I was excited to learn today that I, apparently, had Polish relatives—including a business magnate and engineer named Delbert Akella! My chaste, brahmanical ancestors must be rolling in their proverbial graves upon hearing of this! But, upon reading the letter a little more carefully, I was a little disappointed (and, might I add, my ancestors were likely relieved) that I couldn’t figure out if good ‘ole Delbert was of Polish origin or another Akella who had immigrated to Poland and made good.

But, as a fellow entrepreneur, I was sure glad that he had made out… because he had left a chunk of change for his Akella brethren. 8.9M, to be specific.

Or, so the kind Mr. Robin Mars from RobMars Management apologetically informs me in a letter—interestingly mailed from France, marked confidential, and for my eyes only!

All excited, I chose to do a little homework. And learned a lot about what was clearly a scam.

  • “Delbert Akella”, especially if he is the business mandate he is said to be, doesn’t exist
  • RobMars Management exists! But, WoT warns me that it has no information on the site. The domain is owned by someone hiding behind a registration service based in Reykjavik, Iceland!
  • The BBC reports that businesses like RobMar Management are immensely successful. Reading the article takes be back in time to my days at Spoke and Cydelity combined…
    • They are “legitimate” companies, with headquarters and offices in different parts of the world. Check out the building from which Mr. Mars wrote to me. Fancy!
    • The are organized like any other company, with an opaque leadership team, a functional structure that would seem utterly normal to any of us
    • Their sales departments, which pick “leads” like me, function with daily call targets and quotas
    • They even have HR departments to handle the employees!
    • (And, I’d guess, a serious legal team to keep the principals out of jail… leaving the poor junior schmucks, the foot soldiers, to fend for themselves when the sh*t hit the fan—as we saw reported in Sudhir Venkatesh’s “Gang leader for a day” about the drug business)
    • They are seriously successful billion dollar operations!

I can’t help be impressed with Mr. Mars’ audacity. And, feeling sad for the folks whom they manage to sucker.

But, I have to close with a BIG request: Will the real Engr. Delbert Akella please call me directly? I’d love to explore the family tree with you!

1 Comment

  1. What a coincidence!! My relative’s first name is Delbert also! Who would have guessed? Thanks for your post. This is the proverbial “Nigerian scam” but from another country. Best regards.

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