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Subject: Rip-offs of the genealogy community continues...

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  • marywinn@aol.com
    This was on another list; thought it might be of interest to you. Subject: Rip-offs of the genealogy community continues... Good Morning, friends and cousins
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 29, 2000
      This was on another list; thought it might be of interest to you.

      Subject: Rip-offs of the genealogy community continues...

      Good Morning, friends and cousins in the genealogy community!

      The response to the identification of the genealogy rip-off operation
      in Denver last week has been tremendous with a steady stream of
      for add'l info.

      The operation in Denver with a newly discovered "branch" in Utah is an
      incarnation of the identical scheme that Halbert's used. The same form

      letters, books and newsletters are being sold, and the same fake
      "Crests" and other products are being created "to exacting standards".

      The new incarnation has not yet been linked financially to HalbertĀ“s or

      NUMA (Halbert parent), but the resemblance is so close, they could be
      joined at the hip, operating under dba's Mountain West News Service,
      Mountain Pacific News Service, and MORPHCORP. The Better Business
      reports that the company has joined the BBB in January 2000, opened in
      1985, and is rated as satisfactory. A complete history of Halbert's,
      courtesy of Jeff Scism (despite our surname homonyms, we ain't kin ---
      he hopes!) is available at

      Volunteers interested in assisting in informing the genealogy community

      of this scam have come out of the woodwork. We would ask the
      of this email the following:
      1) A sample of the Colorado flyer is at
      Print it and post in the genealogy section at your library with
      appropriate message and make announcements at your gensoc.

      2) After you have read it, as a researcher you realize the fraud that
      is. Go to the Federal Trade Commissions website at
      https://www.ftc.gov/ftc/complaint.htm and file a complaint ONLINE. For

      a sample complaint and further detailed information to use, please go

      3) Forward this to every list you are on.

      4) If you are a member of NGS (shane@...) or FGS
      (fgs-office@...), contact those organizations and ask that they get

      members motivated. Gentech, Inc. (beau@...) has a director and

      a well-known regular conference speaker in the Denver metro. I asked
      them to do some local research. No response to date.

      5) Contact every genealogy columnist whose work you read, both local
      online such as Myra Gormley (myravg@...} or Dick Eastman
      (ROOTS@...) who was stalwart in early work on Halbert's,
      of whom, as well as others, are on this list. No response to date.

      6} If you have rec'd a flyer yourself, please report the names and
      addresses to me. We need to know all the DBAs they are using. Then
      take it to the local post office and file a complaint.

      7) If you are in the Denver area, we need search of the court house
      records to determine any corporate connections. If we can make a
      corporate connection, I am fairly sure the restraints placed on
      Halbert's can be extended by the proper authorities.

      8) If you are a supplier (software, services, researcher) to the
      genealogy community, this type of scam effects you even more.
      Contribute to the effort.

      9)This is no small time scam. Halbert's is owned by a company named
      NUMA whih in turn is owned by CENDANT. Go to
      http://itjobs.cendant.com/cendant_co.html to find other Cendant
      companies. You will NOT be happy with how you have been doing business

      with folks like this --- I promise you.

      These scams are more likely to rip off folks less involved in genealogy

      than most recipients of this msg. Most of us will recognize it for
      it is and trash it. That does not relieve us of the responsibility of

      making it more difficult for these and other parasites within our
      community to enjoy their ill-gotten gains. I have found far too many
      that "don't want to get involved", "Didn't happen on my watch." (to use

      an old Navy excuse), running from controversy and responsibility. Let
      us unite in eradicating those that are behind an obvious attempt to
      profit unethically from the popularity of genealogy.
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