions cases and Real Estate transactions when mandated by the Terms and Conditions of Agreements or when necessary by law.
Of course, there are no examples of any actual clients on China Development Finance Corporation’s website.
- On its website, China Development Finance Corporation provides a convenient explanation of what “escrow” means. The fact that this explanation is lifted from another website is also not exactly reassuring. Other parts of the website are lifted from another website.
- On its website, the company has the following story:
In 1995 Ru (Robert) Ming and his brother Tao (Tony) and a select team created China Development Finance Corporation without any support staff and $250,000 USD (元 1,708,999.99 CNY China Yuan Renminbi) in the bank.
And at the bottom of every page on its website is a copyright notice:
But the fact that someone has typed in the number “1995” into a website does not mean that the company has existed since 1995. In fact, the company’s website was registered on 22 November 2013. Needless to say, the website was registered anonymously.
- The website provides a list of the company’s “Executive Team” complete with email addresses. You may think that’s reassuring, but you’d be wrong. Despite the fact that the company claims to be a “leading private equity firm”, searches on Google for the names of the people running the company reveal that they don’t get out much. No prizes for spotting that the company is not included in Private Equity International’s 2013 list of top 50 private equity firms (or wikipedia’s considerably longer list).
- Although the company claims to be based in Beijing, China Development Finance Corporation’s website is written entirely in English.
If anyone from China Development Finance Corporation calls you out of the blue, just put the phone down. Then contact Action Fraud: