Latest Cases - March 2013

Missing tipster report: where is Peter Fillingham?

7th March 2013

Good afternoon, friends,

In this issue of Punters’ Verdict

  • Will it be all smiles with Mr. Miles?
  • Evasion, avoidance and irritation…
  • A tipster with two names…
  • Missing tipster report: where is Peter Fillingham?

Will it be all smiles with Mr. Miles?

Remember Matthew Miles? He’s the tipster who wrote to me out of the blue a couple of weeks ago representing some outfit called E.R.M.S and working out of some place called Ingles Manor in Kent.

He reckoned he’d ‘found a way to turn £1000 into £1700 every 30 days…. in about 10 minutes per day’.

His cast-iron enrichment scheme ‘involves backing very carefully selected racehorses’

All I had to do to get a free two-week trial of his selections was to complete a post-dated Standing Order promising to pay him £85.00 per month on the 1st of each month once the free trial period was over. At that point I’d get access to a password protected website where I could pick up the tips.

It sounded marvelous. I mean how often does a complete and utter stranger offer to give you information that enables you to turn an £8400 profit on a £1000 bank in just 12 months? It’s an act of outstanding generosity.

But something was bothering me. Call me picky. Call me ungrateful. But there were a couple of slight problems. I needed one or two additional bits of information before I could complete the Standing Order form and sprint off down to the Post Office to set the wheels in motion

  • Matthew didn’t provide any details of his website – so I couldn’t check it out.
  • Mr. Miles didn’t provide any results or signposting to any location I could review his performance.
  • And he provided no details about to whom or where he proofs his profitable selections – closing off another avenue of verification.

Not wanting to miss out on this golden opportunity I felt I had to get in touch with Mr. Miles – via the email address he’d provided – and get some reassurance regarding my concerns. It turned out to be an illuminating exchange….

Evasion, avoidance and irritation…

I made contact with Mr. Miles and asked 3 simple and straightforward questions:

  1. Do you have a website?
  2. Where can I find your results?
  3. Do you proof your tips to anybody?

Mr. Miles responded – he seemed friendly enough – and we batted a few emails back and forth over the course of an afternoon. Here’s the extent of what I could establish:

  • Where the WEBSITE is concerned Mr. Miles opened by saying that he doesn’t have a website. I pointed out that his letter stated that he DOES have a website – a password-protected site where members can pick up his selections. He avoids the issue for a while. Then he reveals that he DOES, after all, have a website. It is a service website as opposed to a ‘sales’ website. But he fails to provide details of where I can access this page – despite repeated requests.
  • Concerning his RESULTS Mr. Miles dodges this issue for a while too. I point out that provision of results is an important component of any tipping service – and that I need to see evidence of his track record to verify the accuracy of what he’s promising. By this stage Mr. Miles’s responses are displaying signs of irritation. ‘I don't keep spreadsheets…’ he says. ‘… because no-one believes them - they're so easy to fake. That's why I give free trials: they can't be faked.’ The bottom line is that there are no results available for inspection.
  • I ask him about his RECENT PERFORMANCE – and what it amounts to. Mr. Miles responds by telling me that ‘profits during 2013 have been on average as profitable as any other period’. I ask him to quantify what this average consists of. He fails to address this issue. As far as Mr. Miles is concerned the quality of his recent performance has been dealt with - fully.
  • How about PROOFING then? What can he tell me about that? Not much as it turns out. He says: ‘I don't proof because there's no need - everyone can judge my performance during the free trial.’ I make the argument that a trial covers a limited period – and that it doesn’t offer a full picture. I also make the case that a service costing more than £1000 a year needs to supply stronger evidence and proof of its claims. Mr. Miles avoids making a direct response to my point.
  • Instead he counters that the service DOESN’T cost more than £1000 a year – but exactly £1000. In my book 12 x £85.00 = £1020. Basic arithmetic is evidently not a strong suit.
  • Nor is the basic CUSTOMER SERVICE element of E.R.M.S particularly strong. At one point – when pressed to provide straightforward answers to straightforward questions – he suggests I take his letter and ‘… bin the whole thing.’ Later he tells me: ‘I can only accept a certain number of people, otherwise odds may be affected. It really doesn't matter to me whether I have one more person or not. I therefore suggest that you please shred the standing order with immediate effect.’

That’s about as constructive as it got. I don’t know about you but I expect a tipping service to be a bit more accommodating in terms of providing direct information – especially one that believes itself to be worth more than £1000 over the course of a year.

The tipster with two names…

Putting aside the points I make above, there’s something else about Matthew Miles that doesn’t sit right with me.

He operates his E.R.M.S service out of Ingles Manor in Kent – making no attempt to define what the E.R.M.S acronym actually stands for.

But when the Verdict starts digging it digs deep and what we found was that last year a service called Equestrian Risk Management Syndicate was distributing unsolicited promotional materials offering recipients the opportunity to make £700.00 a month placing bets of £40.00 on horses to win.

Do profits of £700.00 per month sound familiar? That’s exactly what Mr. Miles promised in his letter to me.

And the similarities don’t end there. The Equestrian Risk Management Syndicate also operated out of Ingles Manor in Kent. And both E.R.M.S and the Equestrian Risk Management Syndicate used the same mobile number in their promotional materials.

Given those facts it is surely reasonable to assume that the same tipster is behind both services? I would think so. You might think so too. But we’d be wrong.

E.R.M.S is, of course, run by our new friend, Matthew Miles.

But the earlier letters from Equestrian Risk Management Syndicate go out under the signature of another individual that we don’t know – a Mr. Peter Fillingham.

  • Maybe this is just the product of extreme coincidence?
  • Maybe Matthew and Peter both live at Ingles Manor, share a phone number and provide services with striking similarities independently of one another?
  • Maybe Matthew and Peter work together – combining their expertise to produce the service and to write their promotional letters?
  • Maybe Matthew, or Peter, is suffering from some kind of identity crisis – not knowing which biblical name is really his own from one day to the next?
  • Or maybe this is just another case of a tipster seeking to shake off a poor track record by changing his name – whilst not having the foresight or the wit to alter his phone number or his big promise?

We can’t say for sure. We can only speculate. But I know where my money is going, folks. 

Missing tipster report: where is Peter Fillingham?

Just as we were going to press with this column a Verdict reader contacted us with a bit of additional information.

EF took a free trial with the Peter Fillingham service a few months back. The trial went fine but into the second month the service hit a bad patch – one Peter Fillingham himself referred to as a ‘bloodbath’.

It was after a particularly grisly series of results that Peter disappeared and Matthew emerged as the signatory on the E.R.M.S letters. Maybe those two things are related?

My concern is for the well-being of Peter Fillingham. Where is he? What has happened to him? When was he seen last? Why has he disappeared? And where has he disappeared to? Should I be lodging a missing tipster report with the authorities? I can’t shake off this horrible feeling that Peter has taken one behind the ear and that his remains lie buried in a shallow woodland grave….

Whichever way you choose to look at the E.R.M.S service it is patently clear that Matthew Miles has a lot of questions to deal with.

It’s just a pity we can’t rely on getting a straight answer to any of them.

I’ll be back with the Verdict next week.

The Judge 

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