Global Alliance for International Advancement

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Arthur Rubin
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Global Alliance for International Advancement

Postby Arthur Rubin » Mon Nov 17, 2008 8:04 pm

I received a spam from them today. Preliminary searches show that it may be a "Who's Who" scam, but all the references which claim that seem to be from a single disgruntled employee. Any ideas?
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philipm

Re: Global Alliance for International Advancement

Postby philipm » Wed Nov 26, 2008 12:38 am

I had a lengthy phone call from someone claiming that Global Alliance for International Advancement were an agency that put people in touch with UN Projects and did all the paperwork so you could focus on delivery. They would even be prepared to advance you the payment if you couldn't wait for the UN to pay out. This all sounded OK except the guy rambled on and on (I'd had a late night and was content to snooze at the phone; believe it or not, this call took 1 hour and 40 minutes). Eventually he got to the bottom line: $2500 for 5 years' membership, because the whole thing allegedly is funded by member subscriptions to avoid conflicts of interest. Fine, I said, let me think about this for a bit. Then the hard sell started. You aren't worried about the amount of money are you, I mean I would insult a person of your standing if I suggested you couldn't afford $2500. (Actually he was insulting me by suggesting I would hand over any cash without time to assess the value proposition but never mind.) At this point I started to get annoyed (I'd caught up on my sleep). He then offered an alternative of a 2-year membership for $1600 and if I really didn't want to pony up all the money at once, I could pay it in 2 annual amounts. But they guaranteed that if I was dissatisfied by the value delivered in 18 months, I could get my money back. Fine, I said, I'll think about it. Then he started asking me for credit card details, which I declined. It ended with him telling me I should email their info address with his name mentioned so he could send me more details. The reason for the hard sell? If they worked through 100 potentials and only 7 or 10 signed up, it was a lot of work.

Now, here's where I have major reservations:
1. No reputable organization is going to insist that you hand over credit card details before you've been able to do some kind of due diligence (and I also note they wanted my CV or resume to confirm membership: they would knock me back after taking my money?).
2. I was more than a little turned off when told that evidence that they were reputable was that they dealt with a large well-known bank. So do I. That means nothing. In fact "reputable" and "bank" don't sound so good as a combination these days.
3. When I did a web search on them, I only found 1 site not directly linked to them (in fact the one the telemarketer referred me to) that mentioned them with any content at all that wasn't negative. There's one article repeated in various places alleging they are telemarketing Who's Who scam, and their telemarketers mostly earn on commission, and are fired if they can't make a sale in their first 3 weeks. I also found job ads for interns and telemarketers (confirming that they are incentivized).
4. Worse, their web site has no content indicating any projects or other activity that would justify the claims of what they do. A genuine nonprofit would have non-confidential outcomes to back its claims (completed projects, projects in progress, past work of directors, etc.). All the content is vague and hard to link to specifics for example they claim to provide access to the "International Carbon Emissions Group". A google search on exact words (put the words in quotes) only turns up the GAIA site. There's a section on the web site pointing to "members in the news". The stories' dates do not match those on the web site, and are generic business stories, with no indication of a connection to GAIA.
5. The telemarketer told me to look them up at the New York Department of State as evidence that they were a nonprofit, so I duly did that. They applied for registration on 20 May 2008. So they haven't been going long enough to have a major track record, but long enough to have some track record.

When I sat back and thought about it, the amount they are charging seems wrong. It's too much to charge if you are an agency finding work for people, but not enough to cover the research and paperwork costs they claim they are covering. Even at the most expensive rate of $800 a year, once you subtract out overheads, there isn't much left to do things like sift through huge numbers of UN projects, write up proposals and handle the financial side – which is what he told me they do. What's more, if they think that managing projects on a commission basis introduces conflict of interest, why do they think it's kosher to sell "memberships" on a commission basis?

That I was expected to hand over money with no record of any claims as to the service offered was the real clincher.

Update: they referred me to one Isaac Goodine as a reference. I emailed him, and had no reply. He appears to be a member of that distinguished stratum of society that parades bogus awards to certify achievement.

philipm

Re: Global Alliance for International Advancement

Postby philipm » Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:21 pm

Another detail: they also run their web site as un-registry.net a name registered to one George Salemo. Try googling this name. Either the guy who set this up is really unlucky to share a name with a crook or he's been in and out of the courts for years on various criminal charges.

morris411

Re: Global Alliance for International Advancement

Postby morris411 » Tue Dec 09, 2008 1:39 pm

I am a lawyer with a practice in New York and Washington DC. I have not only investigated the Global Alliance for International Advancement Ltd but spoken to a number of their exceptional young staff.
GAIA has done a remarkable job of compiling a data base of the United Nation’s Organizations procurement process, the United Nations classification system of businesses and professionals, and the correct bidding process for these procurement programs. As such this organization is providing a valuable service that has not been available prior to their existence. The lack of such an organization in my opinion is what leads to such abuses as the occurrences in the Iraq Food for Oil scandal.
GAIA does much more than find contracts for members and all one has to do is contact the Society and their staff will explain to anyone the benefits of GAIA.
The post I have read attempts to belittle Issac Goodin a Director of GAIA. This man has completed numerous assignments for the World Bank; which standing alone is a remarkable accomplishment.
GAIA while making the strides that I have mentioned is the Fiscal Sponsor to five NGO’s. These NGO’s operate programs for SIDS (small island developing states), this includes a current sea cucumber farm in the Marshall Islands providing employment for the indigenous peoples. Further GAIA is a partner with Ambassador McDonalds’ non-profit organization in Washington DC., which is sponsoring programs in Pakistan and India a very timely subject.
The membership dues are reasonable in comparison to similar organizations. The Society does pay a fee to its Membership Associates when a new member is enrolled. This practice is quite normal for any non –profit in the United States and is the cost of fund raising. However, GAIA does not receive any compensation from the contracts it obtains for members. The reason is simple, if GAIA a nonprofit organization collects any fees from obtaining the contracts it could jeopardize their non-profit status. The methods of raising funds for a non-profit are quite well regulated.
I have knowledge of a lawyer in California that GAIA helped bid a contract to write the Constitution for a small Island Nation and GAIA performed admirably.
This is a fine organization staffed with exceptional young energetic individuals. Call them and find out like most nonprofits, they’re more than happy to talk about what they do.

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wserra
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Re: Global Alliance for International Advancement

Postby wserra » Tue Dec 09, 2008 2:28 pm

morris411 wrote:I have not only investigated the Global Alliance for International Advancement Ltd but spoken to a number of their exceptional young staff.
...
I have knowledge of a lawyer in California
...
This is a fine organization


Your opinion and your vouching are well and good - for you. My problem is that there is precious little information publically available about these guys. Unless I missed it, despite boasting about being "composed of a vast array of notable men, women, and organizations", their web site does not have a single name on the entire site - a bad sign in my experience. Moreover, a whois search shows that it was created on May 6 of this year, and New York Secretary of State records show that they incorporated May 20. That's not a lot of time to do all the great things that you (and they) claim. And, until recently, their NY telephone number belonged to an employment agency called "Domestically Yours".

The post I have read attempts to belittle Issac Goodin a Director of GAIA. This man has completed numerous assignments for the World Bank; which standing alone is a remarkable accomplishment.


Do you mean "Isaac Goodine"? If you think so much of the guy, I would expect you to get his name right. And his web site doesn't do much to impress. "Leaders Leading Leaders: International Dimbnsions of Distinguished Leadership"? "Dimbnsions"? As was posted above, it sounds like one of those "Who's Who Among Dwarf Professional Bowlers" scams.

I'm not saying that there is anything definitive here, but there are a lot of flags out. BTW, is the American Red Cross of Greater New York one of their non-profit members? You should know.
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kpaulet

Re: Global Alliance for International Advancement

Postby kpaulet » Tue Dec 16, 2008 6:42 pm

Hi,

I was happy to see this information. I too recieved a call from Phil Barbera at the Global Alliance of International Advancement. As a psychologist the iniatives for consulting work sounded great and (silly me) I said that I would even consider doing this type of work for free! But he assured me there were lucrative UN contracts that needed appropriate professionals to work with these goals.

At the end of our conversation I asked about the membership fee and was quoted a trial year (instead of $2500 for 5 years) at $800. I too said that was a lot of $ and I needed to think it over. True, most elite organizations have dues but it seemed fishy.

I went to the UN school and would love to make a difference and meet others who do so globally but their website seemed a bit sparse. So I called UN info and spoke to an investigator and gave him this info. He said they are not part off the UN (they dont claim to be anyway) and that no UN project would charge membership and its probably a scam. He advised me against it. I also emailed the vender info at the Un and am awaiting a response to see if they hold contracts. I too am listed on those 'Whose Who' things so if its a scam, it may have come from there.

Its important these days to do your due diligence and alert others to what you find.
Just wanted to check in hopes that it was a rel entity doing good work.

bensonwayne

Global Alliance for International Advancement Offers Opportu

Postby bensonwayne » Mon Feb 09, 2009 3:33 pm

have been a member of the Global Alliance for International Advancement for approximately a year. Because of this prestigious organization I have been contacted by several prominent professionals. These contacts have produced several clients for my practice. In addition through GAIA’s efforts and abilities I have been awarded a contract with an International Organization for development of a Regional Health Program. In this precarious economic worldwide crisis these clients and the contract have saved my practice and provided security for my family. GAIA is extremely ethical. The brilliant young talent associated with GAIA dedicating themselves to the Societies aims is comforting in these times of greed. It saddens me that web sites such as Rip off Report allow the slanderous statements of a disgruntled employee to sully the reputation of GAIA.

This lack of responsibility is similar to the greed and lack of responsibility exhibited by the financial community and government that has resulted in the current economic crisis worldwide. Exploiters like Rip off Report are also the engines of this demise. Rip off Report is the defendant in numerous law suits and RICO allegations. Google Rip off Report or go to Good busunessbureau.com and http://www.seomoz.org/blog/the-anatomy- ... rt-lawsuit this will educate you on who Rip off Report really is. Rip off Report is a rip off and operated by a convicted felon. It is a vehicle to extort companies.
GAIA is a nonprofit corporation attempting to make the world a little bit better by “Doing well by doing Good”.

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Re: Global Alliance for International Advancement Offers Opportu

Postby webhick » Mon Feb 09, 2009 3:56 pm

Global Alliance for International Advancement has already been discussed here.

While the membership fee and the claims seemed really scammy, what really tipped the scale in my mind was that it is run by George Salemo, which is a name that google shows a lot of dirt on.
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Re: Global Alliance for International Advancement Offers Opportu

Postby wserra » Sun Feb 15, 2009 5:37 pm

I am merging this thread into the existing one about the same folks.

bensonwayne wrote:have been a member of the Global Alliance for International Advancement for approximately a year. Because of this prestigious organization I have been contacted by several prominent professionals.


Who might they be?

These contacts have produced several clients for my practice.


Who might they be?

In addition through GAIA’s efforts and abilities I have been awarded a contract with an International Organization


Who might they be?

In this precarious economic worldwide crisis these clients and the contract have saved my practice and provided security for my family.


Since you are giving us a personal testimonial - one which, if it has any value at all, depends on your word - who are you? "Wayne Benson", even if that is your name, isn't much to go on. The result of a zabasearch: "Too many WAYNE BENSON listings found. Narrow your search."

It saddens me that web sites such as Rip off Report allow the slanderous statements of a disgruntled employee to sully the reputation of GAIA.


While the fact that Ripoff Report calls you a ripoff certainly doesn't mean that you are one, it just as certainly doesn't mean that you're not one. You provide no proof that this suspicious organization is for real.
"A wise man proportions belief to the evidence."
- David Hume

philipm

Re: Global Alliance for International Advancement

Postby philipm » Thu Jul 16, 2009 2:41 am

Their web site in the mean time has disappeared, making the whole thing that much more suspect. If it was for real I would have expected real case studies, references from people who have done actual work with them and verifiable information about projects. If the thing is a startup with no track record, that has to be said up front – rather than making claims about a non-existent track record. The association of the name of a convicted felon with the organization is not a recommendation either. Again not conclusive evidence that it's a scam, but that much more reason to have externally verifiable information.


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