The Lanzarote Society

Today we got spammed – nothing new about that in Lanzarote, or anywhere else with the address lanzarotesociety-dot-com… We also had some complaints, and questions from clients – relating mostly to the fact that they had used the address elle@ as their Playa Blanca contact. Our clients were questioning whether we were involved in any way. We decided to do some digging.

Before I go any further with the results of that digging, let me state categorically we have not, will not, and will not ever have any dealings with the site or those behind it.

Apart from being a really shabbily designed website, it;

  • gives no indication of its owners
  • is selling membership to unwitting tourists who might want to ‘feel part of the island’
  • it claims to be non-profit making (sic!)
  • offers people the opportunity to work for them for the investment of £2000
  • the whole thing stinks…

The whole site and its related domains are written in a style of language many reading this will be familiar with… It includes the phrase “Simon says” throughout…

Yes, you guessed it. It’s an old favourite – it’s the inimitable Simon Harris again. Simon and Jenny Harris and Quills Wills may be down and unable to trade here (his words on the Gazette forum as I recall), but it seems they are not out.

The evidence?

The name of the domain owner – Melanie Ross (click on her name for the Google search which demonstrates clear link)

Companies House information…

LANZAROTE SOCIETY MANAGEMENT LIMITED
HARBRO HOUSE
CROWN LANE
DENBIGH
LL16 3SY
Company No. 06661107

and…..

THE QUILL GROUP (1986) LLP
HARBRO HOUSE
CROWN LANE
DENBIGH
DENBIGHSHIRE
LL16 3SY
Company No. OC328567

The same address is also the Registered Office of… THE QUILL GROUP COMPANY SECRETARY LLP
and THE QUILL GROUP TREASURER LLP

There’s plenty more where that came from – but I think you’ll agree it’s pretty clear as to who is pulling the strings on this baby! Of course, I have emailed and asked that any links they have included on there to our sites be removed – we have absolutely NO association with this venture.

The really worrying thing is that on the site it says that one of their aims is to represent the island and it businesses… Think about that one!

A note to tourists who may be reading this at this point – there are many good sites in addition to our own Lanzarote Nightlife if you are looking for information on the island – just Google, you’ll find plenty. And you certainly don’t have to pay to feel a part of the community – you are always welcome on sites like our own forum at Canary Nightlife, the forums on Discover Lanzarote and at the Gazette.

Now, of course, I’m not saying Simon Harris is a conman – I do however have an opinion based on all I’ve seen and read about him. What I would strongly urge anyone who is reading this – if you are thinking about doing business with him, or any of his companies, make sure you do thorough research – hopefully there’s enough in this post to get you started. That research may end up saving you thousands…

Caveat Emptor….

18 Responses to The Lanzarote Society

  • I have been spammed senseless by this site today and equally like you looked to see who had designed the site and who owned it, eventually seeing the elle@ email address obviously sent you a message to ask what the crack was. The majority of those who live in Lanza will assume its one of your sites, I then thought this was someone recognising your expertises and trying to pretend you were on board for credibility – a sly trick in itself, but, now that it seems its a Quills related exercise that is particularly scary. I just googled them this afternoon to find out a bit more and found this page straight away so well done for the investigations and for getting this warning page up before anyone parts with their money to Lanzarote Society.

  • Thanks for clearing that up for us! I have received dozens of spam emails to every email address we have ever had on our websites. I looked at the site and it’s absolutely awful! I tried to contact them, but the contact form doesn’t work. I’ve reported the spam via our email provider.

  • That is one of the worst websites I have seen recently. How anyone can take that seriously anyway, I don´t know. I hope people don´t. :O

  • Interesting reading indeed there does seem to be an influx of new Lanzarote websites each pushing for business owners to use them as the best or cheapest form of marketing. The exaggerated claims of viewer numbers or google search positions can be disproved by the main sites and their own traffic. We always tell our clients to make searches themselves and that way they can find what websites might be relevant for any advertising or marketing of their businesses! Thanks for putting in a little bit of research time on this one for us all …

  • Well, as expected – no response to my request to remove links to our sites… So – have followed the first email up with this…

    “I respectfully asked earlier this week, and have had no reply, that you remove all links to sites owned by ourselves on your website – if you have done your research you will know which they are – following your recent spam emails across the island. The main two I am referring to are here *link* (please note the text used to describe Canary Nightlife is copyrighted material).

    Also, again, if you have done research, you will know that my wife Elle is well known in regard to Playa Blanca – we have had questions as to our involvement simply based on you using the name “elle@”. It is our belief that you have deliberately used her name as an email address to imply our involvement and gain credibility on the back of her reputation. If indeed you do have an Elle (unlikely as it seems) on your staff can you please clarify that this is not her or use an email address perhaps including a surname or similar to ensure anyone viewing the site is not misled.

    We have no involvement in your site, we wish no involvement and we do not wish you in any way to mislead people into believing you have our ‘seal of approval’ – you absolutely and categorically do not…”

    Something tells me this is only the start…

  • Hi all

    I got taken off the mailing list (I hope) by emailing linda@lanzarotesociety.

    If they keep it up a complaint to their host is always a good move, here´s their hosts URL.

    http://www.mysite4now.com/

    Certainly gets my vote for worst Lanzarote site yet this year.

  • Can’t see that happening Nick – I’ve mailed that and other addresses several times, the spam keeps coming, our links have not been removed as per our requests. Nor have I been given the courtesy of a response.

    What’s really worrying is the people behind it and their motives… They don’t exactly have a great track record!

  • Hope you have this cleared up now, I checked out the website it is indeed truly awful I hope that no unsuspecting people have been caught out by this. These people obviously have very thick skins.
    Fiona

  • Next…

    Simon – I have forwarded the email that follows to you lackeys named on lanzarotesociety.com, and have now made the request twice – not only has my request not been acted upon. I have not even had the courtesy of a response. Please attend to this.

    Alan Gandy

    —–Original Message—–
    From: Alan Gandy
    Sent: 28 May 2009 17:20
    To: ‘Linda@LanzaroteSociety.com’
    Cc: ‘Hannah@LanzaroteSociety.com’;
    Subject: Your website
    Importance: High

    I respectfully asked earlier this week, and have had no reply, that you remove all links to sites owned by ourselves on your website – if you have done your research you will know which they are – following your recent spam emails across the island. The main two I am referring to are here http://gtklanzaroteontheweb.publishpath.com/ (please note the text used to describe Canary Nightlife is copyrighted material).

    Also, again, if you have done research, you will know that my wife Elle is well known in regard to Playa Blanca – we have had questions as to our involvement simply based on you using the name “elle@”. It is our belief that you have deliberately used her name as an email address to imply our involvement and gain credibility on the back of her reputation. If indeed you do have an Elle (unlikely as it seems) on your staff can you please clarify that this is not her or use an email address perhaps including a surname or similar to ensure anyone viewing the site is not misled.

    We have no involvement in your site, we wish no involvement and we do not wish you in any way to mislead people into believing you have our ‘seal of approval’ – you absolutely and categorically do not…

    Alan Gandy
    For and on behalf of Gandy-Draper

    http://www.Gandy-Draper.com

    ****************************************************************
    This email is for the intended addressee only. If you have received it in error then you must not use, retain, disseminate or otherwise deal with it. Please notify the sender by return email and then delete the email. The views of the author may not necessarily constitute the views of Gandy-Draper. Nothing in this email shall bind Gandy-Draper in any contract or obligation.

  • Another one to watch for…

    “SIMPLY LANZAROTE. (www.simplylanzarote.com) – Advice centre covering Law, Tax, Accounting and Paperwork in Lanzarote. A ‘Spanish Fog’ Free Zone.”

    All sounds very familiar!

    Domain name: simplylanzarote.com

    Registrant Contact:
    Lanzarote Society
    Melanie Ross ()

    Fax:
    Dannam House, Lutton
    Ivybridge, PL21 9SA

  • Next… (sent directly to Harris and any other cronies I could find addresses for)

    From: Alan Gandy
    Sent: 23 June 2009 15:51
    To: ‘simon@explainingspain.com’
    Cc: ‘ceri@quillwills.net’; ‘johnpendry@quillwills.co.uk’;
    ‘derek@quillgroup.net’; ‘carol@quillassets.co.uk’;
    ‘janet@explainingspain.com’; ‘linda@lanzarotesociety.com’;
    ‘Hannah@LanzaroteSociety.com’; ‘janet@explainingspain.com’
    Subject: FW: Your website

    Importance: High

    Would one of you ignorant people please do me the courtesy of a reply to my earlier mails?

    This basic lack of courtesy only serves to support mine and others perceptions of Quills Wills and the ‘related’ ventures as being both unprofessional and having questionable business ethics.

  • Still nothing of course…

  • And again… (perhaps Simon Harris has been to busy with his recent court appearances here in Lanzarote to reply…)

    From: Alan Gandy
    To: ‘simon@explainingspain.com’
    Cc: ‘ceri@quillwills.net’; ‘derek@quillgroup.net’;
    ‘carol@quillassets.co.uk’; ‘janet@explainingspain.com’;
    ‘linda@lanzarotesociety.com’; ‘Hannah@LanzaroteSociety.com’
    Subject: FW: Your website

    Importance: High

    Still waiting for a response from any of you Morons?

    Until I get a response I will be continuing to post these messages and anything else I find out about you at – http://www.lanzarotewebdesign.com/the-lanzarote-society/ (Just do a Google search on Lanzarote Society to see how this affects you).

  • It seems he may have been ripped off too….. Hilarious if it is him… http://www.ukbusinessforums.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=114413

    I absolutely love the phrase “If someone does not want to be spoke about in public then maybe they should act in a business & professional manner from the start?”

    and…

    “I cannot believe people would think 3 months on I would have not tried to contact her. The company uses a virtual receptionist so screening calls is not exactly hard. Emails are NOT answered and I dont have a mobile number, 3 months on I am out of pocket and have had no data.”

    This must sound pretty familiar to his clients if it is him…

    Okay, I’m not 100% – it could be another “Simon ‘Lanzarote’ Harris” (unlikely)…. But it is looking possible. (Web designers based in North Wales – Denbighshire?)

    http://www.who.is/whois/selective-marketing.co.uk/ – is this another scam?

    This is the Google search term if anyone fancies doing a bit more digging… ‘simon harris lanzarote selective marketing.co.uk’

  • As most people know, we provide free email services through one of our domains. I actually removed melanieross@ because she was spamming for Quill Wills (Simon Harris) and it was reported to us. She sent us an email demanding that we reinstate her free service as it wasn’t her and she “had no connection” with Mr. Harris. I calmly informed her that we have a zero tolerance spam policy and that her service would NOT be reinstated under any circumstances.

    Recently, we received an attempted spam attack against random mailboxes (like lkjlkjlkjfglkfj@iliveinlanzarote.com) – literally thousands of attempts. The junk was sent from three different mail servers (which are of course all blocked by us now) and we have logged complaints with the server owners.

    Personally, I don’t think it will do any good complaining as this man seems intent on ripping people off and targetting Lanzarote; but don’t stop making noises!

  • Forgot to mention that a search at the ICO (data protection) shows that Selective-Marketing Ltd isn’t registered under the Data Protection Act at the address they provide on their web pages. Since they are selling database lists this might provide someone with ammunition to trigger another action against these people.

    URL : http://www.ico.gov.uk/ESDWebPages/search.asp

    He is working from what look like serviced offices and the postcode FY3 9LT does have several companies registered – but no “selective marketing ltd”.

    Searching the database at ico shows the address registered is:

    22 ST MARARETS ROAD
    BARE
    MORECAMBE
    LANCASHIRE
    LA4 6EF

    They seem to have mis-spelt the street name as it is “St Margarets Road” and appears to be a private house. I wonder which minion owns this one?

  • Sorry – just realised that the address is the address of the web company. I wonder if he knows that it’s an offence not to have the address of SELECTIVE MARKETING LTD registered. I feel sorry for his web developer who probably doesn’t even realised his address is being used in this way.