Beware Who’s Who Schemes

Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware

I’ve been planning on doing this post for some time, but putting it off because it involved a lot of research. 

What tipped me over the line? The other day my husband, Rob, got a solicitation from Cambridge Who’s Who.

“It is my pleasure,” the letter from Editor in Chief Jennifer A. Gonzalez begins, “to inform you that you are being considered for inclusion into [sic] the 2007/2008 Cambridge Who’s Who Among Executives and Professionals “Honors Edition” of the Registry.” 

This is a major honor, Jen explains, because the Registry will include biographies of “our country’s most accomplished professionals,” many of whom regard inclusion as “the single highest mark of achievement.” There’s an application form that Rob can fill out and send back if he’s the snail mail type, or if he’s electronically inclined he can apply online. Just in case it occurs to him to wonder whether there’s a catch, Jen hastens to reassure him: “There is no cost to be included in the Registry.” 

 Rob lives with me (and Writer Beware), so the first words out of his mouth were “This is a scam, right?” Unfortunately, many people are much less suspicious. 

There are legitimate Who’s Who publishers that curate their listings and research the people they include. While they’d love it if you bought the book, that’s not the main reason for their existence. Cambridge and its ilk, on the other hand, are all about the hard sell. 

Similar to the vanity poetry anthologizers, Who’s Who schemes lure customers by presenting themselves as a no-cost opportunity, but make their money by persuading people to buy books and/or memberships–often at costs exceeding $1,000. They claim to be selective, but in reality they harvest names just as junk mailers or spammers do, randomly and without regard to credentials–which means that their networking value, often touted to justify the enormous membership or purchase fee, is negligible. 

The bigger ones attempt to tailor their solicitations–Rob is in insurance, so he got the Executives and Professionals letter. A woman might get an invitation to the Executive and Professional Women registry. There’s a solicitation for people in education. There’s one for scientists. There’s one for healthcare professionals. Here’s an especially disgusting one targeted to people with religious affiliations. 

The Who’s Who gambit is a long-running, recognized telephone sales scheme about which there are a sizeable number of warnings. There’s a dizzying number of different Whos–many of which, I would guess, are run by the same people, though they’re pretty good at making themselves seem separate. Here are just a few examples: 

Frequently, the Whos are short-lived. Doctors’ Who’s Who (erm) and Nationwide Who’s Who are now only Internet memories, but Google either of them and, as with the rest, you’ll see people who list them as a professional credential. Ditto for Enterprise Who’s Who–which suggests one reason for the schemes’ short shelf life in the complaints it has left behind. 

Back to Cambridge Who’s Who. It’s half of a two-headed hydra made up of Cambridge Who’s Who (which previously did business as Manchester Who’s Who and Empire Who’s Who) and Metropolitan Who’s Who. Cambridge and Metropolitan do business separately, and have different websites, URL registry information, and mailing addresses. But their logo designs and their solicitation letters are identical (compare Manchester-now-Cambridge’s letter with Metropolitan’s)–as are their hard-sell telephone tactics. 

People who answer the solicitations from Cambridge and Metropolitan report very similar experiences. (These links represent a fraction of the online discussions and complaints about Cambridge in particular.) A representative of the company phones them, congratulates them on the honor of their inclusion in the registry database, and conducts a lengthy interview, with many questions about careers, professional accomplishments, etc. 

Once the victim has been softened up by this process, the phone solicitor lowers the boom. The victim–who, remember, is under the impression from the initial solicitation letter that no costs are involved–is told that there are two levels of membership–a cheaper junior membership (currently close to $800) and a more expensive lifetime membership (currently nearly $1,000). This money, the victim is assured, isn’t for inclusion in the database; it’s for access to the database–which surely they’re going to want to have, since the registry is a fantastic networking opportunity. To sweeten the deal, there are extras–gift certificates, airline ticket vouchers, a handsome award certificate, a media kit. 

If the victim expresses doubt about the cost, the solicitor says something like “You know what? Because I really don’t want you to miss out on this fabulous opportunity, I’m going to offer you a lower rate! You’ll only have to pay what a charity organization pays!” More hard sell tactics ensue. If the victim continues to resist, the solicitor hangs up on him or her–just like those magazine-sales scams where the people rudely blow you off the instant they realize you aren’t going to fall for their line of bullshit. 

I’m sure it won’t surprise anyone to learn that Cambridge and one of its predecessors, Empire, have poor records with the Better Business Bureau. Empire’s BBB report shows 57 complaints over the past 36 months, most involving (surprise, surprise) selling and refund practices. Cambridge’s BBB report shows a stunning 150 complaints over the past 36 months, again involving selling and refund practices, and also billing and credit disputes. The bulk of the complaints–123 out of 150–have been made in the past 12 months. Metropolitan’s BBB report is currently being updated. When I viewed it in February (when I first began thinking about doing this post), it cited complaint patterns similar to Cambridge’s. Some of the content of that report is reproduced by blogger T.J. at his dogscatskidslife blog. 

Another thing Cambridge and Metropolitan share: a very poor reaction to criticism. The hydra really, really doesn’t like it when people say bad things about it. When the Southern Conservative blog featured a satirical post about a solicitation letter from Metropolitan Who’s Who, a threat of legal action quickly followed from one Cyndi Jeffers of Metropolitan (she also contacted people at the blogger’s job). Blogger Shawn Olsen, whose description of his experience with Manchester Who’s Who is linked in above, is being pursued by a lawyer hired by Manchester/Cambridge, who threatens a defamation lawsuit and demands $7 million in compensatory and punitive damages. These two bloggers appear not to be the only ones who’ve experienced this kind of harassment. 

If you hear from a Who–and don’t assume it will be one of those I’ve highlighted in this post, because I wouldn’t be surprised if Cambridge, at least, were thinking it might be time for a name change–don’t hesitate. Toss the letter straight into the recycling bin. That is, unless you want to make fun of it on your blog.

UPDATE 1/11/22: As the date on this post attests, it’s been a while since I heard anything about a Who’s Who solicitation. But you should still consider it an active “beware”, because today, I received one myself:

The submission URL leads to a “dangerous web page” warning, so it didn’t seem wise to explore further, but from what I can gather, Professional Who’s Who is part of a web of Whos associated with Marquis Who’s Who, which apparently was once at least somewhat legit but in 2015 or 2016 was bought out by Worldwide Branding, the company that owns Cambridge Who’s Who (the subject of this post). Professional Who’s Who isn’t included in Marquis’ listing of its many Who variants, but the logos tell the story:

500 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for this information. I never even heard of anything like this "who's who" until I got a letter in the mail today and googled about it.

  2. Good work. Thank you for posting!!

    I got the same sales pitch-of course- and managed to google them while on the phone and found this site. Amazingly the rate went from $800-$99 in the course of our conversation.

    STAY AWAY. SCAM.

  3. Hey folks..you are correct. Scam it is..and your names are bought from a list broker.the owner is a telemarketing brain. He is trying to make cambridge look legite. What u can do is take the reply card and attatch a brick to it. They need to go to jail like global who who international

  4. I use to work in the uniondale office. I got fired for not selling enough memberships. I even have the sales pitch. I'm gonna sell it to bitmore. I hated workn there

  5. I don't want to go the personal "web" site, for fear they can trace visitors, but how are they allowed to use our names to set up "web" sites?! Isn't that infringement or identity theft or something. Also, I remember a similar scam back in HK being run by, you'll never believe this, Nigerians! They sent out "invoices" to businesses and asked for corrections to information on hand for publishing in the International Trade (Who's Who/Registry/whatever) Book. Come to think of it, Nigeria and Uniondale are not so very different.

  6. I'm so ashamed of my vanity! I got the letter inviting me to be recognized in the Cambridge Who's Who and, as many of you have pointed out, the letter said clearly, "Remember, there is no cost to be included." When "Megan" called, it was clear she knew nothing about me. Then when she talked money, I wasn't listening. That was this past Friday. The money was removed from my account before I hung up the phone. Today is Monday and I called this morning to cancel. I met with hostility and was told so much work had already been done on my behalf. They offered to refund approximately 50% and, when I said I wanted the full amount, I was told they would consult with their "compliance officer" and call me back today. I was then informed of their "no refund" policy and when I said that was never told to me, they said they would review the tape of the call on Friday. This is clearly a scam and, again, I am so ashamed I fell for it! Thank all of you for verifying my buyer's remorse feelings.

  7. I am a new business owner and received one of these cards too. I am usually pretty good about researching things that don't see right or if I question why am I getting this. Always do your research, I'm glad I did so I didn't get taken advantage of. I love the last post about returning the blank card so they pay for the postage, that's what I'm going to do! Thanks for this blog everyone!

  8. I just received one of these from Cambridge Who's Who from M. Foster, Editor in Chief. I am glad I checked it out online first, as this blog told me everything I needed to know to make the right decision!
    Thanks!
    Shawna

  9. I thank Almighty God for allowing me to know "who" I am and "whose" I am. It sure does protect one from this sort of garbage. As long as He recognized me, I could care less about the who's who of the world. hanks for the incite.
    Minister LLC

  10. Just got the letter in the mail and was very skeptical. Thanks for the great article, I had the feeling it was bogus.

  11. Appreciate this greatly. I became an apartment manager six months ago and received this letter from cambridge in the mail. Searched for it's credentials online and found this. I was also an up and coming teenage poet, lol, and pretty much recognized this for what it was. but I wanted to check for myself. thanks for saving me the hassel!

  12. Thank you thank you thank you! I just got a Cambridge Who's Who letter today. I fell for a who's who in high school, thinking it would help me get noticed by more colleges. Fortunately that only set me back $60.

  13. Thank you for this great posting! You did some excellent research. Everything that you described matched up very closely with my experience… a lengthy phone interview, an airline ticket valued up to $550, the urgency of making the decision to be included was now or never, the price of inclusion dropping from $700 to $99 when she found out I was unable to afford that much, etc. Wow, what a terrible scam, and a waste of 25 minutes of my time! My interviewer even told me that her daughter and son-in-law are also pharmacists (I just graduated from pharmacy school). Pretty ridiculous, huh?

  14. Thank you very much for all this information. 2 weeks ago I got a letter from Cambridge whos who and I responded, then I got a phone call from a girl wanting to interview me and honestly I felt special. Then she was talking about money, alot of money over $700. Till this point I was ingnorant of what was going on. I told her I couldnt pay that much money. I have a kid and Ill prefer to spend on him than on me and I told her no. Then she lowered the rate and to be honest I was very tempted but good thing Im responsible and I didnt go with it and I hang up on her. I told my husband and he told me to do research that it was probably a scam. After reading this Im sooo GLAD I didnt become their next victim. Thank you!!

  15. sadly, i found this post and all the comments too late. i'm usually an avid online researcher about this crap. unfortunately i let my guard down just this once.

    has anyone been successful in challenging the charge and/or canceling?

  16. Tray: I was fortunate in that my credit card refused the charge and had already identified this as a scam. I have read on this blog that others have had success canceling. Call them and demand that they cancel.

  17. Thanks for this post, I just received my "very exclusive" letter from Cambridge today, glad I checked it out before calling!

  18. Do what I did and fill out the
    Business reply card inside that they have to pay the return postage on. I just filled it out by writing rhe word SCAM for every entry, Name, address, city, state, etc.. They will have to pay for all the postage on every one that gets sent back. LOL!!!

  19. I just got a letter from Cambridge Who's Who today- had never heard of them but remember getting something like this in high school so I thought I would check it out online first. Glad I did. I am mailing back my response card with a "No thanks" written on it. Thanks for taking the time to let people know about this- could have been a major waste of time!

  20. I just received a come-on from Cambridge Who's Who, and I smelled a rat immediately. Thank you so much for the thoughtful post; it helped validate my suspicions.

    I sent back their ridiculous postcard with a request to be removed from their mailing list. Keep up the good work!

  21. I too received my letter. This is the second time I have been solicited. Both of those times are when I have been a home mommy. I wonder what kind of executive and professional woman that makes me? Professional mother? I may just send back the post card blank, just so they have to pay the postage.

  22. Thank you, for taking the time to warn us…. I just received a phone call from Cambridge's Who's Who.. I like others got curious and I found your blog.. Thanks for warning me ahead of time!

  23. Thank you so much! I thought it could be a scam when I received the letter in the mail so I got online to check it out. I first saw that Cambridge Who's Who is a real thing, but then 2 links later was the link to your blog. Thank you so much for taking the time to post this information.

  24. I truly wish I had found your website before I spoke to one of the agents this morning. They gave me the whole pitch on the value of networking and how beneficial this membership would be. Sure… I can't see how they possibly came up with my name unless this really is a scam. So I agreed to their $189 option (kept stating my budgetary concerns). Then after I got off the phone, I did a search on google. Why, oh why, did I ignore that little voice in the back of my mind screaming at me! I just called them back and spoke with Trisha who agreed to refund my credit card. We shall see.

  25. Yes beware. I just got off the phone with them and I gave my credit card number. After the call I googled them and found this blog. I called back immediately (within 5 minutes) and was told no refunds all sales are final due to the personalization and printing. I told her the sale has not even gone through yet and nothing is printed. The card is in authorization at my credit card company. The rep still refused to give a refund. If this is such a reputable company, don't you think they would tell me to do my research and if I was still interested to come back and be a memeber. I finally called my credit card company and told them to close out my credit card so no future charges can be applied.

  26. I just got the letter today in the mail, right away I thought it sounded 'hinky'. But it was still in the back of my mind so I googled it and there was this post! Thank you so much for shedding light on this. I'm 23 and most people my age wouldn't see anything weird about this… I just hope they google before they hand out credit card info!

  27. I don’t understand that if you receive a letter asking you if you want to be included, you willfully reply and then you are contacted to purchase something, and you are given a choice wether to purchase it or not, and the you receive exactly what you were promised how it is a scam?

    I think it’s great marketing. Isn’t that what direct marketing is all about? Just because you are swayed by the direct advertising it doesn’t make it a scam. Where would the business world be without direct marketing.

    No one is physically taking your credit card out of your pockets and charging it without your authorization, are they? …No, they are presenting you a product or service or whatever the hell it is that they do, telling you how much it is, charging you the amount they tell you and delivering the product to you. This is what I get from reading the preceding.

    Weather we like it or not the whole world of direct marketing is based on mailing lists. When you subcribe to a magazine, sign up for american express, get your discount card at the grocery store, etc. you are put on a mailing list. Do you really think that when you buy a magazine subscription for $12 – for 12 issues they are making a profit???? …No, they are selling your name hundreds of times as a subcriber to a certain magazine, which gives marketers a knowledge of what your interests are.

    Visit the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) and have a poke around. You’ll all see that these companies are great direct marketers, not scammers. I’m actually quite impressed, but folks, stop trying to destroy a business because they are great direct marketers. That is a shame.

    Take this for what it’s worth… I’m in the direct marketing industry, and thought this approach was Genius. Did I buy.. NO, but not because it’s a scam, but simply because the product didn’t fit my needs.

  28. Do you really think that making them pay $.30 is going to make a difference in their $70,000 a day business?

  29. I just received a who's who letter and was about to throw it out. Then, I went on line and read your very well written and extremely well researched piece.

    However, since you have a list of people complaining about this for two years, why are they still in business?

  30. Hey,

    I just received a letter from Cambridge, and being the person that I am (a student), I wondered what the hell earned me a "professional" mention. That and I think the worst of society and always wonder what people what from me. So I looked into this ploy on the internet and ran into your article. Thanks for the warning, you do our society a favor!

  31. Wow… Thank you for saving me the hassle of trying to recover my money. Patricia White from Cambridge Who's Who contacted me with the same amo, however, I really did not have my credit card available to give her the information, but she was very adamant about getting the information because time was running out to be included in the "registry". But luckily I am saved thanks to all of you.

  32. Hi! I was just "honored" by being accepted into the Montclair Who's Who registry. I can't find much information about that organization. Oddly enough, I have also been accepted into a Who's Who Amoung Women Executives (or something like that) and at the bottom of that note it specified it was not part of Montclair Who's Who. Hmmm Now I'm thinking they're both scammers. When I said I wouldn't spend money without consulting my Board first, I never heard back from them.

  33. Thanks for the blog. Luckily, I knew this was a scam before I received the letter in the mail from M Foster (rather than Jennifer Gonzalez) at Cambridge. I will be bringing this to the attention of everyone I know. Thanks again for acquiring as much info as you could on these scam artists.

  34. Gee, yesterday I received a call from Global Reach telling me I'd won a trip.
    Today I got my letter from Cambridge Who's Who. I must be doing something right.
    Bottom of the letter states that they are "proudly not associated or affiliated with any other Who's Who Organization or Publication." Yes, 'organization' and 'publication' are capitalized. They also have a website.
    Thanks for the warning, Victoria.

  35. Ah – I love the internet! I just got my prestigious Cambridge Who is Who interview, and was already thinking "where is the catch…". I started browsing the web while being "interviewed" by a Nancy Miller, and saw your blog, and was reading it as she was pitching. I just gave her a very friendly "no sales pitches, please", and she became more insistent. So I finally said "sorry, no sales pitches. Thank you very much." and hung up.

    I was not going to put any money into this anyhow, so there was no risk I was going to be had. However, your posting was quite ensuring about what I felt was going on. Thanks!!!

  36. Hey, "Anonymous": It's Whether, not Weather. And since no one who has written in in the last 2 years has actually received any product for the money they paid, then it doesn't qualify as direct marketing. It qualifies as a scam.

    I got my letter today – I do remember getting things like this even in high school – and while I was flattered for about 30 seconds…my BS alarms started dinging. Glad I found this site!

  37. Why don't we all do what I've done. Make up all kinds of bullshit during the interview, I even told the interviewer I was a Broadway composer, and had a PHD in physics. Kept her on the phone for 45 minutes, and told her I'll think about it and to call me tomorrow. Tomorrow, I'll find another way to waste a half hour of her time, AND get her to call me back next week. I'll just keep screwing with her till she gives up.

  38. I got one of these today and as soon as I read it I knew it was a scam. Here's why… they said its for the Executive and Professional Women Who's, but I'm not even a professional yet. I just graduated with my master's and haven't worked a professional day in my life outside of internships (which I'm sure doesn't count). How could I have any accomplishments as a professional if I'm not one till fall. Lame. Glad I Googled this and thanks for the post to warn all.

  39. thank you people who posted, i just received the letter in the mail box today and decided to get on the internet and the first listing was the word scramm, thank you taking out time to let people know what is going on, times is too short, to be going though this kind of stuff.

  40. I worked there for 3 weeks..they start you out in a weeks training. If you don't sound good they fire you. Maybe 3 people make it out of a class of 20. What u need to do is take your card and attach a brick to it. If everyone does this it will cost them a fortune.
    If u want to show them to fuck off do it! The management is all on commission so that's why they r thirsty for sales…they could give two shits who u r… U can be a moran, but if u have the cash they will publish u…I am sad to see that they winning on pushing the negative ones off of google. They have people who work there that just do positive blogs for them..what a joke this company is..

  41. Thanks so much for this! I found a letter from Cambridge Who's Who in the mail tonight and googled them and found your blog! Thanks for the warning!

  42. Thank you for the information. I, too, thought it suspicious. I just moved into the neighborhood I'm in not even a month ago and it sounded off. How could they have investigated me so quickly around here??
    I will send them their reply card BLANK so they pay for the postage.
    I wanted to verify my suspicions and you have all attested to my gut feeling.

  43. Thank you it is a wonderfull article,
    I was in vacation when I got this letter and wandering who knows me so good to have my information so clear and further more, my new address.
    At least this didn't cost me so much time and efort to clarify this
    Again THANK YOU

  44. just wanted to add to the list of women who received the 'honoary' letter from cambridge just today. so glad that i googled it and found your awesome blog about it. i guess they are still trying to bilk people out of their money. thanks for your blog. this letter is going in my recycle bin…

  45. Well, I have received a letter from them today from M. Foster, Editor in Chief" asking me to fill out information including my work and cell, address, email address and signature! Thats a lots of information to give out to strangers! What a scam! Thank you for posting previous information, was very helpful.

  46. Hmmmm…my situations a bit different. I was contacted by a group called "Who's who in North America" by a group that says is "associated with the Montclair Network".
    I went through the whole interview etc….they approved me on the phone and said a "package will be on the way". I then said "Does this cost any money or do I have to join anything?" and the woman on the phone said that there was basically a $99 annual fee, but that everything would be explained in the package I was to receive. I never gave them any credit card info or anything. Can I be scammed if I haven't given them card #s or anything? They couldn't already have such info…could they?
    Because they never asked for any money over the phone, it didn't seem to match the Cambridge scam…but in other respects it sure sounded a lot like it.

  47. Great article for your blog. I received a Cambridge Who's Who Among Executives and Professionals today. I knew right off it had to be a scam. The only things in my life at the moment that warrant the words "professional" and "executive" are I'm a professional student and the executive Dungeon Master for my Dungeons and Dragons group.

  48. They are still at it…got a letter today to my business PO Box. Mine is from Cambridge Who's Who and lists the website I'm supposed to reply to like this:
    http://www.JaneDoe12345.mycwwapp.org

    I love how they use a .org extension as if the company is a charity.

    I am in the entertainment industry, and this con reminds me SO much of the business model used by talent scams. You've probably heard radio or tv commercials: "Does your child have an outgoing personality? A Casting Agent from Disney (or Nickelodeon, or an "talent scout") will be in your city this weekend, looking for kids to be in their next project! Only the first 200 will get to audition…blah blah blah".
    When you get there, there is an audition (for someone you don't know), but there is also a pitch for acting classes or a talent competition. Pricetag: $2K – $10K. Non-refundable deposit? $1,000.

    Common threads are all there:
    –a list they buy from
    –flattery
    –make you feel "chosen"
    –an actual product (book, class, etc) although the quality is worth about .02
    –use of a charity name
    –celebrity endorsement (in this case CAMBRIDGE, but in the case of talent scams they often use D-list celebrities who are paid to lend their names).
    –statement that there is no cost, but then a pressured one-day-only sale later.

    Thanks for the blog…and btw Tara, back in 2007–I still love your tactics! Gave me a giggle.

  49. Two days ago, I was nearly had by this one! I initially confused Cambridge Who's Who with the "real" Who's Who registry (the one I was listed in when I was in High School and then in College, the one you don't have to pay anything for) or I would never have even responded to their solicitation……I finally agreed to an "introductory" membership for $99, after turning down their offer of an $1100 "Platinum" and then an $800 "Gold" lifetime membership, thinking it might actually give me some business exposure even though it was probably not worth even that amount of money. I normally never fall for any type of scam, but I felt somewhat obligated after such a lengthy interview, and gosh, Jane just sounded so sincere and nice (ha ha, I know, that's part of their M.O.). Had I not been fooled by the Who's Who moniker, I would never have gone even that far. Today, I decided even $99 was too much for what was probably a scam, or at least, a worthless "membership", and I called my credit card company and disputed the charge. American Express removed the charge immediately from my account and stated they would contact this company about canceling the charge. Fortunately, this was easy to do since it did not involve any goods having been exchanged, just a "membership"…..I will let this will be a reminder to me to be more vigilant next time! I will keep all of you posted on what happens next, because I might now be the recipient of harrassing phone calls or letters, since they have probably already mailed my "welcome packet" (which I intend to refuse and have the post office return unopened if it arrives). So, this could get interesting before it is through……I'm giving my family a heads-up to not answer any phone calls from "restricted" numbers….

  50. I cannot believe I fell for this… After feeding my ego and going through the initial "interview", then being "approved", my head must have been the size of a watermelon. The instant Sari mentioned the two membership possibilities, I grew wary. It reminded me of a "but wait, there's more!" infomercial. Every time I would mention that I would need to speak with my husband first about such an "investment", she took down the price, throwing in the free airline tickets and upgrading my membership for free. My palms got sweaty and my heart was racing as gave her my credit card information and I settled upon a trial membership of 1 year for $99, just to buy me some time until I could talk with my husband. I called back minutes later to the extension she gave me and left a message, being careful not to say anything about canceling, even though it was my full intent to do so. I waited a bit, then called customer service back and explained the situation. "Trisha" was very polite, but asked if Sari told me that all memberships are final. I said I didn't remember, so she said she would listen to the call between Sari and me and call me back. Fan-fricken-tastic. So I called back again to see what else I could do, explaining I do not want to be any part of a company who treats their clients in such a manner. She said that Trisha was still going through the call and would call me back. So, I called my credit card company and removed the pending charge. But after I was informed that the company could still charge the card again, I decided to just cancel my credit card account. No kidding. I am nauseous at the thought of how I fell for this, because -to be quite honest- this "honor" didn't ever seem to be owed to me. Lets face it… I'm not that special. All in all – this is just a very expensive ego boost. Don't fall for it. My husband may kill me 🙂

  51. a big hint to u all…..i use to work in cancellations dept…if u buy a membership, do not accept it..refuse it they must show proof of delivery…if u say u never got it…and they cant prove it u get off the hook….i know for a fact…they would get a charge back for it

  52. im so glad i found this blog…..i almost caved in to this…..they wanted 1000k for what????i can link to others just by going to the library and getting the marquis whos who….
    or thomas register. be on the look out for the shark sales technique

  53. Hey, thank you very much. I received the letter today through my in-box at work (8/18/09). I assumed it was a work related entry, but Googled the name anyway to see what was being said about them. After reading this, it is now shredded and waiting to be recycled waste.

    Thanks again!!!

  54. Hey Anonymous who can't understand why people are calling this a scam: Shame on you! Cambridge Who's Who is LYING to people about the exclusivity of their list, the reasons for inclusion, the benefits of membership – they are lying about their product. They are a scam. You didn't purchase a membership, not because it didn't "fit your needs," but because it is completely worthless. It doesn't fit anybody's needs.

  55. I was on a tour of the Egyptian Pyramids a couple years back with a very good tour guide. He warned us about the free camel rides that would be offered to us at the foot of the pyramids. You see, the camel ride is free. The pilot takes you out about a mile or so then asks for a donation to get get you back to the pyramid or even get off the stupid animal. Thanks for the blog.

  56. I was on a tour of the Egyptian Pyramids a couple years back with a very good tour guide. He warned us about the free camel rides that would be offered to us at the foot of the pyramids. You see, the camel ride is free. The pilot takes you out about a mile or so then asks for a donation to get get you back to the pyramid or even get off the stupid animal. Thanks for the blog.

  57. I just got the letter today and wondered who they were. So I opened the letter, It says I was recently appointed as a biographical candidate among Executive and Professional Women. Whatever that means, I'm a teller and a lesbo. I went on the website they give you http://www.JaneDoe.mycwwapp.org. Well i was weary of it so I looked up Cambridge Who's Who. And just so lucky to find this website. I don't even have 99 dollars to give to these people for anything. Much less waste it on anything stupid. Thank you soooo much for the site. 🙂

  58. Thank you. I was wondering about this letter I recieved today. Suposedly, I am an executive professional.! I havent even finished my college degree!! wow

  59. Ok so I just went and googled their address in Uniondale, NY. Guess what, definately not an area that a place like this should be. I typed up the full address and it was not found, duh a fake, I'm glad i did that too, alongside checking this website out. I guess they think we are all stupid and won't look up the address or check the sites. Tankyou again for your research it is a BIG help to me and all. Big smiles at you. 🙂

  60. Just go the letter today and you confirmed my thought that they made their money selling the books.

    But I was disappointed when I realized it was the

    DOCTOR who's who

    instead of the

    DOCTOR WHO's who

  61. Victoria, once again your blog helped me. I just got a letter from Cambridge Who's Who. Funny, when I achieved my National Honor Society status in high school, I was flattered and fell for a membership to Who's Who (Among American Students … or something like that); that boosted my self-esteem. Now as an adult, I am glad to be skeptical and search your blog. Thanks to your invaluable warning about Who's Who, I will continue to be "Who's Golden Leaf". THANK YOU!

  62. I received my letter informing me that my canadidacy was approved for the Registry "among Executive and Professional Women", two weeks ago. M. Foster is the Editor in Chief. I was a factory worker for 33 1/2 years until my company closed, so I knew it wasn't legit. Wondered what they meant by "Professional". They even gave a web address for me.

    Thanks for your post. Comments were very informative.

  63. Cambridge is still going strong. I received the "Interview" call and was offered the Platinum lifetime membership @ $769 ( plus a $199 deferred payment) or the Gold 5-year $569 membership (plus $199 deferred). I kept saying no…and was offered the 3-year $369 plan, the 2-year $189 plan, and finally that 1-year trial plan for $99. Good grief…normally I think playing this game is fun, but it was a drain on my time. I want those 13 minutes out of my life back!

  64. Wow! I just got a phone call from these people who gathered my information I gave them based on an ad I saw in Facebook. Luckily for me, once she started pitching a sell I Googled Cambridge Who's Who and found this blog. I never mentioned that I was reading up n the scam but rather insisted that I just had to pass on this incredible opportunity due to a pending deployment to Iraq.

    They are actually targeting men and women with combat experience in order to "properly recognize them" for their service and offered a discount on the membership. People have some nerve.

  65. Years ago I found your blog and use it as my bible for scams. You taught me to research everyhing. I received a letter from Cambridge Who's Who and thought hmmmm… maybe that could work as a professional creditial I could use. But just in case lets look to see if it's a scam online.
    BANG heres your entry. Into the shredder it went. You've saved me yet again. Thank you.
    -Mandy

  66. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! I'm not the type of person to give money to anything like this but definitely keeps my pride in tact to know this was a complete scam. And, for those of us truly on the way up it's just that much more predatory.

    What I want to know is, "Who's ultimately going to pay for this scam?" That's the who's who I'm looking for.

  67. Hey Guys,
    If anybody gets taken on this scam and gives them the credit card number. The quickest way to a refund is to tell them that you demand a FULL REFUND. (Yes you can get one.) If they say no, just let them know that your next call will be to the New York State Attorney Office for Fraud. They will try to continue telling you how great they are, but they will give you that refund. Good luck to all who have paid them.

  68. A big thank you! I was on the phone with one of the scamsters while I did a Google search to see just how legitimate the Cambridge folks were. Thankfully, your post was one of the first to pop up on Google, just as I was getting the sales pitch from Cambridge! I kindly declined to pay any money to them and hung up the phone as fast as I could!

  69. Just wanted to let you know that as of Sept. 2009, Cambridge is still alive and well and targeting new "members". Thanks so much for your post. Like others, my scam radar went off, but it was good to confirm.

  70. Thank you so much for this blog. I received a letter from the crooks (August, 2009), and contemplated sending it in. I wanted to know more about them and googled them, and I found your blog. Thank you so, so, much for preventing me from possibly getting into such a scummy contract. Thanks again……….

  71. "Old MacDonald had a farm, ee ei ee ei oh."

    "And on that farm he had a WHO, ee ei ee ei oh."

    "With a WHO WHO here and a WHO WHO there, here a WHO, there a WHO, everywhere a WHO WHO…"

  72. Just got off the phone with a scammer from CAMBRIDGE. Thank goodness we are broke as my husband just got laid off, our income has been cut in 1/2, and we have voluntarily stopped using all credit cards. God is always here to protect us. Yea. I just feel $1,000 richer right now.

  73. This is great I just got this in the mail. Cambridge Who's Who Executive and Professional Women. Looks like they are taking it a step farther.

    Being a naturally suspicious person I just goggled them and there they were and right under them was you…Thank god.

    Anyway, debating on shredding it or filling out the form and letting them talk to my 6 year old for an hour!

  74. got a "cambridge who's who registry among executive and professional women" letter today in the mail. Ha! No way

  75. Please be aware they are using a new angle on this scam. I just got a call today. They got me last year although I did not buy the book, plaque nor the lifetime membership so I got off without losing too much. But the new catch they are using is that I was selected as 1 of 10 professionals out of 400,000 people to be a VIP. I would get to be featured on the web, get a full page in the book and a free lifetime membership, oh yea and that plaque. All for the privalege of paying about $600.00.

    I had no intention of doing this again after my experience with them last year so I told her that I had to talk with my husband first that we do not make a decision to spend over a hundred dollars without talking to each other first.

    She wanted me to call him at work and I said I would do no such thing. Then she tried to pull a fast one on me by saying she needed to verify the credit card they had on file. I had closed that account so I knew I was OK but when she read it off to me I said absolutely do not charge anything on that card until I called her back. If I would have just thought she was verifying it and said yes that is the right number, the card would have been charged. She let that little tid bit slip later in the conversation when she said something about once she verifies the card it goes to another department and she has nothing to do with that. Yea right. She did agree to call me back tomorrow and I am not answering the phone!!

    For anyone who is reading this, hang up on them do not even let them start their speil. If you get the letter in the mail like my hubby did shred it!

  76. I just received a Cambridge invite, which I knew by first appearance was a scam. I'm at the bottom rung at my employer for only a year now and can only guess they obtained my name from the hosts of a "conference" I recently attended. It's the only way they could have obtained my name by purchasing the customer list from Skillpath Seminars (formerly CompuMaster).

  77. Mine came to me as an Executive or Professional, which made me laugh. They clearly got my info from a "free" magazine subscription in which I listed myself as the VP of Marketing for my own website.

  78. I worked there for a year in upgrades dept…the upgrade dept I
    f the most profit making for the. Com
    pany…u see when u get your f
    irst call after u fill out
    the application its called memberships…if u r crazy enough to pay for any of the programs u r then going to get a call 6 months later to upgrade your membership. Now all of your credit card info is still in there system…so they r very carefull what they say…it goes something like this…(it could have changed) mr …. We have your book and plaque ready…now its part of
    Your membership and the balance is 650.00
    That will be shipped out this week…we still have the credit card ending in xxx thank you and have a good day…
    That's as much as I remember….

  79. Looks like Cambridge Who's Who is at it again. I just got one today. That's September 2009 and they're hungry for victims!

  80. I just got the letter and quicky googled it. I am glad I found this post. Thanks!

  81. I am shocked they are allowed to exist at all, haven't been sued, reverse logic bombed or put in jail. I just got an annoying letter and immediately googled this.

    How in the world does this company survive these days with Facebook, twitter and google? The first think anyone does these days anyway is join linked in if they really want networking and facebook is what REAL companies are using for recruitment.

    This company is a farce and they cause me to want to spend my free time calling them making up names and then reverse harrassing them while I star *67 my phone. Except, I have a life. But it still makes me mad.

    Much thanks for the post and the blog! Its a great piece of work.

  82. Know what, good point – this post is so informative I am including it as my post of the day on Facebook to warn others I care about not to fall for this Scam!

    Best "Let the Buyer Beware" post ever!

  83. My Cambridge Who's Who letter came today after only living in Theresa, WI a month, but they stated that I was recently appointed as a biographical candidate to represent the fair city of Theresa. Needless to say, it's a scam. My letter was signed by M. Foster, Editor in Chief, 498 Rexcorp Plaza, West Tower, Uniondale NY 11556

  84. I myself got the bullshit letter over a year ago, and going through some old letters found it and considered it, but due to my skeptical nature I had to research it, and thanks to this blog I cant mail them a nice "fuck you very much letter!”

  85. I met with the people at Cambridge and listened to them laying out their business model – it was a very large but professional looking boiler room setup and people seemed to be making money there…disappointed regarding the owner's past (they bragged about him) and also about the scam you all say they are running from at least two Companies. I pointed out to them that I had been contacted by a likewise Firm in a nearby Town in 2008, and they gave me some mumbo jumbo about buying up another Company, which I picked up on as bullshit. Tempting, though – a fast talker with no qualms about the approach can bring in the bucks there…or so they said. "Who" knows — I had a feeling things weren't on the up and up when I looked at one of their Registries, filled with pathetic no names as well as accomplished people — but mostly from mundane backgrounds.

    I may start one of my own, but a bagel shop might be less risky in the long run — TGG

  86. Thanks for your information. I received one of these letters and had a little suspicion about these Cambridge Who's Who, so I decided to look it up online. I thought it was fishy how it didn't give much information on its website. Thanks so much for your help. I'm sure you've helped thousands already.

  87. I received this honored invitation today, as always, if it sounds too good to be true it is. 'Cambridge Who's Who' sounds most like an English Owl Society. Therefore, I don't give a hoot!!

  88. Thank you for doing this research! I knew this had to be a scam and was hoping to find a Blog like this one to prove it. Your efforts helped so many people and I'm sure they are all as greatful as I am.

  89. This is hilarious. Completely. Both your blog post here and including what I'm about to write.

    About 2 years ago, I started getting these annoying phone calls from the Cambridge Who's Who after I filled out the online form for them to contact me. They were persistent with reaching me for the interview. But it was annoying. So, 6 months ago I found a form to write them a note to remove me from their calling list.

    Then there was silence… they didn't call me and I figured that they got the word. Then yesterday I received a message from them in my voicemail saying to call them for an interview from Nicole Cavisinski at extension 1242. I didn't call.

    Then today, she called me and then I decided to mess with her. So, I said to her.
    (in a relaxed voice)
    "Oh, Hi Nicole… You sound so hot…, what are you wearing?"
    Instantly she hung up.

    So, I went ahead and wrote to a complaint to the FTC do not call list.

    A minute after the phone call, I get an email from them with this note:

    Thank you for taking a moment to speak with us today regarding your Cambridge Who’s Who application. As per your request, we have withdrawn your application. Should you ever be contacted by another representative, please email us immediately at withdrawal@cambridgewhoswho.com.

    Best Regards,
    Cambridge Who's Who
    516-535-1515
    info@cambridgewhoswho.com

    LOL
    So, it seems that messing with them does some good. So, I'll wait for another 6 months to see if they start calling me again.
    I hope this helps other people here.

  90. Thank-You for your time and efforts in researching and compiling this information! I was going thru some old mail before shredding and I and ran across a Cambridge letter. Expires October 13, 2009. I went to investigate but you have already done so. They are still at it.
    M. Foster is the editor in Chief now.
    You are one heck of a shovel Mrs. Strauss! keep "Digging" up hidden information!

  91. …looks like it has been awhile since people have been hit up by Cambridge Who's Who!! Just got my letter today. I was in Who's Who Among American High School Students, and since I recently finished my Bachelor's degree I thought it had something to do with something similar. When I read that it was for Executive and Professional Women, I knew it was a scam. I just got out of the Air Force…have done nothing too substantial…yet…and am currently unemployed!! HA! I showed them!!!

    hahahahahah

  92. I just recieved a call from cabridge who's who today and it was exactly as you described. The phone sleaze even brought the cost down to $99 for lil ol special me. I did not give her a penny and I did not recieve my fancy plaque. It makes me sick to think they have my name and address and the name of my place of buisness. I hope they all go to jail!

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