KwikChex Hero Award Demonstrates the Value of Private Sector ‘Fraudbusters’

Yahoo Finance, 21st August 2019

The recent presentation of a ‘Hero Award’ by the Chartered Institute of Trading Standards (CTSI) to online investigations and verification business KwikChex highlighted the value of the private sector in fighting what has been an inexorable rise in fraud

Since 2010, KwikChex has been fighting battles to help prevent harm caused by fraudulent online content.  Whilst much attention has been paid to the exposure by KwikChex of millions of fake online reviews  and the removal of thousands specifically designed to harm businesses and consumers, in more recent times, it has been the KwikChex successes relating to protecting consumers and supporting law enforcement against scammers that have become most prominent.

Chris Emmins of KwikChex receives 2019 CTSI Hero Award
Chris Emmins of KwikChex receives 2019 CTSI Hero Award

 

The effectiveness of the KwikChex fraudbusting work was acknowledged on 25 June 2019, with the presentation of a ‘Hero Award’ to Chris Emmins, KwikChex co-founder and director at a special ceremony in London organised by the Chartered Institute of Trading Standards – representing the vital UK Trading Standards enforcement community. Conor Burns MP, recently made minster for state, Department for International Trade presented the award at One Great George Street, Westminster.

KwikChex was cited as having provided ‘expert’ witness testimony in for the prosecution in a number of cases, one of which with potentially millions of pounds worth of fraud.

Chief Executive at CTSI, Leon Livermore, said: “The Business Award is designed to recognise businesses that demonstrate a dedication to protecting consumers. KwikChex not only strives to help consumers who have suffered at the hands of ruthless fraudsters but has been a strong supporter of our profession. I’m pleased to name them our 2019 Business Hero.”

The successful prosecutions and civil actions that have taken place as a result of KwikChex investigations and support have resulted in custodial sentences for fraudsters and also refunds to consumers totalling hundreds of thousands of pounds – and many consumers have been saved from losses by the free advice provided by KwikChex. Particularly prominent has been the work within the timeshare sector, where the KwikChex-managed ‘Timeshare Task Force’ has assisted thousands of timeshare owners that have been targeted by dishonest timeshare claims and relinquishment rogues.

KwikChex is working ever-closer with law enforcement and government organisations to help stem the tide of fraud – and new resources, which will help consumers avoid the scams and prioritise legal actions against the fraudsters are set to be made available later in 2019.

As the Trading Standards award has confirmed, the KwikChex model of funding from the private sector to tackle internet-enabled fraud is becoming more and more vital at a time of increasing threat and much-reduced funding for law enforcement.  Bringing businesses committed to high standards and strong consumer protection together with intelligence gained from investigations and consumer information is crucial to tackling one of the biggest crime problems the world has faced. It will play an increasingly important and effective role in future.

View the article on Yahoo Finance:
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/kwikchex-hero-award-demonstrates-value-080000901.html?guccounter=1

See the story of the KwikChex Hero Award – on the Trading Standards Journal website
http://www.journaloftradingstandards.co.uk/hero-awards/fraud-prevention-service-wins-award/

‘Timeshare fraudster ordered to pay £1000’s to victims’

Further actions have taken place in a criminal case that KwikChex supported with evidence gained from investigations and consumer reports.

Frank Madden was previously sentenced to 40 months imprisonment for operating a bogus holiday discount club scam and has now been ordered to pay back £20,000 and had further banning orders imposed.

Read the article here:
Timeshare fraudster ordered to pay £1000’s to victims
https://www.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/News/News-Articles/Timeshare-fraudster-ordered-to-pay-1000s-back-to-victim.aspx
(BCP Council, 8th July 2019)

KwikChex receiving CTSI hero award

KwikChex – ‘Business saving consumers potentially millions from fraud earns CTSI Hero Award’

Credits: CTSI (www.tradingstandards.uk) 26/06/2019

‘Investigation and verification service provider, KwikChex, has earned a prestigious Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) Hero Award for its continuous work and passionate commitment on behalf of consumers, particularly around timeshare scams.’

‘KwikChex has established a free and effective online help service for consumers the Timeshare Task Force, a helpline aimed specifically at assisting victims of timeshare fraud, and consumers ‘stuck’ within timeshare agreements have been targeted by unscrupulous timeshare resale fraudsters.’

Above excerpts and read the full article: https://www.tradingstandards.uk/news-policy/news-room/2019/business-saving-consumers-potentially-millions-from-fraud-earns-ctsi-hero-award

Further clarification regarding ITRA / ECC / M1 Legal

More consumers are advising that following the winding up of ITRA, they are being approached by European Consumer Claims (ECC) and are corresponding with M1 Legal.  These communications concern offers of continuing work said to have been started by ITRA.
As consumers paid ITRA and entered into a contract with that business and it is now the subject of liquidation and insolvency investigations, we advise that such approaches should be reported to the ITRA liquidator, Richard Long & Co., as they are likely to be unlawful – a breach of the Insolvency Act.
The contact details for ITRA liquidators Richard Long & Co are:
Richard Long & Co
Castlegate House
36 Castle Street
Hertford
SG14 1HH
Tel: 01992 503372
We are also being informed that there are denials by these businesses of  the circumstances surrounding ITRA and the relationships between ITRA, ECC and M1 Legal. For the sake of clarification –
ITRA was wound up after failing to provide promised timeshare relinquishment and claims services to consumers and subsequently for failing to refund consumers as ordered by the courts. ITRA had previously been named as a part of a major scam which resulted in the UK authorities shutting down seven connected businesses. The person identified as controlling ITRA was Andrew Cooper.
ECC was set up by Andrew Cooper, who is a director of the ‘UK ECC’ business. He was previously a director of two of the companies shut down by the UK authorities. Current contracts issued by ECC list a USA registered company as the provider of the services, which it has been confirmed has no employees and does not disclose ownership details. In addition, the US registration has a false Gibraltar address and the proxy director is a company previously registered in the Bahamas, which has since been struck off.
Whilst it has been pursuing some claims, Spanish registered M1 Legal was also set up by Andrew Cooper. One of the directors is also a director of the ‘Spanish arms’ of ITRA and the businesses shut down by the UK authorities.
The attempts at denials prompted us to provide information clarifying the facts, with links to some of the media coverage and documents that provide clear substantiation – that information is available on the following link ‘Why ECC is so upset with KwikChex’.

Silverpoint News

June 2019

We are aware that some consumers are receiving notices of provisional liquidation regarding Excel Overseas Holdings and ELPP Investment – and that in many cases there are connections to Silverpoint and associated properties in Tenerife.

We have also been receiving complaints from consumers regarding being unable to contact representatives of Silverpoint and ‘Insignia’.

What already appeared as complex matters has become more so and at present there are no obvious answers. However, the situation warrants further investigation and we will be pleased to assist in this respect and are looking to consult with specialist lawyers and investigators. If you have been affected by these issues and would like your case to be potentially examined, please let us know – we will need your permission to pass on your details and data pertinent to your complaints and potential claims.

Monster News

June 2019
Several consumers have informed us they have received documents relating to the purported liquidation of Monster. There has been no substantiation that we have seen that this is a genuine legal process and would therefore advise extreme caution.
We have also been informed that the police team conducting the investigation of Monster are also aware of this but have stated that they cannot offer specific advice regarding this at this time. We presume that this is because of the current status of the investigation.
More information regarding Monster and connected companies: https://timesharebusinesscheck.org/monster-travel-sellmytimeshare-tv-warning/
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