WOODHOUSE-L ArchivesArchiver > WOODHOUSE > 2000-03 > 0954203606
From: "Eloise Walton" <>
Subject: [WOODHOUSE] Fw: [LANIER-L] Rip-offs of the genealogy community continues
Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2000 19:33:26 -0500
Sure sounds like those generic genealogy books with addreses of all those in
the US of that surname in the middle of the book. A good one to stay away
From: Joe Sissom <>
Date: Monday, March 27, 2000 1:04 PM
Subject: [LANIER-L] Rip-offs of the genealogy community continues
>Good Morning, friends and cousins in the genealogy community!
>The response to the identification of the genealogy rip-off operation
>in Denver last week has been tremendous with a steady stream of requests
>for add'l info.
>The operation in Denver with a newly discovered "branch" in Utah is an
>incarnation of the identical scheme that Halbert's used. The same form
>letters, books and newsletters are being sold, and the same fake
>"Crests" and other products are being created "to exacting standards".
>The new incarnation has not yet been linked financially to Halbert´s or
>NUMA (Halbert parent), but the resemblance is so close, they could be
>joined at the hip, operating under dba's Mountain West News Service,
>Mountain Pacific News Service, and MORPHCORP. The Better Business Bureau
>reports that the company has joined the BBB in January 2000, opened in
>1985, and is rated as satisfactory. A complete history of Halbert's,
>courtesy of Jeff Scism (despite our surname homonyms, we ain't kin ---
>he hopes!) is available at
>Volunteers interested in assisting in informing the genealogy community
>of this scam have come out of the woodwork. We would ask the recipients
>of this email the following:
>1) A sample of the Colorado flyer is at
>Print it and post in the genealogy section at your library with
>appropriate message and make announcements at your gensoc.
>2) After you have read it, as a researcher you realize the fraud that it
>is. Go to the Federal Trade Commissions website at
>https://www.ftc.gov/ftc/complaint.htm and file a complaint ONLINE. For
>a sample complaint and further detailed information to use, please go to
>3) Forward this to every list you are on.
>4) If you are a member of NGS () or FGS
>(), contact those organizations and ask that they get
>members motivated. Gentech, Inc. () has a director and
>a well-known regular conference speaker in the Denver metro. I asked
>them to do some local research. No response to date.
>5) Contact every genealogy columnist whose work you read, both local and
>online such as Myra Gormley (} or Dick Eastman
>() who was stalwart in early work on Halbert's, both
>of whom, as well as others, are on this list. No response to date.
>6} If you have rec'd a flyer yourself, please report the names and
>addresses to me. We need to know all the DBAs they are using. Then
>take it to the local post office and file a complaint.
>7) If you are in the Denver area, we need search of the court house
>records to determine any corporate connections. If we can make a
>corporate connection, I am fairly sure the restraints placed on
>Halbert's can be extended by the proper authorities.
>8) If you are a supplier (software, services, researcher) to the
>genealogy community, this type of scam effects you even more.
>Contribute to the effort.
>9)This is no small time scam. Halbert's is owned by a company named
>NUMA whih in turn is owned by CENDANT. Go to
>http://itjobs.cendant.com/cendant_co.html to find other Cendant
>companies. You will NOT be happy with how you have been doing business
>with folks like this --- I promise you.
>These scams are more likely to rip off folks less involved in genealogy
>than most recipients of this msg. Most of us will recognize it for what
>it is and trash it. That does not relieve us of the responsibility of
>making it more difficult for these and other parasites within our
>community to enjoy their ill-gotten gains. I have found far too many
>that "don't want to get involved", "Didn't happen on my watch." (to use
>an old Navy excuse), running from controversy and responsibility. Let
>us unite in eradicating those that are behind an obvious attempt to
>profit unethically from the popularity of genealogy.
>==== LANIER Mailing List ====
>This is LANIER-L, the Lanier family genealogy discussion list.
>We now have over 260 subscribers. Direct any questions about list
>management to the listowner, Lois Kleinhenn Lanier, at
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