Tuesday 20 August 2013

Lyndsay Williams' Technology and Patent Investigations, Frauds and other Scams


I have been asked to document some of my successful patent,  financial and  fraud investigations over the years. My work is frequently used by the BBC,The Guardian, The Times, Daily Telegraph and The Daily Mail.  I live in Cambridge, UK, and can reveal results and some of the techniques, but a lot of the work involves tenacious internet research. Some of my technology and methods are not in the public domain. These involves image recognition technology,examining  maps,  geographical clues,  patent investigation,  and spotting  human errors as small as leaving spelling errors.   I will offer some tips below  in the interest of saving lives.  Some people enjoy solving crosswords for fun (I do, Daily Telegraph) ) but I also like bigger challenges that other people give up on. I can name large corporations, but not individuals, but many of them are still under investigation, left the UK,  in  prison, or dead. Please see the end of this post if you want help with your investigations.

I started in fraud investigation by accident in 1976 when I was at school. I was approached by Manchester police to design a phone tapping device. I had been building and designing electronic circuits since I was 14, radios, guitar effects pedal designs,  music synthesisers etc.  In those days, phones were analogue and so easy to tap into. The box was put outside the suspect's  house and conversations intercepted.

I am an electronic engineer/computer researcher and I have usually worked for ethical companies with good managers. The larger the company, the more ethical it is as has a reputation and brand to maintain. Smaller companies can shut down and start  trading again  the next day.  I worked for Microsoft Research  for 8 years with mostly good people, and passed the Microsoft ethics exam. E.g. if a person leaves the company, what do you do with the contents of their waste paper basket? Dispose of contents or keep?
I also gave a video deposition to a USA Judge recently re my personal involvement with Steve Ballmer,CEO Microsoft and the company's working practices.

keep the contents

Patents 1997-2013

I have spent many decades working with patent lawyers and noting  how patents are prepared by USA and UK  companies. These were normally patents for my computer designs for reputable companies like Microsoft and Apple.  I  work for  many Texas, USA and Korean  patent attorneys under NDA. I also provide  Consulting Expert  services.  I have given video depositions for US judges.
Some  of my designs now owned  by Apple covered here which is now part of the iPhone design and some handheld computers, camera  and sensing patents from Microsoft here. My Microsoft Sensecam patent is now in production as the Autographer Camera. I also do patent investigations for companies, the original name and company who filed the invention is often not easy to find.

The Coldplay wrist band patent.

I was approached by the Daily Mail in December 2011 and asked how the interactive light up wrist bands, Xylobands,  worked for Coldplay, one of my favourite bands. This involved a fairly convoluted investigation by me, but here is the patent which explained some of the radio technology. This then allowed the Daily Mail write an article with more details on the lights and the design company.

Light fantastic: How Coldplay 'could make a fortune' from radio-controlled flashing wristbands on X Factor Final

Picture by Cambridge Photographer  Geoff Robinson

Patent Investigation - Spinvox $200M 

 Telephone message  fraud, 2009,  or The Mechanical Turk 

click to enlarge

This company provided a service to customers in decoding voice mail messages to text messages. The BBC investigated this as nobody knew how the claimed speech recognition software  could be so accurate bearing in mind the background noise in the voice mail. The company said humans were used on rare occasions.  I investigated how this company actually worked and found the patent that explained that people in overseas call centres  were used and not computers to do speech recognition.Here is my part documented in  The Guardian report. 

PSCA PublicService.co.uk

UPDATE  9th Sept 2013 

Public Service, PSCA,  had been trading since 2005 or earlier under various names.

Last Tweet from Public Service 

PublicService sales staff cold call researchers and scientists and ask for £7000 for an advertorial. They pass themselves of as journalists or other professionals but are not. I suspected a scam a few mins into phone call, passing themselves off as being from the government and saying the Prime Minister was interested in my work. I laughed as was suspicious and said this was very doubtful. After a while the lady said I could publish an article, pay nearly £7000  and it would be placed next to an article by "Lord West".
I didn't know who he was so I searched and found below from The Daily Mail.
from the Daily Mail

They then discounted the price to £5000, I claimed I might be interested (in their scam) and asked them to fax me details, (for Trading Standards), see below document. I got 12 phone calls the next day from the company, which felt quite harassing, see below  I did not answer.
More here on the scam  from this very good blog  from other clients.

Click the image of sales order to enlarge - shows Lord West association 

Image from Google, PSCA International, Ebenezer House, Newcastle Under Lyme

Because the advertisers had not proved the three Government ministers had personally supplied editorial to them, the Authority considered that the claim misleadingly implied the advertisers were endorsed by Government ministers.

August 2013 Patent Investigation  - AQA 63336 - Fortune telling

    Edited 23/10/2014

I worked for a couple of days at AQA 63336,  the UK's most "accurate Text  and Answer" text service.

The AQA  company was set up in 2004 by Colly Myers who also set up Psion Computers and Symbian.
I also worked for Colly Myers.  AQA is  reputable company and bought recently by an Australian company, Bongo.  Here is the 2010 financial data.

Many of  the self employed  researchers inc myself applied for work  into thinking this involved mostly answered general knowledge questions rather than fortune telling.  The staff are bright, hard working and conscientious, but overworked and underpaid and very wary of those "higher up", managers.  Some were paid about £4 per hour on a zero hours contract. This is all public domain information.

Customers ask a question for £2.50 and a human operator is paid 40p to answer the question. The reply can take from 1 to 6 hours for a reply based on my 9 test questions as a customer. Some they could not answer, and one question re a crossword clue took 3 hours to reply (I was woken up at 0015 with a text), and the answer was cut and pasted from Wikipedia. The service has now moved from general knowledge to fortune telling  using data from Facebook etc. Below is an  example, it took 5 hours for reply (see time stamp)  full of errors and 63336 added fictional characters Rachel and Amy who regularly turn up on customer replies. Google gives reliable info for free.

   Here is the patent covering the invention by Colly Myers.
It covers the workflow as done by humans. The 63336 Yahoo blog, accessible by outsiders,  shows much detail. If there are no staff, customers can wait hours for a response.  Around only 10 -30 researchers are online for customers' questions at some times.

Many customers are upset as not knowing they will be charged  £2.50 per question.   63336 are  happy to give you a refund by contacting  feedback@63336.com. You cannot get a direct refund and need a PayPal account.  I spoke to their helpful operative in the Philippines after a problem with a delayed reply and was asked to text the sister company Bongo instead.

 Be careful.  Perhaps use Google local  search, or Apple's Siri  and get an answer in seconds on your phone for free. 

Grant Frauds

These cover some of the largest frauds, over £100M's. It is fairly easy to get a large grant (over £100k)  for some new Research and Development.  Use a reputable scientist or engineer as a "front", saying this person is essential to the grant application. Write the grant, no need to meet engineer face to face, (make numerous excuses not to meet the engineer such as "not enough chairs at the meeting"),  get the grant.  Dispose with the honest engineer by writing a contract that is impossible for an ethical person to sign, e.g. with penalty clauses.  Grant people did not (may have changed now)  check for working prototypes, patents, videos or deliverables, just that the money has been spent. A long investigation over 8 months using the Freedom of Information Act and the personal help of Andrew Lansley, MP,  but here is a result, most are reputable companies.

Hats off to Lyndsay Williams at Girton Labs who has used the Freedom of Information act to see how the Technology Strategy Board has allocated £635 million of public funding to projects. Click here.

Paypal fraud

This is an easy way to print money. Put a Paypal button on your website with the offer to buy a service for a low price. Anyone who clicks it can deposit money into your PayPal account.  For example a new invention of a lightbulb? Sell it for a low amount e.g. £10 and if not delivered, many people with write this small loss off.  Trading Standings were able to sort this out with my help.

Visits from the Bailiffs

Cambridge Council

A client was sent a council tax bill in error and refused to pay. The bailiffs were sent round to the house but did not gain entry. The cats and the children needed to be locked in the house for safety, with windows closed, and this was the height of a hot  summer. Clients suffered this fear for one week. I decided to investigate the basis of this wrong doing. It turned out a forged signature had been used to cause mischief with the council tax office. I provided a valid signature and the council admitted they do not check signatures. Council tax refunded.

This huge guard cat  is dangerous, nobody can pick her up and has very sharp teeth


Marcus Alder

I met Marcus Alder in 2007, he helped me with my business, but matters were complicated when money was involved. Alder was an ex-policeman from Cambridge. Our local police were sympathetic but said a civil matter, not a criminal matter. It took months for the police to sort out with my help and evidence, and agree it was a criminal matter. I was one of the few who would give a statement. Result, 14 years prison sentence.
This was solved by internet research, just leaving one phone number or rarely used email address on the web  opens the doorway into other peoples' 'alternative' lifestyle. There were many more clues, such as spelling errors,  but not disclosed here.   Here is the BBC version. 

Pacific Tycoon

2013 -  an unusual money making scheme.
This scheme enables a 12% annual  return on a minimum of £5000 investment in shipping containers.
Pacific Tycoon. I was alerted to this by a friend and so investigated. The company  have been of financial interest for a while as here.  The company  have no third party recommendations from the media apart from one person called Leighton McCalman.  I decided to investigate with Cambridge friend  MrContrarian.
I discovered mirror imaged portraits of the financial adviser but with 2 other names.  One clue was in  his portrait , when an  image is reversed,  mens' and womens' buttons are are different sides. Leighton McCalman also uses different names and advises on horse racing tips (they loose)  and whiplash injury.

MrContrarian's post here explains more.


This was covered in my blog in Sept 2012. UpdateAug 2013 cat seemed ok. 

The Diagnostic Clinic- Cancer screening for £400 - 2004
If the BBC  investigate the firm and publish  discrepancies, don't use them. My employer  in 2004 did, and the clinic  missed a cancer in me. These was an easily screened issue.  Sorted now thanks to the  NHS.   I did not get a refund. The doctor involved now works with Homeopathy.  Here is the BBC report.


I have only covered briefly some of the investigations and  frauds. I have solved academic plagiarism (some of my academic work in a book copied by by a plagiarist copied the errors on my schematic diagram (errors in resistor calculation). I use the Freedom of Information Act to reveal multi million pound discrepancies, one recently in a UK University.  I have solved Wikipedia vandalism by people (professors?) who try to discredit other academics. They always leave a trace.

It is always important to spend time on  Due Diligence with new people who contact us "out of the blue" via the internet. Be careful with social networking  sites like  Linkedin as data not verified by a third party. There are numerous public resources for finding out what debts people have.

There have been other bailiff issues solved  due to the wrong person being identified, violence threatened, and cash extorted, but solved and money refunded.

The image on the right of bailiff  who threatened violence. 

Finally, my favourite fraud, is the "new tyre" trick. Many years ago I took my BMW into a local garage for a check. Guy said tyre had a nail in it and needed brand new tyre. His colleagues were all mysteriously watching me from behind a glass door. I was therefore suspicious and so I asked him to remove the "nail". It turned out it was just 2mm long, the nail head, and nothing else. Tyre was fine and did many more miles.

Part 2 of my post will contain details of how to create a fraudulent paper cheque which can not be spotted by some banks and accountants.   I spotted the errors (2 non obvious)  but I am still waiting for Cambridge police to return this evidence, a cheque for £7000.
Also in part 2, How Tesco internet could make a lot more money and benefit customers.

Contact Details

Please contact Lyndsay Williams on +44 (0)7970 101578 or sensecam@gmail.com if you want confidential  help with a problem to be solved re patents or technology fraud. Initial consultation is free. I may not charge for personal cases.  I can sign an NDA. References available.

Follow me here on Twitter.

My engineering work is here.

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