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ALTR Alternative Fund Managers is running a recovery room scam

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A company called ALTR Alternative Fund Managers is cold calling people telling them it can sell the worthless carbon credits they were scammed into buying as an investment. Of course, they’ll need to pay an advance fee. And of course ALTR Alternative Fund Managers is a scam.

The company’s website is the usual hastily thrown together jumble of nonsense that boiler room operations specialise in.

Here’s an example:

Like Alternative Fund Managers Limited, investment trusts have been around for countless years (over 150 in point of truth). And very much like AFM Ltd they play a crucial role in investment decisions and planning for many people around the world. These days, we have one of the largest investment trust ranges in the World.

Memo to potential investors: Never hand over money to a company that describes “over 150” as “countless”.

Needless to say, Alternative Fund Managers has not “been around for countless years”. It’s not even been around for one year. The company’s website was registered on 16 May 2015.

Despite the company’s claims of having “one of the largest investment trust ranges in the World”, a search on Google for “ALTR Alternative Fund Managers” reveals not a single news article about the company.

In fact, apart from the company’s own website, the only other search results were links to a warning that the the Financial Conduct Authority put out on 1 July 2015 against ALTR Alternative Fund Managers. FCA warns:

This is what we call a ‘clone firm’; and fraudsters usually use this tactic when contacting people out of the blue, so you should be especially wary if you have been cold called.

There is no information on ALTR Alternative Fund Managers’ website about who is behind the company, or even who the directors are. There are no registration details on Open Corporates for a company called “ALTR Alternative Fund Managers”. The company’s office address is given as County Armagh, Northern Ireland, but the phone number is a London number. The company address includes the street name, but not the number.

The company’s website was registered by Jay Cannon, who gives an address in Pennsylvania, USA. In May 2015, the Financial Conduct Authority warned about a clone company called Corporate Trust Asset Management. The company’s website was registered by Jay Cannon.

ALTR Alternative Fund Managers’ telesales team explains to the people it cold calls that they can sell their worthless carbon credits for “around the purchase price through the China Investment Corporation”.

If this sounds too good to be true, that’s because it is. The China Investment Corporation does exist. It’s a sovereign wealth fund, created in 2007 with US$200 billion assets. By the end of 2014, its assets were more than US$740 billion.

But why would a Chinese sovereign wealth fund want to buy worthless carbon credits?

And why does ALTR Alternative Fund Managers want to receive a payment before the China Investment Corporation will buy the credits?

If you are cold called by ALTR Alternative Fund Managers (or any other company that claims it can sell your carbon credits), ask them to send the offer in writing. Then report the company to Action Fraud:


 

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  1. It’s also worth noting that their website bears a striking similarity (for which read “is nearly identical”) to JP Morgan. I wonder which one copied which?

  2. @Graham (#1) – Thanks for this, but I’m missing something here. Are these websites really so similar?

  3. Hi Chris

    Yes, they’ve actually copied the investment trust descriptions word for word. See, for example http://am.jpmorgan.co.uk/investment-trusts/explained/what-is-an-investment-trust.aspx and compare with http://altr-fundmanagers.com/faq-investment-trust.html and you’ll see that the wording is almost identical.

    Because scammers aren’t prepared to spend the time authoring their own websites they use software to download existing similar websites and then reformat them for their own use.

    I can send you examples (if you’re interested) of scammers websites which are identical to mainstream firms.

    I’m actually a financial crime consultant and one of the things I train investigators to do is lift a bunch of text from a suspect website and paste it in to Google to see if it is the same or similar to a well known company (which is what I did with this one). The J P Morgan hit came up straight away. I reckon about 80% of their site is lifted directly from JPM.

    Happy to share any other intel if necessary.

    Keep up the good work

    Graham

  4. The funny thing about the BNY Mellon example is that when I contacted BNYM to warn them, they didn’t want to talk to me in case I was a scammer! Sometimes you can’t win!

  5. I have an offer (through the post) to sell my carbon credits at £9.44 each – total £101,055.20 to complete sale on 28 July 2015.
    I am required to pay £2500 upfront for ‘Corporate
    Re-diversion’ of the portfolio. This amount is refunded on completion.The company is Alpha Capital Ltd of 68 Lombard St London EC3V 9LJ
    Also with the offer comes a ‘DueDil’ cert giving details of the company which is Alpha Venture Partners Ltd

  6. A company calling itself Alternative Fund Managers is offering to sell some useless land plots that I acquired to CIC. They are looking for a sureity bond. I can’t find the company on google very wary of them