I had another call today "you were in an accident recently ..."
So I spoke to the caller, Nasir Khan. He said that he was with Lance Amyinsoms (he spelled it out for me). No such company. There's a company called "Lance Masons", but there's probably no connection. Then he said he was with www.achl.com. No such web site. But there is a www.achl.co.uk, although I doubt if he was from there either. He did give me his phone number, 020 331 81767 (actually, he gave me two phone numbers, but the first one he gave me turned out to be a fax number).
So we got to talking, and I told him that I had indeed had an accident, I'd fallen over while walking (this is true, I fell over on a walk about a few weeks ago). He seemed interested, so I told him that I had a photograph. He sounded quite keen. "Should I send it to you?" I asked. "Yes," he said, "Email it to email@example.com".
A domain name.
That gave me a web site to go to, www.theclaimsonline.com. I looked up the registration details, it gives the person who registered is the name "Danish Notta" in London, Gloucestershire. London is not in Gloucestershire. There's a Danish Notta runs One Call BPO, a call center in Pakistan. And theclaimsonline gave a phone number, which had the same UK STD code as the number that Nasir gave me. Their web site also gave me their CRM (claims management regulator) number, 11234.
So I went to the CRM web site and it actually led to a different company called "xxx". So I went to their web site, which was very reminiscent of the www.theclaimsonline.com. I mean, it looks pretty much the same (slightly different logo), including on both sites, recommendations from the same three people who received the same amounts and gave the same words of praise. And the two companies have the same CRM number. OK, maybe nothing bad here, maybe it's one company that trades under two names, but interesting.
I went to the Companies House web site. I couldn't find anything for theclaimsonline, but it was easy to find xxx.
So I looked at the directors. There's two, Gavin yyy and Deborah yyy. Again, nothing to worry about, lots of small companies are run by a husband and wife team. And Gavin yyy is the name given on the whois database for xxx.
I found out lots more about Gavin from Company's House, Linkedin and Facebook (I didn't bother with Twitter) - I doubt if most people realise just how much personal information they put on the internet about themselves for anyone to read. I probably do the same. I've xxxed and yyyed out these details because I believe that xxx and yyy are innocent victims of web site copying,
I looked at the latest published accounts for xxx. The company's net book value fixed assets are £301 as of December 2014; the P&L account shows a loss of £1241. So I don't think xxx is very active.
So I checked out Gavin yyy more thoroughly on Linkedin. There are a few with that name, but the most interesting was Gavin yyy at zzz Solicitors. So I went to their web site. And on that web site, is listed Gavin yyy, he's on the Personal Injury team. On his bio, it says that he has over 25 years of experience (The Gavin yyy I'm looking for is 46, according to the Companies House information).
You see, the thing is, according to the solicitor's code of conduct, they aren't allowed to make cold calls to people scraped out of a list (I'm guessing the electoral register?). And I suspect that setting up a separate company to generate leads by cold calling is also frowned on. You might recollect the last time I looked into a situation slightly like this, with Renaissance Solicitors and Whynotclaim Ltd. Speaking of which, I just had another look at their web site, and Mobeen Hussein (director of Whynotclaim, the people who cold-called me), is no longer listed as working there.
So, back to linkedin. I read Gavin's bio, available to anyone who wants to read it. June 2015 to present, zzz Solicitors, head of Fast Track Litigation, and one of his past jobs was with xxx. So it's the same person.
So Gavin is employed (or something, but he isn't listed as a partner or Associate) at zzz, but at the same time, theclaimsonline, who say they have the same CRM as xxx (Gavin's company) is making cold calls. Or most likely theclaimsonline doesn't actually have any relationship to xxx and is just saying that they do, by claiming the same CRM number.
So that's cleared up most of the questions that I had, using publicly available information put onto the internet by Gavin yyy, and the rest was resolved with a call to zzz solicitors, except that he wasn't there, so I used the internet phone books to get his home phone number. He wasn't at home, but his answering machine gave me his mobile number and that of his wife, and I'm really quite surprised at the amount of information I can find out about someone without really trying. So I called his mobile, and he was in his car.
But Gavin will surely want to know what's being done with the CRM11234, because if "The Claims Online" are using it without his permission, that's naughty.
So I told him. And the rest is up to him.