Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Is Highland Titles A Scam - Scots Titles Scam - Buy A Title Scam

There was a very interesting post over at the scots-titles.com forum by the user Andrew. It outlines very nicely how the Highland Titles scam works, I'll post the whole thing here if I may.

From  this thread of the scots-titles.com forum.
Is Highland Titles a scam? Let's keep this very simple and just look at the "Laird of Glencoe" sales, leaving aside some of the more extraordinary behaviour that is alleged.

The page title of highlandtitles.com, which is the most prominent element in a Google search result, reads "Become a Lord, Laird or Lady | Buy a British title | Purchase a Lord Title or Lady Title".

But Highland Titles of course can in no meaningful sense sell a British title. Although they will happily take people's money under this pretence.

The title sale does not exploit "loopholes" in the law as is sometimes claimed - the sale confers nothing. It exploits customers' ignorance of the fact that in the UK people are essentially free to adopt whatever title they please, providing it isn't for fraudulent purposes.

Having paid Highland Titles £30, the customer would have no greater right to adopt the style Lord, Laird or Lady than before.

Of course, Highland Titles can prevent non-customers from using their specific trademarked wording "Laird of Glencoe", but this is a tactic of denial not of enabling. The trademark no more enables Highland Titles to make their customers "Become a Lord, Laird or Lady" than Budweiser ("King of Beers"<tm>) can make their customers Kings.

So the title sale is meaningless.


The plot sales, as has now been widely documented, are not land sales in the conventional sense but private contracts between Highland Titles and the buyer.
If Highland Titles were to go out of business, as a number of vendors have, then these contracts would likely be unenforceable.

The purchasers of square-foot plots may be content to chalk this up to experience. The purchasers of 1,000 square-foot plots (US$799 at the moment) may be less sanguine.

So the plot sale is meaningless.


From a Highland Titles customer welcome letter dated 1st January 2012, "You also have the absolute right to use the Glencoe crest which can be downloaded from our web site…".
From the website of the Procurator Fiscal to the Court of the Lord Lyon, "The use of such un-registered heraldry is an offence under Scots law."
The heraldry element is played down now, but it used to be part of what customers thought they were buying.

So the heraldry sale is worse than meaningless. Scottish customers were actually being encouraged to commit an offense.


Nothing that the customer was offered was for real, not least the "Glencoe" aspect.

What's left? The customer might cling to the hope that their money is going towards conservation. And there is some tree planting and path building going on. But, in contrast to all bona fide conservation organizations, Highland Titles' accounts are not public. We trust the customer is not clinging too avidly to this hope.

Very well said Andrew I hardly think it could have been put better

A footnote on the Laird Of Glencoe trademark held by Highland Titles which they seem to imply is a real title. There was a recent case brought to the attention of the Advertising Standards Authority. This complaint was in regard to a company called Enssen Ltd trading as lordtitles.co.uk.

http://www.asa.org.uk/Rulings/Adjudications/2013/5/Enssen-Ltd/SHP_ADJ_219487.aspx

The ASA noted in their assessment .....

"We also noted the titles Lord of the Manor of Wansley and Lady of the Manor of Wansley were registered as trademarks with the IPO, rather than being genuine titles"

In the same way, the Highland Titles Laird Of Glencoe trademark, is not a genuine title.

To sum up and answer the question in the title of this post. Highland Titles claim that with their purchase, buyers will gain a Laird, Lord, or Lady title which they were not entitled to before making that purchase, and ownership of a piece of land in Scotland. Neither of these claims is true, neither of these items is actually supplied, therefore yes, the Highland Titles offering is in fact a scam.

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