3:30pm, June 9 — Tuesday. I received a mobile phone call from a certain person named Ford (+63917-832-6677), saying: “Sir, you are referred by Ms. Shirley dela Cruz, one of the members of my team. I am from a US-based marketing company and we are expanding here in the Philippines.”
Shirley is indeed a former colleague in my previous employer so I taught she might have really recommended me for this so I accepted the conversation when he asked me if it is okay to conduct a brief talk at that moment.
It was a hefty three- to five-minute conversation. He asked if we could meet up on Friday at 6:30pm, and the details would be sent over a text message. At the end of the conversation, I can clearly recall when he said, “Sir, you sound very professional. Are you the type of person who cancels an appointment at the last minute?” I definitely said no.
As if the guy was in a hurry to cut the conversation short so he could send the details on text, I was unable to ask for the name of the company. Immediately after hanging the phone, I sent a text message, asking him for the information.
15 minutes passed. To no avail, I put my “research mode” in progress. As I typed 26th Floor Tra on the Google search engine, a small box appeared which indicated “26th floor Travalgar Plaza.” To my amazement, I had a gut feeling that this is already a scam or perhaps a sort of it.
I browsed through blogs, fora, and sites which actually bewared readers on this incident. Some (and there are a lot of them available, just use 26th floor trafalgar plaza as your search keywords) are as follows:
By the way, Ford replied late (more than 30 minutes since I asked for the name of the company) with “Synergy 1 Ventures.” I sent a text message, stating: “If this is related to NuSkin (as a part of Pharmanex), please consider me out of the meeting on Friday.” To which Ford replied an hour later, “Ok, I understand. Thank you and God bless.”
In light of trying to justify the other side, I have reached Shirley through text, asking her if this is a scam or not (since Ford claimed that she is a member of his team), and she confirmed that she works part-time at Pharmanex, stating: “Di noh (Of course not)?! What do you think of me, engot (moron)? Iba ang opinion sa facts, Xy (opinion is different from facts, Xy). Pumunta ka, tignan mo muna bago ka mag-decide (Meet with him first before you decide). Wala namang mawawala sa iyo (there’s nothing to lose).”
NOTICE: Though I have no direct claim of being scammed by Ford or his group, I have decided not to push the meeting through as far as my Google search is concerned. I am not, in any way, confirming that this is actually a scam. I have posted this article to inform readers about this incident — that someone might call you regarding this matter. And if you, by chance, are able to meet with this group, kindly leave your comment.
This is Xy, breaking the silence.
Pharmanex logo is broken from here.
Originally posted 09 June 2009.