These so-called training courses run by the Joneses are promoted through spam and have a terrible reputation. One BBB report for a previous incarnation of this scheme sums up many of the complaints that I have seen:
Grant Funding USA advertised a 3-day grant writing workshop for non-profit professionals to be held November 12-14 at the Georgetown Law School campus in Washington DC. The course was described as an overview of the grant writing process and concluding with a certificate in professional grant writing. The cost was $495. My organization paid the fee, I received a confirmation email. I received a credit card authorization letter requesting authorization; we completed and submitted it. I spoke with an individual over the phone confirming my registration. I received a registration packet (about 15 pages) with suggestions for preparation and materials to bring to the course. On the first day, November 12, I arrived at Georgetown Law at 8 AM. The guard was unaware of our course and was working on figuring out where we needed to be (there were 7 other students). After about 45 minutes, we all received an email from the organization Grant Funding USA that said our instructor had fallen ill and they were working on securing a substitute instructor to start the class by the afternoon.At 1pm, we received an email from the same email address saying that they were unable to secure a substitute for Wednesday, but class would begin promptly at 8am on Thursday. I called the number for the organization multiple times and continually got their voicemail. On Thursday, November 13 at 8AM, I arrived at Georgetown again, and found the other students in the lobby upset and confused. The guard was unaware of the course and said he had no information for us. He directed me to the Georgetown Student Life office (who would have been responsible for securing the space). They informed me that Georgetown has never heard of Grant Funding USA nor has a relationship with them. There was no workshop scheduled to be held on their campus. Grant Funding USA has not answered my numerous calls or emails. Other participants fooled by this scam were from Smithsonian Institute and State Gov't of New Jersey.This story seems to be echoed over and over again. A venue is booked at a prestigious location, but changed at the last minute. The person taking the course very often seems to be ill and doesn't turn up. Sometimes an ill-prepared substitute teacher is found, but has difficulty being paid. Calls to the so-called institute are either not answered or met with hostility. Read the comments for more stories such as this.
On to this particular scheme called "Project Management International" which should not be confused with many reputable organisations of a similar name, using the domain projectmanagementinternational.org which just frames another site at ipmam862026.sitebuilder.name.com. The "ipma" part of the name is significant as I will mention later. The site is promoted through spam email such as the one found here:
Project Management Certification Course (July 28-31, 2015: University of Southern California)
The Project Management Certification Course will be offered July 28 - 31, 2015 at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA . Project management professionals, business and technology professionals, students, and educators are invited to register at the Project Management International website here .
July 28 - 31, 2015
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, California
The PMCC is designed for those seeking professional project management certification. It serves as both a thorough professional education and recognized certification. Those seeking additional credentials such as the PMP®/PgMP®, PMI-SP®, and PMI-RMP® will benefit from this dynamic and interactive work session, while those currently holding credentials will find the certification to be an enhancement as well as the most up to date advanced professional development.
Project Management Masters Certification program provides 36 hours of project management education, meeting education requirements for both PMI's Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) ® and Project Management Professional (PMP) certifications. Additionally, the Master Certification provides 36 Professional Development Units (PDUs) for current holders of PMP®/PgMP®, PMI-SP®, and PMI-RMP® credentials.
The program meets the education requirement for all professional designations through the Project Management Institute and other professional agencies. Additionally, the program awards 3.6 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) upon request.
Our certificate program teaches technical and business professionals how to master the critical skills of project management techniques as part of their technical career development.
The skills developed in the Project Management Masters Certification program apply to large and small projects, product design and development efforts, construction projects, IT projects, software development, and any project with critical performance, time, and budget targets.
Our approach to project management education offers proven, results-focused learning.
Courses are developed and facilitated by professional subject experts with extensive industrial experience. Course emphasis is on providing practical skills and tools supported by relevant case examples.
Tuition for the four-day Project Management Certification Course is $995.00
Program Schedule and Content
1. Project Initiation, Costing, and Selection, Day 1
2. Project Organization and Leadership, Day 2
3. Detailed Project Planning, Day 2 and 3
4. Project Monitoring and Control, Day 3 and 4
5. Project Risk and Stakeholder Management, Day 4
· A Project Management International Certificate of Accomplishment is awarded upon completion of the four day program of five courses. Completion letters are given for each course.
· Our instructors have extensive industrial experience. They focus on providing you with practical skills and tools using relevant case examples.
· Each class is highly focused and promotes maximum interaction.
· You can network with other project management professionals from a variety of industries.
· Earn Professional Development Units (PDUs) for maintenance of certification under the PMI Continuing Certification Requirements Program.
· Applicants for PMI's Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® and Project Management Professional (PMP) certifications will have met all education requirements for eligibility.
Participants may reserve a seat online at the Project Management International website, by calling the Program Office toll-free at (800) 288-8387, or by sending their name and contact information via email to the Program Registrar .
Upon receiving your registration, a confirmation email is sent to registrants that include session site information, travel information, program description, and details on how to confirm attendance and make payment arrangements.
To unsubscribe from this mailing list, simply reply to this message and write EXCLUDE to be removed from future notices.
The site is generic looking but fairly smart:
It lists some upcoming courses:
August 25 - 28, 2015: University of Houston
September 22- 25, 2015: University of Miami
October 6-9, 2015: University of Southern California
The domain was registered on May 20th 2015 to an anonymous registrant. The site itself lists no contact details on the Contact page:
It appears to be using an email address of "firstname.lastname@example.org" for correspondence, but a look at the underlying HTML tells a different story:
<h4> If you have any additional questions, simply email us directly at <a href="mailto:email@example.com?subject=ContactUS"> </a> <a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=Contact+Us" target="_self" title="email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org </a> and our coordinators will respond to you directly. </h4>The underlying code references both email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org (the organisation mentioned in the BBB report I mentioned earlier) and which is the same site I warned about a year ago. The only other contact details on the site are a telephone number of 800-288-8387.
The "About Project Management page" features some generic text about Project Management:
The text is almost identical to the defunct website Institute of Program Management America (IPMA) that I mentioned last year. If you remember, this new website also uses "IPMA" in its underlying URL (ipmam862026.sitebuilder.name.com) which also links the two schemes. A RipOffReport for IPMA also shows the same pattern as before.
There is little doubt that this is the same scheme as mentioned in all my previous posts on the activities of Jones and Patchrint. My personal recommendation is that you give this "Project Management International" a very wide berth, and if you feel that you have been defrauded then you would be doing a lot of people a favour if your pursued them aggressively. Also, if you have any positive (or negative) experiences then sharing them in the Comments would be appreciated.