Just As I Thought

Telemarketing weasel

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 http://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.

14 comments

  • I got a pre-recorded call from these dorks on 4/21 inviting me to donate a used car to them. I sent them a pre-litigation demand letter the next day. (Charities are exempted from some of the FCC regulations, but I interpret the regs — 47 C.F.R. � 64.1200(d) — as requiring every pre-rec caller to give a phone # or postal address, neither of which they gave.)

    For a good summary of how I’ve recently decided to crush annoyance callers under the jackboot of the law, check out my new page on suing telemarketers: http://www.panix.com/~eck/telemarket.html

    Your timing in posting this is perfect; I’m sitting here drafting my small claims court complaint. Here’s what I have on the weasels:

    1) Call came in from 202-478-0003 (which is unlisted, but which drops you into Help In Crisis’ voicemail). Hmm.

    2) HICI is a registered MD corp. See http://sdatcert3.resiusa.org/ucc-charter/DisplayEntity_b.asp?EntityID=D04283537&EntityName=HELP+IN+CRISIS+INTERNATIONAL,+INC.&TabNum=1 for their registered address, 17902 COTTONWOOD TERRACE GAITHERSBURG, MD 20877.

    3) Their fax machine at 301-972-6560 does accept incoming faxes. No reverse lookup info is available on the number (see a pattern here?); it’s a Gaithersburg number, FWIW.

    4) At least 2 separate pages on the HICI website identify the Founder as Iwona Grodecki. There are directory listings in Germantown, MD (20876 zip) for a Mariusz (301-528-5920) & a Mark (301-528-9504) Grodecki, both at the same address of 21515 Waters Discovery Terrace.

    By the way, I’d sue the handyman service who is being advertised, if I were you. That’s an easy $500 per call. (Who is it? Jeeves?)

  • Gene, note the address on this:
    Jeeves Handyman Services 4401 East-West Highway #300, Bethesda, MD 20814 Phone: (301) 657-5885

    Also funny, isn’t it, that the name of the Jeeves woman on their recording (Deirdre) just happens to match the name of a HICI employee in the listing you found?

  • The hits just keep on comin’. Notice anything familiar about the registration for jeeveshandyman.com?

    Administrative Contact:

    Carr, H .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    3400 Garrison Street, NW
    Washington, District of Columbia 20008
    United States
    (202) 255-7728

  • FYI I have been getting annoying hang up calls from 202-483-0003 for a week. I also got dozens and dozens of hangup calls from ” securecare ” early in the spring.

    Also Help In Crisis International, Incorporated as ” HICI “, is listed by the Better Business Bureau as not conforming and not recommended as a charity. It looks like a scam.

    http://www.give.org/reports/care2_dyn.asp?221

  • I had some work done by Jeeves Handyman and they apparently “lost” my credit card # and are now harrassing me for a check or to give them my number again. They asked that I mail the check to Jeeves Handyman Services
    21515 Waters Discovery Terrace
    Germantown, MD 20876
    Interestingly, this is the address listed above for the founders of Help In crisis. Coincidence?

  • I’ve been having the same problems, both with Securicare and Help In Crisis.

    I asked the Better Business Bureau to look into them, and they came up with nothing.

    I also happen to work down the block from 4401 East West Hwy, so I took a walk over there last year – I couldn’t even find a door with the number 308 on it!

    Quite a mystery…

  • Same here…
    I have been getting calls from 202-478-0003 for the last week and mailing from the handy man service. These hangups are getting annoying and obviously there is no way to reach them. Hrmmm… They are only 20 minutes away, I may go looking for that mysterious door.

  • Has anyone tried reporting this to the Annoying Calls Bureau (at least that’s what it used to be called when I worked there) at Verizon? I tried all of the same stuff, including threats of litigation (though I haven’t actually filed since in VA it costs ~$90 to file in small claims court), to no avail. If all else fails, once the do-not-call list goes live, we should be able to report this to the FCC.

  • I was getting calls from Securicare last August 2002. Did some research…Talked with Mark Grodecki…301-515-1828. He lives at 21515 Waters Discovery Terr Germantown, Md. 20876. His wifes name is Iwona. This is a good address…pulled up the property record.
    Now in Aug. 2003 I’m getting calls on my business line from 202-478-0003.
    Maybe all of us should visit him and bang on his front door at all hours of the day and night.

  • Update: I sued Jeeeves (or rather, JHS Inc.) and its owner (Sam Alameddine aka Sam Dean) in DC small claims court. On July 1, after a full trial, Alameddine was facing a judgment (which the judge basically promised to grant) & agreed to pay me $700 for making illegal prerecorded calls to my house. He has since paid up.

    If Jeeves is making pre-rec calls to your house, you can sue them too. Today. You don’t have to wait for the national registry to take effect on 10/1; pre-rec commercial calls w/o consent to a residence are illegal now & have been since 1991.

    I’ll be putting up a new page shortly that details the specifics of who/where Jeeves it; its ties to Help In Crisis; and how I successfully sued.

  • I tried talking to the “Annoying Calls Bureau” at Verizon about Securicare last year – they said that unless the calls were threatening in nature, there was nothing that they could do.

  • I have sued Securicare, LLC, Sam Alameddine, Mark Grodecki and others in Maryland for violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. I would appreciate those who have dealt with or been harassed by them to contact me at 410-557-6192 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Thank you.

    Michael C. Worsham, Esq.

  • I got a leak in my bathroom and I really needed a Handyman because my husband was out of town for the week.
    So I called Jeeves Handyman. I’m telling you these people are great. They fixed the leek in less than an hour and their prices are amazing. If anyone ever needed some help around the house I recommend Jeeves handyman.

  • I got a leak in my bathroom and I really needed a Handyman because my husband was out of town for the week.
    So I called Jeeves Handyman. I’m telling you these people are great. They fixed the leek in less than an hour and their prices are amazing. If anyone ever needed some help around the house I recommend Jeeves handyman.

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