Cold Call Alert: Cohen Stones 02030066551

Nuisance Calls IconToday’s unsolicited cold call comes from a firm looking to help us invest in the diamond market, for a result of 8% to 15% on our investment. Here’s the details:

Caller:Robert Oliver

Calling from: 0203 006 6551

Representing company: Cohen Stones -(cohenstones.com)

Details of the call:

The caller, from a busy call centre, seemed interested in the level of investment that we have with our ISAs, and letting us know that Cohen Stones is showing “a result of 8% to 15%”, apparently, whilst our ISA is losing money to inflation.

The poor caller worked very hard, despite a nagging cough, and read very well from his script whilst we looked him up online.

We’ve been trained to do a quick check on any company offering investment advice to see if they are regulated by the Financial Services Authority. We checked “Cohen Stones”, but they’re not on the list. We queried this with the caller, to be told the following:

“We did work alongside the FSA. We was working alongside James Fredericks, they are an FSA-regulated company. We now work alongside our in-house solicitors who are Laker Goodwin and Partners Ltd, and they are a regulating body that are governed by the Government, and that’s who people’s money goes to when they invest”

Mr Oliver went on: They source their diamonds from a mine in Australia, called the Argo mine, apparently the biggest producer of coloured diamonds in the world. At the end of 2013, the mine is due to close down, because the owners of the Argo mine, Rio Tinto are changing the mine from a pit mine to a tunnel mine.Whatever that means. It’ll take ten years, apparently, which will make their diamonds more valuable, so the caller told us.

The script continues:

“If you invest £5000, you’re always going to have that £5000. The reason this is true is that the governing body called the GIA. They are the Gemological Institute of America, and they valuate the diamond at its true market value” – We can get some “solid diversification into our portfolio”. Saucy.

Should we decide to invest – our diamond would be house in “a facility house in Geneva” (cost of £150 a year) – or we can have it sent to our home address.

They’re sending us a brochure, to help us understand how this will “give us a serious return and make some serious money”. We watch with bated breath.

The caller confirmed that as they are covered by two governing bodies, the Gemological Institute of America and Laker Goodwin – We were told that “that’s two regulating bodies that we work alongside for ultimate protection”. From our Googling, that’s a non-profit diamond laboratory in the USA, and a small accountancy firm in Essex. Not exactly the UK Government or the FSA…

Who is Cohen Stones?

To see how long they’ve been in business, we looked online.

  • A check on Companies House shows them as forming in December 2012
  • A check on their web domain shows that the address was created with 1 & 1 Internet by Charlie Sewell in South East London using a hotmail address in December 2012

They get a mention on WhoCallsMe.com as a possible scammer

 

Had a call from Cohen Stones Ltd? Please add a comment below.[Our Ref: LS100725]

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14 thoughts on “Cold Call Alert: Cohen Stones 02030066551

  1. We, James Fredericks Ltd did for a short time operate payment services for the wholesaler to Cohen who were an FX client of ours, however we have stopped doing so this year. They never ‘worked alongside the FSA’ whatever that means and were certainly never offered any protection by us or indeed any FCA (previously FSA) compensation scheme. They are not a regulated business, diamonds are not a regulated product, I am unsure as to why thy would claim to be.

  2. Thanks for the confirmation Richard. The bits in quotes are word-for-word from our call transcript. It did seem to be a rather odd call, and a lot of the claims didn’t make a lot of sense.

    Your firm’s name does appear to be included in their sales script, so might be worth keeping an eye out, just in case you feel they’re misrepresenting your firm.

  3. We Laker Goodwin & Partners Ltd offer a money laundering service for Cohen Stones checking the identity of clients that are looking to invest in diamonds. We do not offer any protection under any governing body to them and as such they should not of mentioned my firms name in this way. They are not a regulated business and diamonds are not a regulated product, I will be speaking with the directors of Cohen Stones Ltd on Monday morning!

    Regards
    Neil Laker
    Director
    Laker Goodwin & Partners Ltd

  4. My Parents(one nearing and one in there 70s) have been getting up to 6 calls a day from this number , although they are registered with the TPS which makes it illegal for this company to call and they continually ask to removed from there companys database they still persist to harrass.

    Complaint being sent through TPS this evening any other advice would be appreciated to stop this company causing distressnn1

  5. I have recently been getting calls from sales persons supposedly from Cohen Stone several from Anthony Hunter on 02030029921 and a Daniel Scott today, most calls during the day I’ve been at work, but they call again at night. I received a brochure from cohen stone and more calls offering at least 8% interest and also mentioned Laker Goodwin & Partners Ltd as security, I’ve told them I am not interested but the calls keep coming.

  6. If you do get scammed, in my case for a massive sum of money ,the G.I.A. certificate sent is a copy and the original probably refers to a stone that you did not and will not purchase. The GIA does not put values on the certificates, it gives the physical characteristics of a diamond, carat weight ,cut, colour clarity.This is a so-called complex fraud, involving several companies and impressive documentation re the purchase and storage of the fictitious stones. The company receiving the transfer of money in my case was James Fredericks Ltd,they are also a company less than 12 months old in Essex.The money went to their central London account.Anthony Hunter is very active at the call centre and several others are calling/taking calls for Cohen Stones,this call centre is used by over 25000 companies.I have related most of what I know to Action Fraud, who then passed it on to the National Fraud Investigation Bureau in London, but they have not been back in contact after 2 months.It takes a number of reported cases to get resources put into the fraud

  7. Well from what I have just read, it looks like I’ve been scammed of my savings?! I did much research was contacted July 2013 by a James White.have been trying to get in contact with company for 3 weeks and have now written. Never thought this would happen to me feel awful.

  8. Venture Life have been trying to sell me Diamond from Argyle mine in Australia, or so they say. I asked them who owns diamond. They told me GIA and that they are agents for GIA. I know both statements are not correct. GIA do not sell or buy diamonds and do not have agents. The diamond contract note gives James Frederick Ltd as payment to, with a Natwest Bank PLC account. James Fredericks appear to be very unlucky with some of their customers. Somebody needs to talk to them about this.

  9. Hi John (Fogel)

    Thanks for your comments, Venture are not a customer of ours, they are a client of one of our overseas clients who are a Diamond wholesaler which may explain why we are mentioned on their paperwork, we undertake FX for the wholesaler

    We do not have any contract with Venture, or act on their behalf or anything else so if there contract note suggests this it needs revising.

    For your information you are correct in that the statements they made are incorrect, GIA are just one grading and certifying entitity, we will be making our client aware of this as it could reflect badly.

    Kind regards

  10. I had a call from Cohen Stones last May and they emailed the brochure. They said they were in Hatton Garden but weren’t listed on the Hatton Garden website, nor on 192.com. I told them that diamonds as an investment were not for me and I forwarded the brochure to the police.

  11. I have been scammed and I want to know the names of the Cohen stone directors,they surely have possessions that could be sold to pay for the fraud. Together we can fight these people. There are also more people continuing to call me and I am positive they are scammers.
    I have given action fraud all I know but still they do not want to action it

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