in China, UK

China Development Finance Corporation is a transparently obvious scam

China Development Finance Corporation is cold calling people and offering to sell their near-worthless carbon credits. The company is a transparently obvious scam.

Here’s the evidence that the company is running a scam:

  1. China Development Finance Corporation is cold calling people. No legitimate company would cold call you with financial advice. Tony Levene, writing last year in The Guardian, has some excellent advice for dealing with cold callers:

    “The simplest advice is just to slam down the phone on anyone who calls you to sell an investment. That’s it. Simple and to the point. After all, no legitimate investment company ever cold calls for potential customers.”

  2. The company’s name is taken from a limited company founded in 1934 by a Chinese businessman called T.V. Soong. So, when you search for China Development Finance Corporation on Google, you get historical reports about a company formed 80 years ago.
  3. A look at the company’s website reveals little about the company. Typical of boiler room operations, the website uses stock photographs. There are no photographs of the people who actually run the company. Not illegal, of course, but hardly reassuring.
  4. On its website, the company explains what it does:

    China Development Finance Corporation facilitates Escrow Services for clients for Mergers and Acquisitions cases and Real Estate transactions when mandated by the Terms and Conditions of Agreements or when necessary by law.

    Of course, there are no examples of any actual clients on China Development Finance Corporation’s website.

  5. On its website, China Development Finance Corporation provides a convenient explanation of what “escrow” means. The fact that this explanation is lifted from another website is also not exactly reassuring. Other parts of the website are lifted from another website.
  6. On its website, the company has the following story:

    In 1995 Ru (Robert) Ming and his brother Tao (Tony) and a select team created China Development Finance Corporation without any support staff and $250,000 USD (¥ 1,708,999.99 CNY China Yuan Renminbi) in the bank.

    And at the bottom of every page on its website is a copyright notice:

    But the fact that someone has typed in the number “1995” into a website does not mean that the company has existed since 1995. In fact, the company’s website was registered on 22 November 2013. Needless to say, the website was registered anonymously.

  7. The website provides a list of the company’s “Executive Team” complete with email addresses. You may think that’s reassuring, but you’d be wrong. Despite the fact that the company claims to be a “leading private equity firm”, searches on Google for the names of the people running the company reveal that they don’t get out much. No prizes for spotting that the company is not included in Private Equity International’s 2013 list of top 50 private equity firms (or wikipedia’s considerably longer list).
  8. Although the company claims to be based in Beijing, China Development Finance Corporation’s website is written entirely in English.

If anyone from China Development Finance Corporation calls you out of the blue, just put the phone down. Then contact Action Fraud:


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  1. Received a call from a David Farrell at the Matheson Wang Group offering to buy my carbon credits.When I googled them I found a You tube video called
    INTERNATIONAL WARNINGS it was full of advice on dodgy companies
    Needless to say MWGroup was one of them

  2. In difference to your suggestion of putting the phone down I always string them along, normally getting bits of info from them. A chat about the weather or beer normally puts in a certain section of the country. Once I have got as much as I think I can out of them I forward what I have got on them to Action Fraud.

  3. I had a call from a company trying to buy my credits and is now offering me airtime with a company called vodacom offering me 40% returns. Im researching and they look like another boiler room.

    Has anyone else heard from these people? Looks like this could be the new carbon.

  4. “Tony” has been trying to get me to part with carbon credits as part of a big Chinese land development in US. Sort of knew it was a scam from answer to opening question, “Where did you get my number from?”.

  5. @John Mansory – You didn’t mention the name of the company. Not that it matters much (but I’d be interested anyway). The clue that this is a scam is in your first seven words: “I had a call from a company”. No legitimate company would cold call you.

  6. got a call from ‘Kris Korn’ of the above firm promising to sell my worthless ‘Tri-hub ‘ shares. He strung it out for a few weeks with a tale of woe about the original scammers who sold me the shares. finally cutting a long story short he said that the eskrow firm based in mexico needed funds before they would release my cash!!. All the communicatins came from a Malaysian IP address. The firm boasted a lower penthouse in China Development Finance Corporation
    1 Jianguomenwai, China World Tower 3
    Lower Penthouse, Upper Annex
    Beijing, Peoples Republic of China 100004

    beware of this firm

  7. Given that there are so many worthless credits in circulation no doubt “Tony”, “Robert” , “Kris” et al will unfortunately convince some people to pay funds to this dodgy eskrow account and then no doubt more problems will prevent the promised funds materialising and the phone numbers are no longer connected.

  8. I have had China Merchant Securities / China Investment Corporation chasing me offering to buy my carbon credits / land leases that I originally bought from Capital Alternatives as an investment for the kids (after being blatantly lied to on multiple occasions). They are offering me essentially my original investment back if I set up a refundable holding bond with them for around 20% of the value until it “all goes through”. I’ve been horribly trusting (stupid) in the past, but this is just too much. We must stop this disgrace.

  9. I’ve been called by a Michael Jones from Alternative Fund Management saying that he could sell my Carbon Credits for around the purchase price through the China Investment Corporation. He got my phone number from the CDM registry of the Carbon Credits. He is now going to send the offer in writing (email!). We shall see!

  10. I’ve been approached by Venture Group Assets offering to buy my carbon credits (a fellow called Charlie Andrews).

    I suspect this is again a scam. Does anyone have previous dealings with these people please?

  11. @frank booy (#11) – Venture Group Assets is a scam. They cold called you. They knew you had carbon credits (because your name is on a suckers list).

    Venture Group Assets was registered on 7 September 2015. The website was registered on 4 September 2015. Yet on the testimonials page of the company website is this statement:

    “Venture Group Assets have been in contact with me since early summer 2015 to enquire if I would be interested in any of their possible investment opportunities…”

    Venture Group Assets claims to be interested in buying your carbon credits, even though they are worthless.

    I know this is bad news, but it’s better than losing more money to a recovery room scam.