By Chris Lang
REDD-Monitor recently received an email with the subject “Another VER scam site…” The email stated,
I thought it would be a good idea to let you know (in case you’ve not already come across it) about Carbon Credit Registry: https://www.carboncreditregistry.co.uk. They are doing the old ‘reformatting’ trick.
Carbon Credit Registry claims to be able to “reformat” voluntary carbon credits as European Emission Allowances. Carbon Credit Registry cannot “reformat” carbon credits. But if they could that would mean that people who have been scammed into buying carbon credits as investments have a mechanism to sell their worthless (or non-existent) carbon credits. No such mechanism exists.
Carbon Credit Registry asks for advance fee of between £1 and £7 per credit, “to initiate the reformatting process”. The company promises that a few weeks later the reformatted carbon credits would be sold for about £25. And Carbon Credit Registry promises that the advance fee will be repaid within three working days after the European Emission Allowances are sold.
It goes without saying that this is a ridiculously obvious scam. Anyone handing over the advance fee will never see it again. Here are the red flags:
Carbon Credit Registry isn’t (as far as I am aware) directly cold calling people who were scammed into buying carbon credits as investments. Instead, scammers are cold calling claiming to be from other companies, such as Charles Dickens, or W.J.Tatem, or Chloride Eastern. The scammers explain that the victims of the carbon credit scam should contact Carbon Credit Registry, who will “reformat” and sell the credits.
In September 2020, the real W.J.Tatem set up a website with a simple message:
In March 2020, I contacted Chloride Eastern Limited’s accounting firm to tell them Chloride Eastern had been cloned, and to let them know about the post on REDD-Monitor. They replied, “The police are aware and investigating.” Almost six months later the scam is still in full flow.
At the top of Carbon Credit Registry’s website is a “Scam Alert”. It’s a clever bit of reverse psychology. Why would a scam website warn vistors to the website of a scam? Here’s the Carbon Credit Registry “Scam Alert”:
We have recently become aware of persons purporting to be from ‘The Carbon Credit Registry’ who have created links to our Companies House public accounts in order to mislead potential investors into thinking that these persons are associated with us. Please be aware that these individuals DO NOT represent The Carbon Credit Registry (Company number 04925493) and have no connection to The Carbon Credit Registry, or its employees. Their actions have been reported.
The company number that Carbon Credit Registry mentions in its “Scam Alert” belongs to a company registered at Companies House under the name Carbon Registry Services Limited. The company was incorporated in October 2003. Carbon Registry Services operates under the name CarbonOps and provides software to utilities and carbon trading companies. A history side bar on the company’s website runs up to 2009, and the most recent entry on the website’s news page is dated 5 March 2010. While the company still exists, and files accounts with Companies House each year, it’s safe to say that the company has not been particularly active for several years.
Carbon Registry Services Limited is not the same name as Carbon Credit Registry Limited. And it’s not the same company.
Near the bottom of the Carbon Credit Registry website are three logos: CBIV; European Environment Agency; and Verified Carbon Standard. I’ve written to the European Environment Agency and the Verified Carbon Standard (Verra) to let them know that their names and logos are being used on a scam website.
CBIV stands for Carbon Bond International Verification. It’s a strange choice of company if the aim is to reassure potential victims. CBIV’s website explains that,
CBIV is a Carbon Credit and Carbon Offsets Verification Site for Carbon Credits to be Independently Verified. For CDM Projects around The World to buy Verified Carbon Credit and Carbon Offsets.
At the bottom of the CBIV.center website is a copyright notice: “© 2019 Patrick Krijnen. All rights reserved.” Patrick Krijnen is a 22-year founder and online marketer at DigitalCreativeDesign, a sales marketing specialist at a two-way radio company called Netwerk Radio, and chief technology officer at a US company called Marshall Energy.
DigitalCreativeDesign developed Marshall Energy’s website. The company’s flagship product is a mobile power station, M4P2, that according to the company’s website “can generate 100 times more electricity per litre of bio fuel than any other fuel-based generators”. Michael Marshall, the founder of the company, has been working on this for the past 31 years. In 2009, Marshall Energy’s mobile power generation system was patented in the US.
In January 2020, REDD-Monitor received the an email from Patrick Krijnen:
Im am a holder of voluntary (VER’s) Carbon Credit Offset Bonds. There are two questions. One, for the company Marshall Energy INC am I the Vice President Of Carbon listing and posting. From out of this function I would like to know if the bonds can be certified and listed on Carbon Funds. This same question is on personal base, but the company is from the US and I’m a European. Those bonds are dept securities. They each hold 10.000 tons of CO2. Im currently searching for a party that can help me with the listing, certification and so on. The bond are created by patented technology that has a emissions test from the National Grid. The patented technology is producing renewable and clean energy within the Kyoto protocol. I would like to know if you can help and in what way? Of course this includes any additional cost.
I didn’t reply when I received Krijnen’s email. I have now written to Krijnen to see whether he is aware that the CBIV logo is on Carbon Credit Registry’s scam website.
If you are contacted by “Charles Dickens”, “W.J.Tatem”, “Chloride Eastern”, “Carbon Credit Registry” (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.