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It looks like our old friends at Commercial Register are up to their tricks again, once again pursuing people with the threat of court action unless they pay up. But this time, they’ve changed the scam by pretending to be a debt collecting firm.

We’ve received a call this week from a lovely business owner in the North East of England who has been hounded over the past weeks by a firm called C.C. COMMERCIAL CONDUCT SOLUTIONS LTD, claiming to be debt collectors working on behalf of English Commercial Register.

Now, we all know about Commercial Register (or DIRECT PUBLISHER S.L.U.) and the scam they have been running for many years. I covered it back in 2017 in some detail on this blog and at that time they were trying to pursue their debts through their own ‘Legal Department’ (also known as the person at the next desk). We asked back then for anyone who refused to pay and was subsequently taken to court over this debt, to contact us and we would write it up. After all, there are two sides to every story and if, it transpired, this is legitimate, then we would advise everyone to settle their bills as the contract would have been deemed to be lawful.

To date, we have heard nothing from any of the original people who we spoke to about this matter. Feel free to draw your own conclusions.

Recently, however, the business owner mentioned above gave me a call and told me that this story had taken a new twist. Apparently, they are now being chased for the debt by a company called C.C. COMMERCIAL CONDUCT SOLUTIONS LTD, based in Cyprus who are apparently collecting the debts owed to the English Commercial Register.

The story our business owner had been told is that Commercial Register had gone bump and C.C Commercial had bought the debt, so were legitimately chasing all outstanding payments. Of course, he was told to pay up immediately, which he refused to do.

And rightly so.

There are a significant number of issues with this approach and I thought it would be worth investigating, in case other people are also receiving these threatening letters.

First of all, with regards to the outstanding debt, there is a question mark over the legitimacy of collection if the original issuer has ceased trading. Notwithstanding the fact that the debt in question is hotly disputed and, as we advised in 2017, nothing more than a scam, the fact that they might have bought the debt does not mean they can harass you for payment.

If it were a legitimate business debt, it is possible for a Company such as C.C. COMMERCIAL CONDUCT SOLUTIONS LTD to purchase the ‘debt book’ of another company and pursue it for settlement. This, of course, presumes the debts are real in the first place. And as this is a scam to start with, they are not.

Then, it would need the business chasing the debt to be legitimate themselves, so are C.C. COMMERCIAL CONDUCT SOLUTIONS LTD really a legitimate debt collection business?

Well, the company does appear on Cyprus Companies House as company number C403265 and is an active company, but it was only registered a year ago on 21st October 2019. There is only one person listed as both Secretary and Director and that is Christina Karapinna Michail.

On another website, there is one address listed as Kosta Ourani, 5, PETOUSSIS COURT, Floor 5, 3085, Lemesos, Cyprus, which appears to be a generic registered company address, as there are lots of companies listed here and the main recurring one is an accountant.

The ever-helpful Dun & Bradstreet website however tells us that they made $225,716 in sales (USD) in their first year of trading.

Not bad for a scam.

Further investigations show that they were previously trying to collect invoices for the discredited, and now defunct Germany company, DAD GmbH, which was involved in a scam of sending invoices for the European Business Number (EBN) and then chasing hard to collect the supposed owed funds. But this was years before their incorporation in Cyprus, so it seems they have been moving the offices and registration around Europe to try and hide their tracks.

DAD GmbH even tried taking people to court for the debts but the German courts rejected all claims of DAD GmbH because the contracts were essentially worthless, and the company was found guilty of fraud by a Landgericht court in Hamburg.

Unfortunately, that was in 2008 but twelve years on and the debt collection scam is still running.

So, if C.C. COMMERCIAL CONDUCT SOLUTIONS LTD are a legitimately registered and trading business, what about the debts they are collecting?

Well, as we said, they have been called out for trying to collect fake debts on behalf of DAD Gmbh, but what about the Commercial Register and all its other names?

The start point for this is the website, and from my 2017 article, we established that com-reg.com had disappeared and in its place comm-reg.com had appeared. Now, as we write this article in 2020, comm-reg.com has disappeared, but when you go to the earlier domain it redirects to fr-comreg.com, a site entirely in French, though with the option to translate to English.

It seems, therefore, that our original website is still alive, and despite their ducking and diving it is still apparently owned by the same people as it was in 2017.

If therefore, you are being chased for a debt it is worth checking the paperwork that pertains to your order. Which website did you actually sign to be on? If you are based in the UK it’s unlikely it was a site entirely in French, on a .fr subdomain. With a little bit of experimenting, we also find there is an http://uk-comreg.com/, and lo and behold, our original com-reg.com website is back in business.

Not immediately visible on that page, but hidden in the code, is a phone number +34 917 728 032 which is the contact number for Direct Publisher S.L.U. A quick Google search on that brings up a hornet’s nest of other websites they own and operate including;

http://www.fairs-business.com/

http://www.regitaliano.com/

https://www.fr-rc.com/

http://www.com-reg.org/

These sites all run what is essentially the same scam, except it is localised to different countries across Europe.

The most interesting part however is in the code on the view-source:http://uk-comreg.com/ website, which when you look at it includes the following;

<script type=”application/ld+json”>{“@context”:”http://schema.org”,”@type”:”WebSite”,”@id”:”http:/www.ca-comreg.com”,”url”:”http://www.ca-comreg.com/”,”name”:”Commercial Register”,”image”:”http://www.ca-comreg.com/icos/logo1.png”,”alternateName”:”ca-comreg”,”author”:{“@type”:”Organization”,”name”:”CC Solutions”},”copyrightHolder”:{“@type”:”Organization”,”name”:”CC Solutions”},”description”:[{“@value”:”Commercial Register Canada connect easily with businesses, professionals and commerces near you.”,”@language”:”en”},{“@value”:”Commercial Registe Canada. Retrouvez facilement les contacts d’enterprises, professionnels et commerces proches de chez vous.”,”@language”:”fr”}]}

Amazing. So, the company holding the copyright to the Commercial Register websites is none other than CC Solutions. Even the footer says “2020 Commercial Register – CC Solutions Ltd

Coincidence? I think not.

It seems that Commercial Register and all their aliases are intrinsically linked with CC Solutions and Commercial Register Canada is yet another of Direct Publisher S.L.U’s scams, as evidenced back in 2017 by the Gloopa website.

So, back to our collection friends in Cyprus. Can this business, supposedly chasing the old debt book of Commercial Register (or Direct Publisher), really collect those debts?

No. They have no authority, the whole system is a scam and as we have just established, C.C. COMMERCIAL CONDUCT SOLUTIONS LTD and DIRECT PUBLISHER S.L.U. are one and the same. They are pretending to be debt collectors to give legitimacy to their extortion racket.

And digging through the C.C. COMMERCIAL CONDUCT SOLUTIONS LTD website turns up some fabulous clues to their illegitimacy.

There is a wonderful claim on their home page which says;

“Being a company which strives due to its reputation, C.C. COMMERCIAL CONDUCT SOLUTIONS LTD is confident in saying that our Clients would certainly recommend our services to others”

If we unpick that mangled English, let’s start by examining their ‘clients’ claims and check the testimonials immediately below.

C.C. COMMERCIAL CONDUCT SOLUTIONS LTD

First up we have ‘Tasha Morgan’ who is apparently a Partner, though it doesn’t specify in what. When we search Google for her image it turns out that Tasha appears prominently on a number of websites, including Pexels where she’s available as a free download.

This, apparently, is Tasha Morgan. Or is it??
This, apparently, is Tasha Morgan. Or is it??

In short, Tasha is a stock photograph. What a surprise. I wonder what we will find for the others…..

Robert Wilson is up next and he’s supposed to be a CEO, but unsurprisingly he’s available on Fotomeila as another free download.

Then, we come to Flora Nelson, who we are told is a ‘happy client’ but I’m concerned that Flora is nothing of the sort.

Flora is, in fact, a free download on Phxere, described as “The free high-resolution photo of work, person, woman, asian, brunette, portrait, office, fashion, professional, business, lifestyle, hairstyle, smiling, face, eye, head, skin, adult, friendly, femal, business woman”

Finally, we look at George Hennin, who is a Director and is apparently happy as “We have been using C.C. COMMERCIAL CONDUCT SOLUTIONS LTD outsourcing services for over a year now and are very pleased….”

The trouble is that George is also a stock photo and appears prominently for a Dentist in Las Vegas (who also does Botox in case you are interested) as well as appearing in a YouTube video suggesting the McDonalds fries can cure baldness.

George Henin promotes Fries, Hair Loss and Debt Collection. Amazing...
George Henin promotes Fries, Hair Loss and Debt Collection. Amazing…

So, all their testimonials have stock photos, and every one has made up names against them. I’ll leave you to decide whether you think what they are supposed to have said is legitimate.

Just as an aside here, when you search Google for these supposed ‘testimonials’ it turns up another four websites C.C. COMMERCIAL CONDUCT SOLUTIONS LTD own;

https://ccsolutions.hu/

https://ibcmcy.com/

http://claims-mgt.com/about-us/index.html

https://ibcmltd.com/

All of these websites have the same people with the same images giving the same testimonials. And all are under two years old.

There seems to be a pattern emerging here….

The Google search also turns up a German Legal Firm who on their website asserts that they have been successful in helping clients fight off claims from the European Business Number directory, also being handled by C.C.Commercial Conduct Solutions. They say;

“Defence of the claims of CC Commercial Conduct Solutions Ltd.

These claims can be fended off. If CC Commercial Conduct Solutions Ltd. also claims payment from you, we will be happy to assist you.”

It seems that they believe that there is no basis in law for them to pursue anyone for this debt.

The summary, therefore, appears to be that this is an elaborate scam requiring no more than a handful of domain names with websites, some simple email software that allows them to repeatedly threaten innocent businesses.

To answer the question we posed at the top of the article, if you are chased for money, just don’t pay.

We called this out as a scam in February 2017 and said then that you should not pay. We reiterated the advice later that year and now, again in 2020 we offer the same opinion.

If you are chased for money by C.C. COMMERCIAL CONDUCT SOLUTIONS LTD, for a debt owed supposedly to Direct Publisher S.L.U. for an entry into any kind of Business Register, DO NOT PAY!

The business owner mentioned earlier in this article has reported their attempts to Citizens Advice, Action Fraud, and latterly to their MP.

There is advice on this and other scams on the Government website, just follow the link here.

If you are struggling with these people chasing you for money and making menacing demands, please contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau and Action Fraud, and please feel free to leave a comment below, but whatever you do, don’t give them any money.

This article was written by
12th November 2020

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