Another Who’s Who Scam

Today I received another solicitation to be included in a Who’s Who volume. This time it was Madison Who’s Who. As I have said before, this is nothing more than a solicitation of money in exchange to print your name somewhere. No prestige, no personal assessment of your achievement, is involved. Note the generic “Dear Candidate” at the beginning of this first (and apparently, indeed hopefully, final) invitation to register.

If you get an e-mail like the one below, delete it…


Dear Candidate,

This is a final invitation to register, please respond at your earliest convenience. If you have already registered, thank you. You were recently appointed as a biographical candidate to represent your industry in the Who’s Who Among Executives and Professionals, and for inclusion into the upcoming 2008-2009 “Honors Edition” of the registry.

We are pleased to inform you that on May 29th, your candidacy was approved. Your confirmation for inclusion will be effective within five business days, pending our receipt of the enclosed application.

The Office of the Managing Director appoints individuals based on a candidate’s current position, and usually with information obtained from researched executive and professional listings. The director thinks you may make an interesting biographical subject, as individual achievement is what Who’s Who is all about. Upon final confirmation you will be listed among thousands of accomplished individuals in the Who’s Who Registry. There is no cost to be included.

We do require additional information to complete the selection process and kindly ask that you access this form on our website by Clicking Here


Matthew Johnson
Managing Director

Madison Who’s Who – 3001 Northern Blvd. 2nd fl. Long Island City, NY 11101
Madison Who’s Who is not associated or affiliated with Marquis Who’s Who or any other Who’s Who.

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  • Nick Nicolas

    Thanks for your help.All the best,Nick Nicolas. (independent music producer)

  • Anonymous

    omg..same here. I went through the same hell of an experience – I talked to the Madisons who’s who and they are a huge scam!! as others have posted here, they offered me lifelong membership for $789 and 5 years for $589. The representative very much pressured me on this and asked to give info of my card. I somehow told that I wil respond later, and searched the web – lo and beholod – these people are a whole bunch of scammers…!! I also made a mistake of giving my info to these scammers..

  • Julie

    I just found your blog when I googled “Matthew Johnson Who’s Who Publishing Long Island” to see if they were for real, which I highly doubted anyway since I’ve never published anything.People are so ridiculous. Thanks for the post.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for posting this…I received the EXACT email today, and figured that it was a scam.

  • Anonymous

    Not only is it a scam, IT’S SPAM! I can’t even unsubscribe because there’s no link and the reply email address is bunk. That is so frustrating that I even had to tell you about it so I can move on with my day! :) Thanks for the post.

  • Nicole

    Thank you for this. I have been deleting these emails for months without even reading them, and finally decided to look into what they actually are. The worst part is, I get them in my school email account, which has no way to block or report spam or anything. It’s not like I don’t get enough emails there on a daily basis…

  • Anonymous

    Aaargh! Matthew Johnson has been hounding me for over a month. I was told I was receiving my final notice, and thought I he’d leave me alone- then today received yet another notice that I was selected to be in this Who’s Who scam spam. Glad to find your site which confirms what I suspected.

  • Anonymous

    O.K guys here is a shocker for you. I used to work for Madison Who’s Who, if you think that there sales pitch is rediulous then you should see how they treat their employees! I know you people don’t really care but they trick their employees by having them sign contracts stating that 1) They are an at will employer (Legal but convent for them neh?), 2)Then they say that you have a 2wk grace period to make sales up to 1000 and they keep you (well what they fail to mention is that if you don’t make a sale in a week they’ll fire you within a 1 week three day period (Yeah I know don’t you just want to play you small vilions now, well wait there’s more!) 3) They tell you that if you are fired before the two week period you have to wait for 30 days in order for your commisisson to clear, (I’m still wait—ting!). So while you guys and gals are having a good chuckle at the expense of the pushy sales people, believe you me if I had any idea that this was a scam I would have stayed clear and go to work for people who income doesn’t depend on fools rushing in.P.S- To those who did their research first before even thinking about signing up I Salute you! P:)

  • Anonymous

    This is a letter I've just sent to John Stossel at 20/20 ABC News, want to join me?Dear Mr. Stossel:I know that you must get a lot of e-mails for stories and I also know that you cover alot of stories about scams but here is one you might have not heard of. Madison Who's Who claims to be a networking organization that prints the names of people who they tell that have made major contributions in their careers.It is a big scam that includes trying to sell them a book with a list of names of people just like them who they can network with and a plaque listed them as honorary members. But that's not the worst of it, they hire these employees and sucker them into working for them. How do I know this? Well I am one of those employees and it just makes me sick to know that this people go around calling people up to sell them a product that on a good day is nothing more than a glorified brag book and at worst they don't even get the book and plaque and still get charged on their credit cards.How did I get involved with people like this, well like most unemplyed Americans I answered an Ad in Creigslist thinking that they were a legit sales company. When they fired me I'll admit I was bitter so I looked them up. (I was also curious as the people who I called said they had heard of us and thought that we were a scam.) So I looked them up on the web and low and behold I saw quite alot of blogs and websites with a lot of comments of how much of a scam they really were. With many compaines with many names such as : Biltmore Who's Who, International Madison Who's Who, Worchester's Who's Who, etc.Well it just blew my mind and pissed me off. Not only did they fire me but they told me that I'd have to wait for thirty days for my check as I had made a sale, (this is before I recieved complaints from other potencial clients.), I have big doubts that a firm that bliks thousands of people out of thousands of dollers will ever pay the employees that they scammed into working for them.So although you've probaly placed many a scam story I hope you have time for just one more. I would hate to think of the thousands of more potential contacts and future employees that would be scammed by these scumbags and SOB's.SincerelyClueinP.S I would of course like to be anomoyous if you are going to cover this story. Here are some of the blogs and websites I mentioned.;=a56ee5ca9f058a9e9afa94c6b711f0a1 really do hope this helps in your research if you do ever cover this really important story. _______________________________Instead of just railing agaisnt the machine why don't you just fight or are you too busy trying to out clever each other with yourcomments?Down with Con Artist!

  • Anonymous

    I wrote that yesterday and low and behold, no one had a reply. I guess this is just the comment page for gutless wonders to complain and not do anything about it. Good luck on not getting scammed next time but I doubt you won’t get scammed because you people are oh so smart, no one is ever going to scam you again; what’s that? You’ve signed up for a pre-selected credit card? Ahhh, to bad. :( Well I guess you’ll just go to your local blog forum and whine and complain instead of stopping scammers in they’re tracks, hmm? Pfft!

  • psycchic09

    Ouch, Anonymous! Sounds a bit harsh! I don’t know about anyone else, but I am too busy to check my mail every day. Great idea, though, to write Mr. Stossel! Anyway, thanks to all of you who posted, because I just got an email from Madison’s and decided to check it out before I gave them any personal information. I’m so glad I did and I’m glad all of you wrote in about it or I would not have known for sure. Thanks and God bless.

  • Anonymous

    Sorry psycchic09 if I sound [It’s text so do I say look instead of sound, hmm, point to ponder. Anywho!), a bit harsh but I wrote that thinking that if I was a little bit stronger other people would get off their tush and do something besides complain and laugh at their own cleverness or foolishness as the case may be. Anyway psycchic09 I’m glad that you didn’t get suckered in by those sharks at Madison Who’s Who. If you had answered their e-mail they would have asked for your real name and number, address, etc then call you incessantly. I should know those slave drivers just kept giving us the same names over and over again in the hopes of getting someone to sign up. Even though in most cases they had already. Oh btw way folks just thought I’d also warn you in case you were foolish to sign up, they will call you again in something they can ‘Retention’. They will call you about buying a bigger plaque, or a crystal vase commemorating your induction with MWW all for a nominal price of course up to 1000 dollers. Don’t fall for it.Now I know that some people don’t have time check your e-mail but you can use your junk mail filters right? Filters work to take the troubling mail out. Plus psycchic09 as long as you don’t answer MWW e-mail your realitivly safe. ( Of course their are still those pesty mailing list.)Well I try and mellow out but whenever I think of those pigs at MWW well I guess I get a little anonyed. psycchic09 I Salute you!ClueUin

  • Anonymous

    I was contacted a few years ago by MWW and was swindled out of my money.Just recently a company named Princeton Premier just contacted with the same exact offer!Fool me once shame on you, Fool me twice shame on me!What a scam

  • Joe Pugh, Immaculata University

    Professor McGrath,Thank you for posting your warning. I got one this afternoon – although from a generic Who’s Who Among… It didn’t take much (a simple Google search) to find out that it is a scam. The “Dear Candidate” greeting announcing selection to an “honors edition” is a definite red flag. What I found amazing is the number of Google hits showing people who list it in their bio sketches as an honor/award.

  • Anonymous

    My husband was notified he was nominated for Wellington’s Who’s Who for business. I filled out the information card and sent it in for him. A couple weeks later they called him and talked him into their membership with the promise of a voucher for two free airline tickets anywhere. Those two free tickets don’t apply to any airport in our state and are only good for certain destination. Plus you have to stay 3 to 12 nights at the hotels they list. Rip off! When I asked to hear a recording of the representative telling my husband they tickets were good to fly from our home state of Montana she played me some prerecorded crap. I am furious. When I asked for a refund she refused so I told her I would do some advertising for her, but she wouldn’t like it. Scam.

  • Anonymous

    I received a letter from Wellington Who’s Who so I googled it and came upon this blog.Thank you all!You know the story “when something is to good to be true it is”.I wanted to find out if Trump was listed but I only found Addison………

  • Anonymous

    Wellington must have begun a new mass mailing because I just received one. I googled them, just being curiou, and sure enough they’re listed all over the net as a scam. Thanks for the postings.

  • Anonymous

    Awesome, I just received Wellingtons offer. I’m going to use their pre-paid envelope so they can waste their time opening a useless empty envelope.

  • tsbrown

    I was suckered by the four complimentary airline tickets to practically anywhere after spending the day looking for tickets to Europe for our resort stays we’d purchased. I had refused the book several times and then “the tickets.” Wonderful lady spent 15 minutes swearing they only had “one” stipulation couldn’t travel on holiday. Perfect timing. Of course, when confirmation letter from MWW came, 30 days later there was only “two tickets.” When I called MWW, said call travel agent. Agent said did you get “HOTEL BOOK.” Called to cancel for being mislead got yelled at, told 24 hours to cancel from original sales call and hung up on. Called back yelled at, told to call credit card company with complaint and hung up on again. While downloading complaint form from credit card company noticed I only had $2.00 in my account. Called credit card company back and they said a charge was coming through (30 days later) but couldn’t tell what. I said I hadn’t bought anything and had only used card twice. They said call MWW. They said the Leather Bound Book (which is what the original $608.95 was for) had a $189.00 fee to be charged in 30 days. I said no mention of that, I had my credit card company on the other line and they knew I hadn’t approved any new charges and they better not charge me. They agreed to take it off. However when my new bill came it was on the credit card. I am paying for a scam. I called a lawyer because the document I received in the mail had been backdated a month from the date I actually ordered the package. They liked about the tickets just to get a sell. They mailed the “Hotel book” out from the travel agent the date I called them 30 days later “postmarked”. The document mailed includes the Leather Bound registry in the original $608.95. These people are full of it and I don’t have this kind of money to throw away. The lawyer said call Clark Howard. They said call the lawyer. I am so furious I can scream. I finally found this website. Thanks for letting me vent!

  • Anonymous

    It’s like a previous blogger stated, are these scam companies depending on our vanity to make them money.I also received a solicitation from Biltmore Who’s Who. However, I decided to join because, even if it is a scam, I am thinking of the networking element. Now, they attempted to recruit me at $789. for a lifetime membership but I had just got out of the hospital and I told the representative that I could not afford to give $789 and they agreed to offer me a membership at $299. I accepted.So I guess, to some extent, it may be considered a scam but I am leaning toward the direction that maybe I can make additional employment contacts later on down the line through networking.

  • Anonymous

    The Original Ripoff Report Title: MADISON WHO’S WHO STEALS MONEY, UNAUTHORIZED CHARGES REQUIRING FEE TO REVERSE, UNETHICAL BUSINESS PRACTICES, BULLYING and THREATS Long Island New YorkThe Original Ripoff Report Text:BEWARE! These are theives and frauds! They call from “restricted” numbers and steal money from people!!! I called to complain about unauthorized charges to my credit card, having never previously heard of “Madison Who’s Who” (I am in Marquis Who’s Who Among American Teachers.) They charged me 20% to reverse charges neither made nor authorized by me. I spoke to the same man over and over under the following names: “Jonathan Martin” “Financial Director” “Justin” in “Finance” “Sean Martin” “Director of Operations” and “Andrew Jones” “Managing Partner” (who said there was no one above him in the company.) It turns out that my card was used by a 15-year-old relative because they called and pushed her into acting immediately-and obviously a 15-year-old child does not have the experience to deal with a hard sell. They called to include her lawn mowing enterprise so that she could make money over the summer. Mr. Jones suggested that the 20% fee was my punishment for not knowing that the child used my card. (I was at work.) After several threatening and belligerent phone calls, I finally agreed to accept the reversal- although I provided verification from my bank proving that the charges were unauthorized and a statement of the fact. Because they said, “you’ll take 80% or you’ll get nothing”, Mr. Jones was becoming increasingly rude and insulting, and my planning period was ending. I just looked up “Madison Who’s Who” and the names that were given to me are NOT the names on the Contact page. Sean Martin’s “position” is actually filled by a woman. On top of all that, the child with whom they initially entered into an agreement never received any of the benefits promised. They did not verify that she has a fictional BA from a fictional college (“The University of Arts”). They did not verify her identity. They did not verify her age. This company pushes children into entering into agreements with them, runs credit cards without verification and then charges the unsuspecting credit card owner a “fee” for reversing the charges. This information has been forwarded to the FCC and the FTC as well as the FBI unit for internet scams. DO NOT GIVE THEM ANY INFORMATION OR MONEY, MADISON WHO’s WHO IS A COMPANY FOUNDED ON FRAUD, LIES AND DISREPUTABLE, UNETHICAL BUSINESS PRACTICES!!!

  • Lili

    I worked for them for one horrible week two and a half years ago. I was never told the training (which was really memorizing the high-pressure sales pitch) was unpaid. I did make three sales, and I felt sorry for those poor folks afterward. "Achievment?" One of the guys I called was a 19 year old who worked part-time as an Assistant Manager in a fast food place. I'm not putting that down, but whose idea was it to hock this poor kid about some BS regarding getting his name in some silly book? After I quit, I told one of the guys there that he should think long and hard about making a living in such a sleazy way.

  • Anonymous

    Hi,I just joined your company. Is there a case that someone pursues agaist these guys?JH

  • Ericka

    Just got pressured into agreeing to sign up for ~$80, luckily I called back, and tried to cancel 1 hour later, instead of waiting. Was told supervisor would call me back immediately, as she was on a phone call at the moment. 40 minutes later I called them back, got same run-around. I said I would wait on the line (this is a Friday at 4:45 pm). I noticed on their website that they have a 48 hour cancellation policy and was pretty sure I wouldn't be able to cancel on the weekend. Finally got through to a supervisor, who said he voided transaction. I requested a confirmation code. He gave me one, but it was not the same length as the original confirmation code I was given after first trasaction. After I got off the phone, I contacted my credit card company's fraud division immediately. Looking through the internet, I'm very glad I did the last step.

  • Tina

    These guys are all scammers!Good new article on the topic – see

  • Anonymous

    Are there any class action law suits out on the scammamers?

  • kimberly

    Apparently it's not just email. I received a phone call today and I convinced the woman on the phone to call me back so I could look at my books. After reading this, I'm not going to answer the phone. I will definitely pass.Thanks for the heads up info on this before spending money I don't need to.

  • kimberly

    I received a phone call from premier international Who's Who and I talked her all the way down to trial membership of $99.00 as she would not take no as an answer.I finally got her to agree to call me tomorrow stating I would need to check my finances to see if it's worth it for the investment. It was really to check for potential scams. So glad I did.I won't be answering that phone call tomorrow. Thanks so much for the info

  • Anonymous

    Got my who's who today from Biltmore in the mail. My first thought was who would care what I have done with my life??? So I Googled… If it looks to good, it is to good to be true. Some scams are easy to identify. Enjoyed the blog!Anonymous

  • Anonymous

    I fell for it hook-line-and-sinker. I am rather embarrassed to say this, but I felt so recognized for a change, that just gobbled up the compliments. The lady sounded so amazingly sincere. She even gave me her private email address so I can send her pictures of my country (South Africa) and she told me of her daughter and she made a point of complimenting about my accomplishments. I feel a bit betrayed. The only thing that made me uncomfortable throughout the interview was the way she pushed me for the payment. Even after I told her that I dont think I can begin to afford it. With shipment, it almost makes up 66% of my monthly salary. I told her I had to get an increase on my credit card limit and she was so "patient" she even "accommodated" me with a post dated payment date to give me a chance to increase my limit. Luck for me, the two times they tried to put it through there was no money in the card. THEN, a second person phoned me and even though I tried to tell him a million times that I had already spoken to someone and that we had made a payment arrangement, he kept telling me I am jumping the gun. So he continued with the interview up to payment phase. I put my foot down and said – I am not going to give my credit card details a second time. I told him to check with the first girl who helped me to see what is happening with my "account". Any way – I am sure my story is one in a million. I have contacted my bank today (after finding this blog) and they cancelled my card. I am relieved! And shocked! And just disappointed with these kind of people! Blogs are amazing tools to combat fraud & scams. KEEP IT UP!

  • consumer

    Madison Who's Who, while legal violates my sense of fair play. They dont tell you up front that if you agree to a contract and give your credit card info the there is a 20% cancellation fee amounting to $120+. I called my bank and was told that if they have the fee in writing it is legal. Buyer beware. I vow now to never agree to sale without first doing an internet search. Thanks for this site.

  • Anonymous

    Dear Nick Nicolas,Thank you for your obvious attempt at getting your name out there.

  • Anonymous

    Another sucker here. I also fell short and in a moment of weakness agreed to join. They charged me on my credit card (over phone – never agree to that!!!). Later the same day I wrote back to complain and say I had changed my mind.They called my up, negotiated the fee and I "got away" with a one year subscription. At this point they "appeared professional". To bad I had to pay the fee, but atleast it was now stopped I thought.I did also send them emails telling them I wanted no further contact with them what so ever, and that I withdraw my consent to any charges on my credit card or any other services from them. I never got a written reply, but instead they called my up and I explained my position. Later, after talking o my credit card company I understand why…they could possibly arguee they never received any cancellation.Now comes the word of warning – 2 months later I'm again being charged a monthly subscription fee of 19.95 – on my already cancelled credit card. I traced the identity of the payment reciever to this link this page you can read IN VERY FINE PRINT that you have been given a free 60 days trial, and if you don't contact them, you will be charged a monthly fee! How can you contact them if they never tell you they enrolled you for this service?? This so unethical and as close to criminal as you can be.The scary part is that since the credit card company has been charged a subscription fee (with an approved authentication code) they cannot refuse to pay, unless I could show clear evidence I had cancelled the subscription!!I was now SO HAPPY I sent the e-mails I did! I send the credit card company's fraud section my email correspondance and they immediately agreed to contact the company to dispute the charges, re-emburse me and block the company from charging me again (on that authentication code). This block is valid for 3 months, and they say, this normally ends the charges. If not, contact us again, and we will block it again.I hope for sure this my misstake is now "out of my life" and also now wow never to agree to a sale without first doing an internet search!

  • Anonymous

    Gentlemen,I also recieved this email below and scares me that it is a scam!!!!Monday, September 20, 2010 As part of's commitment to bring our subscribers new ideas, products and services that might be of interest, we want to share the following message from one of our marketing partners. Brian,CareerBuilder and the Executive Registry of Who’s Who have teamed up to present you with an exciting opportunity! You have recently been selected as a candidate to represent your professional community in this year’s edition of Who's Who among Executives and Professionals. Your candidacy was officially approved September 20, 2010. You have been selected based upon your professional experience and achievements, and as such, we believe that your profile makes a fitting addition to our publication.There is no fee or obligation to be listed in our publication, but we must receive verification from you that your profile is accurate. After receiving verification, we will validate your registry listing within seven business days.Once finalized, your listing will share prominent registry space with thousands of fellow accomplished individuals across the globe, each representing his or her professional field and geographical region. As a member of the registry, you are also afforded a unique networking opportunity with other professionals and potential employers across a range of industries, as well as business coaching opportunities from industry experts. Of course, this unique accolade would be a welcome addition to any resume.To verify your profile and accept the candidacy, please go to our website here.Our registration deadline is September 30, 2010. In order to guarantee your inclusion, your verification must be completed on or before this date. On behalf of our committee, congratulations on your achievement and welcome to our association.With best regards,Jason PriceWho's Who among Executives and ProfessionalsVice President, Research Division

  • Judy B

    So pleased; I got a call today from Madison Whos who (sounded like a lady with a very scary voice), asked me lots of questions. I told her I was really uncomfortable with what she was asking and she said 'well you replied to our email didn't you? Why did you respond to that email then if you're not interested'. She was SO pushy. I said 'I want to research your company and call you back' so she gave me website address!!! Ha ha, googled madison and there are hundreds of blogs and DON'T GO THERE messages. I know this company have got my details from a 'suckers' list' as I was the victim of a scam selling publicity to Doctors' surgeries for families. I work for a Charity; these people have no conscience… What can I say; they must love their jobs!

  • Anonymous

    Please help*any thought on whether the following letter might also be a scam? It is not Madison this time – I received it in my electronic mailbox today***********************************Hello,You have recently been selected as a candidate to represent your professional community in this year's edition of Who's Who among Executives and Professionals. Your candidacy for membership was officially approved November 29, 2010. You have been selected based upon your professional experience and achievements, and as such, we believe that your profile makes a fitting addition to our publication.There is no fee or obligation to be listed in our publication. We must receive verification from you that your profile is accurate. After receiving verification, we will validate your registry listing within seven business days.Once finalized, your listing will share prominent registry space with thousands of fellow accomplished individuals across the globe, each representing his or her professional field and geographical region. As a member of the registry, you are also afforded a unique networking opportunity with other professionals and potential employers across a range of industries, as well as business coaching opportunities from industry experts. Of course, this unique accolade would be a welcome addition to any resume.To verify your profile and accept the candidacy, please go to our website here.Our registration deadline is December 7, 2010. In order to guarantee your inclusion, your verification must be completed on or before this date. On behalf of our committee, congratulations on your achievement and welcome to our association.With best regards,Jason PriceWho's Who among Executives and ProfessionalsVice President, Research Division

  • James F. McGrath

    Why would you want to respond to this e-mail anyway?

  • Anonymous

    I worked for Madison for a couple of months. Do not ever respond to their emails.They constantly regurgitate the same leads and you will get numerous phone calls. The abominable spelling written in this blog by some of the former employees should tell you something. They do publish you in the "registry" so it's not outright theft, but it's still a scam. There are probably who's who books out there that are legitimate, but this isn't one of them.Everyone at Madison uses a pseudonym, so you never know who you're actually talking to.If a woman named "Sandy" calls to "upgrade" you, hang up immediately and change your number.For the most part the owners Mathew, Scott and Andrew are the real shysters here.The vast majority of the employees are desperately trying to find a better job. I would also avoid their former HR person, Jennifer Lapidus.

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    Their scam documents are also public on scribd.com and send to others to piss them off and pass on awareness of this scam. Do not fall for their sales pitch and do not give them your credit card / debit card information

  • Anonymous

    I received and email from Madison Who's Who and a phone call. I didn't join, but they weren't about to take No for an answer. I hung up, they called back. This time I answered but set the phone aside, eventually they hung up. I am an Independent Contractor for IT and have direct sales business too. I found this site while they were still talking on the phone. I wasn't paying them anything anyway, but I am glad I confirmed they are a scam. There is a website for them, becareful.

  • Anonymous

    Madison Who’s Who is a scam. I also received a phone call from them. I was nominated long time ago to Who’s Who among Professionals (nothing to pay), so I thought was them again. I felt for it, but the same day I search the Internet and found it was a scam. Immediately I call the bank to stop the debit from my credit card.

  • kdad64

    Hello all,I,too,was actually hired by this company. I'd been out of work quite some time and needed a job badly. I went to the interview & was immediately taken aback by what seemed to be a seedy worksite. The office building looks like it's in a degree of incompletion. During the interview, I mentioned to the HR rep that I had looked up the company & she flinched but I never thought anything of it at that time.They pay you $300 a week plus commissions but the amount in sales necessary to reach the commission thresholds is far out there.The only piece of paper I signed was to acknowledge that I wouldn't receive a paycheck for the training until I'd been employed for 5 weeks.After looking up the site on the internet, I saw that they are a scam and are ripping innocent people off. Honestly, even after looking them up I went in because I needed the money but after seeing the product these people are paying to be in, I had a change of heart. Yes, I went in the next morning but once I sat down to review our 'script', I literally gagged, got up & left.I have yet to tell my significant other because we need the income but I could not work there knowing what they're about. It's not only the hard-selling but it's also that this product is absolutely worthless.Stay tuned – I'm sure you'll read about these clowns in the police blotter soon enough.Prospective consumers : STAY AWAY!!!- I can provide the same service, basically going through NYC and writing your info in random stalls and calling you every few days and tell you how fantastic you are, for a lot cheaper…..Prospective employees : STAY AWAY!!!- You will feel better about yourself if you shoplift, rob little old ladies or provide heroin to drug addicts.

  • Residual Sales

    I also worked for MHH for about 10 months so I know everything there is to know about them. The "new business" sales are the least fraudulent of their activities. They keep your credit card # in their computer system and then a short while after you've signed up they call you back trying to sell you additional items. They refer to this practice as "residual sales". "sandy" is very good at selling the books, I worked next to her for a long time. They are so lazy about actually printing the registry book that even if you buy a book, what you receive is one from several years ago, not the version you are in. Also, they call members of other publications pretending to be that Who's Who and sell their book to those people. They rip off people in europe and middle east for $1000/book easy. If anyone is interested in bringing legal action against them, or if any past customer wants to get even with them, or if anyone wants to publish something about them, please contact me.

  • LSUTiger

    Thank the sweet Lord that I found this site!! I JUST hung up with "Thomas Borrelli" from Madison Who's Who, and I must say that he was one slick individual. Initially, he told me that the decision to include me for the 2011 edition had not yet been made, but the answers to the questions I give during the phone interview would be the deciding factors. He asked very vague and generic questions about my job and my career, and acted overwhelmingly impressed with the answers. He complimented my Southern accent, and called me "eloquent", "humble", and "accomplished." After fawning all over my public speaking credentials, my published work, and my educational background, he explained that my vision for the next 5 years of my career cemented it for him, and that he would be happy to include me in this years list. Yay. Up until this point, I must say that it all sounded very legitimate….That's when the sales pitch started. Lifetime membership: $749, one year membership, upgradable to lifetime: $539. When I told him that I could not authorize either charge without consulting with my husband (which incidentally I don't even have…), he actually said that my fictitious husband would only hear the dollar amounts, and it should really be my decision to make regardless. He said his workload is really heavy, and he's ready to send my biographical information to the editor, but once we end the call he's got to forge ahead to other candidates, so if I could OK it without asking a spouse, he could miraculously create a one-year trial membership for the LOW LOW PRICE of $139. When I felt the pressure of having to make the decision then and there over the phone, I knew for certain that I was being conned. I told him he had a deal, but I needed to walk over to the other building to get my purse and credit card, so please give me a direct number to return his call. The number is 718-932-8011 *205 if anyone is interested….Appreciate this blog!!

  • Carla

    Madison Who’s Who is Disgusting.  Main Trainer is very angry.  He is mad at the world. Not my fault he don’t know how to read.

  • TB

    I just forced myself off of the phone with them. I should never have returned their email and wish I had seen this site prior.  I will definitely do my homework better next time.  When I stated that I wanted to do more research on their organization, she just kept lowering the price.  When I finally said no, she said “Good luck to you” and hung up.  No reputable organization would mind being researched.  Beware!

  • Sophierivara


  • Pammfischer

    OMG!!!   I was one of the fools who signed up 8 months ago and have sooo regretted it ever since.  They continue to call me to sign up  almost DAILY and I ALREADY DID!!  They call to tell me that I am the special entrepreneur of the HOUR and how honored I should be called upon!!  I let them go through their speel and then tell them ” I am already a VIP” you SCAM ARTISTS  and hang up.
    I did get 4 free airline tickets to Europe from them though because in my blind site I became a “VIP” member therefore I got 4 free airline tickets.  They sent me the ticket info and I have been all over this and it better not be a scam too??  Anyone know?  The Travel Agency they deal with continue to tell me that airline is free but have to stay in their hotels, which look nice.  HELP?  Do I dare believe that too?  I think I will get the airline tickets but they are so pissed that I do not give them “more money”.  Every time they call they tell me I owe them more money for a publication I have yet to even see.    Then, they get so upset and hang up on me.  It is disgusting!!!
    I am planning a trip to Spain to see my son at school in the Fall and would hate last minute to have to pay for all these tickets!  Any advice?

    • John

      Its all a scam! You will end up paying more hard costs!!!!’ get out while you can

  • Extenze

    I enjoyed every little bit part of it and I will be waiting for the new updates.

  • rndlawyer

    I just got off the phone with a representative of Madison’s Whos Who. I asked her to send me written information on the various membership levels that she was selling, and she told me that was not possible. When I told her I would not pay for any membership until I was able to review printed materials to determine what, if any, membership I might be interested in purchasing, she hung up on me. Shows you what type of “professional” orgnaization this is. Do yourself a favor and don’t take the call.

  • Dr.Shackalak

    Don’t fall for it. Definitely a scam. It’s a quick way of making money. They didn’t even get my email address right, after I corrected them at least 10 times, so I don’t have access to all the “benefits” they offer. But there are no benefits, because it’s not real.

    The representatives ask way too many personal questions. This organization is shady. DO NOT TRUST MADISON’S WHO’S WHO!

  • oOoCh4RLy3GoOo

    HI i 4m here to kick skammers azz, m4d1s0n wh05wh0 got days CoOount 3,2,1,….
    i wiLL do 4 aLL0f YOU PEOPLE

  • AnoNtoMMW>>>>>>>>>

    mad1s0nwh0swh0scamm3rsT1me2GIV3uP….. anywayUgonn4pay…1n few ????s……..


  • Sandy

    They scammed my son, a mail room employee to the tune of $1500.00. Calling the attorney general of new York. You should too!

    • May

      Bristol Who’s Who is the same….what can be done about these people?

  • Gary


    I just had a conversation with an individual who represented Madison Who’s Who.
    Wholeheartedly believing that if there was anything viable about this company, I would have certainly heard of them in my 40+ years of employment; yet I had not.
    The conversation began with the warm and fuzzy profile creation in which I was led to believe that I should be nominated for sainthood; then came the sales pitch…
    I was offered the unbelievable lifetime membership for a mere $789.00 which included two plane tickets to an unspecified destination; but included places such as Hawaii and the Bahamas. In the same breath and before I had even declined that offer, I was co-offered a 5-year membership for $589.00 in which I would still receive the plane tickets.
    Keeping the individual on the line with idle conversation, I Googled Madison Who’s Who. When the first page loaded; the first link was to their site, however all of the other links on the page
    were complaints and scam reports.
    I smiled thinking to myself, now I have some ammunition. It wasn’t long before I had negotiated from life time; to a 5 year plan; to a 3 year plan; to a 2 year plan; to a 1 year plan; and finally to a 1 month, auto-renewing trial plan that could be cancelled at any time.
    By this time I’d had enough fun and leveled with the telemarketer. I informed him that I had researched his firm while we were speaking and informed him of my findings. I told him that I’d have to pass based upon my findings; I then said, “Have a nice day, goodbye”, but I did not hang up. The next thing I heard was “damn”; then I hung up before he had the time to.

  • GI Joe

    Madison Who’s Who is calling to get in their whatever and when i asked how much it costs, they lie and say no cost. I see read horror stories that they get you to cough up hundreds if not thousands of dollars. It was the 20th crap phone call of the day and I started getting upset with them bothering me when I was taking orders from customers on the other line and they said something about them not wanting me in their whatever. At that point I hung up. Madison Who’s Who are liars, fraudsters and tell them to pound sand.

  • Arne

    Just received one, too. They already include your name now:-)

    Congratulations Arne ,

    You were recently chosen as a potential candidate to represent your professional community in the
    2013 Edition of Madisons Who’s Who.

    We are pleased to inform you that your candidacy was formally approved October .. 30th. Congratulations.
    The Publishing Committee selects potential candidates based not only upon their current standing, but
    focusing as well on criteria from executive and professional directories, associations, and trade journals.

    Given your background, the Director believes your profile makes a fitting addition to our publication.
    There is no fee nor obligation to be listed. As we are working off of secondary sources, we must receive
    verification from you that your profile is accurate. After receiving verification, we will validate your
    registry listing within seven business days.

    Once finalized, your listing will share prominent registry space with thousands of fellow accomplished
    individuals across the globe, each representing accomplishments within their own geographical area.

    To verify your profile and accept the candidacy, please visit here.
    Our registration deadline for this year’s candidates is November 30th. To ensure you are included, we must
    receive your verification on or before this date. On behalf of our Committee, I salute your achievement
    and look forward to welcoming you to our association.


    Executive Editor
    Wayne Anthony
    Madison Whos Who

    Click here to unsubscribe

  • giving an update

    Update : They are now running advertising on LinkedIn with the following banner :

    Are You [University Name from you profile] Alumni? – Apply Now For Inclusion In The Prestigious Madison Who’s Who Registry!

    • Lee

      Yes, this is definitely a Scam, when I talked to a “Kelly” on the phone she kept cutting me off when I started asking questions about the registry. She also repeatedly called me “Hun” which always unnerves me. She very accusingly said I must just have problem with the money, she was asking for $989 for a lifetime membership or $789 for a regular membership and when I said I wanted to see a publication or some proof of what they did she got really angry…as did I and was forced to hang up to end the conversation.

      • HT

        I got their info. from LinkedIn and they called me this morning. I thought it will be helpful to do some advertisement overseas. Right after I joined I saw this column. They have already charged my credit card for $789 plus handling charges. Is there anyway I can get the money back from them?
        Hong Kong

        • James F. McGrath

          You can try contacting the credit card company, explaining that you got taken in by a scam.

          • HT

            Thanks James. I have terminated my credit card this morning and report this site to my bank. How come this website can survive for so long if it is a scam. No one seems to be taking action to them? They offer free trial in LinkedIn to seduce people to provide contact info.

          • James F. McGrath

            They offer to print your name in a book. If you pay them, they do indeed do that. And so as long as people are willing to give hundreds of dollars to a company that will give them so little in return, they will probably continue to operate.

  • HT

    I just joined this organization and I read this column……………

    • Joe

      I just got duped as well via linked in and my Alumni association. $2000 down the drain.

  • Stephanie

    Madison Who’s Who is now Bristol Who’s Who. It’s basically a call center. I applied for a job there and after a week of training I was accepted. The training was tough becuase you have to make sure we talk over you and not let you get a word in. The whole call is a script with rebuttals. After some time I just could not work there anymore. I found it very unethical building a rapport with people, congratulating them, and then trying to scam them for money. I didn’t even get it until after I started working. It’s funny, the owner told me that he’s a real estate developer and he sold Madison Who’s Who. But the truth of the matter is is that he just changed the name of the company because of so many complaints. They now target other countries, mostly Brazil and South Africa, England, Australia. It’s a sad concept with no merit to hold it. They make you think into being accepted into a prestigious organization that originally was founded in England and has sailed on its back as an imposter. I can’t believe there are people there that have been working there for 10 years.

    • Flavio Terra

      Alright, I am a recent victim of this scam! So sad to be late about reading this. Feeling myself like a moron!
      After almost an hour in the phone, the attendant convinced me to made part of this “very important club”. Ok, i just have to pay almost US$700. for that. Just me! A smart Brazilian guy used to be so wise!
      Feelling very upset!

      • Chris

        They almost just had me – Bristol Who’s who. I luckily told them I do not have my credit card on me, expecting a call back later. Think I’ll think twice before opting in now….

  • Rachel Smith

    Hello. My name is Rachel. I am the Director of Social Media for Bristol Who’s Who. I want to take the time to address the concerns and feedback on this post. First and foremost, let me say we take into account all feedback that we receive and we hold ourselves accountable, if/when need be in regards to how we can improve and continue to provide high quality services to our members. With that being said, there are some misconceptions that I would like to clear up on behalf of this company. We are in no way a scam. We have an A rating with the Better Business Bureau. We have been around for 10+ years and we pride ourselves on being a company that publishes and highlights some of the most successful executives and professionals across the world. We have over 500,000 members and have growth in those numbers daily. Surely, this would not be possible if we did not provide services that were of benefit to top level executives across the world. We have in place various services that when utilized, provides our members with fantastic networking opportunities. We care about our company. We care about our brand. We care about our members and we in fact, care about what you have to say. We can continue this conversation as our goal is to always continue to improve daily.

    • James

      “We have an A rating with the Better Business Bureau”
      Hmmmm, How can this be so when i have just looked at the BBB web site and they have you rated a “D” “”
      You might want to read the reference before you refer to it.