An open letter to “National Locations” about your scam

Dear ………….. hmm what can I put here

You see I can’t use the word “Sir” as you are not.   I can’t imagine you are any kind of gentleman at all actually so even using Mr is hard for me.   And you didn’t sign the letter you wrote to my grandmother back in March.   The footer of your letter says that the Principal is G Fryer.   So we did a Google search for your company and the results were  a little worrying as “G Fryer” is linked to being jailed for a pyramid fraud in the US.

So, Mr Fryer, let me just bring my readers up to date with a bit of background about how we have come to be involved with you.

You made an offer on my grandmother’s property that had been up for sale for some time.  The background to this property is complicated but let’s just say that funds from the sale of a house that had been in the family for generations went into the purchase of this flat.   Bought in recognition of my granny’s care of her mother whom she had given up her job in London to go and care for.   So this isn’t some rich family selling off an investment property.   This is my granny’s home and she feels she is looking after the investment not just for her ancestors but future generations, ie her great grandchildren.

So you put this offer to us via the estate agent, along with the caveat that there was no negotiation and the offer would be on the table for seven days and then, if not accepted, withdrawn.    Excellent, we all thought, as granny was now living nearer to us in the south of England, fingers crossed, we might not have to worry about this property being empty through another winter.   Paying one gas bill as a pensioner is hard enough, let alone having to pay two.   To see an end to that would be a relief.

We accepted your offer and solicitor’s details were duly exchanged.   You then had my grandmother’s new address and wrote to her directly, not via the solicitor, with the following statement which I will quote so that you don’t accuse me of taking anything out of context:

“To confirm your acceptance and enable us to initiate legal enquiries, liaise with your appointed solicitors, sanction a draft sale contract (pursuant to conditions overleaf) and undertake a survey, we require, to safeguard administration costs in the event of your withdrawal prior to our specified completion date, a processing fee in the sum of £395 by cheque or money order payable to National Locations, sent together with a copy of this letter, which will be refunded in full by our solicitors at completion.”

Now my granny is 83 and lives alone.   Albeit, with her daughter and son in law (my parents) and myself not living very far away at all.   My granny has lived alone for 40 years and survived the Germans so she is incredibly independent.  Want a finger buffet for 50 people or a set of curtains made or a new outfit for Friday?  My granny can do that for you in the blink of an eye.

So when your letter arrived she thought “better deal with that” and wrote you a cheque.  As you clearly expect your unsuspecting victims to do.  And then filed it away, not wanting to hold up the sale.

Granny mentioned this letter in passing, simply saying “oh I had a letter about the sale, they wanted an administration fee so I have paid it”.   Alarm bells rang immediately and my parents asked for a copy.

Having read it we then called the estate agent to ask what they knew about your company.   It is then that we discovered you had never even viewed the property but instead “… completion will take place simultaneously with our proposed third party buyer” according to your letter.

Wait a minute.   How do you propose to sell something you don’t own? To somebody who also hasn’t seen it?

There is nothing in your letter saying what the penalty will be if you (I am underlining it to make the same point you make in your letter) pull out of the sale.    Interesting.   Purchasers pull out far more regularly than vendors in my experience, particularly when the top of the chain is sealed.  In fact there is no chain so this sale could  not have been more simple.

So let’s discuss what has happened since you received that cheque.    Oh, wait we cannot discuss it because you haven’t done anything, have you?   Have you had the survey done you mention?

No.

You have done nothing and it is now the middle of June.   You made your offer in February.   Does that not strike you as slightly odd?   I am sure people reading this will find that slightly puzzling.    Does your “proposed third party buyer” not want to start measuring up?  Is there not a chain elsewhere that is all dependent on your “proposed third party buyer” moving?    Gosh, lots of patient people out there happy to sit around and wait for you to pull your finger out, aren’t there Mr Fryer?

So if we pull out now because you are doing sod all (I don’t normally swear in business letters but then you aren’t really a business are you?  You are a con artist) we lose the £395.   But we have lost it, haven’t we?

There isn’t going to be a survey is there?  There is no third party buyer.   There is going to be no sale.   The only reason you offered was so that you could fraudulently obtain £395.  You had no intention of finding another buyer.  You had no intention of doing anything other than sending out this letter.

It’s just a big scam, isn’t it?  Its a huge fraud, praying on people who might not know how to buy and sell houses and who are trusting and honest and don’t see that this doesn’t sound quite right.

That Google search I mentioned up there was quite enlightening.   You have “form” going back a number of years it would seem.

Have you seen this?:   http://blogs.mirror.co.uk/investigations/2008/07/dodgy-housebuying-outfit-capit.html  or even this which is far more recent:  http://www.estateagenttoday.co.uk/news_features/Watch-out-theres-a-conman-about
There is a whole thread about your company on Moneysavingexpert.com :  http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=3068338

All these articles seem to say the same thing.   You are a fraudster.  A  scammer.  A  conman.   Not words that I would use usually without some kind of disclaimer such as “in my opinion / appears to be / allegedly “.

It is clever, I grant you.   You see I have taken it to the police.  But at the moment they cannot act on a couple of articles on the internet and our “hunch”.   Trading Standards might be able to though.   Yes, I had a word with them too and they are having a chat with colleagues in Bolton as that is close to where you claim to be based.

You have stolen, and yes, I believe you have stolen, £395 from my granny.  That is more than my granny spends on food in 10 weeks.   The press if full of how the elderly are struggling to cope financially and yet that doesn’t seem to bother you.   And that makes me very very angry.   My parents are none too happy either.   Granny blames herself for “being stupid”.   Which makes me even more angry with you.    She is far from stupid.  Far far from stupid.

I am no stranger to county courts in my business capacity.  I have got possession of many a landlord’s property and evicted many a tenant in arrears who has threatened me because they think it is me that has just made them homeless.   They don’t scare me and nor do you.

I am sure you can find something in here to threaten me with libel over.   Come on, let’s go on a date to Aldershot County Court.   As defendant I get to choose the court and I choose that one.  I know quite a few of the circuit judges there.

I would love to hear your side of all this.   To deny that this is a scam.   That I have got the wrong end of the stick.   I would also like to know how you sleep at night.

How do you get up every morning going to work knowing that what you do is con people out of money?

Feel free to answer my questions.   Feel free to contact me via this blog.    I would look forward to hearing how I couldn’t be further from the truth.

Except I am not, am I?  You don’t even know the meaning of the word.

It’s all about karma Mr Fryer.  Karma / what goes around, comes around.   Whatever you want to call it.   And one day.  Just one day you are going to pick on the wrong person.  Maybe that day is today.   Who knows where this blog post might end up thanks to Twitter.  It might not end anywhere.   But at least I have written it, I have put it out there.  I am not hiding behind a PO Box like you.

But I am damned if you are going to get away with this.   This is about more than my granny’s £395.   This is about what is right and what is wrong.   And about every other person you have scammed in the last however many years you have been doing this.

So I am opening the door, want to have a chat Mr Fryer?  Oh and feel free to bring the £395 but cash would be good, I won’t trust a cheque.

Yours most sincerely (yes I really mean all of this, I sincerely would love to discuss this with you)

MummyBarrow

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  • yes! totally agree with ALL of the above. And a disgrace how people target the old. I have to watch my mum (85) like a hawk, we have had to get solicitors involved to get back large sums of money from companies selling chairs that broke just outside the 14 day approval period (and the price of the solicitor’s letter..that’s another scam…) cancel all sorts of payment insurances, identify fraud insurances. The list is endless. I am over 200 miles away, so it is luck rather than judgement if she mentions another one, and I can untangle it.

    grrrrrrrrr

  • Fryer, Fryer, Pants On Fire!
    What a scumbag!
    I really feel for your nan, but please tell her, she’s in no way stupid, she just trusted, what appears to be, a liar and a thief! It happens! But it shouldn’t!
    Hope he gets his comeuppance, and you all get to see it!

  • cynical exploitation of the vulnerable -sickening. Good luck with this, I hope you get the best possible outcome.

  • What a despicable man praying on the old & vunerable – let’s hope he gets his come uppance sooner rather than later.

  • Well, you have lifted the rock, I wonder if the woodlouse will crawl out into the light!
    You hit the right tone; how does he sleep at night, and you are right that he will get his just desserts in the end. Let’s hope it is now………………………..

  • What a terrible thing to do. My in laws have lost money to people like this. Let’s hope that the police and or trading standards get hold of him and soon.

  • What a terrible thing to happen. My inlaws have lost money to people like this. Let’s hope the police or trading standards get him and get him soon.

  • Hi. This is appalling. With your permission I would like to tweet this to 40 reputable property professionals to ask for a £10 donation each in order to reimburse your mother.
    Please let me know if you are okay with this and to work out the payment mechanics.

    • Shaun

      I don’t know what to say. The thoughtfulness of random strangers never ceases to amaze me. You are wonderful man. This was never really about the money for my family, well it was, it’s a lot of money, but it was about stopping it happening to somebody else. Mr Fryer may well have been stopped in his tracks, though it may only be temporary. He was charged and found guilty with defrauding a management company in Bolton last week, a trial that started, coincidentally on the day i posted my blog. He is to be charged next month. Who knows if he will go to prison, or if it will stop him doing this. His arrogance is such that I suspect he may carry on.

      If you would like to tweet this to other property professionals, by all means do. Raising awareness would be great. I am not sure I can accept your generosity of the offer of donations though. I am sure my granny would be blown away and actually probably find it very difficult to comprehend that people she had never met would want to help her in this way. Its hard to understand blogs and twitter when you are in your eighties!!

      If some of your colleagues would like to make a donation then I am sure my granny would be overwhelmed but please don’t feel you have to do that. As I said, it isn’t about the money now, it’s about trying to change legislation so that somebody with a criminal record for fraud cannot operate a similar business.

      My twitter name, as I am sure you are aware, is @mummybarrow.

      Once again, Shaun. Thank you so much for showing such kindness.