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