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The web for me is a hobby where standards and best practices are daily bread. Security is a concern that everybody must be aware of its details for IT in general, and the web in particular, to be a safer place. My life, on the other hand, is that of a regular Lebanese citizen where politics and social issues are discussed on a daily basis. I hope you enjoy reading my blog and make sure to drop me a comment about any topic you find interesting.

Emerald Who's Who is a Scam

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victor | 28 October, 2008 18:01

I am writing this article in here so that everyone else out there can be aware of this SCAM and FRAUDULENT company named Emerald Who's Who. These people are very professional at their SCAM business to the extent that you will feel very stuck in their deal. I was almost caught yesterday except for this small silly mistake that they did and got my defensive mechanisms up.

If you are intereseted in this story, click to read more. If you are not intereseted in the details, simply be aware of anybody calling you over your phone from a company named Emerald Who's Who.

My story with this is short and simple. A long time ago (around 6 months ago), I received an email from Emerald Who's Who informing me that I have been referred to them by experts in my domain as one of the credible people in my field. As such, they are inviting me to become listed as part of their Who's Who. I visited their scam website and, to my surprise, it looked like a normal one with some listings of other members on it (some of them being well known in my region). The website uses SSL encryption verified by Verisign so these people must be doing some real business (although not completely verified). I felt safe about it so I completed the form (a very long one) and submitted it.

Six months after that (literally six months), I recieved a call during a business meeting that I had. The man on the other hand of the line was very business oriented and used terms that caused me to feel really special. I know I am special in one way or another but I just did not know that Louis Gerstner was my next possible competitor ;)

He asked me many questions related to the way I conceive my business, what I think makes NetDesignPlus a special web development company, as well as many other questions that made him look really interested in preparing a mini-bio about me.

So far, I was the rat in the trap. I was thinking about all the possible ways to make use of this connection to the maximum extent possible. The guy moved forward to add that in addition to being listed, I can make use of some optional premium services in return for money. These services include being published in many forms (online, catalogs, journals, etc.) as well as a selective service that allows me to use their services to select potential customers from their database of professionals, etc.

The interview lasted around 20 minutes during which I completely believed this guy. Then, the BIG mistake was done when he started becoming pushy towards my credit card. I tried being polite with this extremely polite person by telling him that I will review his proposal (which he promised to send by email) and then, I will proceed and register for the package that I choose.

At this point, he started becoming more and more pushy (he must be this way since the rat is starting to vision the trap now) by offering me packages for lower prices and trying to get my credit card number over the phone. I explicitly mentioned to him that I cannot give my credit card number to anyone (isn't this what my bank told me when I got it?). How about giving it over the phone to some person calling himself Jerry Aguire (yup, Aguire and not Maguire). At this point, he said that he has an alternative solution for me where he can send me the proposal while he is over the phone and then, I can check it while he is on the phone with me and decide whether I want to buy or not while he is on the phone with me. I asked why I cannot get some time. He said that they have thousands of requests that they need to consider (poor them) and cannot go back and forth on a single application. At this point, I realized the scam and decided to have some fun (by increasing his phone bill as much as I can). So I told him that I have my credit card ready (and got him to wait for me to get it). Then I spent another 20 minutes trying to get as much information as possible about him (I got his phone number that surely nobody answers) and I tried recording his voice on my mobile phone (didn't work since the call was already in progress).

Finally, I really got tired of this so I told him that I will try to do my best to get back to him within the 24 hours period that he agreed on (I thought they cannot go back and forth on applications).

In brief, this guy is a real genius. The approach that he uses during his phone call simply traps you. You must be very aggressive to succeed in escaping his offers and proposals.

I hope this article helps some people out there escape this type of scams.

The links below are for you to read more about other people who went through the same story:

Related Articles:


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Re: Emerald Who's Who is REAL!

Victor | 23/01/2011, 19:27


Thank you Georges for your post. Please note, though, that given the fact that you have tried their service does not mean that the phone call that I received was legitimate.

You mentioned the name of Dan Emerald. In my case, the person who called me was Jerry Aguire.

Also, the phone numbers listed on the website back then did not lead anywhere (I don't know if they do now).

In all cases, even if we agree that Emerald Who's Who is real, it is still fraudulent and a scam to have the selling approach that happened with me.

How can you be sure that the person calling you is really from Emerald Who's Who even if it is real?

If Jerry Aguire really works for Emerald Who's Who and they do follow this selling approach, then this for sure is a BIG problem. If Jerry Aguire does not work for them and someone else called me pretending to be them, then this is a BIGGER problem.

Thank you again for your post.

Emerald Who's Who is REAL!

Georges Abi-Aad | 23/01/2011, 10:40

Thx Victor and all others for sharing this. I read your posts with great attention and was surprised by its terms.
While I can understand your frustration, I found your comments a bit harsh and irrelevant. You could have simply declined the offer if you are not ineterested.
Please allow me to share with you my experience with Emerald Who's Who. I am a loyal member since 2006. I was contacted and took the time to listen and to discuss.
It is not true that all what is about is money!

As a matter of fact, I gave them all the information to be listed FREE as a normal member. I used their network and was very happy from the qualilty of contacts that I had trough them. With no finacial obligation at all! Since then, I upgraded my member ship and was able to take full advantage of their professional network.

From the very beginning, Dan Emerald was very attentive to my needs, answered my questions and he is very personable.

Trust me, there is real people behind it and they will help you reach your professional goals.

It is working for me, and I am sure you will get the best of their services.

I can confidently recommend Emarld Who's Who as experts in their fields.

@Thanassi Kolonaki:
Try it! You will never get lost in the shuffle like such a much larger corporation.

Georges Abi-Aad

Re: Emeralds Who's Who

Victor | 27/11/2010, 19:36


I can't believe that this SCAM is still alive and trying to catch people! I have reported this to the hosting company more than 3 times already and the website is still up.

Anybody interested in joining me to sue this company?

2010 and they are still around

Karen Stephenson | 18/04/2010, 13:37

Thanks for this blog about Emerald. It's April 2010 now and you posted this 1 1/2 years ago. Something smelled when I opened that email this morning so I did my research. Considering the time frame between your issue with them and me getting the email this morning, they have only a page rank of 2 with Google. Although they are on page 1 in a search, is #1 when your search Emerald! Anyway, thanks for the heads up - more proof that if it is too good to be true - then it's a scam! FYI - I am in Canada.

I received the 1st email today!

KJE | 04/03/2010, 18:58

THIS IS A SCAM!!! BEWARE, some how the email got through my very secure email spam system at work. I knew immediately something was up because I do not even have a college education yet and I am working as an AMERICORPS VISTA volunteer. I am not established at all in this field and was very happy when I thought to google it and see all of this! Thank you.

Emerald who's who

C | 04/03/2010, 17:42

I am a teacher and they tried to get me; luckily, I did not even fill out the form. Had never heard of them, so I "googled" and found this site. Excellent reporting!


L. | 04/03/2010, 16:15

Thanks for the info. I just got one solicitations this morning and I immediately started researching. You have confirmed what I suspected.

Who the fock is who

Andrew | 03/03/2010, 20:12

hit me 5mins ago - London UK

Re: Emerald Who's Who is a Scam

Ann | 22/02/2010, 08:31

nice post!

Re: Anyone actually buy?

victor | 12/02/2010, 12:24



No need to try to buy when someone insists on not allowing you to authenticate his request. Try calling the phone numbers that they have listed on their website and you will get a good idea about it.

Let me try to simplify things here:
In terms of security best practices, no company is allowed to get your Credit Card number in full. In some states within the USA, this is allowed but you are given a FAX number to send it and you have a Non-Disclosure Agreement put in place between you and the company. In this case, and this case only, you can give out your credit card number not because you trust these people, but because you have a signed agreement to protect you.

The way this person approached me in terms of financial payment was very awkward and very fraudulent.

In other words, even if this company is legitimate and this guy is legitimate, their working process and approach is fraudulent and, thus, nobody should be paying to these guys.

Imagine you trusting me and giving me your credit card number? Will you give it to me without authenticating me first and signing legal agreements for me to protect your information?

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