Forum

Kitchen spam

Apologies to those irritated by the Kitchen spam, the hard working moderators have been told to refrain from deleting them this morning, in order that our developer can see the extent of the problem.

Usually, we spend the first part of the morning ridding the boards of this spam. It’s a woeful problem and rest assured we have done everything; from calling the offices of the company and complaining in person, to reporting them to the ombudsman.

Like other websites that have endured this problem- complaining to the company has actually made the situation worse.

They come from individual operators, who fill out the Captcha security test in order to become members, then fill the boards with spam from separate ISP addresses.

Please bear with us while we try to deal with this.

Kind regards

Stewart (admin)

Sorry - didn’t see this explanation until after I reported them all to you.

I appreciate your efforts in trying to clear them from this forum.

I thought there were more than my usual ones that I report! Think I got them all seen. You should give a prize for the most spotted each morning! Means people visit each page and entertains us for hours! (good work fudging technique!).

Surely these individuals must be one of two things

  1. Get paid by the company
  2. Have a vendetta against the company

Vince A

How did you do it Pat… .?

But when they receive the email request, will it not show the originating address and therefore have your email address ?

Agree with MrsH. Surely they can see the email address you send from?

I don’t trust them at all with my email address.

I think for safety’s sake it’s best to leave it to our tech team to try and resolve, & in meantime ignore their spam posts.

Pat x

Considering either they or their minions must visit here at least daily, it surely won’t be hard for them to get wise to what’s going on, and not fall for it. It’s not difficult, these days, to check whether an address or phone number is real, before you waste a lot of time chasing it.

And I agree with Pat (Snow Leopard Pat) that there are personal safety implications. We’ve no idea who these people are, what resources they have at their disposal, and what they might do when riled. NO communication is completely untraceable. Contacting them at all - but especially for the purposes of annoying them or winding them up - places you at risk. They might not just be over-zealous kitchen reps. We already know they’re not very ethical, but potentially have a lot of people working for them - enough to spam multiple forums, multiple times a day (they don’t just show up here!)

Who knows who they really are, and what else they’re into? I don’t want to cross anyone I know nothing about - except that they’re not nice. A report to Trading Standards, maybe, but personally trying to get one over on them? Nope, I leave it to the proper authorities.

Tina

Normally Val is up early and zaps most of them before going to work.

Liz [Moderator]

Lovely

Liz

Surely if they think they are getting feedback from posting spam here they will only be encouraged. It won’t be the sales staff who get the dead ends who decide how to “market”. It will be the IT staff looking at the linked hits from here to their site and thinking they are getting loads of traffic by posting here.

What if we all replied with details of our ms asking how they are coping with their ms.

This new member who’s posted about kitchens. Could it be they’re embarrassed about their ms! I know some of my symptoms are quite embarrassing and maybe they’ve just plucked up courage to join this site but when it comes to asking about their personal problems blurt out buy a kitchen instead

Just a thought! If they are clever enough, they can find out the ISP the sender is from (and vice versa for the Mods) unless you (or them) are using ‘roving ISP Accounts’, which some of us do have. These only show a range it was sent from.

Information is old and not sure if this still applies?

According to a poster on another (similarly-plagued) forum, who’s managed to do a bit of research, they are “professional” (if that’s the right word in this context) scammers. Allegedly, they have tricked people out of thousands of pounds - it’s unlikely there are, or ever were, any kitchens.

They pop up in all different guises, but they ARE all the same people.

Tina

I can’t report them to police. I haven’t got the evidence. From my point of view, it’s hearsay. I can’t dial 999, and say: “Somebody on the internet said these are scammers”, can I?

Perhaps the person who’s obtained the evidence will follow it up, though if it’s really the case that many have already been swindled, I don’t doubt the police will have heard about it already. Then again, not all victims will admit to having fallen for an internet scam, so perhaps they kept their losses to themselves.

Tina

Do you not know you have to have EVIDENCE to report a crime? I.e. evidence that it has been committed? If you don’t have any, then you are wasting police time (and your own!)

“Somebody told me on the internet” is not evidence. Do you think they’re going to go chasing off, every time they get a lead as vague as that?

I fully believe that they ARE fraudsters, as it has all the hallmarks. I don’t think anyone would be so desperate just to sell kitchens - they are spamming the whole internet; they are NOT targeting the MS forums specifically.

But as for any concrete evidence to go to police or trading standards with? No, I don’t have a scrap, do you? Me telling you what a stranger on another forum had to say about them isn’t evidence.

Tina

What they are doing is probably not fraud until they take a deposit with no intention of delivering. It might just be “conspiracy to commit fraud” - but then you come back to Tina’s point about evidence

Note for Stewart - it has been noted on another forum that all their messages come from one of two ranges of IP addresses. Putting a bar on those two ranges has stopped the incoming Kitchen spam.
I assume that this would mean checking the IP address of everyone wishing to join the Forum

To really have a go at them will you could get on to the Advertising Standards people (who already have an interest in them)
http://www.asa.org.uk/Rulings/Adjudications/2013/2/Solid-Wood-Kitchens/SHP_ADJ_213985.aspx
because they do not show a geographical location in their website ads.

If anyone visits that ASA page, they will see the address for “solidwoodk…s” and will know where to send junk mail. Or indeed, someone local could take a look at the address, and maybe contact the local paper (hint). On Googleearth it looks like a very expensive residential district to me.

Think of all that rubbish that comes through your door addressed to “The Occupier” and refer it on to SWK.
There are a few other nasties that one can do with unwanted mail, or by asking for brochures and giving another address, but I could not possibly advocate them here.

Geoff

Watching ‘Watchdog’ last night… I wondered if we should contact them?

Pat x

Reminded me of the absolutely unforgettable http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8huXkSaL7o

Copied and pasted from other affected sites:

The person registered as responsible for originally registering the the domain is:

Aftab Ali
Trading as:
Sizzle Media Ltd
Evans Business Centre
Rochdale
Lancs
OL12 6XB
United Kingdom
http://www.sizzlemedia.co.uk

He’s also on linkedin - http://uk.linkedin.com/pub/aftab-ali/8/7b4/257

Elsewhere on the 'net he admits he set it up but takes no responsibility, blaming search engine promotion companies overseas.

Mr Ali claims that the real client is:

Laura Digweed
41 Duke Avenue
Manchester
Lancashire
OL12 7HJ
United Kingdom

But sometimes Mr Ali has been shown as the registrant at this address - all very confusing.

The up-to date named contact is however Matthew Leak - same Duke Avenue address. His website ends in .co.uk and describes him as an ‘Internet Entrepreneur and Professional Poker Player’.

one simple objective and that is to fund, create and operate web properties that matter

These seem now to be part of a a network of various website and company names with phone numbers linked to “The Kitchen Gangster” Vance Miller, subject of a number of consumer TV, trading standards, and police investigations e.g. http://www.bbc.co.uk/watchdog/rogue_traders/vance_miller.shtml .

Well if that’s the case, it definitely needs reporting to Watchdog for investigation. They’ve obviously got information on him already.