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America’s Professional Registry – Avoid like the Plague

I’m back from a 4 week break, just in time to receive the latest round of registry spam. Today’s episode is brought to you by the 2010/2011 Edition of “America’s Registry” – whatever that is.

Dear ,

You were recently chosen as a potential candidate to represent your professional community in the 2010/2011 Edition of America’s Registry.

We are please to inform you that your candidacy was formally approved April 30th, 2010. Congratulations.

The Publishing Committee selected you as a potential candidate based not only upon your current standing, but focusing as well on criteria from executive and professional directories, associations, and trade journals. Given your background, the Director believes your profile makes a fitting addition to our publication and our online network.

There is no fee nor obligation to be listed. As we are working off of secondary sources, we must receive verification from you that your profile is accurate. After receiving verification, we will validate your online listing within 5 business days.

Once finalized, your listing will share prominent registry space with thousands of fellow accomplished individuals across the globe, each representing accomplishment within their own geographical area.

To verify your profile and accept the candidacy, please visit here . Our registration deadline for this year’s candidates is May 30th, 2010. To ensure you are included, we must receive your verification on or before this date. On behalf of our Committee I salute your achievement and welcome you to our association.

Sincerely,

Robert Hopkins

VP Research Division

America’s Registry

26 Bond Street

Westbury, NY 11590 – USA

Confidentiality Notice: This e-mail communication and any attachments may contain confidential and privileged information for the use of the designated recipients named above. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that you have received this communication in error and that any review, disclosure, dissemination, distribution or copying of it or its contents is prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please delete the communication and unsubscribe from the mailing using the options available in this email.

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.

Thanks

The links from today’s episode leads to “discrete.onlinedirectoryofwhoswho.net”. And what do you know it, our friends from protecteddomainservices.com are behind it again.

It’s also quite clear that the email source is the same as the previous one which doesn’t have my name again, being addressed to “Dear ,”. The fact that I’m not even from America seems to be missed as well.

As an aside, I enjoyed reading the biographies of some of the “VIP” members. Some of them seem like genuinely accomplished, intelligent (lawyers, doctors, business) people. Some could even be real, or so my advanced Google-Fu tells me.

Then we come to the case of Jane Penelope Johnson. Here is the lovely woman:

Dr Jane Penelope Johnson

“Dr Johnson” has quite an amazing CV. Here are just some of her achievements:

Honors & Awards:
Most Admired Woman of the Decade; International Woman of the Year, Cambridge, England; 3 time award winner, Woman of the Year, American Biographical Institute; The National Library of Poetry; Listed, International Who’s Who of Intellectuals; “Sing Hosanna” CD sent to U.S. troops in Iraq and around the world, Christmas, 2005; Penny’s songs No.1 out of 18, Hilltop Records, Hollywood, California; Who’s Who of International Poets “Goldpin” sent to Penny Johnson for excellence in poetry and vision; Appointment – Genius Laureate, USA by Janet M. Evans, President, A.B.I.; Inclusion in 500 Greatest Genius Laureates of the 21st Century; Life Member, American Hall of Fame; “Shout it Out” – “Immortal Verses”; 2007; Lifetime Achievement, A.B.I.; Presidential Award from George W. Bush, 2008

Published Works:
Books, “Anthology, Treasured Poems of America”; Noble Laureate” from A.B.I.; “Songs of Honour,” worldwide – Penny’s poem “Introspection” included according to Nigel Hillary, U.K., 2006-07; “A Penny for Your Thoughts,” Penny Johnson, Published by Authorhouse, Bloomington, Indiana, 06-30-04- I.S.B.N. #1-4184-2489-7; Currently in Print-A Poetry book warmly written to lift you up and give you hope; The song “Christmas Is” written by Dr. Johnson on the Album “Glory of Christmas,” due out Christmas, 2008; 2 songs “Christmas Wishes and Unspeakable Love” on “The Miracle of Christmas” CD, 2009

Affiliations:
International Order of Merit; World Literary Academy; Commission from President George W. Bush; Semi-finalist International Poetry Open; Laureate Founder – International Society of Poets – Advisor, Nobel House – Empire State Bldg. Poetry Office, U.K. – Paris and Tokyo Publishing; B.C.B.C.

What an amazing and impressive list: International Orders of Merit, International Society of Poets, even a Presidential Award from George W Bush himself! The only problem is there is no evidence anywhere that a) any of this is true or b) most of these organisations or prizes actually exist! Try it yourself. Google any of these awards and Ms Johnson’s name, and you’ll see what I mean.

Surely a “World Renowned Poet” would have a website, Wikipedia page or be listed somewhere else? The top results of a search for “Jane Penelope Johnson” shows the America’s Professional Registry and the Strathmore Who’s Who, another scam site. In fact, Dr Johnson was also awarded an American Achievement Award by Strathmore Who’s Who in 2010. Except when you read the press release, it lists a date in 2008. Bad copy and paste job, perhaps?

The profile on Strathmore states

Dr.. Johnson’s most notable career accomplishments include receiving The Emily Dickinson Award for the poem, “The Wedding”

Here is a link to “The Wedding” on poetry.com. Hardly earth shattering, compared to the poetry of the 2007 winner (bottom of the page). In fact, it is part of her self-published book “A Penny For Your Thoughts”, which actually exists on Amazon. The cheesiness of the front and rear cover are worth the book preview alone.

Jane Penny Johnson is either one of two things: 1) a profile made up by this scamming organisation, possibly around a real person or 2) a poor poet with illusions of grandeur. I sincerely hope for Ms Johnson’s sake, it’s the former.

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5 Responses

  1. Koen says:

    I received the same e-mail today, May 12th 2010. I’m from the Netherlands.
    I wondered how they got my name, but I expect my name has been taken from the catalogue that has been spread on a fair, because I recently exhibited on a show in the US.

    Thanks to this message I’m convinced it is indeed ‘the latest round of spam’.

    So, you are warned, don’t react on the election!

  2. TD says:

    At least my email has my first name on it and correctly. There is a Fresh Meadows, NY and something tells me they get their hands on convention lists. I’m sure the person from the Netherlands was recently at OTC in Houston. Several others attending got this letter. Mine expires May 30. I’d be interested in where they get the money on this hoax. They say none is required.

  3. TD says:

    Almost forgot, here is the link to the establishment at the IABL address. It looks like you can become a preacher, find a date or just about anything else at this place.

    http://www.merchantcircle.com/business/Multimedia.Church.Solutions.Inc..646-644-7736

    • Concerned Citizen says:

      IABL is just the latest version of this SPAM, the link they sent me went to a website with a photo at the top of the page, but it appears it used to be just text. That text was commented out, leaving behind this ‘breadcrumb':

      Welcome to Presidential Who’s Who Online Form

      This was on the IABL website, and the content of the email they sent me exactly duplicates the American Registry verbiage above. They cleansed their home page, there is no such mistake, but on the personalized link they send you, this is on the page, you have to view source to see the comment.

      It wasn’t detected as spam.
      I marked it as SPAM, and BOUNCED it back so it looks undeliverable when they get it back. I recommend doing the same.

      I have not attended any conferences, but I expect my email was gleaned from my Resume that appears on numerous job boards.
      My email address is obfuscated, meaning someone is programmatically de-obfuscating them (changing “AT” to @, etc.) or else someone is manually extracting and de-obfuscating them.

      We need to stop these people, they always use an American Name and a New York address, that’s the common thread.
      I suspect this is purely a “social engineering” attack to collect valid email addresses for further attacks in the future.

      Concerned Citizen

  4. Amy says:

    At least my email has my first name on it and correctly. There is a Fresh Meadows, NY and something tells me they get their hands on convention lists. I’m sure the person from the Netherlands was recently at OTC in Houston. Several others attending got this letter. Mine expires May 30. I’d be interested in where they get the money on this hoax. They say none is required.

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