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A company calling itself “Delta Financial Markets” is running a recovery room scam

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Earlier this week, “Fallguy” left a comment on REDD-Monitor. “Has anyone had dealings with Delta Financial Markets Ltd?”, Fallguy asked.

A few years ago, Fallguy was scammed into buying carbon credits as an investment. He’s now on a “sucker list”. These lists are an important part of scammers’ operations. They consist of names, addresses, phone number and background information about people who have been scammed. They are traded between boiler room operations, because the unfortunately reality is that when someone as been scammed, they are more likely to fall for another scam.

Fallguy has received several offers to sell his carbon credits. Last year company called Novus Capital Markets cold called him. It was a ridiculously obvious recovery room scam.

Here’s Fallguy’s version of his conversation with “Delta Financial Markets”:

Had a call today from a George Peterson claiming to be from Delta Financial Markets Ltd and able to sell my carbon credits. He said they would have to be converted to EUAs for which there would be a 10% charge but that he has a buyer in France who wants 180,000 credits and he would be aggrregating the credits from a number of clients. He valued the CERs at about £7 each.

He also said that there would be no CC trading for 5 years after the end of 2017.

Legitimate or just another classic cold call scam?

And here are the red flags:

“Delta Financial Markets” cold called Fallguy

red flagGeorge Petersen cold called Fallguy. No legitimate company would cold call you with financial advice. The only way that Petersen had Fallguy’s phone number, and knew about his carbon credits is from a sucker list.

In August 2017, the government announced that it planned to make pensions cold calling illegal.

“Delta Financial Markets” is a clone of another company

red flagThere is a real company called Delta Financial Markets. It was incorporated in the UK in June 2010. Its registered with the FCA. Its website address is dfmarkets.co.uk. On its website, DF Markets explains that it is a “CFD and Spread Betting provider established and located in Canary Wharf, London”.

But George Petersen doesn’t work for this company. He works for a completely different “Delta Financial Markets”. His company’s website address is deltafinancialmarkets.com. On its website, Petersen’s “Delta Financial Markets” explains that it “securely houses all account and records of private individuals from banks and private financial institutes that sell and buy commodities”.

The company’s website was registered just over two months ago, on 25 July 2017. The website was registered anonymously.

The website consists of just five pages, and was obviously thrown together in something of a hurry. My favourite page is this one:

“Delta Financial Markets” cut and pasted text on its website from JTC Group

red flag“Delta Financial Markets” website includes information about its Data management.

The text in the column on the left under the heading “Escrow Services” is cut and pasted from JTC Group’s website.

And the text in the column on the right, under the heading “How we work”, is cut and pasted from Escrow.com.

This is another give-away that “Delta Financial Markets” is up to something fishy. Genuine companies do not cut and paste the text on their website from another company’s website.

There is no way of converting carbon credits to EUAs

red flagGeorge Petersen told Fallguy that his carbon credits would be converted to EUAs, before being sold to a “buyer in France”. This is nonsense. There is no way of “converting” carbon credits into EUAs.

There are two types of carbon credits: compliance and voluntary. Compliance credits or Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs) are generated under the Clean Development Mechanism. They can be used to meet targets agreed under the UNFCCC. CERs can be traded on the EU Emissions Trading System.

Voluntary carbon credits, or Voluntary Emissions Reductions (VERs), are generated outside the UN system. The price of VERs has been falling steadily for years. In 2016, it reached an all time low of US$3.

EUAs are European Emission Allowances. These are pollution permits. Governments either sell them to companies, or hand them out for free.

Carbon trading company Vertis has a useful graph on its website that shows the price of EUAs and CERs since December 2016:

The current prices are as follows: EUAs, €6.89; and CERs, €0.19. George Petersen told Fallguy that he “valued the CERs at about £7 each”. The reality is that for £7 (€7.86) you could buy 41 CERs.

The carbon credits (VERs) sold to retail investors are worthless

red flagIn 2015, REDD-Monitor published a Guest Post about the carbon credits that boiler rooms sold as investments. It was written by a commodities trader with 30 years experience, who wrote:

In my professional opinion the credits sold to private individuals in the boiler room cases I have reviewed are worthless, I am not aware of a single individual in my 10 year career within the carbon markets that has sold on, for any economic worth, the VERs purchased from “boiler rooms” as investments.

There is no secondary market for VERs. They are a wasting asset – meaning the price falls of individual carbon credits falls over time.

Carbon trading won’t stop for five years at the end of 2017

red flagPetersen told Fallguy that there would be no carbon trading for five years from the end of this year. Petersen’s motive for making this story up is obvious. It’s to put pressure on Fallguy to act quickly to sell his carbon credits. But that doesn’t change the fact that it is pure fiction.

“Delta Financial Markets” wants a 10% advance fee

red flagPetersen told Fallguy there would be a 10% charge for converting carbon credits to EUAs. Petersen is asking for money for something that will never happen.

Here’s how Action Fraud describes this type of recovery room scam on its website:

If you’ve been a victim of fraud in the past, whoever took your money may keep your contact information and contact you again.

This time, they’ll pose as an organisation that has been made aware of your loss. They’ll claim they can arrest the fraudster, or even recover the money you lost. In either case, they say you’ll need to pay a fee first. This is a form of advance fee fraud; you’ll never get any money back.

If you pay, they’ll keep coming back to you with another cost that has to be paid, before your money can be returned.

If you ask them to take the fees from the money they claim to have recovered, they will give reasons why this isn’t possible. For example, they might tell you that your money is under the control of a court and can only be paid back to you by them.

The fraudsters may also ask you to provide details of your bank account so they can pay your money into it. They will use this information to empty your account.

Observant readers will have noticed that this post is very similar to the post I wrote in after Brian Carter from Novus Capital Markets cold called Fallguy. There are some minor differences, but nothing spectacular. Novus Capital Markets’ website has, of course, disappeared in the meantime.

The conclusion of this post is also pretty much the same as the one about Novus Capital Markets:

If you are cold called by “Delta Financial Markets” (or anyone who claims they can sell your carbon credits, or asks for an advance fee) please report them Action Fraud and the Financial Conduct Authority.

 

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  1. The real Delta Financial Markets got in touch with me earlier today. They have reported the clone company to the FCA and to Action Fraud. The Action Fraud reference number is NFRC170902003584. If you have been targeted by the scam company, please quote this number when you contact Action Fraud.

    REDD-Monitor has also received a copy of the following email – in which the clone company “Delta Financial Markets” outlines the recovery room scam. It also shows that they are not only targeting people who were scammed into buying carbon credits as investments.

    From: “info@deltafinancialmarkets.com”
    To: XXXX
    Sent: XX XXXX 2017
    Subject: Delta Financial Markets Ltd

    Dear Mr XXXX,

    We write to advise that we have been engaged to provide third party management solutions to private clients of a number of now defunct alternative investment companies.

    An audit of the majority of these companies’ trades has revealed that they have not fulfilled their contractual obligations to their clients in successfully obtaining an exit strategy on their behalf. With around 23% of private clients having been traded out successfully and a further 77% still holding onto their assets, it is vital we aim to locate client’s assets and seek an immediate sell on their behalf.

    As you are aware, the closure of your company subsequently means the onus now lies with yourself as the legal owner of the asset to aim to secure an exit solution this financial year. After extensive discussions over the past 12 months with the FCA and all the authorised insolvency practitioners, we are pleased to inform you that we have been granted full authority to assist private clients in the trading out of their holdings.

    Delta Financial Services is now presenting all affected parties with a variety of exit strategies to enable you to trade out. All exit strategies operate on a first come, first serve basis. Please note that any allocation on an exit strategy will only last up to 5 working days.

    In order ascertain whether or not we would be able to act as your agent in this capacity, you would first need to satisfy certain checks and we invite you to get in contact to find out if you meet this protocol.

    We have enclosed a brief overview of the services we provide with regards to potentially assisting you with the recovery of your stagnant alternative asset.

    Our Asset Recovery Division (ARD) traces and recovers funds and/or assets for clients who have suffered a financial loss as a result of the dissolution, striking off and/or winding up of a company. In the last three years we have recovered over £200million of hidden and misappropriated assets/funds for clients ranging from foreign governments, HMRC, claimants in major frauds to banks, insurers and other listed and non-listed corporate firms.

    We use civil as well as insolvency proceedings and work across borders. We have extensive experience in retrieving assets from jurisdictions in the Caribbean, Middle East, Africa, Europe and Asia.

    We are flexible on fees and we are often able to work on a contingent basis. This means that we bear the risk and only charge a fee in cases where we genuinely believe we can make a recovery. In many cases our work represents an opportunity for clients to turn write offs into revenues.

    We can offer solutions and advice in the following areas:

    * Wine Investments

    * Land Banking (Foreign & Domestic)

    * Carbon Credits & other renewable energy investments

    * Commodities (including Rare Earth Metals & Diamonds)

    * Binary Options Trading

    * Commercial Property Investments

    * IPO, AIM & Regulation S Shares (also known as restricted US shares)

    I hope we are able to work on your behalf and help you to achieve your financial goals. If you have any additional questions or require further clarification, please do not hesitate to get in contact with Mr David
    Frost or Mr Jacob Cohen to discuss your exit options.

    Yours Faithfully,
    Mr Dave Roddick