Another Who’s Who scam – Your Recent Nomination to Continental Who’s Who

What is it about these ‘you’ve been chosen’ scams? They obviously touch some nerve by making us feel important.

Hot on the heels of the Australian Who’s Who fax scam I’ve been writing about I one of my co-workers got this email spam from Continental Who’s Who informing him that

You were recently chosen as a potential candidate to represent your professional community in the 2009-10 Edition of Continental Who’s Who.

We are please to inform you that your candidacy was formally approved November 23rd, 2009. Congratulations.

The Publishing Committee selected you as a potential candidate based not only upon your current standing, but focusing as well on criteria from executive and professional directories, associations, and trade journals. Given your background, the Director believes your profile makes a fitting addition to our publication.

There is no fee nor obligation to be listed. As we are working off of secondary sources, we must receive verification from you that your profile is accurate. After receiving verification, we will validate your registry listing within seven business days.

Once finalized, your listing will share prominent registry space with thousands of fellow accomplished individuals across the globe, each representing accomplishment within their own geographical area.

To verify your profile and accept the candidacy, please visit here [link removed]. Our registration deadline for this year’s candidates is December 31, 2009. To ensure you are included, we must receive your verification on or before this date. On behalf of our Committee I salute your achievement and welcome you to our association.

Sincerely Yours,

Frank Williams
Nomination Committee Secretary
Continental Who’s Who
33 West Hawthorne Ave
Valley Stream, NY 11580

My colleague is most definitely a fantastic and professional worker but could ‘the Publishing Committee’ from this shonky organisation really know know all about his ‘current standing’ and his reputation from ‘professional directories, associations and trade journals’ ?

Um, no. Just another one that’s been doing the rounds.

31 Comments

  1. I took a call from the same company. I am a firm believer in the use of social networking to grow the business. After some discussions and with some reservations I agreed a price to be included for a fixed 2 year period.

    I loaded up some basic information on their web site but not much. A few weeks ago, I was contacted by them by phone saying the hardcopy was now available and could they debit the same credit card. I said I didn’t want a hardcopy, and no they could not debit my card.

    They went ahead and did this anyway.

    I am now in dispute with them.

  2. Good luck Tony, I’d be curious to hear the outcome.

  3. Thanks for the info guys! I just got off the phone with them begging for money. I don’t do anything in the moment so I said I would do some research (since they refused to send any printed info). I figured it was a scam but thanks for the confirmation.

  4. I just got off a long call with this “editor” that said I was choosen, and she talked my ear off for far too long as i walked my kid to school. She called back for my credit card number for a 5 yr membership, $500 that included two free airline tickets…I told her I needed more time to research them, went to the web site as we spoke and she continued to push very hard. Very uncomfortable with giving a credit card # to someone out of the blue…

  5. I’ve contacted my credit card company because I too have “been chosen” by Continental Who’s Who company. Like you people I was told what I wanted to hear and that this was going to be perfect for me and that I’ll be featured as one of their new up and coming entrepreneurs!

    I’m all for networking.

    After information overload on the phone, I was asked how I wanted to pay for this package, they recommended the platinum package for me… I said no, I’m not paying $789. She had a gold package only $589. I said no to that too.

    She said “we don’t do this for everyone but let me check with my supervisor and see if we can work something out for you” (she never got off the phone with me for a second to check with anyone) She broke me down, (yes I know better) but I was having a “moment” I guess. Damn she’s good!

    I agreed to the $200 in 3 equal payments…

    I had a bad feeling about this so 10 minutes later I called her back and said “you know what, this really isn’t for me right now, I’d like you to not process my credit card info.

    She said “too bad we already put it through” the money is non refundable, it goes against our terms of service. (I was never explained their terms) I was just told that “this was a now or never type thing” I feel I was strong armed. My own fault I suppose. She told me “we did you a favor with give you the 3 installments, remember Angie, we talked about this, this is going to be good for you!”

    I called Who’s Who again today to say I DON’T WANT THIS!… he told me that they believe the proper information had been disclosed to me and that they have decided that they would give me the 5 yr gold membership for for just the $200. They said they would give me in writing that they will not charge me anymore…. still had bad feelings about this…

    Long story short… when my Welcome Package arrives, I will return to sender.

    I have contacted my CC Company and we are now starting the process and are going to dispute the charges…

    I wish I came across this post sooner, thanks for sharing. Learn from my mistakes!

  6. I got a call from this so called Continental Whos who , they took some information about my career and told that i am qualified for the place in their publication. Due to some network problems the call got disconnected and she called me after 2 hours of time. Then she told some thing related to membership like 750$ for platinum membership, 500$ for 5 years for which i told it is very high and then she offered 3 years package for 300 $ for which i told i will confirm it after some sort of verification. today i got a call from them requesting there is 1 year package for 99$ ,at that time i dont know about this scam but i just told not interested for which she got angry and disconnected the call. then i thought of searching this in google and came to know this is Scam. One thing she is requesting all the time is Credit card number, she was forcing me in such a way that she is not letting me to think about this offer. Thank god i dint share my credit card details. I would suggest people to be careful about these types of activities. For your information i got the call from +5166127272 be care ful about this number.

  7. Tony Merrygold

    July 1, 2010 at 3:04 am

    An update on this. Be very wary of the cheap annual package as it all sounded web based – a bit like LinkedIN or Ecademy. I went for this and the contract they send you to sign shows the price they agreed but then goes on to say they will charge you $XXX USD for an entry in their hardback Who’s Who. I hadn’t spotted this, and after a lot of arguing had it all cancelled.

    It bit like the old anti drugs campaign- ‘Just Say No’!

  8. I fell in the hands of this suspected scammer too. I got a call from a lady called Nicole Brealond who claimed to be the Executive Director of Continental Who’s who. she engaged me in a very long call. At first she interviewed me and after much congratulated me. She said I have been selected to be a member. She mailed the following e-mail to my box after getting all my details plus my bank info.

    >Dear Azeez,
    >
    > As per our conversation, I am E-mailing you my contact information. Your 3 year membership has been approved. We will be in communication with you over the next couple of weeks in the development of your profile; Please send back any biographical information that will assist our editorial department with the creative of your biography. The billing on your program is $349.00. U.S. dollars with shipping the total is $393.50 Once payment has been received your membership materials will ship. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me. Again we wish you much continued success.
    >
    >www.continentalwhoswho.com
    >www.cwwpressrelease.com
    >
    >3 Year Program
    >3 Years of Benefits and Privileges
    >
    >Published for 3 years without re newel
    >
    >Expanded Biographical Program complete with photographs, artwork, logo
    >
    >Written Press Release Published Online
    >
    >Custom Wall Plaque 10 x13
    >
    >Online Access to Profile database and member directory
    >upload video, audio, photographs.
    >(mobile access) Iphone
    >
    >Hard Cover Publication/with Photo
    >
    >Featured member/optimization
    >members and non members can network with you.
    >
    >You will also be assigned a Director to work with you in and throughout the year with contacts and referrals.
    >
    >Method of Payment: Wire Transfer
    >
    >Send to our Financial Institution:
    >
    >Astoria Federal Savings
    >3535 Long Beach Road
    >Oceanside, NY 11572
    >
    >Routing Number: 221472815
    >Account: 0701702508
    >
    >Continental Who’s Who
    >33 West Hawthorne Avenue
    >Valley Stream, NY 11580
    >
    >
    >
    >3 Years of Benefits and Privileges
    >
    >Published for 3 years without re newel
    >
    >Expanded Biographical Program complete with photographs, artwork, logo
    >
    >Written Press Release Published Online
    >
    >Custom Wall Plaque 10 x13
    >
    >Online Access to Profile database and member directory
    >upload video, audio, photographs.
    >(mobile access) Iphone
    >
    >Hard Cover Publication/with Photo
    >
    >Featured member/optimization
    >members and non members can network with you.
    >
    >You will also be assigned a Director to work with you in and throughout the year with contacts and referrals.
    >
    >Method of Payment: Wire Transfer
    >
    >Send to our Financial Institution:
    >
    >Astoria Federal Savings
    >3535 Long Beach Road
    >Oceanside, NY 11572
    >
    >Routing Number: 221472815
    >Account: 0701702508
    >
    >Continental Who’s Who
    >33 West Hawthorne Avenue
    >Valley Stream, NY 11580
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >Nicole Brealond
    >
    >Executive Director
    >o 516 825-5634
    >f 516 825-5661
    >cwhoswho@aol.com
    >editorial@continentalwhoswho.com

    Then she asked me to send some amount of money. My response through mail was the following…….

    Hi Nicole, I’m afraid I dont have the confidence yet to pay that kind of money. I’ve just completed a project which cost me a whole lot of money and that’s why my bank account is alarmingly red. Therefore Nicole, I am willing to pay you back if you could be kind enough to assist me as regards this development. Sincerely, I cant afford to miss this great opportunity.

    Then she brought the fee back to 139 us dollars that I can be paying this consecutively for three years.

    She promised to get back to me the following week after which i went to the internet to do some research about this company. Thank God I was able to get all needed facts that this organization is a scammer.

  9. Just emailed this to all emails I could find @ Continental Who’s Who:

    To whom it may concern,

    I just spoke with someone at your office named Jerry Nelson. I had an issue with you sending me a package that was cancelled. I had called and cancelled the package after talking to a representative named Tina. My phone calls were not returned after I left 2 messages asking for the account to be cancelled just minutes after I spoke with Tina. I did this after Google’ing information on your company and found out that you aren’t as reputable as she said. After this I sent an email to your company again requesting a cancellation of the order. Jerry Nelson called and left a message stating that the order could be cancelled after proof of my phone log was submitted. This was emailed to him and the request was granted. I then received the package a few days later (which was dated after my cancellation request..almost a week later). I then sent emails to request an adrress to send it back. These emails went unanswered for 2 days before I called today to request an address to mail it back. I spoke to Jerry Nelson and told him I needed an address for this package to go back. He gave me the address and I asked him how I wanted it to be shipped back. He then got rude and told me to take it to the post office. I meant signature confirmation, type of delivery, etc. I did not expect such a rude reply from a ‘Sr Account Director’ who is supposed to be my representative from your company. After getting rude with me, I told him that I thought the way you do business is a ‘scam’ After stating this to Jerry, he threatened to go down to the credit department and talk to them about issuing my credit. This is absolutely ridiculous. You had stated to me that I was being given a credit and I stated my opinion that I thought the ordering/cancellation process was ‘scamlike’ I asked him if he was threatening me and he proceeded to just say BYE and hang up the phone on me. I then called back and he answered and I asked for his name, he hung up on me again. He asked me why I needed it before he hung up. He then called me from a BLOCKED phone number (probably a cell phone or a line that you guys don’t record/trace) and stated ‘Someone just told me that you had called in asking for my name’ I told him that it was him I had just talked to and that I needed his name because he treats people with no respect. He finally stated his name and called himself ‘Sr Account Director’ He referred to himself as ‘my’ Sr Account Director. I asked him why he threatened to not have my credit processed. He then stuttered out a statement that was totally contradictory to what he had said 2 phone calls previous. I just thought you would want to be aware of how he treats your clients. I guess since I am not becoming a member, I should be treated like dirt? Please remove me from all future contact. I want nothing to do with your company at all. I will be posting this on the internet as well so other people can understand the way you guys conduct business. I will also be emailing this to the emails I see to the right of this comment box. Thanks for your time and I hope that not everyone in the company acts like Jerry Nelson. He is a liar and I don’t even think he knows what he says. I have all the voicemails saved stating that I will be getting credit back on my account so don’t let Jerry go talk to the credit company like the way he threatened me to do so. Thanks for your time!

    Brad Baker

  10. I am glad I was able to find this posting. I can verify that I have recv’d a similar sales call as described in most of the above. I had been contacted in the past and also declined to purchase anything but agree to only be included for the FREE listing. After all, if I am going to listed for free, then what exactly am I paying all this money for “membership”? The sales woman informed me she would “be working for me” to help find international clients to send to me for my real estate brokerage, and THAT is why their registry is DIFFERENT from others. An answer for everything…
    Their website looks professional enough on the surface, and its seems like the “real deal”. Anyway, I am glad that I just said “NO” after a LONG phone call from their representative. Caller ID #516-612-7271. I don’t know for a fact that their service is “useless” and a “scam”, but money is tight these days and even spending $100 on an unknown doesn’t appeal to me.
    I’ll just keep doing my social & business networking through FREE media like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter & professional organizations for which I know.

  11. In response to my post earlier, I have still not heard back from the company in 2 weeks so I decided to call them on Friday. I called the number I had, a man picked up the phone (sounded exactly like Jerry Nelson who I had spoken to before). I asked for Jerry Nelson and he fumbled a bit and then told me to hold for a minute. He then got back on the phone and told me that Jerry was in a meeting. I told him he sounded a lot like Jerry Nelson (his response: we get that a lot). He gave me some other name (I threw out the sticky that I wrote it on but I think it was Sean?). He told me I would be getting a call back from customer service. I received a phone call about an hour later from some Customer Service manager. He told me that they would be processing my credit and have me a confirmation #. I found this entertaining since Jerry Nelson told me the same thing 2 weeks earlier with a confirmation #. I had still not received credit back on my credit card statement. So the new customer service man told me that it will be processed now. In return for giving my credit back, they asked for me to remove all my blog posts about the company. They told me that it hurts the business and is not right to the members of the company. I kindly declined to retract my posts because I feel people should know how this company does business. And why would I retract posts when I still haven’t seen any credit from them? This place is a scam and I have a feeling they use different names to try and defend off complaints.

  12. In regard to the name, I was given by the “Jerry Nelson” sounding character: It was Kyle Madison. Not sure why I thought it was Sean.

  13. It is really interesting reading entries regarding the Who’s who scam. Could I be right in assuming most entries are from the US? It seems the company is expanding it’s operation to Australia where we have allowed ourselves to be had. My husband originally thought it could be good networking for his business and was talked around most skillfully. He tried to cancel but they must process the payment immediately. Having used Amex to pay he asked American Express to support him against this scam, (as Amex give the impression that they do protect their client holders ). To their credit, after a bit of discussion, American Express has frozen the payment until arbitration and it will be interesting to see whether Amex can assist. I think the company should be investigated for it’s practice and a little pressure applied regarding accountability. I know in this world it is buyer beware, but I can’t help but feel the company should be scrutinized, especially after all that I have since read. So can anyone offer advice on this? In Australia we have a consumer protection organisation which would kick things off here, but who would this be in the US?

  14. I also had a call from Linda Forest, Executive Director from Continental Who’s Who from 516-216-4241. She told me to call 516-825-5634. I did and she called back from 516-216-4241. We had a poor connection. I had to ask her to repeat herself several times.

    She tried to tell me how valuable a CWW listing would be to me even though I am on LinkedIn with 10 recommendations for my on-site QuickBooks and Quicken set up, review, and training service in Greater Seattle, Biznik, the BBB, and the Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor web site as well as being listed in the real Marquis Who’s Who in America.

    I couldn’t find any listing for the company with the Better Business Bureau.

    I ended up asking her since I am hard of hearing to send me any documents and a summary of what she was going to say to me by e-mail as a disability accommodation request as required by federal and NY and WA law.

    We’ll see.

  15. Thanks Steve for sharing this, but alas, I already signed up for a 1-year Associate membership. Wished I had seen your posting sooner.

    A lady contacted me from Continental Who’s Who and we spoke for an hour for the “interview”. After all the “selling”, she shared with me that I could begin to enjoy all the benefits of a Platinum Lifetime Program, with no annual fees, a mahogany wall plaque with my name printed in gold (not that it’s a big deal really) at a one-time fee of USD869 or a 5-year Gold program at USD634.

    When I expressed discomfort about going ahead with the membership, she then shared with me the SIlver 3-year program with a one-time fee of USD394. I said no.

    I work across Asia Pacific and claimed that the members’ list are mainly US-based, so not of much use to me really. And she then shared about the 70,000+ members on their list across the globe, the 2-year program at USD233.50 or the 1-year program at USD118.50 with the option to upgrade by paying the difference.

    I’ve been duped sadly!!! Just genuinely wanted some networking options…..lesson learned – just keep saying NO!

  16. I JUST got off the phone with these people and they are most definitely a scam job. After her speel of ooh and ahhhs of my accomplishments and their prestigious standing she told me I had been selected by a group of my peers for this. I let he babble on for another 10 minutes of hard selling for this and that package I simply asked her again how she heard of me and replied well you sent us an email. Now how in the world does that correlate with the above “recommendation of my peers” she then said yes on such and such a date, your favorite magazine, blah blah blah, you sent us an email… WAIT STOP!!! I sent you an email??? a quick search of my inbox and there was no such thing ( as I had suspected ) but she in her slickness quoted a date back in June of this year thinking I might now actually look it up.

    The long of it is this – tell them to piss off they are scam artists. I also told her I would be reporting her to the BBB. now that lit a fire in her!

  17. Francisco Bueno

    October 30, 2010 at 3:04 am

    Thanks to all of you for your posts. I am a lawyer in Bolivia and I just got on the phone with some Diane Torres. I don´t need to repeat what she said because it has been perfectly described in all the posts above.

    All the time she was talking and explaining me how “I´ve been selected and the great honor this SHOULD mean to me” I kept thinking “yeah, yeah, but how much is this going to cost me”. When I told her I would get back to her, she told me this needed to be done “right now” and then she lowered the package until she offered me the Executive 2-year package for $289. She then went straigt to say “so, which card are you using?”

    I must confess I cave in for $289, I gave her my credit card info and hung up. 67 seconds latter she calls me back and says my card didn´t work, she verified all the card info again and, with me holding on the phone, tryed to process the transaction. I didn´t work again. God bless my bank, all international transactions are blocked until the client (me) authorizes the bank to allow the transaction only for a limited window of time anf for an exact amount. So, I told her I would call my bank and then get back to her. “How soon?” was the answer. “As soon as I hung up with the bank!”

    So, insted of calling the bank I googled it and found this. I´m not calling tha bank and I´m not authorizing any transaction.

    Thanks to all of you, I am NOT $289 poorer!

  18. I’ve been around long enough to know this was a scam without even speaking to them. When a company calls my cell phone, home phone, and business phone–one after the other–and leaves no message until the last call, you know someone is DESPERATE.

  19. Hello! I just hung up with a girl called Mary Grace from this company and in the middle of the conversation I googled them and found this blog. As the rest of the people here, thanks a lot for the scam confirmation.

    Francisco, I went through the exact same experience than you, but luckily I didn’t bring my cards with me at work! Couldn’t believe I almost fall on this.

  20. They are also expanding to Germany. Just got a call today. I wrote a note about this in my blog. http://blog.hwws.de/en/2012/03/19/continental-whos-who-are-they-serious/
    Be aware that they are doing business in a way that you don´t want to do business.

  21. JUST GOT OFF A CALL FROM ONE “LISA EVANS”!!!

    She spoke to me for half an hour, giving me thousands of details of this “Continental Who’s Who” that I’ve never even heard of!!!!

    Thanks so much for these details!

  22. Got a voicemail from Tom Callahan (?) of Continental Who’s Who. He left the number of 516-825-5634. I called back but he was on the phone. Then I googled the company and found this site. Thanks.

  23. Just received this voicemail:

    “Hi, Matt, uh, Tom Callahan here, senior editor with Continental Publications. Just returning your call. I got a message that you called me. Uh, thank you very much for returning mine. I am at my desk, um, but, um, I do have some appointments. If you call back you will get my secretary. She’ll let you know if I’m on the phone or not. If not, maybe you can give her a good day and time that, uh, you’d like me to call you back. I just have to ask you a few questions about your work here at ______. Thanks, Matt, I look forward to speaking with you.”

    Came from the same phone number as earlier.

    How many senior editors do they have?

  24. Thanks Matt.

  25. As of 11:40am on 11/7/2012 They are at it again. I got a call from the same company, different “senior editor” with the same shpeel. The price quickly dropped from 785.00 to 299.00. And when I was hesitant, she asked if it was strictly an money issue. I told her “no”, and that I wanted to know more about the company before I did anything. I have the feeling that if I had said that it “was” just a money issue, they would have found some way for me to pay it out over time.

    I went to their web site while still on the phone with the “senior editor” and told them that I was going to do research before I handed over even one dollar of my hard earned money. When I began researching, while the “editor” was on the phone, all of a sudden, we had a bad connection and the phone went dead. Isn’t that special. If they had researched me that well, they would already have known that I am a very good business woman that has heard of ALL the scams.

    Thank you for this blog. I hope that it saves others from falling into the “ego trap”..

  26. Unfortunately I was one of the “Who’s Who” victims! Stanford Who’s Who caught me in 2011 when I was in the early stages of my companies existence and I thought that it would be a great way to boost my ratings. Yeah, that went well! They just took money and I got nothing in return besides a profile on a website that I have never been contacted from till today. I was contacted by Continental Who’s Who today and all I can say is DON’T DO IT!

  27. Same here folks. Received two phone calls from one Lisa Evans. First one was difficult time for me as getting children ready for school and so on. She promised to call back in a week, which she did. As with all your stories she offered platinum, then gold membership and finally suggested the trial membership of $99 USD for one year. Even emailed me while we were on the phone. I said because I didn’t receive your previous email as promised I haven’t researched the company nor looked at your website. She got ‘pushy’ with me. “Evette you only get this opportunity once. You qualify in your field and when you want to get your book published we can help with distribution… blah blah blah.” I said I’m still not giving you my credit card today until I do my research. Next thing she’s hung up on me!!! So there it is. Scam, scam, scam!!

  28. Me too! They tried to pressure me to believe I was a Pinnacle Professional Award winner. That I needed to sign up right now! and pay $1548 for a lifetime fee for amazing access to amazing individuals. except I have never heard of or seen ICE magazine, their website is flimsy at best (I am in no way techie and could guess its fake), and pressured to do it right now. Any publishing company would never set up deadlines of 1 day from beginning to end. Plus, they wouldn’t let me talk to another Pinnacle professional award winner to verify how and if it works!
    There is no way without talking to my colleagues or clients to verify I am as great as they say. Its sketchy at best.
    Thank you to all who verified my suspicion.

  29. It’s amazing how most people at least don’t check on the internet to verify such claims before giving out their details. The last thing i will do is to give out my credit/account details to anyone even not my bank.
    They tried with me this morning but as “hard as rock” i was not moved and did not fall for them. I quickly conducted this check only to findout that Steve has this on this site. The same company,address that is involve in this activity.
    But Thanks to Steve and prvious commentators you’re saving a lot of people from these unethical scams.

    As a professional/individual if you’re worth your salt you shouldn’t pay to be profiled or published. Is either the publisher does that for free or rather pay you for using your details to sell their magazines for profit.

    See what i received from them.

    Dear Mark

    It was a pleasure speaking with you; As per our conversation I am emailing you my contact information.

    Your Pinnacle membership has been approved. We will be in communication with you over the next couple of weeks in the development of your profile; Please send back any biographical information that will assist our editorial department with the creative of your biography. The billing on your program is $889.00 U.S. dollars with shipping the total is $ 958.00 Paid in full for a Lifetime. Once payment has been received your membership materials will ship. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me. Again we wish you much continued success.

    Pinnacle Profile Setting

    Full Benefits and Privileges

    Published each consecutive year without renewals

    Expanded Biographical Program complete with photographs, artwork, logo

    Written Press Release Published Online. http://www.cwwpressrelease.com

    Custom Wall Plaque Laser engraved

    Online Access to Profile database and member directory http://www.continentalwhoswho.co

  30. Hi there,

    Thank you so much for uploading the information about this scam here. I got an email as well, followed by quite a persuasive interview call from some Lisa Evans. Interestingly, she made it sound as if she is doing me a huge favour – needless to say she never asked me for my availability! Wasted my 20 minutes at my work no. and gave me no choice for calling back when I requested her if I could get back after making up my mind for taking their membership. Nope it seems I had to make my decision there and then, amidst all the chaos of work! On top of that, I got really suspicious when she refused to email me all the overwhelming bout of information, reasoning it as they are not regular marketing company and have unique startegies and have a million people waiting for their membership!!! My gut sense is quite correct so I had to let her ‘Generous’ offer let go….. :)

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