Real identities of scammers behind 8rental.com
Update on our investigation about 8rental.com scam.
The real persons behind 8rental.com scam are two Moldovans operating from Chisinau in the Republic of Moldova (formerly a Soviet republic): Denis Jmakov (aka Denis Zhmakov) and Stefan Melestean.
CPFT investigation findings on the 8rental.com scam
We present our investigation findings on the scam website operating in the transport sector under the name 8rental.com set up and managed by cybercriminals from Moldova.
To deceive potential clients and carriers the scammers from 8rental.com advertise themselves on the Internet as a "giant of the European transport industry". They claim to be in operation for over 10 years and have hundreds of employees. In reality it is just a website registered under fake identities in 2016, no legal information, no fleet or any other assets. We were reported that this gang steals payment card details and identities of their victims and uses other techniques to scam both customers and carriers. The scammers from 8rental.com have no moral boundaries and easily defrauded even students in need. To hide their activity these fraudsters manipulate customer reviews. Furthermore, 8rental.com scammers also use hackers and other criminal methods to manipulate Google search rankings. All facts prove that 8rental.com is dangerous scam and we warn everyone to stay away from it.
Here is the key information that we have been able to gather about 8rental.com scam from different sources.
8rental.com from Moldova scams both clients and carriers
The fraudsters from 8rental.com post fake and misleading information about themselves on different Internet resources where they try to make an impression of a big, well-established company.
To illustrate, they have posted fakes on Crunchbase.com pretending be "a European giant of transportation" founded in 2007 and employing 251-500 persons.
Screenshot with fakes 8rental.com posted on Crunchbase.com :
Another example, 8rental.com reports a fake info in Facebook that they were founded in 2000.
Screenshot with a fake 8rental.com posted on their Facebook page :
This contradicting information changing from one source to another is a typical indicator of their scam as they maneuver trying to cheat.
8rental.com was registered under fake identities in 2016 in Moldova
In an attempt to hide their identities, the fraudsters initially registered the domain eastytour7.com, which in turn registered 8rental.com. In both cases they used fake identities.
Here is an evidence available at Bluehost, where the fraudsters registered the domains.
8rental.com fake scholarships scam at US Colleges and Universities
To grow the content for their website, 8rental.com organized a scam to exploit unsuspecting students in the colleges and universities in the US. They lured students into writing articles for their website promising to pay a scholarship. Not surprisingly, no scholarships were paid as the poor students in need were simply scammed. This is particularly mean and a clear indicator that the fraudsters from 8rental.com have no moral boundaries. A number of colleges and universities in the US fell victims to this fraud including Washington State University, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Central Piedmont Community College, Eastern Kentucky University. These are just the cases that were reported to us but we are afraid this scholarships scam may continue until now elsewhere. Read more details in our publication dedicated to the 8rental.com scholarships scam by following this link: https://cpft-committee.blogspot.com/2018/07/fake-scholarships-for-american.html
The scammers from 8rental.com use criminal methods to try and manipulate Google search rankings
Our investigation also revealed that 8rental.com scammers also try to manipulate the Google search rankings by employing cybercriminals. They hack small poorly secured and vulnerable websites and place promotional links to the website of 8rental.com scam. They also use the hacked websites to place links with abusive content pointing at their competitors in Google search. We found their connection with the criminals from the illegal porn and prostitution industry. Read more information in our publication dedicated to the 8rental.com fraudsters' criminal methods utilised to try and manipulate Google search rankings: https://cpft-committee.blogspot.com/2018/12/criminals-from-8rental.com-attempt-manipulating-Google-search-rankings.html
The identities of the scammers behind 8rental.com
Our investigation based on the Internet resources and the interaction with transport companies has finally allowed us identifying the real identities of the scammers from 8rental.com.
The persons behind 8rental.com are Stefan Melestean and Denis Jmacov (also known as Denis Zhmakov), both citizens of Moldova, a former Soviet republic. The latter briefly worked at 1CARES Rentals / 1CARES.com before being dismissed for stealing internal information. Now that we were able to uncover this information all pieces of a puzzle came together as is now clear how the scammers from 8rental.com obtained the knowledge to be able to operate in the transport sector. Read more information directly from the former employer of one of the fraudsters: https://blog.1cares.com/2018/05/beware-of-fraudsters-8rentalcom.html#8rental-scam
Vehicle Reservation LLP, a shell entity used by 8rental.com fraudsters
We have found that in June 2017 the scammers registered Vehicle Reservation LLP, an empty shell entity without any assets, no employees and zero capital at the address Ground Floor, 2 Woodberry Grove, London N12 0DR.
This address became notorious after the Panama papers scandal when it became clear that this address, a small residential house in Finchley, is home to 25 802 legal entities, mostly scammers wishing to have a London address to deceive clients which is obviously the case of 8rental.com. More information about this infamous address is available by following this link: https://financefeeds.com/85-year-old-woman-behind-fake-london-binary-options-firm-addresses-exposed/
The proof that 8rental.com operates via Vehicle Reservation LLP (registered in 2017 by Jmakov) we have recently received ourselves from Pinterest. One of our pins, illustration to this article, was claimed to be a property of 8rental/Vehicle Reservation LLP. This happened when 8rental.com scammers trying to hide their activities filed a fraudulent report with Pinterest, trying to claim that our pin was their property, thus, exposing themselves.
All pieces of the puzzle have finally come together. One of the fraudsters, Denis Jmakov, stole internal databases and documentation from a reputable industry actor to set up his fake "giant" scam 8rental.com and employed fraudulent and criminal methods to promote it in the Internet.
Customer reviews manipulation by 8rental.com
We have testimonies from the clients who after having had a bad experience with 8rental.com wrote negative reviews on various customer review Internet resources such as TrustPilot or Google profile but afterward found their reviews deleted. The fraudsters simply report those as made by competitors and manage to remove them.
Another tactics they use is to post 5-star positive self-written reviews to overwhelm the negative reviews and boost their rating. In this way they cheat on both potential customers and carriers but also other counterparts.
Actually, the crooks from 8rental.com became so excited about the easiness of posting fake reviews that at some point they did not even bother to hide under a fake identity and posted fake reviews directly under their real name as in this fake 5-star positive review posted by Stefan Melestean, one of the two fraudsters behind 8rental.com scam.
Stefan Melestean, one of the two crooks behind 8rental.com scam
Fraudulent press releases of 8rental.com
The information about the fraudsters from 8rental.com gradually spreads around in the travel industry and to mitigate the damage the Moldovan scammers issue fraudulent press releases in which they spread fake information about being "a European giant of transportation" and expansion into 200 cities and similar fakes. The objective is the same: to deceive potential customers and counterparts in order to defraud them. Unfortunately, a number of Internet platforms offering paid press releases inadvertently assist various fraudsters such as 8rental.com.
It is quite obvious the information reported here is just part of the iceberg behind the 8rental.com criminal activities. We invite all victims of fraud, theft and other criminal activities of 8rental.com to report your relevant information to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We find this scam case to be so outrageous that we also exceptionally accept anonymous information.
We urge all concerned by this scam to share and distribute the information about this fraud in the social media and other resources.