How scammers clone one of the UK’s biggest companies with ease

The Company’s complete lack of verification checks is proving an open target for fraudsters who continue to target savers.

Johnathan Pach of marketing agency Nxt Generation

The multi-billion pound company behind Captain Morgan rum is the latest to fall victim to corporate piracy, in a scam that defames the Company.

A newly formed company called Diageo Partners Limited appears to be masquerading as genuine Diageo, with brands including Smirnoff vodka, Johnnie Walker whiskey, Gordon gin and Guinness.

The scam began with emails purporting to be from Martin Lewis Money Saving Expert, recommending an investment in Diageo, earning interest up to 3.5% on bonds that are said to come with a guarantee. protection of the Financial Services Compensation Program.

But messages from, no connection with Money saver or genuine Diageo.

According to Company Companies, Diageo Partners Ltd was established last October with one director, Adem Bessim, 36 years old.

But Company House does not verify the information the companies submit, so I know the real Adem Bessim, like the real Diageo, has nothing to do with this spoof.

I know that Diageo Partners has registered a fake office address.

It claims to be based in a building in Westerham, Kent, run by office leasing company Black Eagle Estates.

“They’re not in our office, we don’t know anything about them other than we get their mail,” Black Eagle Estates told me.

The website prides itself on being “a reputable whiskey and wine investment company” but its contact page has a contact number 0800 which cannot be reached and my emails go there. is answered.

Email from Diageo Partner used the Money Saver Specialist brand above and genuine Diageo PLC image, below

I got a response from its marketing partner, Nxt Generation, run by 38-year-old Johnathan Pach.

Nxt Generation is taking credit, if that’s the right word, for helping Diageo Partners attract investors by developing the website and social media pages and sending out marketing emails.

“With a solid 4-month investment lead generation drive, we are proud to announce that our client has achieved over £420,000 in corporate revenue,” Nxt Generation boasts in the research section. case studies on its website.

“I couldn’t be happier,” writes Adem Bessim on Trustpilot.

Mr. Pach told me: “We can confirm that Diageo Partners Ltd is our client and that the services outlined in the case study on our website were provided.

“However, the £420,000 figure is unfounded.

“This is a number that Diageo Partners mentioned once, but we see no evidence that this has ever been achieved.”

This does not explain why Nxt Generation claims £420,000 earnings as fact on its website.

I asked Mr. Pach if he had any concerns about Diageo Partners referring to themselves as real Diageo, and he replied: “We are in the business of digital creation and while doing it. do promotional campaigns on behalf of clients, we believe it will customers to make sure their business does what they tell us. Personally I know brands like Johnnie Walker and Guinness, but before I Googled ‘Diageo PLC’ I didn’t know that Diageo PLC was the owner. “

And what about marketing emails using the Money Saver and the Diageo PLC brand?

“The email inbox is completely under the control of Diageo Partners,” he said.

“We have no right to access, control or monitor it. Our work ends after this inbox receives the lead we generate. ”

As for describing Diageo Partners as a reputable wine and whiskey company (with company “e”), his rationale was: “This was a request from our client. This is what we were told in our meeting with Diageo Partners. This is what we are instructed to promote. ”

He added that Nxt Generation is no longer working with the company and: “Nxt Generation is not engaged in prospecting, soliciting or providing any investment opportunities.”

A video on the Diageo Partners website with embedded phone number 0208 is different from the phone number on the directory page. Financial Regulatory Authority alert about the number in January, saying it was being used by scammers to clone financial giant Wells Fargo Securities International.

And yesterday The watchdog published another warning, saying that the same number was connected to a copy of the Chase bank.

Another recently established clone company is UK Aberdeen Asset Management Ltd, which was incorporated on 4 January.

Aberdeen Asset Management actually merged with Standard Life and has now rebranded itself as abrdn – a stupid name, but that doesn’t mean they deserve to be pirated like this.

The newly formed company has a single director who has submitted to the Company a mailing address in Jiangsu province, China.

A spokesperson for abrdn said: “We are aware of this particular clone company and we have consulted the Financial Conduct Authority and filed a formal application with the Company Name Court.”

This court takes a minimum of three months to issue a ruling – longer if there are objections. During that time the impostor can make hay.

Thrift expert and fraud campaigner Mark Taber says a reshuffle of the Company is needed.

“Criminals are setting up companies that impersonate well-known and well-known financial firms to go unpunished.

“In many cases, the identities of innocent members of the public are used as directors. The House Company does not perform any screening, testing or verification and states that they are not capable of doing so.

“Corporate House Reform backed by proper funding for implementation cannot come anytime soon.” How scammers clone one of the UK's biggest companies with ease

Fry Electronics Team

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