HCSA

Be wary of European medical directory scam

I have been worried all day today. What possible practical joke would be played on such a gullible Chief Executive as me? I wasn’t taken in by the Gorillas given iPads to comfort them, nor was I persuaded that a specially adapted Zimmer frame enabled a grandmother to maintain her favourite pastime – skateboarding!

Of higher probability would be the never-ending attempts by trusts to render consultant contracts and terms and conditions of service null and void. But then again that is not just a 1st April occurrence. It happens all the time.

But now forget the date and please read on because I received a letter today about something that to the sender seemed far more serious than a practical joke. His letter is by no means unique and about something that has affected a considerable number of doctors in Europe and the UK.

How often have you been invited make your professional details and medical practice widely available through what appears to be a respected publication? It happens frequently. But how do you know whether the publisher is legitimate? The first, and frightening, clue may well come when you receive an invoice demanding over 1000 euros and threatening that non-payment will result in legal action. Your attention is drawn to the fine print in which it is (dubiously) alleged that you signed a three year contract.

I am no expert in the probity, or otherwise, of firms that carry out such publishing practices. But I have come across a website that readers might find helpful.

So rather than write a blog this week about a speech I may have made, a walk in the park, a rant about some Machiavellian antic of an NHS trust, or even a comment about the outrageous behaviour of some NHS patients, my blog is designed to be specific, relevant and helpful. That is actually what I try to do anyway – but click on the link and form your own view!

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47 Responses to “Be wary of European medical directory scam”

  1. Sam Deeks says:

    Hi Stephen – thanks for linking. The TEMDI scam is one of many that follow the same forma. These are all designed to fool busy professionals into signing a form they think is about updating a free listing in some online directory.

    The form always has small print which says that by signing, you’re agreeing to a minimum of 3 years subscription at €900 a year.

    It’s a well-known scam but these folks make money by bullying their victims incessantly from afar. Enough people are ashamed or scared enough by the threats of ‘court action’ that they cave in and ‘settle’ (usually at €900 a piece).

    An insider for a ‘debt collector’ (never a real company, btw just a front for the scammers) told me that in his operation for Expo Guide – another identical scam – some 4% of people ended up paying this €900 settlement. He told me his team processed 10,000 accounts for Expo Guide alone in 6 months. That’s earnings of €400,000 just for sending emails, letters and a few threatening calls from Cyprus.

    And that’s just ONE of about a dozen known variants – probably all controlled by the same Swiss crooks.

    Be reassured – there is no evidence ANYWHERE of anyone being taken to court by these scammers for the simple reason that they can’t. 🙂

    I blogged about them deliberately in order to put ‘victim’ testimony (that no-one ever gets prosecuted) high up in Google for people to find. It’s clear that is really helpful for relieving peoples’ worries – but obviously not for stopping ordinary medical practitioners or businesses falling for it in the first place. For that, Governments, law enforcement and/or mainstream media would need to raise awareness – but unfortunately, there’s little or no sign of that.

    As a result, it’s still a highly lucrative business for the scammers, so expect it to go on…and on…and on.

    Thanks for raising awareness here.

  2. james says:

    I have just received an invoice for 1300 EUROS from these guys after filling a form which said I had to update my professional details.The form came through my nhs work address and I duly filled it in. I have’nt seen any blogs lately regarding these scammers and wondering if the same tactic of not responding to their bullying would hold good?

  3. john says:

    I’ve done exactly to same as jamie. I thought I was street wise but I was in a rush, read only the banner headline about free update and missed the small print. MY position is I will not pay or even contact them whatever there threats. See you in the small claims court !!– still I will now take time to read anything I sign

  4. Paul says:

    Same as above (John). Received invoice for 1300 Euros. Sent web contact stating that am aware this is a scam and will not pay.

  5. james says:

    same as above. can hardly remember signing on 26 March and received invoice for E1300.11 due by 20 May. just been given it by my secretary. clearly says 3 year contract. can’t believe I signed it. from internet sounds like no need to pay and will go in shredder and they will not be able to take me to court. looked up website and I am not even listed, not even any UK doctor. shred and forget.

  6. A Dr from United States says:

    This company even has a website for scamming U.S. physicians, http://www.ammedi.com. After reading blogs from european victims, I learned that the scammers cannot take us to court. What a relief!
    I reported it to FBI knowing nothing would be done to these lowly scammers. But, it does not hurt to have a record filed.

  7. Rune says:

    I was taken in signed something that looked like free update into some directory. Small print and details on back unnoticed. Sent invoice for 1300 Euros. I think they are based in Portugal, I feel much better knowing its a recognised scam but still feel stupid. Will never ever pay them and have contacted top class legal team.

  8. Andrew Bamji says:

    I have recently been caught by this one.

    A Question has been asked in the European Parliament about it (http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do;jsessionid=9779B383EAD8DEAB39E3C2A74CFE7C28.node1?secondRef=0&language=EN&type=WQ&reference=E-2012-003638).

    There is some doubt as to whether the original forms actually have the threatening small print that appears on the copy sent with the invoice, or whether this has been electronically added later for verisimilitude. If this could be proved the case for a regulatory crackdown becomes even stronger.

  9. Paul says:

    Another observation. The initial form I sent back had my (wrong) NHS info. When I received a second letter telling me that my info was on the site I checked again and they had found some private practice info (available via a web search) which they added. I shall not becontacting them again.

  10. sunil says:

    I am a victim too.
    I think HCSA should collect the names of those signed this dreaded form for ‘collective action’ should it come to that.

  11. Fouad says:

    Hi Stephen and all victimes
    I am a victim too and they are negociating to reduce the 1300 Euro t0 500 Euro to cancel the contract !!!
    I will ignore them completely and see them in court 🙂 we always learn guys
    Thanks Stephen

  12. Paul says:

    Letters now every 2 weeks- stamped ‘Legal Department’ in red at top of usual letter.

  13. Dr.Arthur Fux says:

    This is DIRTY SCAM. It is made the same way the “Nigerian Letters” are made. The idea is the same. They offer you “a free (but limited) service”, then they charge you for their “services”.

    A total bull*it. WHO they are? NOBODY.

    They have an amateurish website, with some information stolen from other websites, and even the letter they sent is an amateurish, poorly written letter.

    Clearly these crooks does not have anything in common with any medical practice. Just “read” their “language”. Does it sound Medical?
    The letter I got is written by a low IQ Nigerian guy. It seems to me they’re established their “headquarter” in Portugal and they try to make some money.

    Somebody has to alert the Police.

  14. Dr VH says:

    I am exactly the same. I am sure they copy and pasted the small print. I have ignored all letters and this is now 6 months in. The Red Legal Dept print has just appeared. I am totally ignoring them still.

  15. Keshav says:

    I am a victim too. Six months in I now receive an invoice every 3 weeks. Has anyone ever been taken to court over this ?? I agree we should ask HCSA to represent us collectively if needed. Has anyone taken legal advice over about this issue.

  16. CW says:

    Have received Legal letters but we are refusing to pay and they are threatening to take us to court. The invoice is now down to 900 Euros. We will not take their threats seriously.

  17. MR says:

    I had the same thing last year, all of the sudden they send me a new invoice for total 2300 euro including vat at 23% plus some interest, every three week they send me a reminder with extra interest. I am ignoring them as I am sure they added the small print about the fee of 900 euro electronically after I did sign the form, I have no doubt about that.

  18. Cank says:

    This is brilliant. I am too receiving invoices from United Lda, and I shall include the printout from the European Parliament webpage (thank you Andrew!!) when I write to the Portuguese authorities about this. I invite you all to report United Lda to the Portuguese government, so that they can crack down on these scammers and shut them down. Include copies of your invoices!

    Consumidores Mais Protegidos
    Praça Duque de Saldanha, 31 – 3º
    1069 – 013 Lisboa
    Portugal

    or you can do what the European Parliament recommends and go to:

    http://www.asae.pt/
    – click on the button “Denuncia” (located on the right)
    – click on “Para fazer uma Denúncia clique aqui”
    and fill out the form.
    it’s in Portuguese, but it’s pretty intuitive I think. The person filing the form is the “Queixoso / Denunciante” and the “Agente Economico visado” will be United Lda.

    If they receive enough complaints they might take action, just like Switzerland did with United’s predecessor NovaChannel.

  19. Dr SBP says:

    I, too, was duped by European Medical. Yes, my handwriting was on the form BUT I am sure that the large paragraph that included the small print about fees was added to the form afterwards!
    I have received several invoices to date and whilst I have always been law abiding and paid all invoices, I am encouraged by all the bloggers to ignore them. My partners too will be pleased to see the others like myself duped into completing what seemed like an opportunity to update our practice details.
    I will continue to read this site with interest.

  20. ras says:

    Doh, me too. it all makes sense now.
    Had a worrying 24 hours thinking how stupid I was!
    Thanks for all your reassurung advice. I will keep paperwork but ignore all futher correspondence from this wretched TEMDI.
    This has been going on for several years and they must be making money still. I will complete the form as Cank suggests

  21. I was sucked in too says:

    I too was sucked in by this lot 3 years ago and when I received threats of legal action I caved in and paid without checking them out on google or blogs. Since then every year I have received the same demands for payment (usually 2 or 3) but have shredded them mostly without even opening the letters. They then stop and start up again the same time the following year, with the previous years debt added!?! Does anyone know of a way to stop them sending the letters or getting your name removed from their directory(ha ha!) What if we all just marked letters return to sender?

  22. Bente Mosegaard Hiul says:

    Jeg har også modtaget den årlige blanket fra temdi og tilbagesendt den til temdi, hvor jeg troede, jeg blot ajourførte standardoplysninger om ændret navn mv. Jeg overså, at jeg skulle have forpligtet mig på en 3-årig kontrakt og meddelte straks, at jeg ikke ønskede at indgå nogen kontrakt med temdi. Temdi har ikke leveret anden ydelse til mig end at lave et link til min hjemmeside, og jeg har ikke haft nogen mulighed for at kommentere en annoncetekst, inden den blev offentliggjort af temdi bilagt en opkrævning. Temdi sender mig stadige rykkere med rykkergebyr. hvordan stopper vi firmaet??

  23. GIANFRANCO says:

    Unfortunately I signed the Temdi formular without reading the small writings, assuming
    that it was a simple update of a list of doctors to be contacted for advertising medical tools or other.
    I read that the people who have signed and do not pay cannot be involved in legal action by this company. Is it true ?

  24. Dr LL says:

    I receive from ammedi bills since 3 years
    I don’y pay
    I only sign to have infos for a convention
    they raise the amount each bill asking for more and more personal infos

  25. Dr SJR says:

    New tactic. have discovered my email and that of my secretary so now i am getting threatening emails.

    This is a bit more difficult because they can presumablt trace the opening and deleting activity so know i exist! Carrying on ignoring their financial demands though

  26. Dr JYC says:

    ALL:

    I’d the same experience and had now contacted my Medical Association Legal Department.
    I was told by them that the Co.:American Medical Directory, is a bogus Co. and has no legal jurisdiction oversea.

    IT IS A SCAM !!!

    So, relax and continue to ignore these scammers !

  27. MR. OT says:

    Thanks to this website I am more confident in ignoring the demand and threat of datafocus lda, demanding us to pay 800 euros for a year of subscription under http://www.pourlasante.com/ website.
    We signed the Document last August 2014 and they are demanding payment eversince. Our centre is located in Singapore which means their scams are reaching far and wide the globe!

  28. MR. OT says:

    Moderators kindly attached datafocus’ website http://www.datafocus.com.pt/
    just in case somebody wants to check them out online at least they can be spotted easily as scammers!

    Thanks.

  29. ABHeart says:

    I have had the same issue that they have foiund emails for my secretary and my personal address and are send more threatening emails. I intend to junk mail these.
    I assume no one else has any new data on people being sued?
    Thanks for the posts.
    Best wishes

  30. ILse says:

    Hi there,

    I too was stupid enough to sign those damn papers.
    They have been sending letters for 3 years now.

    The last few weeks they are calling me at the number of my practice. To come to an agreement. I told them that I would never ever pay anything (they ask 3.310 euro’s) and that they are listed as a scam company. The lady said that I didn’t have to believe everything they say… (it’s a list of the Belgian government, so I choose to believe them)…
    Afterwards I received an email, I immediately delete those. If they call me know, I tend not to speak English, I say, ‘a moment please’, put the phone on my desk and wait a bit before I hang up. They have given up on those phone calls already.

    I also received a lettre for an agreement. I would only have to pay have of the amount…
    If that company would be a legal one, they would never offer such an agreement. So for me, that’s another proove that they have nothing to proove that they’re right and I’m not.

    Further investigation learned us that this company has taken over by a new one next year. So I assume that they are threatening everyone now to receive as much money as possible before the new company begins…

    The lettre of today (now weekly letters) tells me that they will start the procedure to take me to court.

    I will keep you posted :))))

  31. Raz says:

    I am a consultant anaesthetist.
    I have fallen for this scam, too.
    An agency is now pursuing me for over 3,000 euro.
    I took advice from a solicitor.
    Ignore them and all correspondence.
    Kind regards.

  32. Graham Smith says:

    I was caught by the Temdi scam March 2012. Their letter asked me to update my entry in the European Medical Directory and I did not see the annual fee or 36 month term…..was it added later.
    Their demands have now reached 3100€ and arrive weekly to either my secretary, her telephone and more concerning, to my home address last week. The tone of these is very threatening. I have discussed it with my hospital legal department and their advice was to ignore it or pay a solicitor to research this and write a letter (~£800).
    I am worried and really frustrated by this scam. I am reassured in that I am not alone. I have decided to sit tight, not pay and asked my secretary to hang up.

  33. James Smellie says:

    I am another caught by this scam and apart from cancelling the entry as soon as the penny dropped have ignored all of the letters thus far which have also gone to my home address. I have had a few sleepless nights about this but my view is now that I will totally ignore all correspondence and do the phone down trick. Good to hear that I am not alone; I am usually so careful why did I fall for this one?

  34. NatMur30Sea says:

    Hello Everyone. Thank you to all who have shared your experience, I have kept and eye on the information posted here for the past years every time I got an invoice. I am now on a life sabbatical following being hit by an autoimmune disease, but was a practicing homeopath in the UK and in 2011 also felt for the Temdi trap, unfortunately a bit by accident. I usually read everything before I sign (common sense specially being in the healthcare business) but at the time had a wonderful assistant who used to do all admin and did me the treat of filling in the form and asking me to sign it, which of course I did obviously without reading it carefully, probably thinking of it as an order to replenish supplies.. I decided not to pay attention to the demands following everything I read in the internet and never again thought about it as in the meantime I had moved practices. Recently relocated to warmer climates and had my post redirected, and to my surprise Temdi – now United Lda. – managed to track me down to the last practice I was in and sent threat letters that the debt was being transferred to an international debt collection agency. Over Christmas I was visiting friends in the UK and dropped by my old practice who informed me there had been a couple of calls from Deloitte. So I got into a panic and had trouble sleeping until deciding to seek advise from my lawyer, who came back to me after costing me 135 pounds to say that because the agreement had the t&c’s above the signature box, and in the same font size as part of the printed contract, and that as it was posted back to Temdi in their envelope, and they have a copy of this together with the cover letter that it came with, plus that it states that the place of jurisdiction is Portugal, he could not say for sure what would happen if they decided to start court proceedings. That for a starter I would need to go to Portugal or find a lawyer representative there (which he could recommend..). He further informed me that a UK claim from an NHS source had through ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) been submitted to ICAP (Civil Institute for Self Regulation of Commercial Communication in Portugal) against United and the decision was that the claim had no substantial matter to be judged in the Light of Code of Conduct. In view of this he said there was no real reason why at some point United might choose to not start legal proceedings and following the calls from Deloitte is was my choice to pay or not. Due to my health condition I decided I would rather not have ghosts popping up in the future and aimed at making an agreement which has now been concluded. After all, I should have read what I was putting my signature in! Felt really like a fool, but need to take responsibility for my actions. I guess I would be in bigger trouble if it was a bank credit card or mobile phone contract! And I have to say I do enjoy the sunsets by the beach much more now !
    Thought I would share my experience also as you have shared yours, as I am signing off from ever looking at this blog ever again! Goodbye!

  35. Ben says:

    Hello NatMur30Sea

    I hope you are real. If anyone has doubts about the legal position, this European Parliament debate should remove them:

    http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+CRE+20110609+ITEM-004+DOC+XML+V0//EN

    Just watch the video of Simon Busuttil’s speach.

  36. Henry says:

    I received the letter from Temdi in March 2012. I was under the impression that I was signing for an update of my information that was “already on the Register”.
    I do generally read all details and I do not recall the undertaking of the financial commitment for 36 months. When I received the invoice I telephoned and sent letters to Temdi and finally had a response with a formal letter that the contract was legally binding. I then became aware of the scam on the net and ignored the demands. I am now getting demands and my private and NHS secretaries are being contacted by phone. The demand is now of €4197. What should I do?

  37. John says:

    Yes Ben, I agree with you:NatMur30Sea is surprisingly – completely and absolutely- writing the opposite of what told by most people on Internet. I would not be surprised that his email address is also kind of NatMur30Sea@hotmail.com and covering a person or a group who would now start using blogs as this one to more viciously obtain what they try to have with their various usual threats (post, phone, bullying…).

    If this site and the comments are moderated by hospitalDr, I suppose we all would agree that “HospitalDr” checks, by sending him an email, if NatMur30Sea is really who he wrote and receiving evidence of the story.
    Better…, if NatMur30Sea read this site he could show himself enough, and telling us details that HospitalDr could verify…

    Personally, taken exactly like many and at the level Henry recently said, I am continuing to do what I started 3 years ago: I did a single recommended post to say the contract was illegal scam and …bla bla .. all stuff that you find on internet to do…. and after that never answered and never did anything: I do not shred all letter, but i keep adding each on a growing pile with even not opening it!

    Now saying that, if one of us or a group had really the competence, the gut and the time for pulling us altogether (+ those who are complaining on other Blogs) and fuel a coordinate action against these guys from Temdi (possibly not against the “group Temdi”, but at personal level against each manager and person working at Temdi)…that may be a powerful way to find a solution…and helping Temdi enjoying other people in the future…

  38. John says:

    of course read last sentence …. not as “Temdi enjoying”…
    but as
    “Temdi not bullying…”

    sorry for automatic miscorrection…
    J

  39. drshantal says:

    It seems as though the scam wasn’t paying enough in Europe, they are now in Canada, and write their letters in french. A horrible french mind you. I say this because to me, it is proof that the small print above my signature was added later. I remember vaguely receiving a letter from “association santé et soin” to check the information that was already in some site. I always read before I sign and let me tell you, I would never have agreed to give 890 euros to anyone for this service, let alone to people who cant write a sentence without making huge grammatical errors!! I called the Quebec provincial police and I am not done going after these people. They’ll be asking me to take less from them when we’re done! Thank you for your post and comments, I’m infuriated now!

  40. Jan says:

    I have never seen an offer as Temdi made in my business live before.

    First
    Every offer I had received clearly state the price. In the Temdi offer the price was hidden somewhere in the small print. I have never seen that before.

    Second
    Temdi offers an advertisement with graphic material they steel from your site. This is a copyright infringement and a crime according European laws

    For that reason we do advise people never pay these scammers.

  41. Bree says:

    Low life scammers never pay, they should try earning a living of there own backs instead of thieving of others, PIGS

  42. ladymarmalade says:

    Please reassure me that this is illegal and that non payment is the best way to go. I am up to @4k euro

    I too signed the form – I certainly did not see the clause about the payment per month and I normally check – once their billing letters caught up with me I wrote to ask them to remove the listing – they refused, so they still bill me with extortionate penal rates.
    I am sure that the “contract” was added after I signed it. I normally would spot this. The contract (that was added after my signature) clearly states the terms but does not state the punitive charges and interests they are now charging.
    So – I have asked to terminate the contract in writing. I did not sign to the contract they now send me (I am sure). and I believe the terms are extortionate. What should I do?

  43. Webmaster says:

    Hi,

    Our club in Belgium also receives bills up to 3,000 euros and more. They use all e-mail addresses they can find.

    Ignore, and never pay!

    Kind regards,
    BE club Webmaster

  44. Kay W says:

    Hi,

    I’m a new victim of this Portugal scam, and I really hope it is just a SCAM.

    ‘Global Map Index'(http://www.map-index.com/) from Datafocus Lda sent me a postal letter last November, and I remember it said they provide free service, so I signed back without hesitation. But, from this year, they keep sending me postal letters and ask me to pay 897 euro dollar per year. I though it was a free service, so I didn’t keep the first postal envolop they sent me; now, I can’t clearly remember what the hell it was going on…
    Though I wrote them email to ask for cancellation, they insist to charge me.

    Shall I be confident to ignore them all? Is it oversea legally binding?

    Will be appreciated your feedbacks. Thanks in advance.

    Kay

  45. Tom Goodfellow says:

    It’s a scam

    File it in the appropriate place and have a nice Christmas

  46. Erik says:

    I did send the following letter to the 5 addresses mentioned in the letter:

    United Directorios LDA
    Rua Basilio Teles 35, 6D
    1070-020 Lisboa
    Portugal

    and/or

    United Directorios LDA
    POBOX 1571
    1056-001 Lisboa
    Portugal

    Sir/Madame,

    Refering to my letter dd 30-06-2016 the following:

    Again I let you know that I did not order registration in your database.

    The orderform is falcified, as will be clear from the original document (copy-paste of small letters and other contents/signature).

    By this letter I again pronounce the nullification of your so-called “contract” for the reason of deceit and let you know that I will never pay for these obvious illegal acts. To make my point more clear I also like to refer to the StopECG-blog on internet with a clear description of your criminal practices (see attachment 2), demonstrating repetitive, deliberate and intentional deception and cheating of a huge amount of medical professionals, all victims/witnesses of your criminal behaviour, called “scam”.

    Again I ask you to remove the registration of my name and function from all your databases, and to confirm annihilation of the falcified documents.

    I will not answer again to your mailings and reminders but instead will forward them, accompanied by this letter and the printscreen (of StopECG warnings) to the authorities in your town:

    Centro Europeu do Consumidor/Consumidores Mais Protegidos
    Praca Duque de Saldanha, 31,
    1069 – 013, Lisboa,
    Portugal

    Policia de Seguranca Publica Portuguesa
    Rua Capelo, 13,
    1249 – 107, Lisboa,
    Portugal

    Presidente Fernando Medina
    Pacos do Concelho-Praca do Municipio
    1149 – 014, Lisboa,
    Portugal

    I will send this as a registered letter to all above mentioned authorities. For security reasons I will not sign this letter, but attach a copy of your “invoice” for authentication.

    D.H. Borg

    Att. 1 copy “Invoice”; Att. 2 StopECG Warnings blog

  47. A hospital doctor in South Wales, UK says:

    I’ve just received a postal invitation to correct / confirm my entry in the European Medical Directory, so this scam is alive and well in 2017. The small print above the signature box informing me about the £721 annual fee for three years is there, but in fairness to those hoodwinked, the letter, form and reply-paid envelope look very legit, business-like layout, correct and compelling language and wording, return address, official-looking deadline etc.

    One clue, and a worrying feature, was that my name and address were obviously harvested from a health board website (Wales has health boards instead of trusts), rather than anything I had ever filled out. Docs may have to ask health boards to a be a bit more circumspect with employee data.

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