Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Watch out for Scams Attacking New Business Owners

First rule of owning your own business … have an accountant on-hand to review all documentation that is sent to you asking for money and paperwork. My business was recently subject to some serious scams, and I want to take the time to warn others so they do not also fall victim.

Once your business is filed with the Federal Government and you are established as a new business owner, you will find many offers coming to you for this and that. Keep an eye out for the scams!

Annual Minutes Disclosure Filing scams (listed below) found me. Keep on the look out for such requests and ignore/discard them. They appear very legit equip with your business EIN and are firm in their wording, so if you are unsure as to how to respond run them by a trusted accountant first before acting in any way.

I received three Annual Minutes Disclosure Filing scams and each one was generated from a different office, thus checks were to be made out to three separate offices. Check amounts varied from $125 to $150 to $175.

The following I received were:

1. Annual Minutes Disclosure Filing: Corporate Compliance Filings Office
2. Annual Minutes Discloser Filing: Corporation Compliance Recorder Office
3. Annual Minutes Discloser Filing: Compliance Annual Minutes Board Office

The following sites represent a handful out of many and provide more information on the same scam:

http://hinessight.blogs.com/hinessight/2005/05/corporation_com.html - HinesSight blog
http://www.santabarbara.bbb.org/BBBWEB/Forms/General/BBBNewsArchivesPageDetail.aspx?News_ID=109&sm - Better Business Bureau, Santa Barbara County
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/75059/annual_minutes_mail_fraud_scam_strikes.html - Associated Content Article
http://akuaku.org/archives/2006/09/california_corp.shtml - Another personal experience
http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/0/288/RipOff0288052.htm - Rip Off Report
http://www.incorporate.com/scam_alerts.html - The Company Corporation


Women! Watch out for Scams Targeting Female Business Professionals and Entrepreneurs

The National Association of Professional Women and the Cambridge Who’s Who seem to be in cahoots with one another. Coincidentally they are both owned by Scam Artist Matt Roman. There are also several other Who’s Who and other professional female organizations possibly owned by Roman that play the same game. Their play is to send you a direct mail postcard stating that you have been selected to receive a FREE one-year membership. After sending them your name and contact information to receive the complimentary membership someone calls and interviews you to see if you meet their high standards and criteria. It is some of the best scripted bait and switch scam sales crap I have ever heard. After you pass the interview they stroke your ego by congratulating you as if you’ve just won the Oscar™. Then the pitch comes on thick. They begin by trying to sell you two packages (neither of which is free, by the way).

The first level package is over $500 and the other is more than $800. When you mention the free membership offered through the mail they push harder to get you to cough up cash. When you resist further they offer a package at $189. When you push back even further they finally let up and tell you they will send you an email for the very basic membership package. The call ends there and the promised email never arrives. One lady badgered me so badly for not wanting to pay she made me feel like a derelict entrepreneur. So much so I simply recoiled and figured “it’s a good cause.” After all, I am a female entrepreneur trying to network with and assist other female entrepreneurs, so what the hell. Now I want to gouge her eyes out.

Almost immediately after the purging of funds I had immense buyer’s remorse, but I kept telling myself there will be benefits, right? So I kept a look out for the membership package said to arrive in 10 business days. The package, of course, never arrived. I felt ill having been scammed. The fact is that I am not stupid, but rather I am a trusting person - obviously to a fault. But if you were to read my CV you’d clearly see that my nature is giving and trusting just by the career and schooling choices I’ve made. They probably have professional profilers working for them lining up the perfect candidates to be bait and switched. And usually I am very good about letting things go, but not this. I’ve been relentless in demanding my money back. The last time I called I was so irate… “You f----d with the wrong bitch this time, Craig” … was among the most mild of utterances that rolled off my tongue. After being on hold for 20 minutes and routed back to the receptionist I finally got Craig back on the phone and was assured that I’d be getting my money back. We’ll see about that, but I can assure you that I will call everyday as part of my daily routine and will personally threaten Craig’s family jewels until I get my money back. Remember Lorena Bobbitt, Craig?

Below are some sites that also reference these two organizations as scams.

http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/0/364/RipOff0364787.htm
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/938499/national_association_of_professional.html?cat=7

Here is a link that lists legitimate, qualified professional organizations for females:
http://www.quintcareers.com/womens_networking_organizations.html

Matt Roman buys his lists for his DM campaigns from this company:http://www.infinite-media.com/clients.aspx

120 comments:

John's Arts & Crafts said...

Great Article! My research reveals that the reason why we have so many scammer on the net is two fold, people lead a busy life and
people just do not know what to do?
So, I wrote a short hub giving simple steps on how to do and the links to do it with. I call it "Report Scammers!"http://hubpages.com/_12decfraud86/hub/Report-Scammers

Karadise said...

hey there - just got hit up by these jackasses this morning. i told them id like to think about it. the hilarity that ensued after that was too much. i had them on speaker phone in my office while they rambled off lists of Disney and Coca-cola execs who couldnt POSSIBLE be wrong. they ended up hanging up on me because I had googled them and started reading your blog aloud. thanks and way to go.

Kimberly said...

Thank you for your article! I just received the NAPW direct marketing campaign scam letter today in the mail and wanted to Google the referenced organization before sending out any personal information. It just didn't feel right. After reading your article, I am so relieved to have taken the time to do the research first. There's got to be a seriously painful spot in Hell reserved for scammers such as Mr. Broman.

Blessed2be said...

Hi, you hit the nail on the head! I just received a call from this company too. The phone call was full of ego-stroking scripts, a very "in-depth" interview and then the bombshell: "489.00 prefered membership" or the "elite membership in the 600.00's." I am ashamed to say it, but I almost thought they were legit until I said no thank you and the lady started drilling me. "Do you know who we are... a very "exclusive" organization... blah, blah, blah. That's when I knew it was a scam. I forgot to ask how she even got my information to begin with, but after trying to sell me a 79.00 membership, she finally realized I wasn't falling for it and hung up. By the way, the number came up as private on my cell phone. Beware Ladies!!!!!!

Lindsay said...

Thank you for posting this. I just received the phone call and googled in napw scam. sure enough, there are several sites stating the scamminess of the this company. My favorite line in the conversation came after I said I was not prepared to give out any money today and the "interviewer" said: "Are you not familiar with who we are?" in a very snide voice. She also would not let me get a word in edge wise or answer any of my questions, so I yelled into the phone and hung up! I just hope any information they have received is not in danger!

netgoth said...

Thanks for the information. I just got one of these invitations myself. I knew something was wrong when they mailed me at the virtual office on file for the LLC as opposed to at my actual office. A quick Google, and yep - scam.

That said, I'm still sending back the card albeit without *actual* information on it. After all, they were nice enough to send me a card with a pre-paid stamp indicia on it. I can at least 'charge' them the wasted postage as recompense for my wasted time in Googling their organization.

Denise said...

I just got off the phone with the very elite NAPW and I experienced the same thing. Being offered experience memberships and every time I would so no she would offer a cheaper membership. She even asked do you know who we are. She talked about women at IBM being members and everything. I said no thanks. She kept pressuring and then she finally said thanks and hung up.

Martha said...

Thanks. I just received this letter in the mail the other day, and just opened it today. Sounded halfway decent...but what got me was my last name was spelled wrong. (not hard to do, but still...) I decided to google the name, and when "Scam" popped up, the red flags went off, as we were almost scammed by a shipping supplies company out of California (ya right. We're in Florida! sure, we buy our everyday packing tape from California. -dry humor- )

Shredding this letter!

cerridwens-cauldron said...

Oh my Goddess, I am so glad I researched this before I sent in this postcard! Thank you SO MUCH!!!! I am just starting up a home/web based business' with little if any disposable income. Like you, I am a woman who honestly think that MOST people are genuinely GOOD and I NEVER think anyone is 'out to get me'. Your article was just what I needed for 'reality check'. I hope you are able to recoup your money and I can not even tell you how grateful I am to YOU for posting this online.

BTW, feel free to check out my website, www.cerridwenscauldron.webs.com ,and if you have any thoughts or suggestions I would welcome them gratefully. I can be contacted via my website.

If you know of any women networking associations, expecially in Texas, I would love to hook up with them. If you would like to contact me privately, my email is listed on the events and workshops page of my site.

Thanks again!

Bright Blessings,
Karen Kirchem

Vanessa said...

Thank you!!! My husband already paid over $500 for NOTHING in the Who's Who and then I received the National Association of Professional Women. When I googled it, I found this website! Thanks for another mistake avoided!

Rebecca said...

I am so glad I saw this article. I came very close to being scammed by them. After the probing questions into my personal and professional accomplishments, the representative brought out the big guns and suggested I pay for the "Elite" membership, only $685! When I told her that I was not going to pay that much money, especially given that I just forked out my very large, and required, professional dues, she then suggested the lower membership, only $485! I was then told about all the "amazing" networking and mentoring that awaited me, and, perhaps, she could give me the membership cost given only to non-profits. OMG, how could I not see this was a scam! I made the mistake of giving my credit card info, but minutes after hanging up I realized that I just got scammed and found this blog. I immediately called back and after much yelling, demanding, being told that I had no idea who I was dealing with, I was able to get them to cancel my "profile." I was also told that the representative who helped me would be informed that after all her time and hard work in putting together my profile, I called to have it deleted. I am no longer worthy of NAWP. Please excuse me while I cry into my latte

Barbara said...

I just received a letter from those scammers today!!! I had a feeling something was up so I googled them. Well, well, well!!

Roxanne said...

I just got off the phone with a NAPW Account Director. Everything the other comments have said is completely accurate. After my "personal interview", I was offered either "elite" or "preferred" membership at $689 or $489, respectively. I almost choked. After significant, but polite, back and forth, she then went down to the price offered to non-profits which was $289. I still didn't feel right about it so I pushed back. At which point she offered me the $189 introductory rate which would be valid for 12 months. I still felt that was too steep and said as much, to which she then offered an $89 trial membership. I told her than I really wanted to think about it more before I committed... I don't think she was so thrilled, but in the end she said that I would have the complimentary membership and simply would not receive the welcome kit. I think I'm okay with that.

bukklvr said...

I know it's small but one way I am getting back is to return the pre-paid post card without any information filled out, at least they will get charged for the postage. I prefer to take some type of revenge for my sisters even if it's only the price of postcard postage.

Melinda said...

Thank you for your article. I too was hit by them and fortunately my bank became involved. They called NAPW and had the money returned to my account that day!

Lou said...

I just found some shocking information about this operation: NAPW Exposed

..

Himanshu said...

report any scam at http://www.allscamsforum.com. provide a link and get a link back

Logan said...

Your summaries are always top-notch. Thanks for keeping us apprised. I’m reading every word here.Virtual Office

Mimie said...

Thank you for the article. I had been scammed before and it's not cheap and I just got that email today. It's amazing how people are perfectly fine having their gains at the cost of another person. I always look out for those emails I'm not familiar with. Thanks again!

Emily said...

WOW! I googled while on the phone and found your article - thank goodness! From $689 to $99... they wouldn't quite! That's so sad they have to work like that. I had returned a form to get more info, and this was the follow up call. the number was 866-540-6279. NAPW - and they even said there was a local chapter in my home state. YIKES!

Kristi said...

I got scammed by the NAPW. Like others, I found myself giving my cc info and then having terrible buyers remorse. I had to deal with Craig for a refund and for 2-3 days I looked up all I could find on the NAPW. When Craig and I talked again I let him know I had contacted the NY State Attorney General's office and all of the info on the internet mentioning him specifically. I then told him that if he didn't refund all of my money I would pursue him to the full extent of the law. He refunded me every cent and I closed that cc. A lesson well learned for me.

Linda said...

Great article. I wish I'd read it before! I was contacted by NAPW. I sent in the postcard and just spoke to their 'Director of Membership'. She talked so much she hardly drew breath. When I asked her what happened to the free membership and pointed out that they contacted me, not the other way round, she started telling me about all the 'big names' that I could be networking with. She mentioned names of top execs of different companies - I told her that really didn't impress me and I didn't feel the need to network with those people (just as I'm sure they don't feel the need to network with me).

She was so intent on talking that every time I tried to say something she interrupted me. I hung up in the end after I told her I didn't appreciate the organization's underhanded methods of gaining new members.

Chanelle said...

Thank you so much for posting this! I never gave them any money and I am so glad I didnt! Scammers like this need to be exposed! I will pass this info on! THANK YOU AGAIN AND DONT STOP UNTIL THEY PAY YOU BACK!

shiohli_love said...

WOW! These people are relentless! After calling me 2 times a week (at my JOB!) I finally answered the phone call from these people, and after getting a huge ego boost... The crash came when they were selling the packages. 'Barbara' went through the whole hoopla of trying to sell me these packages and like the other comments stated, she didn't let a word in! She really ticked me off after I informed her I would like to find out more about this association before I signed up and before I even finished my sentence she cut me off with "I'm sorry, I thought you knew you who we were. Have you not heard of us before? We are the National Association of Professional Women." I stated that , duh, I knew who they were (they only harrassed me at the office every other day) and that it still didn't change my mind about wanting to find out more about them. I just apologized and said I would call back. I felt like poop after being talked to like that but I am SO GLAD I hung up... Thanks for the article!

bloomingflower said...

(Starla, Fayetteville, NC)I am sure you are overwhelmed by all of the thanks but one more can't hurt right. I just sent my info through the internet. Then I felt a little weird because I really hadn't put my business out there yet and wondered how they knew about me much less why they wanted to showcase me. I hadn't done anything yet. So I googled and THANK GOD FOR GOOGLE! I am anxiously awaiting their call so I can give them a well scripted piece of my mind. I hate scams and everything those behind them stand for. It really boils my grits to be targeted this way. Who does this guy think he is and why isn't he in jail? Then the letter said my 2010/2011 application had been approved but they wanted me to fill out another application??? I also want to know, if they know my name and address already why don't they have the other information they are looking for? Yeah, I can't wait until these low lives call me. I gave them my cell number which doubles as my business line so they are about to waste my minutes. I am already fired up and angry at even their gesture and truculent attempt at scamming me. What jerks! Note to all the Beachbody coaches out there... They are coming for you. Beware!

Vermonter said...

Well, I just had my encounter with NAPW and have to agree with all of you. I had originally looked up their site and thought it looked interesting, and with no fee or obligations, why not try it. Well, after 1/2hr of ego stroking and arm twisting, I agreed to a "trail membership" for $89/yr. Oh and there was tax = $98.95 charged immediately to my card. Oh and one sentance after this stating "all memberships are final". Oh and there is a $49.00 procresssing fee to have you listed in the Newsletter. I had buyer remorse immediately. I googled NAPW scam, and well you know the rest. I had the pleasure of speaking with Craig and after 10 minutes of increasing volume and a threat to go the BBB, I was credited the entire amount. But, they don't provide cancellation #s, so now I wait to see if there will be more to the story. Wish I had found you before they found me.

mivi said...

Businesswomen Beware: How I Fell Prey To A Scam Targeting Professional Women: http://michellevillalobos.wordpress.com/2010/08/25/businesswomen-beware-how-i-fell-prey-to-an-ego-boosting-warm-and-fuzzy-national-scam-targeting-professional-executive-entrepreneurial-women-this-is-my-story/

jenifer said...

They've also managed to kill off the site that Lou mentioned on August 20, 2009.

Lou said...
I just found some shocking information about this operation: NAPW Exposed
That was URL:=
http://www.napw-exposed.com/

Now it is gone.

Michelle Villalobos did a magnificent job of researching NAPW herself. She found out that "while TONS of search results exist for complaints, a large percentage of the links are broken or have been emptied/cleaned out."

http://michellevillalobos.wordpress.com/2010/08/25/businesswomen-beware-how-i-fell-prey-to-an-ego-boosting-warm-and-fuzzy-national-scam-targeting-professional-executive-entrepreneurial-women-this-is-my-story/

One of my favorites is the BBB entry where NAPW has an "F" rating.

http://www.bbb.org/new-york-city/business-reviews/career-and-outplacement-counseling/national-association-of-professional-women-in-garden-city-ny-100689/

SerenityLife said...

Thank you for sharing your story! These BASTARDS - The National Association of Professional Women got me too! I'm so mad. I have American Express on them. I complained to the Better Business Bureau and to the New York State Attorney General's office. I wasn't near my computer to google them when I accepted the invite to join. But on Friday they called me on Monday (today) I tried to cancel. They said the membership was nonrefundable? I was like WTH? Ughh..I got them to say they would only charge me $161 but I want my MONEY BACK! : /

Pam said...

I was actually on the phone with this company when I found this site. I had listened to their long ego massage and decided to Google when I heard the membership price. Thank God for this site because it convinced me not to spend my last unemployment check on the membership fee. The reason previous sites have probably been eliminated is that there are actually consultants out there (I know one personally, he is my IT professor) that get paid to "clean up" companies' reputations on the web. I feel terrible for people who are not internet savvy and get tricked into scams like this.

Carrie said...

Thanks so much for your site. I got their letter from NAPW this morning. I looked at their site. Looked good. But I always look for the "Trash" on ogranizations I am not familiar with. I am so glad I did. I thought of sending in the letter. It goes to show you there is no such thing as "Free".

Nanette said...

Just got the letter in the mail today but googled first. Thanks for the info.

patricia said...

I received a letter from the NAPW today indicating that I had been chosen to be a member of this select group of high-achieving women. I knew sometnhing had to be fishy if this group was contacting me. Any group that wants me as a membger is a group I don't want to join. (lol) I instantly googled them and found, among other sites that had nothing good to say about them, your very interesting article with the numerous wonderful comments from readers.

Thanks to all of you for your helpful comments and warnings.

You go, "Lorena Bobbitt"!

Sara said...

They called me too and when I refused to pay up without seeing defined literature the woman went into her speil.. she started naming big names little realizing I work for a tier 1 consulting firm and new the names she was rambling off - 4 of them clients of mine for Fortune 10 companies.. she went on to name the senior partner of my individual group within my firm as a member (who btw just ahppened to be sitting in the same room with me..) and she chimed up as saying there was no way she was a member.. then the littany of "Do you know who we are " started... I hung up. I mean seriously?

Jackie said...

Wow!...the Fake NAPW is still at it.(2011). I received the same call. Thankful for all your comments the inevitable was avoided. Big Ball Bastard Roman has guts....

kingst27 said...

Thanks for the comments. I got a call from a NAPW rep this am. First was the number showed as 'blocked' and then the pitch as was reported above re. membership fees. I was somewhat taken aback when she started listing which credit cards they take for an upfront payment. I remembered thinking the initial mailer said it was free, but wasn't sure. I told her to send me the material to review but was told that the packet they mailed depended on the membership option. I said, I'd have to call back with the payment info but had no intention to and wanted to look into them further. It is disheartening that so many scams are out there. I almost got taken by a grant company late last year which has made me especially leery with forking over money to anyone. Interesting that a man is heading up a professional women's association... Go figure!

Kishant7

Heather said...

I got my letter int he mail toda and immediately looked it up. What I don't understand is this...it is obviously a scam. So how are they still in business after all these years? I have been reading posts back in 2007, so I don't know how they haven't been shut down. I'm almost tempted to fill out the online app just to get the phone call. I think it would be fun to just keep putting them on hold and then laugh when they give their sales pitch. :)

Mudarisa said...

Thank you so much for reporting this! I got the letter from NAPW, and my first reaction was, "Why not? It's free!" I thought I'd better Google the organization first, and just putting "NAPW" in the search, "NAPW scam" came up. They'll get their postcard back, alright. They just may not like what it says on it!

Jenny said...

I've also received calls from both the NAPW and the Cambridge "organizations". The scripts are almost identical. I've asked them both to send me an invoice so I can "submit it to finance". Interestingly enough they won't provide you with a number to call them back - and won't provide an invoice. Too funny. I must say, they sound convincing in the beginning!

Rachel said...

They called me TODAY! I found it suspicious that they needed me to pay right away and wouldn't let me "call them back." Avoided a scam situation when I decided not to join. What a terrible way to fleece people...

liora said...

I had the same scam experience both on the phone and in writing from NAPW National Association of Professional Women.

Watch out!!

Jamie said...

NAPW provides empty promises & overcharges for services which can be found online for free & then they make it horrendous to cancel. I received nothing of benefit from them for my $500+ membership fee, and then they had the nerve to "auto-renew" my membership without my direct consent. When I called them they said it's in the "paperwork" they initially sent out. Sure would have been nicer if they called or sent me a reminder email. They wouldn't even refund my $99 which I'm sure means more to me than them. Don't join NAPW - it's a complete scam! You're better off using LinkedIn, Twitter, MeetUp and other free or nearly free services. Best wishes!

Tammy said...

I almost got conned by NAPW yesterday. I received a mailing and it said membership was free, the website featured Ivanka Trump, so I figured it must be credible, and I sent my information in. A woman name Robin Rice called me out of the blue and started interviewing me, told me I was qualified for membership, could be put as a Spotlight member, blah blah blah. Then she told me membership was $700, was I ready to sign up today? I said what? She said there was a cheaper level at $39 a year, I need to give her my credit card no right now. I said, can you bill me later, I don't give credit card info over the phone. She said, she understood but they are reputable. I thought it was $39 so I proceeded giving my information. While browsing the web, I noticed there were a lot of scams. I immediately told her I didn't want to do membership today, I'd think about it. She started getting nasty and desperate, then reading a really fast script, she said I signed up for a 6-month free membership and hung up on me before I could respond. So I could get charged after 6 months? No thank you. I called my credit card number, explained the situation and got my number changed. Shame on you, Ivanka, for endorsing this creepy organization that preys on women entrepreneurs.

Tonja Hiebert said...

I got an email today, I believe that it is from the same group, NAPW. Of course the link to membership didn't work, so I got curious as I had belonged to a group of professional Women while I was still working as an Air Traffic Controller. I searched everyway that I knew how for links to NAPW but came up with error messages on all. I'm sure glad the the link on their email didn't work or I'd be signed up.....

Robyn said...

I started a business last year. It is a 3 division business. Tree company, with a landscape design division and A construction division which includes Helical piles. I received a phone call on the tree company from NAPW. They started wanting $895.00 for a top grade membership. By the time she was done it would be $89.00 for a basic membership. I bit and gave them the $89.00. I never received the monthly magazine or all the information they were going to send me on what this company could do to help with my business. They also offer seminars, and conferences. I have been contacted by them aagain for another $495.00 because I have been chosen s one of the top ten women of the year. How nice for me. They will not be getting anything else from me after seeing this. Thank you so much for making this scam easy to find. God Bless, Robyn On-A-Limb Inc.

Molly said...

Hello Meredith

I read your blog this morning and I just wanted to touch base with you. I recently have had two phone conversations with the NAPW and I still haven't received my welcome kit. I don't understand what is going on so I did some more research and came across your blog. I was just curious as to how it all ended if you don't mind sharing? Is the company actually fake or are they just super bad at customer service?

I just don't know what steps to take from here. I don't know whether to go to them or go to my lawyer.

Thank you for your time and congrats on getting your money back.

convertingerica said...

I just got a call from them a second ago. I answered the phone and for a second, when asked to speak to Erica, and I said "speaking," she recoiled and didn't know what to say. Then after telling me who she was with, I told her that I was no long interested in membership. When I was asked why, I simply stated that "at this time, there are other professional organizations that I would rather spend my time and money supporting," to which I was promptly hung up on.

Nice professional organization, right?

Bridgette said...

Thank goodness for this article! I had already sent in my postcard and was literally on the phone with a representative when I saw this website. I had already given my card information for the $489 membership when I started reading these comments. As soon as I started to hesitate, she quickly lowered it to $289 (which still included all of the same benefits -- odd...), then $189, $89, then finally complementary. I appreciate all of your comments as I'm a young adult starting to pay off college loans. I had hoped to get a leg in to a Professional women's association and was willing to put up what little money I have, so thank you thank you thank you for posting these comments.

Arabella said...

And it gets better....

So sadly, I am one of the ones who fell for this a few months ago and instantly regretted it. Never thought to look up "scam" online at that point, but wish I had. Anyway, figured it was a good learning experience.

So this morning, I get another call from them, telling me I've been selected as one of their "Women of the Year". More questions, more ego-stroking, telling me how they're sending me a mahogany-mounted certificate, etc. etc. etc. Then all of a sudden, she starts talking very quickly about all their training and seminars, and how as a Woman of the Year, I can get "unlimited and free" access, if I pay $995. HUH???? Unlimited and free????

When I started pushing back, the woman on the end of the phone became incredibly condescending and wouldn't let me speak. Yup, same pattern. The implication was that she couldn't believe how stupid I was to be turning down such an amazing opportunity and what a bad entrepreneur I must be. Thankfully I wasn't going to fall for this again.

Interesting point -both times, they have called me at 9 am on a Monday morning. I am sure that is deliberate - get people when they're not at their most switched on.

I am now very concerned about ongoing charges from them (even though I was adamant when I first agreed to sign up that I didn't want auto-renew), so will be changing that credit card. Thanks for all the comments confirming this is a scam!

Kristine "Kiki" Rakowsky, Mastermind said...

The Ripoff report link in the article has been REVISED as of April 2011 and read what a bunch of fluff it is! HA! I wonder what the NAPW did to get that retraction.

Dotty B said...

Okay, the got me too. Usually I am very skeptical and don't fall prey to ego stroking. I don't do anything halfway so I signed up for the elite membership a year ago. I never logged in or used any of their services for the big price tag. Now, I discover they have automatically renewed my "membership". When I called to cancel, they stated I could not because the membership was already activiated and they can't give back money they no longer have. I will be contacting the NY Attorny General's Office

Pat Rapp said...

I just found your site because I googled “NAPW scam” after an annoying phone call yesterday afternoon. I had also received a nice letter in the mail a month or two ago. I was sure the introductory letter said something about free membership. I filled it out and mailed it in. Yesterday, I received a phone call from a very polite woman, reading very obviously from a script. She offered me an option for membership: elite for $789 and a second (maybe it was called premier) for $589. I told her I would think about it and get back to her. She said the membership offer was one time only and if I didn’t give her my visa number right then and there, I would miss this wonderful opportunity to network and have my profile on the front page of their website. I said I didn’t have my visa card with me and I would call her back. She then lowered the price of membership TWICE. I told her it didn’t matter what the price was because I was unable to pay at that time. I knew it was a scam when she sounded frustrated and said, “Don’t you have a bill or something lying around with your account number on it?” I said no. She said, “Isn’t there somebody at your office who can get your card for you?” At this point I told her I was not interested and hung up. I intend to report this to the Better Business Bureau today, and encourage others to do the same. Also, I’ll be blogging this as well. It’s important to get the word out that this organization is not legit, before more people are taken advantage of. Quite honestly, I thought the company was real and if she’d given me an initial price of $99 I might have actually paid it. >:|

Hey SandySan said...

I got a call from them last week and fell for it. But I swear I heard that preferred was 48.90 and elite 68.90 and a 9.99 transaction fee. So I opted for the preferred. Then when I checked my card I was appalled when they charged me 208! When I called back she said that my membership was 489! She charged my card for that but it didn't go through so she charged me for a intro membership for 208. They charge you for something else without notifying you or telling you.

Jenifer said...

Here is the Ripoff (rip off) report that Kristine "Kiki" Rakowsky, Mastermind wrote about (see posting June 20, 2011 11:19 AM):
The Ripoff report link in the article has been REVISED as of April 2011 and read what a bunch of fluff it is! HA! I wonder what the NAPW did to get that retraction.

Complaint Review: Rip-off Report Investigation: National Association Of Professional Women - NAPW commitment to customer satisfaction

http://www.ripoffreport.com/business-consultants/rip-off-report-inves/rip-off-report-investigation-25748.htm

I think this might be a good place to post (unless it is ALSO a rip off):

They have places for you to:
Respond to this Report
Also a victim?
Arbitrate
Set the record straight!

LC said...

THANK YOU! I just recieved a call from the NAPW. I had applied online a few weeks ago and had acutally forgotten that I had. The lady called me while I was in a business meeting. Lucky for me. When she got to the part where I was supposed to PAY, I told her I did not have my bag with me and she offered to wait while I went to get it. This put me off a bit because her tone changed as if she was bothered by it. The fee seemed very high as well. So I told her I'd call her back in the morning. I will call back but she won't like what I will say. I'm a professional woman so I will be professional ;). Thanks for this article. LCRJ from Fayetteville, NC

Julie said...

I sent in the post card, and my radar went sky high after "Patty" called today and said we had an appointment. No way in hell did I set up an appointment for the morning after an international trip.

The dialogue was so scripted, I knew I wasn't being accepted to anything. She trotted out those prices, and I said no way was I going to make a decision after being up for 25 hours, and that's when she started asking, "Is it a budgetary issue? I can fix that." Really? Well, why would I want to join an organization that doesn't have firm prices?

When I told her I needed 24 hours to think about it and she said that you have to pay on acceptance or lose your spot, I started laughing. Biggest red flag of all that this is a scam. No legit organization demands dues over the phone like that.

But to those who did buy -- hey, I happen to be just tired enough to feel cranky and argumentative. On a better day, I might have missed the signs completely. They are good at being shysters.

Lynn said...

Oh wow! I wished I had Googled NAPW before I was suckered by Patty Pineda. I knew when the card came that I was going to be offered a "list" or "book" with all the members, just like I stupidly bought back in high school to be in the Who's Who of Successful High School Students, but I didn't expect such high fees. I did talk Patty down to a lower fee, but then she tacted on $150 at the end of the call for the website announcement or something like that. I am working from home and I was just caught in a weak moment.

I just called back to Patty Pineda 866-540-6279 (ext 298), but she is on another line. I left a message for her to cancel my membership. I did this within 30 minutes of giving my cc number. I hope I don't get charged.

Why oh why can't I remember to Google when I am on the phone with these people? Why oh why can't I stop being so trusting?

Lynn said...

Getting worried after reading so many comments. I tried to call Patty back at ext 289 but she never answers. I called ext 243 and got a receptionist who transferred me to the finance dept where I left another message to not charge my cc. I hope this works. Please cross your fingers for me. I will put an update here to help others.

I went to the NAPW website and checked out my local chapter: Boston. There are over 100 members and they seem like smart people with their profiles. One woman had a PhD. Many had their MBAs. There was a young lady with bachelors and masters degrees from MIT. Now I don't feel quite as stupid, but I still feel gullible.

Brianna said...

I received a letter today. Loved the idea of sending the card back just to make them pay postage. Thanks so much for the helpful information :)

DanaD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DanaD said...

I just got my letter from NAPW today, but I felt like something is fishy there and I am so happy that I start google-ing the subject...Thank you so much Meredith, for sharing with us your story, it was extremly helpful for me to read it.

jenifer said...

Beware of ego-stroking!
They got my email address somehow: (but sent to Undisclosed Recipient)
From: Women's Professional Network
Date: Tue, Aug 23, 2011 at 6:50 PM
Subject: Congratulations you have been chosen for Registry of Distinguished Women
To: Undisclosed Recipient
It is our pleasure to inform you that you're being considered for inclusion with the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL WOMEN'S "DISTINGUISHED WOMEN OF 2010"
http://www.napw.com/xleadsinc/Index9.cfm?pubid=236737&subid=426206469

Jalisa said...

THANKS SO MUCH FOR THIS!!! I JUST GOT AM EMAIL ABOUT IT I SENT THEM MY INFO BUT DIDN'T GET A CALL YET OH BUT WHEN THEY DO I'LL MAKE THEM PAY!!! LOL I am a 20 year old business owner and am new to this I was excited about it and posted on FB about it as well! But I wanted to do more research afterwords! Thank God for discernment!!!

Geena said...

Ivanka Trump's brother is Exec. Director of Global Branding of Cambridge Who's Who- the owner of NAPW also owns Cambridge. Don't join either of these organizations.

Vickie Minnella said...

This company is a complete joke and needs to learn how to treat their members. They are misleading in every way about their member benefits as well as their manipulative way of telemarketing their fees to join! They call and tell you that you or your company has been nominated for an elite award and expect you to pay them (over and above their ridiculous membership fee) for your good work to receive it. They also access your account for payment without permission by stating an email was sent to inform you your renewal will process. No email was sent and when called to protect my account and unauthorized transaction, they lady was RUDE and lacked customer service. The outrageous membership fee is useless to begin with. The only thing the membership gets you is a bunch of calls by what seems to be professional people informing you of how well your company does and the award they want to give, yet they have to ask you what your company does and info about yourself. The only research they do is in telemarketing scams! This is by far the worst company I have ever dealt with and highly warn others to NOT buy into their fraudulent tactics. It is imperative this issue is dealt with on the consumer end as it will not be addressed if calling the disrespectful, misleading, fake, company!

Vickie Minnella said...

This company is a complete joke and needs to learn how to treat their members. They are misleading in every way about their member benefits as well as their manipulative way of telemarketing their fees to join! They call and tell you that you or your company has been nominated for an elite award and expect you to pay them (over and above their ridiculous membership fee) for your good work to receive it. They also access your account for payment without permission by stating an email was sent to inform you your renewal will process. No email was sent and when called to protect my account and unauthorized transaction, they lady was RUDE and lacked customer service. The outrageous membership fee is useless to begin with. The only thing the membership gets you is a bunch of calls by what seems to be professional people informing you of how well your company does and the award they want to give, yet they have to ask you what your company does and info about yourself. The only research they do is in telemarketing scams! This is by far the worst company I have ever dealt with and highly warn others to NOT buy into their fraudulent tactics. It is imperative this issue is dealt with on the consumer end as it will not be addressed if calling the disrespectful, misleading, fake, company!

Jenifer said...

I agree about the BBB. I read some articles that they might charge people to be members and thus give slanted ratings.

I just got a letter from NAPW. I want to send back the information card so that they have to pay for the postage (a friend says this also helps keep the post office in business).

But instead of leaving it blank, does anyone have any suggestions what to write on it? At least they will open this letter.

Post any suggestions.

MsBiz said...

Thanks for this information. I received a letter from NAPW today and I was initially excited but then quickly realized that it must be a scam b/c my business is to new for me to be selected for anything.

MsBiz said...

In response to Jenifer's question- I am going to fill my envelope with junk mail.

mpm said...

Thanks for this! I just got hit up by these assholes as well. I was curious to see how pushy the'd be so I filled out the form and then of course, a call came in with a "blocked id." They tried to sell me on two packages, the Elite at $689, and the Preferred at $489. It's the National Association of Professional Women. When I mentioned the free membership on the postcard, she berated me and then told me about the nonprofit membership that she would place me in at $289. When I said no, her tone grew more arrogant and she told me about the trial membership at $189, telling me that if I was serious about growing my business, I'd take this package. That's when I hung up on her.

All Things Diva said...

I received a card in the mail stating that I was approved for free membership and Starr Jones was the spokeswoman. I didn't mail the card back because I didn't want my info exposed as such. I went online, entered and no response in a month. I went online, got theri number, left a message and Krista called me back. I called her, she didn't have me listed as a member and keep transferring me and hanging up. This happened 3 times, I ran across this and thanks for the heads up! I keep calling her back to irritate her since it's a scam. dial 866-540-6279 ext 203 and irritate her. Thanks!

Blessed2bsvd said...

Same thing happened to me too TODAY..I just got off the phone with a NAPW Account Director earlier. Everything the other comments have said is completely true.
After my "personal interview", I was offered either "elite" or "preferred" membership at $689 or $489, respectively. I almost laughed. After significant, but polite, back and forth of exchanged information, she then went down to the price offered to non-profits which was $289. I still didn't feel right about it so I paused. At that point she offered me the $189 introductory rate. I still felt that was too steep and said as much, to which she then offered an $89 trial membership. I was thinking that why didn’t you offer the $89 package in the beginning, my conscientious was telling me no. So I told her I would give her a call back. And after reading I am glad I did not accept. I will not be calling back, no way, no how, I'm not calling them.

Sarah said...

Oh my gosh- guys- thank you so much for the continuous posts on this "organization". I received the letter as well and then it was followed up with numerous "restricted" phone calls and hang ups until about 20 minutes ago. Anna Rose called me and explained everything stroking my ego. What she did first was make it seem as if she was "interviewing" me before she would accept me. What do you know- after 15 minutes, she finally tells me how much membership will cost. hahahahaha. That is all I can say. Luckily, I walked to another area of my condo and lost reception. The phonecall got disconnected! I then read all of this. As I was reading these posts, she called back 4 times and left a few voicemails. So, again, thank you everyone for posting!

WAHU health and wellness said...

I recieved my notice in the mail yesterday and I just came online to look them up and I found you instead. Thank you for you post you saved me a lot of trouble dealing with these people. I will also let those I know who may recieve the same letter in the mail in the near future. Thanks again.

WAHU health and wellness said...

I recieved my notice in the mail yesterday and I just came online to look them up and I found you instead. Thank you for you post you saved me a lot of trouble dealing with these people. I will also let those I know who may recieve the same letter in the mail in the near future. Thanks again.

Child Blue said...

I just got an email from this group. I decided to google them after I replied to their email.I have not received a phone call yet. At least now I know how to handle them. Thanks ladies for all the info....
I do have one quick question for all of you. If we, as professional women, need an organization why don't we create one for ourselves? It just seems a lot of women are still wanting to sign up with such a company which to me shows a need.
At any rate, my best to all of you.

Christine Marsh said...

I received 'the letter' today, and instantly knew it was a scam, but wanted to Google it to see just how much of a scam it was. This letter was addressed from Adrienne Pasquale, and says all the same things your letters do.

Here is to so many organizations being created that truly nourish, love, and support women business owners, that there is simply no room left for those that do the opposite, like the National Association of Professional Women.

Have a beautiful day!

Julie Ann Dawson said...

Look out! Apparently NAPW is trolling the internet sending their legal team after people who use the word "Scam". I just got an email from Gather.com that they demanded that my article be removed. I wrote it years ago.

www.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474977730527

trendyscrapper said...

Wow that lady was s annoying they have such a terrible scam on their hand. It sounded like a great way network but as a skeptic I sat and googled as she pitched. As I googled she just became backround noise and finally she gave up.

SHAUNNA ANDERSON said...

I see the tons of thank-you's on your post regarding this scam.. As a matter of fact I was on the phone speaking with a Mrs Harowitz...from the NAPW...I am always suspect about anyone who calls from a block number,however the sales tactics lines were great and convincing but once again why are you calling me from a blocked number!?!?!? All I can say is wow!!!!Thanks for posting. I am deeply sadden by your financial loss, but you have given others a chance not to become a victim of this type of fraud.

Unknown said...

I just got an email this morning from these people, but because it required me to open a link, i sent it to spam. it reminded me of an honor i was given in high school. where i was chosen to be in a book and i had to buy the book to see my name in it. i thought if im so great and so smart, where are the schloarships and the job offers. if anyone call me and asks me for my credit card, i just lauh at them and hang up on them.
i fell for the focus factor vitamin scam, but ill not be taken a again.

Anne said...

Currently dealing with the NAPW too. I told them straight off I wasn't interested in anything I had to pay for, and "Enza" said I could just have my business profile listed on their page for free but of course I wouldn't have access to their wonderful member benefits. Enza got only more and more condescending with the "don't you know who we ARE, we have over 300,000 members nationwide!!" I told her I was already with Etsy, and she told me she hadn't heard of Etsy, and that Etsy is NOTHING. Really? Etsy is WORLDWIDE, not nationwide. 14 Million members, 800,000 shops, 680,000 Facebook followers . . . the list goes on. And Etsy provides all the same networking advantages, with the exception that they are FREE to read/participate in!! I believe I'll stick with Etsy.

KConner~ said...

I clicked on the advertisement from LinkedIn and I suppose they received my information from it. I received a call today, and it sounded like a scam because I could tell she was reading a script. Most Professional Women do not need to read a script. She offered two packages, one 489 and the other689. When I told her I wanted to look into the organization futher before making a financial obligation she dropped the price to 189. When I asked where the nearest local chapter was, she could not tell me so she dropped the price to $89. I finally said that I would like to call them back before giving my financial information out and asked how that was going to be possible because the number that showed up on my phone was 7748583686237? She told me I could hang up and call her back at 866-540-6279 ext 132. For those who lost your money, you can do something about that. Have you thought about pressing legal charges or calling your local news stations to look into it?

adoptivemomof2 said...

I too sent them my information via Linked In and just got a call about a $489 and $689 package. Then it was $249 and finally $89. I hung up on her at that point and said I don't need a place where I have to buy my membership. Glad I did not make that mistake.

Shanta said...

I wish I'd read this before I have been finding some frustration with a recent move/job hunt and felt it could only help, but after being a member for a few weeks, I'm not seeing any real benefits at all!!
I paid for the membership even though I had no idea it was going to cost anything at all. I folded when they got to the 189$ membership - i can't believe I fell for it.


I will likely just have my credit card reverse the charge and let the membership dissolve.

Giovanna said...

just got the call. BE WARE! 516-877-5500.

pirategrace said...

They are still at it! I got the call this morning. Gave them my credit card info, then after that when they started trying to charge me for additional so-called services, plaque, proofreading my profile, etc., I told the woman it felt like a scam and that I wanted no part of it and to delete my credit card info and take me off their list. She quickly said they would give me the complimentary membership and I'd receive the packet in 10 days. Right after I hung up I googled "NAPW scam" and found your site! I called my credit card company and cancelled my card and notified them of the scam. Fortunately, they had not charged anything to my card yet! Buyer Beware! and thanks so much for your post here!

Kellie Cooney said...

Hi - I never received a post card in the mail, yet something popped up online when I was doing research! Imagine that!!
Anyway, I thought the organization looked great from what I could see and was eager to at least put my name and email address (one I rarely check) in. A week later I received a call, when I couldn't talk, the lady called back 2 hrs later. I didn't answer. Today, however I got another call from a different person. When I inquired about the first woman who called, the caller said she had no idea who it was but I could talk with her. She took me through this elaborate interview process then congratulated me as I was "esteemed" in business and they would be honored if I would join their association. Then, she started running through the packages and - as all the other women eluded to, they were almost $700 and $500 for different memberships. I went to get my credit card even though I was feeling really guilty about not knowing anything about the company - which is where I stopped. I told the woman that my husband had my card after our vacation and I'd have to call her back. She immediately said, well, if $489 (plus $19.95 s/h) is too expensive, we also offer the same package for $289, you just get a 25% discount on certain services that would otherwise be free. I expressed that my husband would freak out if I spent that kind of money without talking to him first - especially since I'm in graduate school!!!! and funds are tight! She said she understood and I told her I'd call her back in 1 hour. Well, we're at that hour right now and before I made the call....I figured I'd do a google search to find out how "amazing" this organization really was....that's when I found this site.

Thanks for saving me $289!! Your blog and posts are a Godsend! I truly appreciate the effort that goes forth from women who honestly have each others backs!

Thanks again....

the number showed up as "unknown" but Liz Gladd's personal line is 866-540-6279 x216.

To her defense, at least she was very nice while we did talk =)

Many blessings, thanks again!!!!

Deb Zim said...

Just went through the same phone conversation the "levels" of membership and the prices just kept going down, the more I resisted, the last offer she made was $99.00 for a "trial Membership". When I refused that one as well the conversation ended in about 5 seconds. I'll be curious to see if I ever get any type of newsletter that I supposedly should receive.

Robyn said...

I just got off the phone with NAPW. I had made the big mistake of filling out information on Linked in thinking it would be a great professional networking opportunity. Within minutes I got the call. She told me it would be recorded and began to "interview" me with a bunch of questions about me. Once complete, she congratulated me and told me I am just what her organization is looking for. Then, immediately, she began her telemarketing pitch. She pitched the elite package that was several hundred, then as I told her I wanted this in writing, she said they have NOTHING in writing (red flag), and told me she didn't want me to pass up on this great opportunity. She did the typical pitch knocking down the price each time I said no and then ended with telling me they would just give me basic access. I never got any email promised with the link. STAY AWAY LADIES!!! This has SCAM WRITTEN ALL OVER IT!!

christine said...

They have a paper clip ad on LinkedIn which seemed interesting so I requested more info. When they called me they said that my application was 'accepted' and that I could choose the full membership for about $800 or the partial for about $500. When I asked them to mail me info cause I don't buy via phone, they said they only do this via phone and they don't mail fees or post on their website. I said no, and they offered $200 membership. I'm staying far away from this one.

Dr. Kay said...

Just got off of the phone with Donna Lind from NAPW. I listened to the spiel then she offered me an elite membership for $989!!! My spidey sense started tingling. I prentended to give her my cc info and hung up before giving out the last two digits!!! She called back but didn't answer. Beware of this scam... Star Jones should be ashamed!!!

Stacy Frett said...

Just got off the phone with Pamela Pettway 866-540-6279 no ext. #. Same pricing levels and all that. Luckily I am broke right now...so there was nothing I could do. Was eventually offered the freebie membership with the newsletter oh boy another piece of email. Doubt I will get that LOL! beware of this scam! Star Jones you should be ashamed of yourself!

Crystal said...

I got the same spiel this morning asking me for a thousand dollars. I finally got them down to $99 but because they were so pushy I just dug my heels into the ground and said I would contact them when I am interested.

Unknown said...

Let's take action!

My story is the same as many other commenters. Their tactics are a disservice to women and I'm pissed about it. I'd like to take action by contacting LinkIn as well as NAPW's charity partners to let alert them on my experience. Co-branding is powerful and I believe the reputable organizations will consider our experiences when deciding whether to collaborate with NAPW.

If you are interested in participating in a collective letter to those charities and to LinkedIn please contact me by replying below. In two weeks I will consider whether to move forward as a group.

Meredith Madnick Cornelius said...

UNKNOWN... contact me directly @ mc@womenworksmart.com

Meredith Madnick Cornelius said...

UNKNOWN... contact me directly @ mc@womenworksmart.com

Mary Russi said...

MAry Grace Russi
Thank you for this site .... I made a mistake while on Linked In and say I was interested in more information.
They call me non stop from a blocked telephone number and when I finally spoek with someone today something about it did not feel right. So I told her (Erica) that I did not hve time to speak and taht I wanted to google them frist. THANK YOU THANK YOU for this information... I have dealt with the WHO'S WHO scam... already and fought them.

Mary said...

Unknown: I have complained to LInkedin about this organization and want to take further group action with Linkedin, the BBB and the NY Attorney General's office. There is power in numbers. Please contact me directly at mpadillamd@gmail.com Thanks.

Mary said...

Clicked on the Linkedin ad. Same experience as everyone else. When I told the lady I needed to perform due diligence before paying for any membership she said I had to pay "now" or I would no longer be eligible. Fine by me, that's a deal breaker. No legitimate organization would demand immediate payment and threaten that future membership would not be possible if you don't pay immediately. Please lodge formal complaints with Linkedin, the BBB and the NY Attorney General's office.

Geoff said...

May want to add The National Association of Distinguished Professionals to this list.

Joanna Hackley Davis said...

I'm wondering if NAPEW and NAPW are the same thing.
I was contacted by Carol Kennedy through LinkedIn. Her spiel certainly follows these lines. Requested $759 for a Platinum membership or $559 for Gold.
She made very certain to state that the National Association of Professional and Executive Women is in a lawsuit with NAPW.

jenifer said...

NAPEW vs NAPW
Joanna Hackley Davis, they are equally corrupt. Read Michelle's original posting above.

Linda B. Ph.D said...

I have been a member with the National Association of Professional and Executive Women since 2009. Since then I have attended numerous seminars and two conferences. I met Carol Kennedy personally at the 2012 conference in California and she was very kind and informative on women's issues. They also helped me when I had to relocate back to NY from CA last September by helping me build clientele for my private practice.
1 month ago I saw a link on LinkedIn for female business owners to register for free for the NAPW. I figured since I love the NAPEW it would benefit me to be in more than one woman's association. Within 2 hours someone contacted me and began to ask questions that sounded like they were reading from a script. She kept stuttering and messing up where she was at in her script; I assume she must have been a new employee at NAPW. I went along with it for fun and when she had finished offering me the last , and most inexpensive membership( one of 6 I was offered that kept decreasing in price!) I hung up on her. One week later I receive a call from the Worldwide who's who( which I've noticed advertises beneath NAPW on LinkedIn) stating the same spiel as NAPW with the same memberships. Yesterday I get a call from NADP who again went through the same Spiel as NAPW and Worldwide who's who. I found this blog after I did some research last evening and assume NADP, Worldwide who's who and NAPW must all be under the same ownership of Matthew Proman! He is obviously a despicable man who preys on women. I don't know if there is a lawsuit against him, but if not I sure hope There is in the future.

Joanna Hackley Davis said...

Expect a flurry of new comments from "members" of NAPEW.
I got a phone call from Carol Kennedy last night. She was "hurt" that I chose to publicly post about my experience with her, especially after she had "spent so much time" on the phone with me. (Read: wasted precious moments of my life that cannot be recovered.)
She said she couldn't understand why I would do something like this, and when her manipulative tactics didn't work, she told me she would "warn" others about my lack of professionalism.
Interesting, given that my participation to this point has been to pose a question on a blog.
I did my research. I called several "members" of NAPEW, as listed on their website. (Carol told me it was private, but I came up with a list of over 100 names.) None of them have ever been to a meeting or convention, nor have they ever been informed of one.
One woman was obviously confused as to what organization I was even referring to, as she said she'd been to their office in Washington, DC. Obviously, there has not been a lot of contact or value there.
In addition, I researched and could find no record anywhere of a convention or national meeting of NAPEW, nor any local meetings here in Florida.
While talking to Carol yesterday, I was still trying to give her the benefit of the doubt. She had requested that I remove my "unprofessional" comment from this site. I told her that all I was looking for was some kind of confirmation that the organization was legitimate, and asked that she provide the name of the person who organizes the meetings near Orlando.
Again, she refused, stating that she was afraid I would use the information to "steal members."
If this were a legitimate organization, not only would I be given the local leaders' information, I would be invited to attend a local event.
My assessment remains that NAPEW reeks of SCAM. The anonymous PhD above doesn't impress me.
If the day ever comes that a real person steps forward and shows me that NAPEW actually exists as something other than a charge on a credit card bill and a pretty framed plaque for the wall, I will gladly rescind my statements and post a personal apology. Until then, I stand by what I say.

Maria PMP said...

Does anybody know anything about the NADP?? They have contacted over 50 employees( both male and female) at the company I work for and I made the mistake of answering the email and now they won't stop calling me! Are they the same group as NAPW?

Helga Mac said...

NADP is the same company as Biltmore Who's Who although Biltmore has changed its name to Covington Who's Who probably because of all the bad press they have online. Who's Who companies have been preying on professionals for years and in my experience Biltmore/Covington Who's who is one of the worst of the bunch, right up there with Cambridge/Worldwide Who's Who! Cambridge and Worldwide Who's Who are also the same company owned by the same guy! My advice......STAY AWAY FROM WHO'S WHO!!!!!!!

Barbara W. said...

I had been contacted by the worldwide who's who last week. They told me I responded to an email they sent, but I don't check email very often. They tried to get me to buy a membership for over $1200 and I told them I've been retired for over 15 years and would have no use for it. They kept pushing me to act now or the opportunity would be gone. I continued to state that I don't do memberships, I can't even leave my home due to MS. I told her the only membership I pay is my monthly AOL membership bill. The woman asked what I was referring to and I stated I pay AOL a monthly fee of $21.95 for their connection to the internet. The WHo's who employee informed me AOL is free! I hung up with her and got my previous bills and found I've been being billed $21.95 a month to my Visa card since 1996. I called the AOL number on my visa bill and had to wait almost 30 minutes to speak with someone. Once I got the gentleman on the phone I proceeded to ask him what the charge is for. He told me its a membership where AOL will Warranty anything that goes wrong with your computer, and for connection to the internet. I pay a separate fee through cablevision for my internet service and I've bought at least 3 computers since 1996 and AOL never helped me with any of them! I told them they mislead me and I was never told what the services were that I was being charged for. They told me it was my responsibility to contact them if I no longer wanted their services. I told them I want my money back and they said they would see what they could do. My son in law then contacted the Manager there and the man said when broadband services were phasing out they changed their package to a membership where they provide you with email and answer any computer related questions you may have. I have never received any help from AOL, and was never informed of those services. He also refused to send me literature confirming what I paid for. He told me he would credit me back 2 months. I called my visa card immediately and told them to stop all charges and explained the situation. She told me she will try to go back and see if she can have some of the charges reversed. I did the math and see that I have paid $263.40 per year since 1996, which adds up to $44,778!!! I am SO upset about this. Since this blog seems to deal with people who have been victimized I was wondering if anyone has any advice regarding a big company like AOL? I am an 85 year old woman and did not understand what I was paying for. I'm sure they have done this to others who did not understand what they were paying for, since AOL refuses to supply that information to the customer. The credit card company informed me they will remove all charges this year, but can't go back further without proof I didn't use their services. This is an outrage!! If anyone can help me, or knows someone at AOL that has power I would appreciate your assistance. I also recommend if you know someone who is elderly who uses AOL, ask them if they pay this monthly membership. They are most likely being scammed by AOL as well.
Barbara

Unknown said...

Barbara, your story made me cringe. $44,000 since 1996? While I empathize with you fully, I'm afraid you've probably lost most of that money, and have learned a valuable lesson to check your credit card statements carefully. If EVER there's anything you don't understand, ask.

Unknown said...

Barbara, your story made me cringe. $44,000 since 1996? While I empathize with you fully, I'm afraid you've probably lost most of that money, and have learned a valuable lesson to check your credit card statements carefully. If EVER there's anything you don't understand, ask.

Barbara W. said...

Thank you unknown. I realize they are not going to be able to credit back all of those years of monthly charges, but a corporation like AOL should care about negative press. I'm hoping that more people will come forward who are also being charged these fees. They obviously feel my age demographic is stupid regarding technology, and perhaps I am. That still doesn't make it right to take advantage of me. I truly thought you had to pay for your AOL email account and that without paying them you couldn't access the AOL home page features. The point is they never let me know that the monthly fee was just broadband dial up service, which I haven't used since 1998. It is a membership scam much like who's who. My son in law suggested I complain on their twitter feed, but I'm too old to be on twitter and not sure anyone would listen to me anyway.

Helga Mac said...

I hate to break it to you Barbara but $263.40 a year since 1996 equals $3424.20 not $44,000. If those fees were monthly for 13 years you would be at $41,000. Either way AOL has been doing this to a lot of older people who didn't really understand what they were paying for.

Jenifer said...

Barbara W, If you write up your warning into one or two paragraphs, I will be happy to post it on my Facebook page and share it with my many friends and email listers. You can post it here or ask our host, Meredith Madnick Cornelius, if she can contact me privately outside of her blog.

Barbara W. said...

I told you I was old. My hands shake sometimes due to the MS, so I must have hit an extra key on the calculator. It is still money they stole from me. Thank you Jennifer I will write a couple paragraphs for you to post. I really appreciate it.
AOL has been charging me, an 85 year old woman, $21.95 a month since 1996. Originally it was for broadband services, but that changed to cablevision in 1998. They led me to believe I still had to pay this fee for access to my AOL email, AOL homepage features and customer support for any computer related questions. When I questioned them about these charges a few weeks ago they tried to say its a membership that I was responsible for cancelling. I can't cancel something I don't know I'm paying for!
Basically they've only agreed to remove 2 months worth of charges, even though my son in law and I both explained we didn't know what we were paying for. My Visa card is trying to go back and see if they can remove some of the charges as well. I have spent approximately $4200 since 1998 for nothing. I am sure there are many other individuals who are not aware they are paying for something they don't have to have to get on the internet. If we make enough noise about this issue perhaps AOL will comment and do the right thing. If you know someone elderly with internet services please ask them if they are paying AOL these fees monthly...there is power in numbers.

Thank you again for posting this Jennifer!! Please keep me informed of anything I can do to help moving forward.

jenifer said...

Good luck Barbara W. I posted your message on Facebook and sent it to a few groups. Unfortunately, my PC broke and the contacts on my iPhone were recently wiped out. I will share your message and story as often as I can.

Barbara W. said...

Thank you so much Jennifer!! I really do appreciate it. Hopefully we can help someone else from having this happen to them with AOL.

Gomes said...

Hopefully we can help someone else from having this happen to them with AOL.

kiss time

Liz Kodela said...

On 12/10/13 NAPW took an unauthorized debit of $199.00 from my bank account. They claim that I didn't turn off the "auto renew' button. I did that after the initial registration. The next time I tried to login to my account I couldn't and need their tech support (2-3 calls) to reboot my settings. Apparently that affected the 'auto renew' setting.

I noticed the debit on 12/12 and complained to NAPW at 888-852-1600 Patty who was extemely rude saying that membership couldn't be cancelled and money wouldn't be returned. She transfered me to Jennifer at 888-778-2800. Jennifer denied me the right to cancel membership and offered to reimburse some of the payment. I insisted that I didn't want to be a member (even for free) and wanted to be released from this membership and wanted full refund of the money withdrawn.

Mosaic Paradigm said...

Thanks so much for this article. In 2014 the NAPW scam is still happening. I just received my invitation last week, but I held on to it until I had some time to do some research. Thank goodness I did.

Joanna Hackley Davis said...

I am so disappointed in LinkedIn. They run banner ads for NAPW on a very regular basis.
There is no evidence that NAPW or NAPEW have ever held any kind of meeting, gathering, or deliver any value add for the money they charge, yet LinkedIn continues to proliferate their propaganda.
So disappointed.
I've written to LinkedIn and the only thing I got out of it was the removal of my profile picture and instructions on how to block someone.
They do not take responsibility to keep their site clean when problems are reported.