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Showing posts with label The Funding Institute. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Funding Institute. Show all posts

Sunday 30 August 2015

WARNING: projectmanagementinternational.org / "Project Management International" aka Patty Jones and Anthony Christopher Jones

"Project Management International" (projectmanagementinternational.org) appears to be another website run by Patty Jones (aka Patchree Patchrint) and Anthony Christopher Jones of California.

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.

Program Description

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 "info@projectmanagementinternational.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:info@grantfundingusa.org?subject=ContactUS"> </a> <a href="mailto:grantfundingusa@gmail.com?subject=Contact+Us" target="_self" title="info@thefundinginstitute.org">info@projectmanagementinternational.org </a>  and our coordinators will respond to you directly.  </h4>
The underlying code references both info@grantfundingusa.org and grantfundingusa@gmail.com (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.

Thursday 6 August 2015

Spam: "The Funding Institute" / thefundinginstitute.org and fundinginstitute.org, Patchree Patchrint and Anthony Christopher Jones (yet again)

"The Funding Institute" (using the domains thefundinginstitute.org and fundinginstitute.org) is yet another highly questionable site set up by Patchree (Patty) Patchrint and Anthony Christopher Jones of California, who I have covered on this blog several times before (tip: the comments for many of those posts are very interesting if you are doing research).

A tip from "Jimmy" in this post reveals a new name for the scheme, simply called "The Funding Institute" and although apparently using the domain thefundinginstitute.org, it is actually hosted on a crappy free website at fundinginstitute.myfreesites.net.

I haven't personally received spam about this one, but it is not hard to find examples [1] [2] [3] [4] and the one from discard.email is the most interesting (I copy it here in its entirety):

The Funding Institute is offering the Grant Funding and  Proposal Writing Essentials Course
 to be held in New York, New York on the campus of The State University of New York from July 15-17, 2015. Interested development professionals, researchers, faculty, and graduate students should register as soon as possible, as demand means that seats will fill up quickly. Please forward, post, and distribute this e-mail to your colleagues and listservs.

All participants will receive certification in professional Grant writing. For more information call (213) 347-4899 or visit The Funding Institute website.

Please find the program description below:

The Funding Institute's
Grant Funding and  Proposal Writing Essentials Course will be held in New York, New Yorkon the campus of the The State University of New YorkJuly 15-17, 20158:00 AM - 5:00 PM
 The Grant Funding and  Proposal Writing Essentials Course
 is an intensive and detailed introduction to the process, structure, and skill of professional proposal writing. This course is characterized by its ability to act as a thorough overview, introduction, and refresher at the same time. In this course, participants will learn the entire proposal writing process and complete the course with a solid understanding of not only the ideal proposal structure, but a holistic understanding of the essential factors, which determine whether or not a
program gets funded. Through the completion of interactive exercises and activities, participants will complement expert lectures by putting proven techniques into practice. This course is designed for both the beginner looking for a thorough introduction and the intermediate looking for a refresher course that will strengthen their grant acquisition skills. This class, simply put, is designed to get results by creating professional grant proposal writers.

Participants will become competent program planning and proposal writing professionals after successful completion of the Grant Funding and  Proposal Writing Essentials Course.  In three active and informative days, students will be exposed to the art of successful grant writing practices, and led on a journey that ends with a masterful grant proposal.

The Grant Funding and  Proposal Writing Essentials Course consists of three (3) subject areas that will be completed during the three-day workshop.

(1) Fundamentals of Program Planning

This session is centered on the belief that "it's all about the program." This intensive session will teach professional program development essentials and program evaluation. While most grant writing "workshops" treat program development and evaluation as separate from the writing of a proposal, this class will teach students the relationship between overall program planning and grant writing.

(2) Proposal Writing Essentials

Designed for both the novice and experienced grant writer, this component will make each student an overall proposal writing specialist. In addition to teaching the basic components of a grant proposal, successful approaches, and the do's and don'ts of grant writing, this course is infused with expert principles that will lead to a mastery of the process. Strategy resides at the forefront of this course's intent to illustrate grant writing as an integrated, multidimensional, and dynamic
endeavor. Each student will learn to stop writing the grant and to start writing the story. Ultimately, this class will illustrate how each component of the grant proposal represents an opportunity to use proven techniques for generating support.

(3) Funding Research

At its foundation, this course will address the basics of foundation, corporation, and government grant research. However, this course will teach a strategic funding research approach that encourages students to see research not as something they do before they write a proposal, but as an integrated part of the grant seeking process. Students will be exposed to online and database research tools, as well as publications and directories that contain information about foundation, corporation, and
government grant opportunities. Focusing on funding sources and basic social science research, this course teaches students how to use research as part of a strategic grant acquisition effort.

$495.00 tuition includes all materials and certificates.

Each student will receive:
*The Funding Institute's Certificate in Professional Grant Writing
*The Guide to Successful Grant Writing
*The Grant Writer's Workbook with sample proposals, forms, and outlines

Registration Methods

1) On-Line - Complete the online registration form here and we'll send your confirmation by e-mail.

2) By Phone - Call (213) 347-4899 to register by phone. Our friendly Program Coordinators will be happy to assist you and answer your questions.

3) By E-mail - Reply to this e-mail with your name, organization, and basic contact information  and we will reserve your slot and send your Confirmation Packet.

We respect your privacy and want to ensure that interested parties are made aware of  The Funding  Institute's  programs and schedules. This is intended to be a one-time announcement. In any event, you should not receive any more announcements unless there
is a program next year in your area. To be excluded  from next year's announcement, reply to this e-mail  and write "Exclude" in the subject line.

That site also lists some partly redacted email headers, I highlight the most interesting ones:

Return-Path: newyXXX@Xpma11.org
X-Original-To: ronaldwhXXXXX@Xpambog.com
Received: from raptor.ipma11.org (unknown [])
by mx.discard.email (Postfix) with ESMTPS id 3lMjVB6cp4z1yVV
for ronaldwhXXXXX@Xpambog.com; Thu, 9 Apr 2015 02:08:02 +0200 (CEST)
Received: (qmail 32427 invoked by uid 0); 9 Apr 2015 00:05:27 -0000
Comment: DomainKeys? See http://antispam.yahoo.com/domainkeys
DomainKey-Signature: a=rsa-sha1; q=dns; c=nofws;
s=private; d=ipma11.org;
Received: from pool-173-55-54-221.lsanca.fios.verizon.net (HELO ipma11.org) (newyXXX@Xpma11.org@
by with ESMTPA; 9 Apr 2015 00:05:27 -0000
From: The Funding Institute newyXXX@Xpma11.org
To: ronaldwhXXXXX@Xpambog.com
Subject: Grant Funding Essentials Course (July 15-17, 2015: The State University of New York)
Date: 08 Apr 2015 16:47:50 -0700
Message-ID: 20150408164749.086B4XXXXXXXXXXX@Xpma11.org
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/html;
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable 
 In those headers, the server identifies itself as "ipma11.org" which is related to this scam site operating last year. You can read a RipOffReport complaint about that scheme here, which explains what I understand of the business operation quite thoroughly. The server IP address of (RaptorNode, Los Angeles) is also the same IP as used for the following nameservers:


This indicates that the email really did originate from the owners of ipma11.org (Jones and Patchrint) rather than it being a forgery. If we go further back in the email headers, we can see another IP address of which (according to DomainTools) is in La Puente, California. According to WhitePages.com that location is consistent with the Hacienda Heights address of Patchree Patchrint.

It link her with a cellphone number of (626) 330-1793 and a potential home address of 16008 Shadybend Dr Hacienda Hts, CA 91745-2229, an address which was previously mentioned in the comments of this post.

Although their website lists a contact address of "info@thefundinginstitute.org" the underlying HTML tells a different story..
<u><a href="mailto:grantfundingusa@gmail.com" data-attached-link="{"type":"Email","url":"grantfundingusa@gmail.com","title":"grantfundingusa@gmail.com"}" class="wz-link"> info@thefundinginstitute.org</a></u>
"grantfundingusa" again connects to this post for the scammy "Institute of Project Management America" scheme. The other contact details listed on the site are a telephone number of 213-347-4899  and a fax number of 877-538-3831.

As a side note, that fax number also appears on a very similar looking but defunct site using the domain projectmanagementinternational.org  (just a forwarder to another crappy free web host at projectmanagementinternational.zohosites.com) which also lists a couple of other contact numbers of 323-813-8387 and 800-288-8387 the latter of which can be seen in this spam which is almost identical to "The Funding Institute" spam.

Another point of comparison is the similarity in design elements and wording between "The Funding Institute" and "Grant Funding USA", which uses a similar compass logo and almost exactly the same wording.

Overall, there are so many similarities between "The Funding Institute" and other schemes run by Jones and Patchrint. The complaints against these two (apart from a string of failed LA restaurants) are of courses that abruptly change locations from prestigious venues to much shabbier ones, of tutors who are recruited at the last minute and are often under-prepared (some of whom claim not to have been paid) leading to low-quality courses, and of course endless spam to promote the ever-changing names of these schemes which have an awful reputation.

I would not recommend doing business with this pair, and if you think you have been treated unfairly then I suggest you take legal advice or approach law enforcement, the BBB or regulatory authorities.