Telemarketing weasel

Posted on May 1, 2003 by Gene

I keep getting calls from these annoying, pre-recorded telemarketers. I’ve now gotten several calls purporting to be from different companies, but they have one thing in common – the numbers they call from are all traceable back to a group calling themselves “Help In Crisis International.”
According to their website, at www.helpincrisis.org/ they are a non-profit children’s charity.
Pre-recorded telephone messages are illegal except when directly requested by the person being called, by telephone companies (?!) or – get this – by charities. But the messages being played are for handyman services, not charities. Could it be that Help In Crisis is doing the calling on behalf of these businesses because they are a registered charity? What kind of scam is this? I don’t know what the deal is with this charity, but they don’t answer their phone and give only a PO Box address.
This gets more interesting.
Since I couldn’t get any information on a reverse lookup of the phone number they’re calling from, I did a whois on their domain name. This is what I get:

Registrant:
Heddy Carr (HELPINCRISIS-DOM)
4401 East West Hwy
Bethesda, MD 20814
US

Domain Name: HELPINCRISIS.ORG

Administrative Contact, Technical Contact:
Securicare, LLC (HC1016) .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
HICII
4401 East West Hwy Suite 300
Bethesda, MD 20814
US
301-652-6967
What is so interesting about this is the Securicare name: last year I was getting up to 8 calls A DAY from Securicare. I put a block on my phone because of these people. Suddenly I feel like I am on to something here – which smells of fraudulent activity.

More info comes to light:
Someone at Securicare is a member of the M&A Source, the world’s largest International Organization of experienced, dedicated Merger and Acquisition Intermediaries representing the Middle Market.

Sam Dean
Securicare, Llc
4401 E West Hwy, Ste 308
Bethesda, MD 20814-4559
Phone: (240)744-7336
Other Affiliations: M&A Source

Another listing:

Securicare Services Ltd
13316 Tamarack Rd, Silver Spring, MD 20904 Phone: (301) 879-4632

and

Securecare Services
Fay Joyner, Director
13316 Tamarack Road, Silver Spring, MD 20904
301-879-4632 (V)301-879-0563 (FAX)

Aha!
Found this listing for “Help In Crisis International”… note the address:

Help in Crisis Int’l H HIC 60000
4401 East West Hwy
Suite 308
Bethesda, MD 20814
301-652-6967 Zina
301-652-7313
Deirdre 301-652-7187

More as I find it. Meanwhile, if you’ve been harassed by constant calls from these people, return the favor.