Wednesday, 15 July 2009

What have I gotten myself into now

I love it when companies phone up offering me a job. I love the thought of there being someone out there who has read my CV, liked what they saw and wants me to join them. So when such a phonecall comes through offering me an interview, I jump at the chance, put on my bestest suit, tell everyone on twitter that I finally have an interview and head to the underground station.

So, Friday I get the phonecall and email from TFTA, god knows where they got my CV from, I've been spunking it out all over the internet for months, but hey, they want me.

It was only a few minutes before the interview today that I bothered checking them up on t'internet, google lead me to this helpful blogpost:-
Yesterday I received a call from The Financial Training Academy asking me whether I was looking for a job. They claimed that I needed no experience and that they would train me up to be a mortgage consultant. Sounding more than a little fishy, but being the hopeful graduate that I am, I organised a meeting for the next day at their supposed office at 4 Frederick’s Place, Old Jewery, Bank. On the phone, they offer you training and what seems to be the offer of a job lined up at the end. However, after a cursory google of their company and glimpse of their site, I discovered that it was a scam. They set up fake interviews and promise you false job posts.
I shrugged and walked in anyway.

I smiled, filled in the forms, signing whatever's put in front of me, notice the herds of attractive young ladies who worked there at the TFTA office at 4 Frederick's Place, off Old Jewry, near Bank Station in The City of London. I scribbled in my pocketbook that this seems to be the office for several similarly named companies:-
  • The Financial Recruitment Academy
  • The Financial Training Academy
  • The Business Development Academy
  • The Technology Recruitment Academy
  • The Technology Training Academy
  • Academies International
  • The Vocational Training Academy
Then I emerged an hour later, sweating in my suit, clutching a piece of paper that appears to have signed me up to £12,000 worth of debt, an enrollment folder and a book about the A+ certification

I can't help but feel that £12,000 is an awful lot of money that I don't have right now and would rather not be saddled with such a debt, I'm going to have to phone up and cancel all this. has a bit of a write up about the organisation, saying its the same mob who were covered in this Guardian article.

I'm not saying that any of Academies International's activities are a scam, it could be a very effective way to skill yourself up to a high level that's worth paying £9,000 for, and the guarantee of a job at the end of it well, under the current ecomonic climate, it might be worth it.

Although I wonder what that guarantee entails, do you get your money back if there's no job? Or do they just default and give you a job themselves? Going by the testimonials on the website, written by the people who actually work there, the answer is probably

I tried looking into what jobs were on offer, the woman in the interview, just said they were with "some very big companies," which sounds great, that's the sort of company I want to work for, very big ones. But without any actual company names to go on, I took to the internet.

This piece from the Mortgage Introducer looked promising.

Premier Network Group (PNG) has entered into a partnership with The Financial Training Academy (TFTA) to help bolster the mortgage sector.

PNG will be working with the Academy to help mould its training systems so that students are equipped with the most relevant skills to deal with today's evolving market place.

Sadly Premier Network Group went into liquidation in May, so its not that promising.

Homph, I understand there's a website out there for reviewing educational establishments and training facilities, there was some news story about how it was just used by schoolkids for abusing their teachers, but I think in this instance, it would be a little useful for validating whether £12,000 is good value for the service provided.


  1. it's clearly a scam. Get out quick!

  2. Thank you so much for writing about this. I was meant to attend the interview today. After reading this I called them up and told them I couldn't make it. I can't believe the nerve of them. 18 days is not worth 12,000.

  3. Thanks for writing this. I was going to go for a meeting with this company tomorrow but I think I'll stay clear of them now! It all sounded a bit too good to be true. I was only taken in over the phone a bit as they said they were in Bank and so by having a posh address I assumed they must be legit. Thanks again!

  4. Omfg todays date 09/09/09 and i just got back from their offices.

    What a bunch of Wankers.

    If anyone would like to read the email i just sent to their office [for a laugh] ill be happy to forward it.

    Soz for swearing ;)

  5. Here's the email for those also mugged off by the scam.

    Enjoy and i am sure you have all suffered the same crap that i did ;p


    I'm really sorry to have found out that you have some what of a reading difficulty [you had my CV the whole time showing only NVQ'S so why ask me to turn up?]

    Also honesty although not an acquired skill by the sales snake would have been nice.

    I did ask twice on the phone if you was anything like: - Who are more upfront about what they are ;)

    I also pointed out i was looking for work not training but you kept selling the £30,000 1st line support position?

    Obviously your not going to admit anything when trying to reach a target.

    I lost my job like many others to the Recession and every penny counts at the moment, so thanks for making me waste some of the very little money i have.

    Karma cant be real when arse holes like you live and breath.

    You absolute Cunt!

    Thanks for taking the time to read this and if ever Your jobless i hope every sales turd like yourself calls you giving you a false sense of hope.


  6. Thank you for this blog, I had an interview with them but after reading this I ain't going anywhere near them. I knew it sounded to good to be true.

  7. Sorry to have sent a few nasty words in the email but trust me every part of the mail was the truth.

    They are a bunch of heartless scum bags fueled by targets [Human targets]

    Honestly anyone working for that company deserves a karma bullet between the eyes.

  8. Hi there

    I used to work for them in a Management role. DO NOT GO FOR THE INTERVIEW!!

    They cannoy guarantee a job. Their Director has already closed one company that did the exact same thing before and put it into Administration, causing all of their students and creditors to lose thousands and thousands of pounds.

    The trainers themselves are qualified, but the qualifications aren't enough to get you a good enough job to pay the training fees!

    If you want to get into Mortgages, go straight to the big guys and train with them!

    Also, think about the economy right now - how many people are buyng houses? ER! NOT MANY!

    Dont blame the people that work there - they're only doing their jobs and you would do exactly the same thing if that's what you had been told to do. Some of them have even been white-washed into thinking that it's honourable.. I just know that the people that I used to work with all quit as soon as they possibly could.

    Also, unless they have changed their refund terms (and knowing the MD, he wont have!) you dont have a hope in hell of getting your money back... If you sign a contract, THEY WILL TAKE YOU TO COURT TO GET YOUR MONEY.


  9. Its true about what they are saying about the Business development acandamy, or the financial acadamy, or what ever they want to call it. i attended the course for 10 weeks, and i spent more then 8 000 pounds, for a promise i that was lie from the begining. i couldnt belive i fell for such a scam. i am trying my best to get my money back if that is possible. i would want an advice from any one who also a victiem to this crim, if there is any one who has a way to help me to get my money back. i am a 22 year old man who has quite his job, to get a better oppotrunity in the IT field, and now i am flat broke, with no money for food travel or bills. and am struglling to cope with the stress on my mind, if there is any one out there who can help me to do something about it.. i am very upset and i dont have any words to describe how am feeling. please respond on this blog so i can do something about it. we have go to the media to expalin our situation, and also go to there sponcers such microsoft so that this dose nto happen to any one incent like me.

  10. Back in time we used to burn witches and always for obviouse reasons burn the innecent. These demonic sluts are definably burning material. Its like the people who dont report rape just let someone else feel their pain!

    So i suggest we all meet up, get some acid and altogether give these bastards new facials!

    Or an easier route would be to all completely fill the twats dairies with scam bait material. I for one would not mind taking the time to get everyone working at the Training Academy including the cleaners details and plastering it all over the web in every wrong way.

    To all those that suffered because of this scum please forward the names and numbers of everyone you saw at Scamers r us = Training Academy.

    Please reply with any details you have for names and contact numbers and ill do all the rest ;)

  11. Oh my! I got a call from these people and I thought how the hell did they get my CV. Finance? WTF. The woman set up an appointment for the next day. I looked at their website and noticed some inconsistencies with the numbers they had on the home page and numbers they had on the affiliates page.

    She was talking about jobs but they are essentially selling courses. Not to mention they were vague.

    I guess they try to reel you in and then when you get there, they pressure you and try to sell you a pipe-dream.

    I recently changed my name and the woman kept calling me by my maiden name, which made me think she must have gotten my details from an old CV from at least a year ago.

    They obviously buy details (name, email address and telephone numbers) hence the vague reference to my CV and no concrete details about why I (with a BA in an unrelated field) would be a candidate for a job in finance!

    I feel sorry for anyone who actually gave them money or signed forms agreeing to take their course. The clues are there but they target people whose details are on job sites.

    Even the Guardian reported IN October that hackers gained access to some people's personal details (CVs and covering letters)
    but they intercepted the hack before it was completed

  12. Got a phone call this morning from one of these guys, I then took a look at their website and realised it was all about selling you some crappy course. Did a bit of googling and come across this blog, and the whole thing definitely looks like a scam. Cancelled my "interview" right away.

  13. Exactly the same thing here - an unsolicited call from Academies International this morning asking if I was interested in I.T. helpdesk or database management 'vacancies'. I had my suspicions as soon as I saw their website, and this blog has just confirmed them.

    Thanks to everyone who's contributed for the heads up!

  14. Got a phone call from them a minute ago - I could hear a lot of telemarketers talking to other persons as well.

    Thank God for the internet! :) Or more precisely to this blog!

  15. I wrote a message earlier (I used to work for them). They used to get their details from - they purchase your CV!

  16. OK by saying they purchase our cv's is accusing reed of selling them lol. No its quiet simple and i have not worked for them. They advertise a extremely unrealistic and fake position. You apply for the position. They then get you to come in and pump you full of bullcrap.

    You sure you used to work for them lol.

    Or you could clarify on the purchasing of CV's.

    Either way, to have worked for them does not make you appear to be human. Its like the polixce force once you join you are programmed to function like the 5rest of the governments protection agency. Cause they are no longer for the people are they?

  17. i was also a manager until i realised what they got up to there

    they are sexist bullies who think employing young women will somehow get men especially to buy

    yes it is a load of crap

    there are no jobs

    and now they are going downhill trust me!! ppl have them sussed now


    haha to the person who wrote that email raffi ahmed bhatti is a mean man

  18. financial training academy is a pur scam and as victim we must act fast and now.
    I know many friends who have been suffering in silence because we are not organised.
    £9,000 to £15,0000 of debt for 11 to 18 days training on the believe that you will earn £50,000 a year as mortgage or financial adviser.

  19. It a scam alright. Once you signed up you cant get out.

    All i can say is if you did go to the interview and signed up they give you 14 days after signing to cancel. Cancel straight away.

    I was stupid enough to sign up. I did not go for the loan but paid the £9775 so i did not have to pay £12000 loan.

    I was taking my courses spread out. So i would take 1 IT course and then do my exams and then take the next course in the next available course sitting. I have taken 3 IT courses so far, A+, N+ and MCSA.

    I approached them to ask when the next course starts and they told me that it would be December and then they told me start of January. We are now in Mid Jan. I have kept calling them but get no answer. I call their Bham Office and it says it can not recognise the number and then i called the place where BD Academy was based in Birmingham (Lonsdale House, Blucher Street) and they told me that they have not seen the academies employees for the last couple of weeks. Clearly they have gone.

    I am now confused as what to do. Do i just forget it and move on or is there a way i can get my money back.

    Please someone reply

  20. i wish i had only seen this site before! :( i was ment to start my course 4 months ago at the b'ham site and still havnt! i have already paid the deposite too,yeah the b'ham site has now closed, i called consumer direct this monrning they have passed my case on to trading standards.. if any1 else needs to get money back i suggest they do that same! Aj Gani and Raffi Ahmad Bhatti are the main people involved i think! the who company is a fake and im gonna do all i can to give them what they deserve!

  21. Hi all , is there any way we can get organised and sue them. I know leagal fees are horrendous, however we might be able to do something with some organisation like trade standard office, consumer direct etc to get our voice heard! Yes, i am a victim too and left absolutely holess about this case. they are extremely hard to deal with me, if they dont ignore you completely.
    any suggestions are welcome!

  22. I to have been scammed by them. What’s worse for me is that my mum was a guarantor for me. So if I don't pay then it falls over to her. We received a letter today from the ombudsman saying that we didn't have a chance of success (I’m yet to read the letter). I would be more than happy to stand and fight these cowards hell-bent on destroying people’s lives.

    It's absurd that people like this can get away with it. We need complete documentation of all the cases where people have been scammed. With this we can do several things.

    A) The Press, Obviously.

    B) Local MP's, with a new government in place they should be busting their guts to prove their worth to us.

    C) Trading standards.

    D) A mob with flaming torches and such.

    I don’t expect to get the money that I passed over to them back but, I am not prepared to give them any more.

    I attended my course until, everyone else dropped out(due to them being thick as pig shit). They cancelled the course and gave me completely unrealistic alternatives. Like moving to London from Manchester for 2 months. Yeah right, why am I doing this course...o it’s because I’m skint and don’t have a job.
    I’m sick and tired of companies taking the piss out of honest people and making their lives a living hell.

    I’ll keep posting as and when I find anything out.
    Keep strong people, I know it feels like the world on your shoulders at times. But these bastards will pay.


  23. Wow, i can't believe there are so many of us in the same boat. Am so angry at my self for being fooled and the FTA for being such...I can't even think of a word strong enough to describe them. I have contacted the trading standards and written the letter they told me too but surprise surprise no reply!

    I refuse to let this go - weather i get my money back or not. I will definately stand and fight them.

  24. Companies like that disgust me, they're looking to take money from unemployed people who don't necessarily have it. They look to take advantage of the fact that these people see it as a great opportunity and as a view to a long term career. I know because I've been in a similar situation but I'm not sure if the company was legit or not as I hadn't thought about the experience until coming across this post. Luckily I chose to pass up the opportunity as it was simply too much to invest into a career I wasn't sure about. Good luck to everyone with job hunting and take care when asked to invest massively into your own career.