Thursday, May 11, 2006

Gee Wiz, I'm a Candidate for Who's Who?

I find it quite surprising that someone would choose this moment to honor me "based on a candidate's current position, and usually with information obtained from researched executive and professional listings." You see, although I've been busy pitching ideas to venture capitalists and blogging prolifically, I haven't had an actual paying job since November 2005. Perhaps if this were "Who's Who Among the Unemployed", or "Who's Who on their Spouse's Shit List" than I might be a better fit.

Anyway, these things make me laugh. I hope you enjoy it too. The shocking part is that thousands of people will actually respond and pay money for a book just because their name is listed. Now, that gives me an entrepeneurial idea. Send me $10 and your bio and I'll post it at withoutApurpose in a new section titled "Who's Who Among People Willing to Give Me $10."

Dear Candidate:

You were recently appointed as a biographical candidate to represent your industry in the Madison Who's Who Among Executives and Professionals, and for inclusion into the upcoming 2006-2007 "Honors Edition" of the registry. We are pleased to inform you that on May 4th, your candidacy was approved. Your confirmation for inclusion will be effective within five business days, pending our receipt of the enclosed application.

The Office of the Managing Director appoints individuals based on a candidate's current position, and usually with information obtained from researched executive and professional listings. The director thinks you may make an interesting biographical subject, as individual achievement is what Madison Who's Who is all about. Upon final confirmation you will be listed among thousands of accomplished individuals in the Madison Who's Who Registry. There is no cost to be included.

We do require additional information to complete the selection process and kindly ask that you access this form on our website at:

Or you can manually enter this address into your web browser:

To ensure your biographical data is received in time, please complete the online form above as soon as possible. Our editorial deadline is quickly approaching. I urge you to act today. If you delay, I cannot guarantee the committee will have ample time to review your submission.


Matthew Johnson
Managing Director

Madison Who's Who is not associated or affiliated with Marquis Who's Who or any other Who's Who.

Madison Who's Who, Inc.. 4-35 27th Ave., Long Island City, NY 11102 USA

I hope there not holding the presses waiting for my entry.


Blogger The Continental Op said...

I wonder if "Matthew Johnson", the "Managing Director" for "Madison's Who's Who" is related to those Nigerian Barristers who keep sending me those tempting offers to help out with lucrative estate settlements?

10:25 PM  
Blogger johnson said...

Believe it or not, I accepted the offer a few month ago and I signed-up for their listing. To my surprise, a couple of weeks later, I got a strong lead looking to do business with me. No not a nigerian scam, a true opportunity. Since then I closed 2 real estate deals that I wouldn't have had otherwise.

Trust me I was very skeptical at first, but now, I will make to be listed all the time because thay also have an online bulletion board and a members search.

7:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Online networking can't hurt. If it doesn't help, it can't really hurt you to have your business name exposed to many other, just in case. I for one would try it.

7:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am actually a member of Madison Who's Who and find your comments to be inaccurate. I am a real estate professional that uses the network of professionals to grow my client base. Over the past 2 years Madison Who's Who has led to the sale of four properties and numerous contacts. The additional exposure has helped my business grow.

12:26 PM  
Anonymous Sands said...

I just got off the phone with a guy at the Madison Who's Who who tried to cold sell me a lifetime membership, then, when I turned it down, 5 year, 2 years, then pulled a 1 year membership, only saved for non-profits, out of his butt. I'm an entrepreneur but I don't suppose I'm any more successful than my peers. Their sales position is to raise you up by telling you they know how awesome you are. It makes it difficult to turn down. The positive blogs about it here are anonymous so we have no way to judge if they're real or not. Perhaps a blogger with an identity can stand up in MWW's behalf.

11:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually worked for this company. I'm still trying to get my last paycheck from them. WARNING:DO NOT IN ANY WAY DO BUSINESS WITH THESE SONS OF BITCHES. I've had many employers and these are hands down the worst. Every other word I want to use is a strong curse but I won't. They will put anyone in their listings who has money, such as a goldfish with a checking account.

12:54 PM  
Anonymous Hugh Jeffner said...

Yea I know this is old but I found it from a google search on this subject. Check out this similar scam:

And a discussion here:


9:34 AM  
Anonymous Adam said...

You have to love the internet; I just received the same letter and this thread was extremely helpful in reinforcing my intuition to hit the delete button. Perhaps if you are in sales, this is a useful tool to identify easily flattered people. Other than that, I'll wait until I get the call from Late Night or the New York Times :-)

1:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Neal,

I love your entrepreneurial idea, and I would be honored to be listed on your site with a brief bio. Oh, and by the way, my check for $10 is in the mail... ;^)

7:50 AM  
Blogger foggy window said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:28 PM  
Blogger foggy window said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:31 PM  
Blogger foggy window said...

I've received this email as well and it's been reported as fraud to the FDIC; all should do the same. I can tell you by the bad grammar alone that the positive feedback listed here is entirely false and truth be told can be connected to people affiliated with this scam.

8:32 PM  
Anonymous Shmuel Shimshoni said...

Actually, My Email included an invitation for inclusion in this presyeigious listing, but why? I'm a retiree for ten years already and don't intend seeking any earthshaking business deals out of it. so If i'm listed it will just be a projection of some ego on my part, especially as I'm supposed to tell all about myself.
If a sponsor would have told about me, that would be a different story, and even a surprise. But, then again, Why me? Then again whatever ican i add to what I have on my website besides my SS and phone numbers?

9:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a candidate too! Imagine me, a 49 year old, and I might say not a bad looking one at that, with no formal training beyond high school. Maybe they saw my picture somewhere? Idiots..

1:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a little miffed that I received my email only now, and here it is already September.
Sadly, people do put quite a bit of stock in these lists. Yes, it'll help your sales, because people are easily impressed. They're looking for something, anything, that confirms you're a "good guy."
Upon receiving the email today, I set forth to try to discover on the 'Net any legitimacy for this company. I found some impressive resumes that included Madison's Who's Who among many others. This indicates they are free with their cash, at least. I listed them as prospects for my next entrepreneurial effort.
You would think that Madison could at least manage to purchase some real live stationery and a bulk mail permit.

11:48 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

I received a call after responding to an email from this "company". The sales person offered me a one year subscription for $699. I explained to him that I would like to research the company before commiting but he continued to hard sell me, reduced the amount to be included in the upcoming issue, and just continued to talk even though I told him I would not proceed with any subscription to their service until researching the company. I finally just hung up because he wouldn't stop talking. I immediately recieved a call back, both calls were from a restricted number by the way, and he left me a message stating I was an inconsiderate "Hump". Wonderful company I'd say. Corwards and cheats more likely.

8:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They will sell a membership to anyone who is willing to pay for it. Matthew Johnson is a phony name to go along with the fake promises of networking. They will never answer a specific question. Ask them for exact numbers, where or how they found, who nominated you, or a real person that can vouch for them. THIS IS NOT THE WAY TO NETWORK!

5:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They will sell this membership to anyone who is willing to pay for it. They simple buy email lists and send it to anyone who will respond. Ask them a specific question about how they found your name. What business or professional listing, what trade journal or magazine?

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Matthew Johnson is the Managing Director of a publishing company, that lists executives and professionals worldwide, then why are their so many grammatical mistakes in his four sentence response???

5:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


5:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go to Google, type in New York State Dept of Business, look up Madison Who's Who
Matthew Johnson = Matthew Schwartz
They even lie about their names!

5:30 PM  
Anonymous steve said...

I recieved the same offer today through e-mail.
I`m no one special so i`m glad i found this web page that explains so much.
i sent an e-mail back asking where they got my info from and about what...until i recieve a reply they can go suck on it.

5:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i received a who"s who and decided to check out this email. I don't know how they got information on me and how they think i'm important. I suppose my email addresses is easy enough to get but I learn along time ago not to give out too much personal information it comes back to bite you in the behind. Thanks to all you folks that give info on these kinds of scams. One has to be so careful. Internet lets lots more people in to your life rather good or bad. It important for folks doing email to watch each others back. Cheers to the folks who keep the spam folks from achieving their goals. Thanks

6:03 PM  
Anonymous Don said...

I got the email.I responded to it just for a kick.Afterwards I was called by a guy that wouldnt shut up,answer anything,or stop trying to sell me something.He went from $700 down to $49.After that I wasn't impressed anymore.I await to see if my name really is in their magazine.But there was no way I was going to buy anything from them.

2:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do we report this and other such scams to the FDIC?

10:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hahahahahahah,,,,,,,too funny

6:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been receiving letters and e-mails from this company for years. Thanks to this blog, I've blocked their address from my mail server! I just love running my own mail server. :D

7:37 AM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

I also received the E-mail and I was unemployed for a year when it happened.I had been in school for that year and turned them down on the scam. I did however get a great job at the beginning of November and I spoke to the employer about the nomination.It helped land me a Great Job. I would not use the service but thanks for picking me.

10:57 AM  
Anonymous Chris Koch said...

Ridiculous, eh?

My current bent is to promote the ideas of Daniel Quinn and others... ideas that effectively call for a total change in the way humans perceive their relationship to the planet and would probably result a complete overhaul (if not dismantling) of the society that I am allegedly contributing to. A contribution to be sure, but not one that I expect they would consider noteworthy!

Unless of course they are referring to my accomplishments on the job, where I begrudgingly work from 9-5 as a peon data janitor for a major corporation.

I sent them the following in an email:

"Hey, that's great... thanks a lot.

Why don't you tell me about the "individual accomplishments and contributions" that won me the nomination, and I'll give you the info you need!"

1:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Rebecca...I am confused! After mentioning this Madison Who's Who scam during your interview process, your perspective employer was so wowed by your nomination that they hired you or more impressed you were able to see the most obvious scam in history?

9:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But this CAN'T be a scam... I got the same letter and I've MORE than met their requirements:

1.) I have a checking account.
2.) My ego is bigger than my checking account balance.
3.) I breath oxygen and walk upright.
4.) Perhaps most important: I have opposable thumbs. I'm a NATURAL for this honor!

I can't wait to get on that list. Why, I'll bet this helps me lower the price on that bridge I'm closing on next week up in NYC. Getting a hell of a deal on that.

Boy you guys just don't know when you've got it good.

Well, I've gotta run. You know what they say about "a fool and his money..." Gotta stop by my lawyer's office and sign the separation papers.

Big Chief Ltd (Not affiliated with anyone with an IQ above 12).czzykt

2:53 PM  
Anonymous Shirley Girl said...

I just watched 20/20's expose on Nigerian scammers, then sat down at my computer only to get the same invite. I think the only requirement to become a Candidate for Madison's Who's Who is to have a pulse.

3:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey this guy is a MADISON WHOS WHO member!!! A company no one ever heard of generates $20 Billion in revenue & a mind blowing and astonishing $100 TRILLION IN ASSETS!!!

That means he has more money then everyone in the world combined, and a $100 for every star in the sky!!!

2:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What can I say, I am a retired teacher and I also was con into this deal. I am very upset about this because individuals like these should be stopped. Everything they say is a lie and they never tell you that your a "VIP" member at the cost of $408.95. That is true deception, and they know it. They are no higher than the " Nigerian Barristers" who keep sending me and many others of those tempting deals with lucrative settlements. Please be aware of this, it will cost you lots of money and heartache.


2:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

About Madison. I write this just in case someone ends up reading this before agreeing on a membership with the company. I did, in August last year, after not thinking long enough and not studying properly. I do not debate on their value or trifling existence. My message is not about that.
What I wish to let you know is that the company, Madison Who’s Who, Inc., once they have learned your credit card id, begins to present unauthorized and prohibited transactions, reuses your cardholder identification from your former transaction, and thus engages in inappropriate activity. Every two months I have a new 208USD transaction charged from my credit card. They do not respond to complaints. They do not answer. They claim that the invoices are valid and just were missing from the original etc. No warning, no contact, suddenly you just get a copy of an invoice and see a line in your credit card account. I have made a written complaint to MasterCard via my card issuer. My view is that they should not process transactions or complete financial settlements for the company.
Yes, I will leave this anonymously. But you might find me by reading my profile on their pages where, in the end, I claim the service to be scam. Interesting to see how long it stays there.

9:28 AM  
Blogger Skunkfeathers said...

I received this 'nomination' email from MWW three weeks ago; I was apparently 'nominated' for my fauxbusiness listing I use when fencing with Nigerian email scammers! Believing that many such things are dubious at best when received unsolicited online, I filled the application out and emailed it back. Three weeks later, I got a phone call from someone purporting to represent MWW who asked me additional questions about "your professional position, company, and business goals", which I had to improv on the fly. I was adjudged "very professional and goal-oriented" by the interviewer, and advised I was "in" the next edition.

With a membership purchase, of course. Which turned into the old "hard sell", 'til I finally convinced them I had to discuss this with my "business associates" (aka, my pet rock). The rep said she'd call me back in an hour, and I took the time to change my voice mail for her call.

No call back...tells me all I need to know ;)

6:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately Capitalo One, and I suppose other credit card companies, are party to this scam. Once I signed up there was no way Capital One would reverse the charges on my card account, although I answered all the reasons for reversing it. When I called Capitol One to cancel my credit card,I was verbally abused and threatened that I would never be able to get another credit card etc,although I had paid the card off a month previously and owed them nothing, and had burned my credit card!

8:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was my second notice of candidacy in the Madison Who's Who Among Executives and Professionals, in five years.
The strange thing about it is that the email address they sent it to this time is my "junk" email address.

Their email says "The Office of the Managing Director appoints individuals based on a candidate's current
position, and usually with information obtained from researched executive and professional
listings. The director thinks you may make an interesting biographical subject, as individual
achievement is what Madison Who's Who is all about. Upon final confirmation you will be listed
among thousands of accomplished individuals in the Madison Who's Who Registry."

This junk email address you use when you go to a site for a free offer. The one you give out for some other reason, which you don't want to use your real email address. The made up profile that I used with this email address, was that I was a 35 year old, unemployed, high school drop out. You would be surprised how quickly and for how long that email address gets passed on. I only used it about a dozen times (FIVE YEARS AGO).

It just shows how well researched the “Madison Who's Who Among Executives and Professionals” prospects are.

4:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh boy, I can't wait to get my MWW wall plaque! *roll*

Thanks for the above posts revealing this obvious scam.

12:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is awesome. i got the message and immediately went to and then found this! i love all this stuff.

2:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got this email too. I'm a 21 year old African with no money, let alone bank account, so really how can I be a who (who's who?-please!)? I'm a nobody. The email looks stupid, and they believe WE are stupid enough to respond.

8:03 AM  
Blogger Paleophilosopher said...

I just received this email (a year after your post) and I was glad you had this thread up to advise me that this thing is a crock - although I could have guessed that by their choice of me for their list!

3:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha Ha Ha !!! What a crock ! I never heard of this "Honor" ...and I bet if you send them any money you'll nvener hear from them again .

2:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't it odd that I, who hasn't had a job since 1997 would be nominated for a Who's Who among Executives? I was once an Executive by payroll category but certainly not by job description. What a vanity scam! I only hope it isn't a foot in the door to identity theft.

9:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow!! thanks for posting this! I have received the same invitation,with the "honors" invite. I too have been off work for 2 years due to a back injury that happened @ work. Well it was a nice thought while it lasted!

Thanks misplaced yankee.

9:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

matthew johnson is matthew they ran my credit card for $700 when i clearly told them i didnt want the membership.. i reported them to my attorney who assures me eventually he will wind up in jail like the rest of the scammers..just a matter of time!!!!!!! may the schwartz be with all of you who have gotten scammed

5:25 PM  
Anonymous B.M.D. said...

Damn, I wish I would have seen this before, I too got screwed, I signed up about a year ago, and without realizing, I have had 4 separate charges of different denominations issued to my account. Yeah I was called for additional services but I never accepted them they already had my credit card info. The amounts were relatively minimal so I really did not realize I was getting hit. Based on the information here, and what I found out about them on other sites, these guys should be shut down immediately. I also found another site, called Presidential Who's Who while doing my research, the addresses are so close together, I would not be surprised if they are opening another one to scam some more innocent people. I have my attorneys working to settle this with the credit card companies. Complete Fraud.

Oh BTW, they also claimed that they were affiliated with all other Who's Whos when I was initially sold, that is a total lie. I can't believe I fell for that one....I also can’t believe they can get away with this?

Just plain pissed!

8:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just got this thing today, and decided to check it out before responding! I'm a nurse, have nothing to do with a business venture! Thanks to all who have been here to warn me!

6:25 PM  
Anonymous gail said...

I got the same notice. Funny, I haven't been employed for almost a year. And then I was a bill collector. Not much I could gain from being listed. Nice try guys....

7:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah I have been nominated or whatever for this "honor", but I have never had a job in my life . . . I haven't even graduated high school . . . there's no way they found me through business contacts since I have none

7:45 PM  
Anonymous Fred said...

Our office just received a fax today from the "Presidential Who's Who" (I haven't heard of this one yet) saying that my boss has been nominated. In the last year we have received at least 2 other "nominations" from other quack directories. These guys should be treated exactly the same way the Nigerian scambusters do their reverse baiting methods. Simply get them to waste as much of their time as possible chasing a payment from a potential victim... er... "nominee" until they finally give up and realize they have just been reverse-baited.

Happy baiting everyone!

4:23 PM  
Blogger Lora said...

Oh I know that you guys must be joking about all of this! They told me that I was nominated from one of my piers and that I was going to get a lovely 8x10 form that I can hang on my wall to display proudly my involvment with Madison's Who's Who! They also said that they were going to send me their official logo so I can put it on my resume. Sounds legit to me :)

Ok, seriously though his company is CRAZY! They called me this morning too...and kept coming down on her price until finally I just hung up because they would not shut up. DUH!

2:44 PM  
Anonymous donna said...

Thank you for the heads up on this website, I almost fell for it had it not been for you site. Kudos for having the forsight to realize that others might get suckered. Thank you!!

1:31 PM  
Anonymous clint jones said...

To paraphrase a well known biblical phrase –
“What shall it profit a nation if it gain the world and loose its soul”?
Just what is a soul? The best that I can accept is that it is one’s values. Values are what determine our actions and they come from experience and understanding of what life is all about.
Values are what we leave behind when we finish our lives. They are what define us. Values are not just physical tangibles; they are rules by which we live.
Good values result in good actions and they leave nothing but satisfaction and true happiness.
Those who have not found their soul have no direction in life. They are lost and have no purpose. They are users, not creators. They contribute nothing of value to life. They are the miserable ones who are living a life sentence of little or no hope.
Recently I proposed a new pledge to the Constitution which many have approved of.
Others reject it as blasphemous. That is their prerogative. Yet the truth is we repeat a pledge which was created to sell flags, not to the glory of our nation.
I claim no reward for my offering. The Constitution is more valuable to me than a piece of colored clothe which, being honorable in its own right, still is not the most significant symbol of a once great nation which has lost much of its luster due the abandonment of the Constitution to which we all truly owe our lives and prosperity.
Clint Jones

4:36 AM  
Anonymous clint jones said...

To paraphrase a well known biblical phrase –
“What shall it profit a nation if it gain the world and loose its soul”?
Just what is a soul? The best that I can accept is that it is one’s values. Values are what determine our actions and they come from experience and understanding of what life is all about.
Values are what we leave behind when we finish our lives. They are what define us. Values are not just physical tangibles; they are rules by which we live.
Good values result in good actions and they leave nothing but satisfaction and true happiness.
Those who have not found their soul have no direction in life. They are lost and have no purpose. They are users, not creators. They contribute nothing of value to life. They are the miserable ones who are living a life sentence of little or no hope.
Recently I proposed a new pledge to the Constitution which many have approved of.
Others reject it as blasphemous. That is their prerogative. Yet the truth is we repeat a pledge which was created to sell flags, not to the glory of our nation.
I claim no reward for my offering. The Constitution is more valuable to me than a piece of colored clothe which, being honorable in its own right, still is not the most significant symbol of a once great nation which has lost much of its luster due the abandonment of the Constitution to which we all truly owe our lives and prosperity.
Clint Jones

4:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The post by the poster Johnson who said he uses it and got a strong lead must be an employee or another scammer. Report them to your attorney general.

11:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Recently I interviewed @ Madinson Who's Who. They are located @ 30-01 Northern Blvd. Queens, NY 2nd floor. I currently work for a similar company, (not the same sale but a similar concept, litigation funding...) and I know the signs of a bu11zhit company... Madison Who's who reacted of it. Nice office, in a totally craptastic area of town, the age demographic in the office was 18-26 years old. The pay is $300 a week + %15 commission on each sale, sales range from roughly $60 - $1200. They advertise on in the NYC area and claim that you can make anywhere from 75k-150k in your first year, (no freaking way you could make that much there). Anyway... I digress, I am honestly really pissed that I took the day off from work to go to this sales pitch, (you can spot a company like this by the fact that when you go to interview for them they try to sell you more than you try to sell them), Madison Who's Who is a list of people gullible to fork over their credit card numbers to eastern European mafioso looking types (seriously, I saw the boss, he looked like an extra in A Night at the Roxbury).

11:36 PM  
Anonymous lhs said...

I received the same Madison e-mail, and knew it was a scam. However, I replied just to wait for the phone call so I could screw with them.

So, I received the call and let him go through his entire "pre-sales" pitch about how great it was to be listed in Madison Who's Who (which I had NEVER heard of until I received the bulk e-mail). All of the "perks" I would get, like airline tickets, a "wall plaque", networking opportunities, etc.

Then, after he thought I was good and buttered up, he decided to go into his real sales pitch, which included a lifetime membership @ $978 or a 5-year @ 778. I told him I wanted to think about it and couldn't spend over $500 w/o consulting my husband. He continued to lower the price...yada yada...until he reached a 1-year membership deeply discounted to $59 (b/c he was meeting me half way).

After I told him I still needed to think about it and he realized I wasn't buying his bull, another person got on the phone and told me that this wasn't the program for me and promptly hung up.

I couldn't catch my breath for laughing so hard. I guess his "talk-off" wasn't strong enough to get me to buy into their crazy-ass scam where I had to pay THEM for being listed in their registry.


To the people out there that don't know any better, check your egos and use common sense...don't fall for this SCAM!!

5:25 PM  
Blogger a fool and his money are soon parted said...

Madison Who's Who is not a BBB member; however Biltmore's Who's Who is. Resolved 13 of the 14 complaints against them since 2006.

I got the same type of letter from Madison today, but am a member of Biltmore. I'm still waiting on the registry, but not really sure of the value. I guess if I were in Sales, I could see the benefit. Really, what good is it if you have to pay that much for it?

9:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you all who contributed to this blog.

I got my email today, and I deleted it after reading this blog.

If you want to network... join your local Chamber of Commerce and donate your time to the community... these are real people doing real things for each other!

If you are still in doubt... read "The Fountainhead" to gain a fun perspective on the human ego.

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Who's Knot said...

Well I am so glad to hear I am not the only fool on this earth. I too took the bait and "joined" for a one year "trial" which was to list me in their publication, in their on-line listing and provide me with opportunities to gain speaking engagements and other income producing possibilities.....

I did receive a lovely welcome packet with professional quality documents in a folder with a membership certificate of excellent quality. This only cost me $189. It all seemed to be above board. It was, after all, only a trial membership.....

One year later I received a call saying I had been nominated for inclusion (wasn't I there already?) this time for publication in the leatherbound book that I would receive a copy of upon renewing my membership. Okay I was flattered enough to renew. So far I had not seen any results but I had also not experienced any problems either.

The hard sell this time was for the renewal and for purchase of an additional copy of the book to share with family. I opted NOT to purchase an additional copy but did renew for another $189.

I received an e-mail invoice for $208.95. It says the VIP membership is $189 (Quantity 1)which is the same as the trial membership I had purchased a year before. The invoice also listed a Personalized Certificate of Achievement (quantity 1), the Company Logo and Seal (quantity 1), Personalized Username and password for online access to the online Directory (quantity 1) and a One year Extension (I assume to be on the on-line registry). The subtotal came to $189 with an additional $19.95 for shipping and handling for the grand total of $208.95....Hey - I received all of that stuff the first time around over a year ago in that nice welcome packet. No - I have not received the book nor the items listed in this invoice.

A month or so later I received a phone call from another Who's Who to which I had been nominated for inclusion and who was requesting more information for my bio. This sounded and felt all too familiar and fishy. I decided to play along for a while. They heard the words business owner and educator and I was suddenly more then qualified to be a member.....I exused myself from the phone and didn't go back for about an hour. They were gone when I did.

I have since been searching for information on Madison WW and until today have found nothing that told me anything one way or the other about them. Getting bit the first time was a "shame on them" but getting bit the second time was my own foolish mistake.

Twice is enough - I am not staying on anyone's SUCKER list and will be far more alert from here on out. My CC company has been notified not to accept any further charges from this company for any reason whatever.

I warn everyone out there to beware. The sales people are smooth and they engage you in a conversation through questions about your life, your hobbies, your work experience and your education. They draw you in.

Had the sales person for the other Who's Who been as smooth as the sales rep for Madison they could probably have hooked some folks - but they were too eager and far too unprofessional....besides I was on guard and actually interviewing them this time.

5:29 PM  
Anonymous Another Knot said...

Has anyone else received an email invoice from Madison Who's Who? Ours shows who it was sold to (name & address) but there is a place for a Customer ID which is left blank. The Account Executive is listed as Charles Meyers but it has always been a woman that phoned us.

The payment terms field is left blank but there is a Job/Order date and a Ship Via USPS/FedEx. I wish I could remember how it was shipped to us....there may be grounds for fraud using the US Postal Service. I don't know that FedEx has any fraud detection or policy.

There is a 20% non-refundable processing fee for any cancellations that take place within 24 hours of the sale and all sales are final after 48 hours. The invoice is dated 48 hours prior to the send date on the email. They are going to be sure they get the money.

The phone number provided does not seem to be staffed. It just rings. The fax number is fuctioning (we get a "received" message on our end) but we do not get any responces.

They use a physical address of 30-01 Northern Blvd. 2nd Floor in Long Island City, NY 11101 but with unstaffed phones and unanswered faxes I doubt that mail will be responded to either.

We are figuring we were scammed and will have to accept that and learn from it. I hope others will read this thread long enough to read the truth.

Use your local opportunities like your Chamber of Commerce and the many service clubs in your community. They will spread the word of your skills and knowledge far better and realistically then some book or service that you have never heard of and who can't tell you who nominated you or why.

6:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee their phone calls sound a lot like Obamma. Never answer a direct question. Circle all around until time is up.

11:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to work for this company.. and yes people it is completely ridiculous.. it is 100% a con. people buy these incrdeibly expensive books and memberships to either 1) not even be published in it or 2) never ever to recieve the book and some stupid people out there just buy it for the "airline tickets" which supposedly you get. Those are even more a scam than anything. nobody should support this. just putting it out there i have seen first hand..and people there do run credit cards without speaking to the consumer. it is really f*ked up..

9:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suggest those of you that were scamed, file a complaint with the New York State Attorney Generals Office. They will not take this lightly and will fight to get your money back. It might take them a while to get the money back and they are not always succesful but at the very least they will shut them done and you can get back at them some how.

4:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seemed like SPAM so I did a Google search and found this forum.

Glad I did - I now marked all mail from this firm as SPAM in my filters.

Crazy thing is a while back I saw this on some dudes resume saying "I belong to this"...pretty funny. Glad we did not hire him.

11:22 AM  
Anonymous Brian Cash said...

Whos Who is great I Have all the books im a VIP member. I Like this srot of stuff.

3:51 PM  
Blogger Emilio Pastrana said...

Guys, let's use the common sense. First of all, we are not expecting ANYTHING from them, right? Second, they don't describe WHO gave my name. Third, they don't show THE REAL PROCEDURE once we give our information. And fourth, everytime that you get obscure information, hidden information either by phone, email or real life, don't fall for it! Clean business don't hide anything and don't have anything to be ashamed of.

1:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I received a similar phone call this morning. Initially I wanted to give the salesman the benefit of doubt thanks to his way of opening the conversations. I became truly suspicious when he told me I had to make the decision immediately as to either I want to be a lifetime membership or a 5-year one. I couldn't jump from one to another later on. When I told him I would need time to do some research and I had more opportunities like this, the man immediatley got annoyed, telling me I could get listed for free for 1 year. Now I have emailed the publisher, informing it not to include me in the current or future editions. I'm sure my judgement is sound. My takehome pointer is that unless you are a salesperson in any area, forget about Madison Who's Who. It's the kind of info commericals you can purchase at a much lower price for better results.

5:27 PM  
Anonymous D said...

I got the invite into the Madison Who's Who yesterday and began investigating it. Thanks to this post and the comments from others I will definitely not be replying to that email from "Matthew Johnson" - whoever he is. But thanks to the internet and all you posters you have saved one person from being scammed. Thanks again!

9:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, it's awful. I posted a comment earlier. This morning around 9:53, another representative called Mike Stanford from 516-392-9595 x 214 called me again. I went to Madison's website and tried to call the numbers listed there. Not to my surprise, most of the phone extensions do not exist. I followed the phone instruction and pressed 5. The man called Fred answered the phone and then hang up because he realized he gave me his name. I called again. The company is completely fake. I appeal to the public, just please don't be fooled.

2:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They are all scams, Madison...Biltmore....all of them. I forked over almost $300 a year ago to have my name listed in Biltmore's Who's Who book. Right before publication earlier this year, I got a phone call from a guy with a very heavy British accent who claimed that I had been "chosen" (interpreted as stupid and gullible enough to try to bilk more money out of) to be one of the featured profiles in their leather bound directory. While I "gushed" on how utterly lucky I was, I just wasn't willing to pay them another $600 for such an honor.

After the 15th "No, thank you", he finally got the hint and was going to update my information for what I had already paid for. When I attempted to find a quiet spot at work to give him this information, he got irate with me because I wasn't speaking loud enough for him to hear me. After another 10 minutes, he confirmed the information and we ended the call. I got my book 2 weeks ago and it does not even have the updated bio.

I sent them an email and demanded my money back. To date, all I have is a read confirmed receipt of the email. So much for honest, caring customer service. Now I get mail at work all the time from other companies like this hoping that they can sucker me.

If any of you have the book, look me up...I'm at the back in a once inch space under "Dumba**". LOL!!

9:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Previous poster states that Biltmore is listed with BBB in Florida. I am going to give that a try for a refund. According to their policy, no refunds are given...hopefully they will own up to their mistake since nothing in my profile was updated with the correct information and I wouldn't have even gotten the book if I hadn't inquired as to why I hadn't gotten it yet after a year.

10:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi There,

I continued to receive phone calls from Madison's sales people despite the fact that I told them repeatedly not to call again. I figured out these people do not actually work together. Instead, they work alone using Madison's name and they don't know other salespeople in their company. They lie virtually about everything. It's awful when I think there might still be innocent people getting fooled. Somebody gets to do something to stop the company from doing further damage! The company is misbehaving, lying, cheating. It's not a business-as-usual business, it's completely fraud - telephone numbers listed on the site don't exist, people listed on the site don't exist, sales people don't know each other; sales people can ask for whatever membership fees they like. They prey on innocent people! I hope TV or newspaper can pick up the lead.

3:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, I also was formally approved as of june 19th to Biltmore Who's Who Executive and Professional Registry. "Wow I wonder what individual accomplishment in my
geographical area I achieved?" The
only achievement I can claim is that I balanced my checkbook once... The address on my letter, in case anyone would care to visit, is 4601 Sheridan St. Suite 500, Hollywood, Florida 33021. (Hurry though they might disappear soon.) If you just care to chat the Phone number listed is 954-893-0114. If you would like to send a
very flattering picture of yourself their fax number is 954-893-9527. By the way thank you for the heads up... I feel the world is little safer now.

8:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Save your money on the Biltmore thing is the best advice I can give you. Even though they are listed with the BBB, they are a publisher and make their money off of selling ads. You are their ad and in advertising, image is everything.

11:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was also contacted. I am a college professor and Director of Information Technology. That is not how I was picked to be honored. I set up a website for a friend of mine for an online Auto Parts business and that is how I was chosen. What a joke. I have now been called over 10 times with people wanting to get my information update. If you do not buy the book or membership, they keep calling you to try to convince you what a great product and honor this is.

3:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, we just received our notice from "Presidential Who's Who" as well. I'm still trying to figure out what information they reviewed to be so impressed with us!!?? I'm a financial loser (credit score the same as my shoe size) and my boss--well there's just too much to list. And if they reviewed our information--why do they need me to answer questions like "industry type", "type of business", etc? I wish there were some way I could bill them for the ink wasted in my fax cartridge--we are a struggling small business. Enjoyed reading your blog though...I'll be back!!

2:44 PM  
Blogger dizzy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:03 PM  
Blogger dizzy said...

July 9 - 2008

I just got this letter in the mail for the south florida area under the name Biltmore Who's Who.

I printed out responses from yahoo answers talking about the scam and wrote a brief note saying "happy scam'n" and the next time they offer something based on your business they should know what you do and the name of your business.

Put it in their prepaid envelope and sent it back to them with the yahoo stuff and my note, plus their original letter and envelope (to make it a bit heavier).

Figure I can at least cost them some postage :P

11:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got an email from them and thought I'd have some fun knowing that they were simply a paid-idiot's list (I'm an idiot too, but refuse to pay for it).
So, I sent them my resume to bait them. They called about 2 week's later to ask for the perverbial "extra information"; I made myself look like a friggen cancer-curing nobel-laueate.
She seemed quite amazed and then told me (obviously from a script): "Sir, I do believe that your qualifications are good enough to be included."
I said great, where do I sign!!!
Then as she finally came to the hook and told me of the different member's packages available (some as low as 99 bucks; I guess those members are less idiots than the $999 members).
I interrupted politley and said excuse me! Are you expecting me to pay? She had no idea what to say!! She was dumbfounded. I went on to tell her that who's who would greatly benefit from my contrubution and I think I convinced her that Who's who should be paying me to be included in the book. She said she'll have to speak with her manager on that and get back to me.
It was great fun for a nothin-to-do day.

10:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to work for Madison who's Who. Anyone with a pulse and a credit card is a candidate for their registry.

4:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, too, was recently chosen as a Who's Who Candidate by this company. They were pressing me hard for money and I discussed this with my husband, who is always pleased with me and my accomplishments.
However, as a nurse, a writer, and photographer (in my free time), I couldn't help but wonder about it. My brother, who is an attorney advised me that this was a scam. And my mother said, "If it sounds too good to be true, then it usually is."
I did not commit upon having the discussion with one of the telemarketers (or whatever) and decided to research the company to see what others had to say. Even if I decide not to pay any money, they said that I would still be included. However, they also tried to hard sell me for free plane tickets to many places throughout the world (which I would love to be able to go to Paris, as I speak French). Who wouldn't want to be offered free plane tickets to London or France or wherever.
But as I read on, I realized that I need to think about paying them more. I don't want to be scammed at all. Nobody wants to be scammed, of course.
I still have some time to research the company, but from reading other comments, I have become leery of such an offer and I am sure that if so many people with his/her comments as listed above. I think that if this is such a scam that this should be reported to the Better Business Bureau if, in fact, this is a scam. Perhaps others that have been scammed out of his/her hard earned money will be able to get his/her money returned after the fraudulent activity is reported and this company will be forced to repay those who have been scammed and whoever runs this company can spend some time in jail for fraud.
However, as I said, I am still researching but will contact the Better Business Bureau myself if I find this whole Who's Who thing to be a fradulent enterprise.
I will not be scammed and I will do whatever I can to make this company reimburse those who have been affected. Perhaps the threat of a class action law suit pertaining to fradulent activity would be something that I might have to say the next time I speak to this company. Thank you all for the heads up...because I was sincerely thinking about paying the money. Now, thanks to what I have read, I am aware of how the outcome has been for others that have been chosen for this "honor."

3:27 AM  
Blogger Andy Dustman said...

These bozos are still hard at work, August 26, 2008.

1:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm grateful for the information in this blog - though I found it too late to avoid making one payment! However I'm sorry to report that Madison's Who's Who are still operating in August 2008. Despite an initial contact email which explicitly stated that there was no charge for having an entry in the directory, they have made 3 contacts with me and each one has been associated with an eventual request for a payment - the overall total would have been nearly $2000 if I had not discovered this blog. And what's more on the final call, once I politely listened to their entire spiel and then said I was disputing the first payment and was certainly not prepared to pay more, I was sworn at by the salesperson. regards, Deb Viney

3:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

O.K guys here is a shocker for you. I used to work for Madison Who's Who, if you think that there sales pitch is rediulous then you should see how they treat their employees! I know you people don't really care but they trick their employees by having them sign contracts stating that 1) They are an at will employer (Legal but convent for them neh?), 2)Then they say that you have a 2wk grace period to make sales up to 1000 and they keep you (well what they fail to mention is that if you don't make a sale in a week they'll fire you within a 1 week three day period (Yeah I know don't you just want to play you small vilions now, well wait there's more!) 3) They tell you that if you are fired before the two week period you have to wait for 30 days in order for your commisisson to clear, (I'm still wait---ting!). So while you guys and gals are having a good chuckle at the expense of the pushy sales people, believe you me if I had any idea that this was a scam I would have stayed clear and go to work for people who income depends on fools rushing in.
(O.k you can go back to being clever now.)

3:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Correction on last line: Who's income doesn't depend on fools rushing in.
Don't mind me I'm just an bitter employee, go back to being clever.
P.s, To the people who actually took the time to research first before signing on , I salute you. P:)

3:22 PM  
Anonymous Dianne said...

I also joined following the famous solicitation letter, but would not agree to anything less than the basic membership for one year. I also caught them trying to process the higher payment and called my bank, and then them on it. My bank stood ready to reverse the debit. Once Madison heard that, they reversed it themselves.

The good I drew from a membership is that I've received calls responding to my listing of the information/outreach project I created to bring people directly to their doorway of assistance.

Madison didn't bring me all of my prospects, but some saw my listing there. Between the TV appearance, website listing and word of mouth it's been a successful effort.

2:56 PM  
Anonymous Johnny Big Balls said...

Madison Who's Who is NOT a scam. You pay to listed in their directory, and they list you. It's an ego stroke. It would be a scam if they said they would list you, and the publication didn't exist, but it does exist.
And to the person who said they gave Madison their CC# and were charged $700,"even though they said they didn't want it", if you didn't want it, why did you give your credit card #?
Bottom line is you got SOLD on the telephone, NOT SCAMMED.

12:38 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Hi, Micheal. Where's my check?

11:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Madison Who's Who never had nor ever will have the intention of networking people. They will send solicitations to anyone, and if you respond they will call you non stop until you buy. Then they will run your CC without your approval down the road.

They think they are slick by calling themselves Madison Publishing International or simply Who's Who. Neither is the case they are a telemarketing sales company owned by 2 convicted felons named: Scott Minuta & Mathew Schwartz.


2:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: owned by 2 convicted felons named: Scott Minuta & Mathew Schwartz.

What are their felonies for? I sent them my resume and would like to know! thanks,


8:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have had to file for fraud against this group since they have been making unauthorized withdrawals from my account. My advise to anyone thinking of signing up is DO NOT DO IT. You will be sorry.

12:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to annon...

oh, so they are NOT convicted felons, to your knowledge. Just because you said you had to "file fraud charges" does not mean they have been convicted of anything. You should be convicted of being easily sold over the telephone.

8:07 PM  
Anonymous Andrew said...

I received an email from Madison's Who's Who in my college's email account. It looked like a good opportunity and so I called them back to check on my status. I spoke with a certain 'John' who pumped me up on how great it was to be a part of MWW and why it's such an honor that I was selected. He then proceeded to attempt to sell me a lifetime membership, then a 3 year membership, then a 2 year, then a 1 year, only available for non profits yet I could get in at that price because he was a director and he could allow it. I told him that I would consider it and to call me back in two days.
I did some research during that time and found many negative blogs about the organization. I looked on the MWW website and realized that its just a B2B or B2C networking site - which is great, if you want to join another online networking site. I am already a member of LinkedIn,, Active Rain, Facebook, Myspace, and on and on.
So two days later John calls me and I tell him that I'd only like to be a free subscriber to the service. This makes him so angry that he says "Oh so now you're f*ckin me? Now you're f*ckin me - I don't f*ckin believe it. F*ck you." and hangs up. Wow! So much for being part of a prestigious company that treats people with respect and integrity! John was obviously only interested in selling me and collecting his commission and was not interested in the success of my business.
I recommend avoiding this organization!

11:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scams, you bet. There's about 25-30 W.W, companies out there. Want to stop it? Send the letter or email you received and the pitch you got via phone and send or call the Postal Inspectors in Hickville, LI, NY. With enough complaints, they will act in a positive way.

11:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So glad I looked further into this - I'm young and trying to further my career but something about them not wanting to give me time to consider it made me jump off the phone. Then I found this blog. Thanks everyone for putting it into perspective and saving me the headache!

1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At the risk of repeating everything that has been said so far on this blog, I am so just grateful for finding it.
I received an invitation from Whos Who for Australian executives. Before responding I thought I should just check what its all about, couldnt find any info on the company, and no number to call to discuss. Its not Madison, but looks like some hot shot in Australia decided to make a quick buck like they do in the US. I didnt want to give my details over to someone who would probably sell them, so glad someone started a blog about it. Thank you.

10:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wise decision to all who did not fall for the Who's Who or the Madison scam. My Who's Who book has made a great $300 door stop...that's about all it has been worth. Save your money, they sell door stops at Lowe's and Home Depot for less than $5.

10:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is another one scam Princeton Premier Business Leaders and Professionals Honors Edition.


It is my pleasure to inform you that you are being considered for inclusion into the 2009-2010 Princeton Premier Business Leaders and Professionals Honors Edition section of the registry.

The 2009-2010 edition of the registry will include biographies of the world's most accomplished individuals. Recognition of this kind is an honor shared by thousands of executives and professionals throughout the world each year. Inclusion is considered by many as the single highest mark of achievement.

You may access our application form using the following link:

Upon final confirmation, you will be listed among other accomplished individuals in the Princeton Premier Registry.

For accuracy and publication deadlines, please complete your application form and return it to us within five business days.

There is no cost to be included in the registry.

If you've already received this email from us, there is no need to respond again.

This email serves as our final invitation to potential members who have not yet responded.

On behalf of the Executive Publisher, we wish you continued success.

Jason Harris

Managing Director
Princeton Premier
We only support ethical email marketing. To remove yourself from future mailings, please visit here to use our automated removal system. You will be removed from our mailing database within seven (7) days. 7898

3:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To those who have, or considering filing a complaint with the FDIC, I suggest you reconsider.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insures bank deposits so that the money-grubbing [expletive self-censored] on Wall Street walk off with tax-payer dollars instead of your dollars. If you want to complain to them, complain about Citibank, not these scammers.

My guess is that the best people to complain to about these scammers is nobody. You can try the FCC (Federal Commerce Commission) if you like, but they are not likely to do anything. Why? Because they offer a service in exchange for a fee. The service may not be worth the expense (and in this case I don't think it's worth the cost of the bandwidth used to advertise it). However, that's a judgment call and hard to prove in court.

One could argue that the membership dues I pay to legitimate professional organizations gives me no real benefit either, but I belong to them nonetheless because it is expected.

2:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got the privilage to get an email from Bill Fields Managing Director talking about Whos Who. I even got a phone call and I escaped pretty much telling that I am broke and cannot spare $59.00. (Felt as if they were begging for money, I would have given if she could beg with dignity) The lady who introduced herself as Ms Raechel Smith wanted me to call 718-932-8011 immediately. I got more information regarding the spam than the actual web pages that benifit from this.

Tip: Never give a credit card number when someone calls you, you give it only when you initiate the call.

5:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BEWARE! These are theives and frauds! They call from "restricted" numbers and steal money from people!!!

I called to complain about unauthorized charges to my credit card, having never previously heard of "Madison Who's Who" (I am in Marquis Who's Who Among American Teachers.)

They charged me 20% to reverse charges neither made nor authorized by me. I spoke to the same man over and over under the following names:

"Jonathan Martin" "Financial Director"
"Justin" in "Finance"
"Sean Martin" "Director of Operations"
and "Andrew Jones" "Managing Partner" (who said there was no one above him in the company.)

It turns out that my card was used by a 15-year-old relative because they called and pushed her into acting immediately-
and obviously a 15-year-old child does not have the experience to deal with a hard sell. They called to include her lawn mowing enterprise so that she could make money over the summer. Mr. Jones suggested that the 20% fee was my punishment for not knowing that the child used my card. (I was at work.)

After several threatening and belligerent phone calls, I finally agreed to accept the reversal- although I provided verification from my bank proving that the charges were unauthorized and a statement of the fact. Because they said, "you'll take 80% or you'll get nothing", Mr. Jones was becoming increasingly rude and insulting, and my planning period was ending.

I just looked up "Madison Who's Who" and the names that were given to me are NOT the names on the Contact page. Sean Martin's "position" is actually filled by a woman.

On top of all that, the child with whom they initially entered into an agreement never received any of the benefits promised. They did not verify that she has a fictional BA from a fictional college ("The University of Arts"). They did not verify her identity. They did not verify her age.

This company pushes children into entering into agreements with them, runs credit cards without verification and then charges the unsuspecting credit card owner a "fee" for reversing the charges.

This information has been forwarded to the FCC and the FTC as well as the FBI unit for internet scams.


1:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would these folks scam An Officer Of The Law? Naw...

7:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As if there was any doubt that this is a fraud, I just got an invite. The e-mail ammused me to no end, as I'm just working as a summer intern. I haven't even finished my bachelor's degree, and yet the e-mail calls me a "professional." It's 2009 and they're still at it.

11:33 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

I am a journalist. Is there someone who is ready to give more information about this subject? Is yes, please contact me at THIS IS NOT SCAM. I will give more information to whom will write to me. Thanks.

10:36 PM  
Blogger Todd said...

I was called today by the "Presidential Who's Who". The conversation was going wonderful until they decided to discuss the cost of this. There are 3 different options ranging in price from $894 to $199- this cost does not include shipping and handling. I was interested until I said I needed time, at least until the end of the business day to make a decision. I was promplty told by Marvin Scott that he would not give me any time to do any research about a company that contacted me out of the blue and I needed to make a decision at that moment. Keep in mind, this guys was asking me for nothing less than $200.
If you have an extra $200 go for it - but be prepared to not be able to make any decisions or do any research.

12:06 PM  
Anonymous AL Legator said...

This isn't that much different from so-called "vanity press" publishers of the distant (at least the early 1900's if not earlier)past. Everyone who saw themselves as a writer could get his or her book published for a fee. This is just more sophisticated and wide ranging- and simpler. It's probably also perfectly legal; you will likely get published in the directory fulfilling their obligation.If you are stupid enough to pay high value for a low value product then you have to live with that.

8:26 AM  
Blogger daniel said...

Great article and disucssion!
I’ve been doing some serious research about the positioning of buttons in forms in general. And what I’ve come up with is to put the “Primary Action”-button left-aligned with the form. One of the reasons for doing this is that the eye automatically searches for a new form element to the left just under the previous element.
Very good site, brilliant write up.

job without office

2:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They found me in Martinez, GA.
Do not feed these animals.

8:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just received the same scam. I have been retired for 24 years. I guess my accomplishments were so great that, after all these years, they still generate high praise and recognition.


11:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was "sold" not "scammed" - stupid stupid me. Attempted to cancel straight away, but could not. I've cancelled my credit card instead ... seems like the only alternative!

1:33 AM  
Anonymous waterdog said...

2-24-10: I recieved a cold call informing me I was selected for inclusion. While I may be a candidate due to professional achievements, I do not "buy" anything like this. I was quoted $789 for the Premium membership, or a 5 yr for less. I said they could include me, but I wouldn't pay anything towards any such inclusion. My wife was impressed that I was to be included. (She also shovels all the snow while I'm at work) She wanted a copy, I told her I wouldn't buy one but I'd look on the web. And this is what I found, lol. Lovely. Ya'll have a nice day.

11:18 AM  
Anonymous CJ said...

I received my second fax from these people on 5/3/2010...I'm not even going to bother unsubscribing using their 877 number at the bottom as that usually submits you to more junk mail.

I almost thought about calling the company to ask them some questions, but then I googled the company and found several message boards. I've taken the time to google other boards where this scam has been noted, and it sounds like even the UK and Australia are getting this e-mail...anyone they can get contact info on. I hope people read these boards before falling for the hoax!!!

2:22 AM  
Anonymous Lori Daly said...

I receive a similar letter via fax from the Presidential Who's Who addressed to Dear Company Owner. It is my pleasure to inform you that on June 21, 2010, your information was reviewed and accepted for inclusion in the 2011 Edition.

How could the “personal information be review and accepted” when there is no name associated with the letter. Whose information did they review and accept?

I knew this was scammy, but I wanted to Google it anyway to see what others knew about it. I was shocked to read that some people have fell for this.

I e-mailed the company and reported them to the internet fraud group. This is no different than the phishing banking scams or similar to the Nigerian lottery winner scams. Not only are they trying to bait you into buying some fake publication, they are gathering your personal information to undoubtedly turn around and sell your information to other companies.

5:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I just got off the phone with a guy at the Madison Who's Who who tried to cold sell me a lifetime membership, then, when I turned it down, 5 year, 2 years, then pulled a 1 year membership, only saved for non-profits"

Same thing just happened to me.

I just read about the guy whos credit card was improperly charged. Watch out!

4:19 PM  
Anonymous Brad Baker said...

Just emailed this to all emails I could find @ Continental Who's Who:

To whom it may concern,

I just spoke with someone at your office named Jerry Nelson. I had an issue with you sending me a package that was cancelled. I had called and cancelled the package after talking to a representative named Tina. My phone calls were not returned after I left 2 messages asking for the account to be cancelled just minutes after I spoke with Tina. I did this after Google'ing information on your company and found out that you aren't as reputable as she said. After this I sent an email to your company again requesting a cancellation of the order. Jerry Nelson called and left a message stating that the order could be cancelled after proof of my phone log was submitted. This was emailed to him and the request was granted. I then received the package a few days later (which was dated after my cancellation request..almost a week later). I then sent emails to request an adrress to send it back. These emails went unanswered for 2 days before I called today to request an address to mail it back. I spoke to Jerry Nelson and told him I needed an address for this package to go back. He gave me the address and I asked him how I wanted it to be shipped back. He then got rude and told me to take it to the post office. I meant signature confirmation, type of delivery, etc. I did not expect such a rude reply from a 'Sr Account Director' who is supposed to be my representative from your company. After getting rude with me, I told him that I thought the way you do business is a 'scam' After stating this to Jerry, he threatened to go down to the credit department and talk to them about issuing my credit. This is absolutely ridiculous. You had stated to me that I was being given a credit and I stated my opinion that I thought the ordering/cancellation process was 'scamlike' I asked him if he was threatening me and he proceeded to just say BYE and hang up the phone on me. I then called back and he answered and I asked for his name, he hung up on me again. He asked me why I needed it before he hung up. He then called me from a BLOCKED phone number (probably a cell phone or a line that you guys don't record/trace) and stated 'Someone just told me that you had called in asking for my name' I told him that it was him I had just talked to and that I needed his name because he treats people with no respect. He finally stated his name and called himself 'Sr Account Director' He referred to himself as 'my' Sr Account Director. I asked him why he threatened to not have my credit processed. He then stuttered out a statement that was totally contradictory to what he had said 2 phone calls previous. I just thought you would want to be aware of how he treats your clients. I guess since I am not becoming a member, I should be treated like dirt? Please remove me from all future contact. I want nothing to do with your company at all. I will be posting this on the internet as well so other people can understand the way you guys conduct business. I will also be emailing this to the emails I see to the right of this comment box. Thanks for your time and I hope that not everyone in the company acts like Jerry Nelson. He is a liar and I don't even think he knows what he says. I have all the voicemails saved stating that I will be getting credit back on my account so don't let Jerry go talk to the credit company like the way he threatened me to do so. Thanks for your time!

Brad Baker

12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a former employee who resigned I can tell you we always knew when Mathew Schwartz and Scott had to go to court. It was the only time they were dressed professionally. This was a regular joke among those of us in the cubicles."Scott is wearing a tie today, must be going to court again" Lol

8:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lol, my fiance worked at MWW until recently and the above statement about Matthew, Scott, and the wearing of ties is absolutely true. He told me he was always expecting that FTC agents would come busting in and shut the office down, but it hasn't happened yet. It's a shame these guys are willing to invest so much time and money into scamming people when they really could be doing something legitimate and generating honest jobs. Instead, they'd rather rob folks and abuse their employees.

8:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To all others who have been scammed by Who's Who claims, check out these online documents,

Came across the some time ago, Need to see these scammers in action


2:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I usually fill out the forms and answer when they call, all of them. Emerald, Cambridge, Princeton, Biltmore and the rest. I let them go through their questionnaire, answer all the questions with as straight a face as I can muster. Wen they get to the sales pitch I listen carefully, then wait until they are finished with all the different offers, and I always agree to the most expensive one. When they ask for my credit card, I ask them if it wouldn't be better if they just sent me a check for the amount rather than depositing it in my credit card account. They usually don't get it at first, try to explain that I owe the money to them, not the other way around, but I insist that I am allowing them to include my name as a favor, and they have to pay for it. After all, including me gives them a status they would not have without it. Attracts more distinguished scholars like me. I always charge to include my name, I explain. They usually hang up after that, although a few try feebly to convince me that my inclusion in their book would be a definite plus to my career. Since I am retired I ask them to explain how, and after a few more fumbling attempts they give up on me.
Why go through the trouble? I feel that the longer I keep them on the phone, the fewer people they can scam. My version of a public service.

4:13 PM  
Anonymous Maranda said...

I JUST 5 minutes ago got a call from CWW (Continental Who's Who)AT WORK! who they got my work number or even WHERE i work is beyond me...Ive never signed up for anything or contacted that company but some guy says they want to do a biography on me.....i stopped him to say DO YOU KNOW ME??? he said no but i have some questions you can answer to give me what i need for the biography. I said lemme check out your website and all the other scam sites and i'll call ya back! i'm not very trusting at all with online BS. But i was thinking as a Sales rep for a company it wouldn't hurt to advertise...but i'm only getting paid 9per hour i'm not going out of MY way to help out the business if i get NOTHING out of it! If it was my own business that would be completely different!

11:27 AM  
Anonymous Maranda said...

oh and the good thing is the company showed up on my caller ID and they never sent me an email...i got just a phone call from a man that hasn't pushed sales on me yet, but i'm sure he will once i call back. So in turn CWW might be more LEGIT than MWW.

11:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too have been lied to and chested by Presidential Who's Who. I canceled the membership the same day, still received the "plaque" and since November 29 - May 17th (today) I still have not received my refund AS PROMISED. Stay away from all these Who's Who companies. They are rip offs, lie, offer nothing, lie, promised to return calls, lie. Do you get the drift!!!!

11:52 AM  
Anonymous RJM said...

Stay away from Presidential Who’s Who. It is a scam! They lie, will not return your phone calls, they lie, when I called to cancel 6 months ago, I still have not received my refund, they lie, they do not get their stories straight, have I mentioned that they lie? From Pamela, to Anthony, to Elliot to the supposedly CEO Frank. DO NOT ANSWER EMAILS OR PHONE CALLS FROM THEM. FRAUD!! SCAMMERS!!

2:14 PM  
Anonymous JCM said...

We talked with Elliot Donovan of Presidential Who’s Who. As soon as we got off the phone we researched the organization. We called back immediately to cancel. That was 6 months ago and still have not received our money back. Pamela in the office told us American Express refused the refund. Anthony Rainford said the refund was coming. Elliot Donovan said the membership was canceled. CEO Frank Chachio said our refund is in the works and should receive our refund. Get the pattern. No one has the same story. LIERS!! SCAM ARTISTS!! FRAUD!!

2:23 PM  
Anonymous Watch out!!!! said...

Do not do business with Presidential Who’s Who. Frank Chachio never returns call. When you cancel your membership immediately, you will not receive your refund. Frank Chachio will not call you back. Presidential Who’s Who is a scam. Presidential Who’s Who offers nothing that will further your business.

10:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Matthew Johnson =Matthew Schwartz=cheater=scammer= no good S-O-B

With your scammed membership money, among other luxuries, Schwartz has built a 7 Million dollars waterfront mansion in Beachhurst Queens, one of the most expensive and desirable neighborhoods in NY.
Mr. Schwartz and his partner Scott live a very wealthy and lavish live style by scamming people like you who has fallen for the scam and believes that theirs Who’s Who scam is actually a trustworthy company that delivers what it is supposed and promised.
This scam company operations are ran from an office building on Northern Boulevard in Long Island City, NY. Inside this building you will see nothing more then scores of telemarketers that work on commission. All that these telemarketers do is to call and convince innocent people to give their credit cards numbers to buy nothing more then a bunch of worthless bull.hit. In fact many of these telemarketers become victims themselves of this monstrous scam machine as they to get cheated and denied compensation for their work because of stupid technicalities and company policies put in place by and played by the ever scamming owners.

A Class Action lawsuit is the most probable cure for this cancerous enterprise!

I think that this forum could be a good base for all of the people that got cheated by Matthew Schwartz and company to get organized, and start a Class Action suit to put these
S-O-Bs out of business for good, and get them to refund and pay back all of the people that they have cheated, including their workers.

Let’s get a good lawyer that will works on commission, and start getting even with these guys!

8:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too just received a phone call and told them about my job and then... the sell. I knew there was a catch! She went from a 700$ lifetime membership, then $500 5 yr, $300 3 yr, then $200 2 yr, then a monthly $19.95. All with the free airline tickets... which was the most appealing. And she wanted me to make a decision on the spot due to publication timelines... but there was no opportunity to 'research' and get in touch again. I actually considered the monthly just to check it out, but didn't feel comfy giving her my cc #. At that point, I googled Madison's who's who and found this forum, then rejected the offer! I am just starting up a practice, so I thought having my name 'out there' might help.. but there are other ways to this. Also, regardless of money...she tried to convince me that it was 'credible' there was nothing that i told her that made me sound very 'credible'. i am doing my resume and she recommended that i include it on my resume. it just didn't feel right.

9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This job is a pure SCAM in training I did not know that I would be scamming people out of their money. The owner Scott Minuta and floor manager Kwaku Edisu (ignorant asshole who also goes by Kevin Edwards) basically taught us after we passed training that scamming the people we call isn't that bad "because they're rich". Employees are under paid and someone is fired every Friday. A new set trains every Monday. Our first check isn't until the 3rd week (if you last that long) and we get our paid training on week 5. This job pays very little salary (300$) plus commission starts at 15% of all your sales for 2 weeks. After that you have to sell at least $1001 just to get 5% commission. We have to start work at exactly 8:30 until 5:30 1hour break . They monitor all of our bathroom breaks and any other time spent away from our computer that we make our illegal calls on. It's like a telemarketing sweat shop! And the HR head Cindy Hayes (pretty in the face OBESE in the waist) is a fat bitch that sits and gossips on personal calls all day until lunch. She is very rude and shares employees personal problems with her office mate Sherri who isn't too bad of a person. Cindy is down right ghetto and Rude! I am glad a made little to no sales because I feel terrible about the people I scammed before I knew the truth! Most people were smart enough to decline without reasearch but very few weren't. Oh yeah and I almost forgot THEIR PAYCHECKS BOUNCE! I was warned not to put it in my bank account by an older employee so I took it to the local check cashing place only to be told by the teller that they don't cash MWW checks because they bounce too often SMH! Meanwhile Scott drives a Porche! Long story short this company is nothing but bad news! Staying for 5 weeks was brutal! Pictures of the inside scam shop coming soon!

9:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This entire business model is a well known scam. Mr. Minuta was working as a salesman for the a different company in the industry.

After he received an inheritance he pooled his money with his partner, Matt Schwartz who was a construction worker and real estate specialist.

They started this scam using one of Schwart's slums in Astoria with 6 people cold calling out of a phonebook.

After he marketed the company and generated more leads his sales skyrocketed and in less than three years he purchased a new building which now has it's own servers, and over 50 salespeople.

The scam is that they ask for prices like 999 but dont mention DOLLARS so many middle to lower class people think it's a 10 dollar purchase.

Once Minuta runs the credit card they refuse to refund the money on kickbacked purchases.

Then on an annual basis he charges every member of the copany an additional 199 for the hardcopy of his book of suckers.

Sometimes, when he has an extremely wealthy customer he overcharges intentionally and waits to see if they complain to the credit union. If they don't complain he embezzles as much money as he can from the "mark"

8:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Their services don't help people network. They also SELL their members informations to other companies in the industry so they make money from many different illegal avenues.

The building they operate out of is bought and paid for so every penny they make is profit.

The turnover ratio for employees is 3 months.

They frequently withold the last 4 weeks of pay from employees and they try to 10-99 as many as possible. They offer no health benefits and the workplace environment is ful of the dregs of societies.

All employees use fake names to avoid hurting their professional reputations.

The letter you all received is part of mass email messages. Those who fill out the form get called over the phone until they buy or not. If you don't buy they give you a FREE LISTING which is just the same form you filled out.

This is akso part of the scam because it inflates their true member level and makes them appear to be a legitimate company.

The bottomline is the owners copied this business model from other Who' Who companies.

The whole sales team READS from a script. They don't even listen to your responses unless it's your credit card information.

The best thing you can do is to never give them any information.

If you do fall for their scamm contact your credit card company and issue a chargeback ASAP.

If you wait the company will send you a membership packet and tell the credit card company that they provided to their agreed upon contract with you and try to make you pay.

They lie and say all phone calls are recorded but it is a scare tactic to get you to cave in.


If you win your credit dispute, change youre credit card number and cancel your old card.

They will still try to backbill you forever.

Any positive responses ypu see are PAID PUBLIC RELATION INTERNET TROLLS who WORK FOR THEM or are being paid by them.

Both Mr. Minuta and Mr. Scwartz are multi-millionaires. They've been running this scam for 11 years and the FTC doesn't seem to care.

If a good business lawyer did a class action suit against this company they could potentially re-coup close to 1 billion dollars and pay out those who were scammed.

The tricky part of this scam is if you fall for the bait and pay them 1,000.00 dollars it will cost you just as much to litigate to get it back which is why if you call to cancel they refuse to give you your money back. If you are really irate and threaten a lawsuit they will have Mr. Minuta or Mr. Schwartz try to calm you down over the phone and offer you a partial refund and try to "sweeten" the deal to appease you.

The worst part of the scam is they offer 2 complimentary plane tickets. The catch is that although the flights are paid for the hotels are not. The company that sells them the tickets has it's own scam going where they require you to stay at the resorts within their network which cost exhorbitant fees way beyond a normal flight and room.

8:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been receiving these pitches lately and that's when I Googled it and ended up here. I found it funny that the strongest positive comment was someone who defended their 'membership' in this directory and then identifies themselves as "anonymous".
I will probably end up signing "anonymous" but that's because I'm embarrassed to have given even this much thought.

9:29 PM  

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