By Chris Lang
In March 2020, REDD-Monitor wrote about a scam company that was cloning Chloride Eastern Limited. The fraudsters were contacting people out of the blue, claiming that they could sell the carbon credits that they had been scammed into buying as an investment.
It was a ridiculously obvious recovery room scam:
In May 2020, what appears to be a new Chloride Eastern Limited website was launched. It’s a one-page website and includes this statement (see the screenshot, above): “Chloride Eastern Limited is a fully owned subsidiary of Chloride Eastern Industries Pte Ltd which is domiciled in Singapore. Both companies do not provide services to third parties.”
But a filing with Companies House reveals that on 10 December 2019, Chloride Eastern Industries Pte Ltd ceased to have significant control over the UK registered company Chloride Eastern Limited.
In March 2020, when I wrote about the recovery room scammers, I contacted Chloride Eastern Limited’s accounting firm to let them know about the scam and the post on REDD-Monitor. They replied, “The police are aware and investigating.”
I asked the accounting firm whether the new website is from the real Chloride Eastern Limited. “This is not genuine,” they replied, “and the directors of Chloride Eastern are naturally very perturbed by this.” They told me that the directors have hired a law firm to act on their behalf.
The website features the following notice:
It has come to our attention that a scam is being operated by persons claiming to act on behalf of Chloride Eastern Limited. Members of the public are being contacted by email and telephone by persons claiming to be from Chloride Eastern Limited, trading as Chloride Eastern Asset Management. They are offering a range of services, including in relation to the acquisition of property assets and the purchase or sale of carbon credits. They give various names including Michael Clean, Fraser, and Eloise Sanderson. They also send letters that falsely appear to be signed by one or more of the actual directors of Chloride Eastern Limited and give a postal address that is the same as the address of Chloride Eastern Limited’s registered office (62 Wilson Street, London, EC2A 2BU). They give a variety of contact telephone numbers including 0800 009 6490.
These individuals are not associated with the UK registered company Chloride Eastern Limited (registered number 00330927) and do not have authority to act on its behalf or that of its directors. Chloride Eastern Limited is a member of a group of companies that primarily produces batteries for use in motor vehicles and for industrial applications. Chloride Eastern Limited itself currently only provides services to other members of its corporate group.
If you are contacted by anyone purporting to be from Chloride Eastern Limited or Chloride Eastern Asset Management and offering to provide financial services or to acquire or help sell property assets or carbon credits, we recommend that you ignore their communications and notify the police in your country responsible for investigating fraud, such as via Action Fraud in the UK or let us know about it.
In February 2020, the scammers had set up a series of fake reviews on the website yell.com. The website uses a screenshot of the reviews as an example of the “fraud site”:
In March 2020, I contacted yell.com to tell them that recovery room scammers were cloning Chloride Eastern. I pointed out that, “By leaving these fake reviews on the yell.com website you are helping the scammers to carry out their fraud. Removing them as quickly as possible would help to stop the fraud.”
In circumstances where we receive a complaint regarding such matters, we would suggest that the user (you) contacts their local Trading Standards Officer who has the necessary powers to investigate your concerns fully. Unfortunately, we will be unable to take any action based on the information you have supplied. We work closely with Enforcement Authorities around the UK, and are happy to assist them directly with any queries they may have.
The fake reviews of the Chloride Eastern clone have now been removed from yell.com.
The clone version of Chloride Eastern Limited’s website (chloride-eastern.co.uk) was registered on 3 December 2019. It was offline when REDD-Monitor wrote about the recovery room scam in March 2020. The domain registration has since been suspended.
The new website includes several red flags:
- The website (chlorideeastern.co.uk) was registered (anonymously) on 18 May 2020.
- The website included several spelling and grammatical mistakes (the spelling mistakes have since been corrected).
- The “news” button on the website just links to the Companies House website.
- The “Chloride Eastern” logo seems to have been cut and pasted from Chloride Exide’s logo – the genuine logo is on the right:
- The website asks people to report a scam via the contact form at the bottom of the website. That looks like it could be an attempt to collect contact details in order to carry out another recovery room scam.
Chloride Eastern Limited’s solicitors have reported the scammers to the Financial Conduct Authority and states, “we understand [they] are investigating the matter”. So far though, there is no mention of Chloride Eastern on the FCA website. FCA hasn’t even put out a warning about the company being cloned.
If you are contacted by anyone claiming to be from “Chloride Eastern Limited” or “Chloride Eastern Asset Management” (or any other company that claims to be able to sell the carbon credits that you were scammed into buying as an investment) please report them to Action Fraud, and the Financial Conduct Authority. Do not send the company money under any circumstances.