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Whistleblowing a fraudster: case of 8rental.com scam

Whistleblowing a fraudster: case of 8rental.com scam


Whistleblowing a fraudster

Quite regularly we have clients who come to us asking to help out as they got scammed by various types of fraudsters pretending to be carriers or service providers from whom they purchased a service and never got it delivered. These people, victims of fraudsters, are mostly ordinary consumers – families and small businesses. They often lack necessary skills and means to investigate thoroughly their counterparts. And this is what scammers count on.

To prevent or at least minimise such fraud cases in the industry of passenger vehicles rental with driver it is high time for all key players to develop and agree on a common approach on how to single out fraudsters and inform consumers. A central online database of fraudsters could be one such solution.

Quite often the fraudsters are former employees with criminal predispositions who made stints with carriers or intermediaries in our industry. Fired by their employees for fraud and other criminals acts they set up websites and advertise themselves as "giants" of the rental with driver industry but still remain criminals in their approach.

We think the first step in the right direction would be to blow the whistle once an organisation becomes aware of a fraudster offering services to the general public. It may certainly be embarrassing for some to recognise that a former employee has become a fraudster but it is a false sense of pride. There is no shame in reporting a fraudster as it may help consumers avoid falling victim of a scam.

We would like to lay a foundation for such practice of whistleblowing fraudsters and hope that other key players will follow in our footsteps.

8rental.com scam in the making

This case was actually brought to our attention via the Committee for the Prevention of Fraud in Transport (CPFT), who immediately recognised that 8rental.com has all characteristics of a scam and investigated about them. The scammers promoted themselves via fake information and deception going as far as posting fake scholarships in US Colleges and Universities from 8rental.com. This fact alone tells a mile about who are the individuals behind the 8rental.com scam.

Beware of 8rental.com scam

It appeared that 8rental.com was launched by one of our former employees who was hired in 2015 in Chisinau, Moldova, when we thought about creating a small customer service office centred on the Eastern European markets. The office in Chisinau did not materialise as we abandoned that idea a year later. However, we had a misfortune to recruit a local person, a Moldovan national, who later turned out to be a scammer behind 8rental.com. He was hired in June 2015 and stayed with us for half a year until we discovered that he was a thief as we logged his activities of stealing information from our databases.

It became clear later why, as he, together which his companion, also a Moldovan national, using fake identities, launched a website 8rental.com in 2016. CPFT discovered that 8rental.com scam uses a shell entity Vehicle Reservation LLP registered in 2017 (in a small residential house alongside with 25 thousand other entities.) According to the information of the UK Companies House Vehicle Reservation LLP was set up by Denis JMACOV and Alexandr CARAGHEORGHI, both residing in Moldova. The first mentioned individual is our former employee. As it turned out he stole and transmitted our internal company documents and commercial data to 8rental.com, which in turn used them for interaction with third parties. A fact that we also thoroughly documented.

In the true spirit of its originator, 8rental.com then proceeded with promoting themselves using fraud and scam techniques. From the start they declared that they are a European "giant" of transportation operating since 2007 out of London with hundreds of employees. They promote this fake information everywhere they can on the Internet using deception, incompetence and carelessness of various web resources such as Crunchbase and many others. Equally they post fake reviews in TrustPilot and various other consumer review platforms and use spam techniques and hackers to both harm competing websites and promote themselves. CPFT investigation provides an in-depth overview of their fraudulent activities. The case of fake scholarships scam in American colleges and universities is an absolutely outrageous example as the scammers took advantage of negligence of some webmasters who posted their fake scholarship on their websites without any verification.

Fake information 8rental.com published on Crunchbase.com

Behind 8rental.com are still the same two crooks operating out of Moldova, based on fakes, via a shell entity without any assets and no professional insurance. Any potential client or supplier is exposed to all imaginable risks. Even a possibility to sue them is problematic as they do not own any tangible assets and operate under fake identities. Those interested to find out more about these fraudsters can read a blog of CPFT who did a thorough investigation to uncover 8rental.com scam.

On our side we warn that 8rental.com is a dangerous scam in the making. We advise all clients and partners to stay away. We also urge all colleagues to repost and share this information as much as possible.

Fake scholarship posted by 8rental.com on the website of the Washington State University


P.S. In response to this article scammers from 8rental.com retaliate by posting online fake negative reviews about us and by placing thousands of spam backlinks. This action, a futile effort to harm our search rankings, is the best evidence that persons behind 8rental.com are none other than cybercriminals.

1CARES.com Administration