The Anatomy of a Con – Inside the Koptalk Gold Club
We are not talking mere malarky here. Malarky is defined as “exaggerated or foolish talk usually intended to deceive”. We don’t care if Duncan Oldham wants to exaggerate his poverty or his wealth, his sexual conquests, his work for charity or the size of the big one that got away.
We’re talking con – “swindling by first winning the victim’s confidence”.
So what’s his swindle?
He charges for inside information about LFC that he does not have.
Who are his victims?
His victims are Liverpool FC supporters – especially kids and those living in Asia, Australia and the Americas.
How does he win their confidence?
By lying! He claims to have access to Rick Parry, the Chief Executive of LFC, and to LFC’s press conferences and training sessions and to have bribed gatemen and other employees at LFC to phone in or email privileged information. He claims to have a ring of anonymous informers feeding him information about the manager’s assessment of players and about imminent transfer deals. He claims to be a member or visitor to private clubs where, he alleges, Liverpool players let down their guard and do things they shouldn’t in the knowledge that he will protect their secrets. He claims to be the confidant of several present and former LFC players and management staff. He claims to be a confidant of an American-based group of potential investors in LFC and its proposed stadium and to have inside information on private negotiations between LFC and that group and other potential investors.
How does he carry out this deception?
By lifting information already in the public domain – on LFC’s web-site, other unofficial fan sites, the TV, radio and newspapers and posting it as information exclusive to members of his Inside and Gold Club service. By inventing nom de plumes under which he posts in the Insider and Gold Club as though these false personas were secret informants. By encouraging and rewarding members of the Insider and Gold Club to speculate and exaggerate about having similar information. By lying that respected journalists are members of his Gold Club in order to source their own stories. By claiming that LFC players and management approve of and participate.
What’s in it for him?
He’s also in it for self-promotion and a virtual role as a cultic “Daddy”. But when all is said and done, even his self-promotion is in the service of his con.
How much money does he make from his con?
As in all internet-based cons – the individual amounts of money are relatively small but the aggregate amount is potentially large. There’s a reason for this. Someone bilked out of £5 for a non-existent book or even £30 for non-existent exclusive information might feel sore, but they are hardly going to sue or even complain to the regulatory authorities. It would cost more time and trouble than its worth. And even if they wanted to pursue a claim on principal – how would they do that?
As in many internet cons – this one is run from a PO Box. This discourages visitors. It also allows him to claim that he has extensive offices and a large staff – an integral element of his con. But his only employees are family dependants.
He does not register his companies. He does not publish accounts. He hides from sight. He uses different names. He even claims – as he did two weeks ago – that his true name is not Duncan Oldham. And if someone were to get him to the discovery stage of a legal process they find that his records are mainly in the ether.
The individual amounts are relatively small but multiplied by 6,000 it starts to become serious. Of course we don’t know if he has 6,000 members paying annually – that’s just his claim. Conmen always make the pitch that everybody else is buying so why don’t you?
And a good con will be renewable and have spin-offs. A free SMS service, for example, will be converted to a subscription service at £40 a pop. People who have swallowed one story will swallow another – like the story of a charity where the donations have to be made out to his personal bank account and for which no public accounting is offered.
Con artists often go in for conspicuous consumption flaunting their alleged wealth to convince the doubters that their product is valued by the market.
But in this case, stories of wealth are alternated with claims to poverty and appeals for charity for himself and his family.
A reasonable analysis would suggest a reason for this pattern. Sales above £61,000 require that VAT be collected and paid – but he never publishes issues invoices with a VAT number. Income sufficient to buy the properties he claims to have bought with cash or is in the process of acquiring – like a hotel in Liverpool and a £300,000 house near Melwood – and the vehicles and audio visual equipment he has bought or is buying, and the foreign holidays he has taken, and the frequency with which he goes to the races or bets on football, and the generous personal donations he says he gives to charity – all this requires an income large enough to attract substantial personal taxation. But, to his credit, he never boasts about how much he pays to Treasury.
This is Duncan Oldham’s new signature in his Gold Club. He adopted it last week as a threat of revenge against this blog, along with his references, on the one hand, to his underworld friends and, on the other, to the police. It’s not uncommon for con artists to claim they are victims of those they tried to con. They’ve even been know to threaten to bring in the “heavies” to save their con from exposure.
But what Oldham seems to have overlooked is that Matthew, the Apostle was a tax collector.
“You have heard that it was said: an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”- Matthew 5:38
Rupert Insider, July 19th 2006