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Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Criminal lawyer
Category: Fraud Examiner
Satisfied Customers: 23990
Experience:  Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
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Is dirkmartens-brokers a scam company? they have offered a

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Is dirkmartens-brokers a scam company? they have offered a sale of my carbon credits and rare earth metal investments to a Chinese underwriter for which i will receive payment. I have been asked to purchase a Surety Bond to insure me against any possible failure of the sale, in which event the bond will be returned to me, underwritten by the company, less 2% commission. I have checked them out as far as possible on google - their parent company is/was registered in Germany, with an FCA number 443808 though I can only find this for the German branch to operate here. I have been given full documents for the China Trust underwriters, and Purchase Agreement Contract note and other documents. So far I have paid only half the Surety Bond, as the other half was covered by a credit note with the company, but this is now apparently not going to be covered in view of the uncertainty of the carbon market. I cannot find the extra cash myself but if the deal could be proved to be genuine I might try to borrow it. I am told I have 24 hours for this to complete and that the payment is already waiting to be sent to my bank in the next few days. Of course it is all the usual pattern, but I have talked extensively with the managing director and two other representatives and the whole deal did seem to hold water. The company's address isXXXXX London SE1 2TH
Very grateful indeed for your urgent help
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Fraud Examiner
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 2 years ago.
Hello,

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be assisting you with your question.

We have received a great many inquireis from people in the UK scammed by carbon credit frauds. Carbon trading these days is in heavy disrepute. The whole enterprise is a hotbed of fraud.

One problem is that while there's a movement to bring carbon credit trading under the auspices of the international securities and exchanges commissions, to date that has not yet been accomplished. So carbon credit deals are entirely unregulated. Another is that the value of such credits is pretty debatable. There is so much carbon trading and so much unreliable out of the country verification that it's difficult to know whether one's credits are worth anything or nothing at all.

Some legitimate carbon credit trading firms who see the writing on the wall have registered with your FSA, and that would be a very good sign of their reliablility. But withothers, It is characteristic of disingenuous companies to lure investors with promises of profits and then to simply fold up and disappear with their money. We have seen it happen here many times.

Dirkmartens-brokers is brand new. Their website was created March 28, 2014, so it's not even a month old. The name has been registered for one year only, which is a red flag. The IP address traces to California, which is irregular. The site owner has chosen to use a proxy service to hide his actual identity and location. These are all bad signs. This is a brand new website set up to hit and run and not to stick around for the long haul. You can see all this by looking at the company's WHOIS information here.

It claims to be in London but it's not registered with either Companies House or the FCA. According to Google MapsXXXXXis an Indian restaurant named Shad.

You might want to look at this article from the UK's Financial Conduct Authority on carbon trading, it's pitfalls and how to evaluate a carbon trading firm. (see link).

For all of the above reasons, I do not recommend dealing with this company.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you Zoey - I'm afraid none of this is a surprise - I was just desperately clinging to the hope that perhaps this company was genuine. I knew they were newly formed, but hoped the link with Germany was strong. I am not new to fraud having been a victim of the boiler room gang from whom 110 arrests were made at the end of March. I even appeared on TV news etc and in the press, representing the 850+ victims of such fraud, (using my maiden name). There will be little to hand out from the sale of their assets I'm afraid. Cleaned out as I am, I had fervently hoped that I could glean some returns from the carbon and the metals, but as you confirm they are also tainted with fraud. The Rare Earth Metal Exchange bins were found to be partially non-existent when the liquidators looked into what was stored in Merritts in Nottingham, and Denver Trading is now very suspect too, although I am told my numbered drums are registered to me in the warehouse in Wimbledon. I wonder if you have any information on Denver that I should know - though I have heard rumours - or even on the Cadogan Warehouse in Wimbledon which stores all sorts of other commodities also? Incidentally, my paperwork for the recent scam contains pages of contracts and agreements - even a copy of a passport photo - none of which I suppose would hold any credit anywhere? The City of London police did not suggest previously that such documents have any value, so I'm sure that is correct. Regrettably I decided to follow my own judgement rather than theirs on Dirk Martens, again trusting a gut feeling of hope. I'm afraid that finally I have to replace lifelong trust now with suspicion. I look forward to your final answers.

Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

The only Denver Trading that I can find anything about is in Colorado and hosts educational seminars. I don't think this is the company you are mentioning.

Unfortunately, the papers you have won't have any value, though they may be able to help law enforcement find out who, what and where are the folks really behind this.

You don't need to replace lifetime trust with suspicion. But when it comes to investments, reputable brokers and trading firms never cold-call outside of their countries with investment opportunities. And multiple countries involved in an investment enterprise is always very suspicious. It's a way to foil efforts of law enforcement down the road. Also, if you've been the victim of an investment scam once, they always come back.
Zoey, JD, Criminal lawyer
Category: Fraud Examiner
Satisfied Customers: 23990
Experience: Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
Zoey, JD and other Fraud Examiner Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I have one more question Zoey. I may now have to consider selling my home although this really will be a last resort if I can't get my head above water another way. Do you have any idea if fraudsters are moving into the property purchase arena particularly? I would have to consider reversionary property purchase so that I may stay as a nominal-rent tenant perhaps but I know they would give me only about half the value of the house. It would just be matter of working out my sums very carefully I think, to see if it is a viable plan financially.

Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 2 years ago.
I have seen property purchase scams, most often involving time shares, and fraudulent purchase schemes for property as well.

But for what you want to do, I think you might want to ask about this in our UK Property Law category. They could give you more useful guidance.

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