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Lexi

Extortion Warning: "Drink Me" Magazine

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This is Lexi from the Old Ballard Liquor Co. 

If you've been contacted about purchasing advertising or show space with "Drink Me" Magazine (http://www.drinkmemag.com/), please be wary.  I received the following from them this morning after refusing to purchase an advertising package and asking to be removed from their marketing mail list:

"I tell you what happens now. We write an article telling our 750,000 readers to avoid Old Ballard Liquor Co. at all costs and give your products some of the worst scores we've ever given as an accurate representation of their taste and the company ethos. The media industry in the drink world is an incredibly small place and as one of the bigger players we have a lot friends out there..."

A) That's extortion, and it's illegal.  I've contacted the authorities, the media and the ADI.

B) The company was angel-funded and has only been around for a year but appears to have purchased a mailing list that they use to justify their 750,000 number but doesn't appear to be legitimate subscribers.

With the distilling industry in Washington so tenuous right now, it's very easy to be scared or duped into paying these people.  Don't do it.  If you don't pay, they won't prey.

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19 minutes ago, Gwydion Stone said:

Thanks for that, Lexi. I was wondering who the heck these people were.  Did you alert the FTC?  

I'm working through the list of folks to notify today.  The FTC wasn't the right entity, but I've filed with the FBI and am working with a California law office right now to notify the California AG.  Also the BBB.  Unfortunately, the email originated in Europe (probably England, where their HQ is) so it's more complicated than just filing on a US company.  Preliminary research points to this whole company being a complex, easily believed scam funded by extortion.

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Hey all - this guy is at it again.  Holly from Captive Spirits reported getting a solicitation (not a threat, at least not yet) from him last week, so be on your guard.  This company is bad news.

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