It starts off with a call from a charming female that easily gets you to accept the no-obligation profile of an investment company called Strathclyde Associates to be sent by mail. This company information arrives in a high quality document and reference to a well-presented web page. You are also informed that should any interesting investment materialise, you would be contacted.
Sure enough, such a call comes from a very enthusiastic individual with promises of a quick-return and stock (Advance Media Group) that is about to go mega from a merger/buy-out from a large conglomerate. The purchase sum is low, < Euro10, 000, so one thinks why not. Not long after the stock indeed starts to move up and all looks well. Then another call comes with another deal that again promises significant gains over a short period, but the initial investment is slightly more; the purchase is made and indeed the stock (GreenCell Technologies) starts to climb. Then comes another call that additional stock has been secured from the last purchase and it would be foolhardy to pass such an opportunity, especially since the stock is already making significant gains, this time the buy-in is significantly more. At this point I was already suspicious and decided to call it a day. To test the water, I requested that the stock purchased to-date be sold off thus “consolidating the gains” made to date. However, the water was indeed hot and I got burnt. The individual became quite agitated at my refusal to invest any further, and that was the end of any further dialogue, certainly from Strathclyde Associates.
Thereafter, by investigating further (which I should have done in the first instance) I found several references to Strathcyde Associates – all negative, including similar feedback from the Financial Services Authority (FSA) in the UK.
Unfortunately Strathclyde Associates are difficult to trace and claim to operate out of South Korea and with no means of recourse, they also use IP phones to call you, although after my last call I did receive notification that they had a new direct contact number (+[protected]). Their web address also changed from www.strathclydeassociates.com to www.strathclydeassociates.net, they bank with Maybank in Labuan, Malaysia. Some of the names, aliases, I came across were:
Hendrik Andersson – CEO
Henry Philips – Chief Operations Officer
James Beaufort – Senior VP for Corporate Affairs
Adam Blake – Sr Investment Advisor (the agitated fat ugly one)
Jessica Walker – Accounts Department
Mikaela Holland – Accounts Department
If Strathclyde Associate do indeed operate out of South Korea, it would appear that legislation there allows all sorts of low life to breed. Recently another investment company contacted me using exactly the same MO, so I went along to see how they would proceed. I was amazed that when the “broker” called, again the same MO, but not only that, was offering the same stock – so be aware, this company called themselves Shaw Capital Investment and also operated out of South Korea.
VB. No further response and certainly no money!