I received a call today from someone who called himself “Jeff Garrett” from First Standard. The caller ID said “First Standard” with a phone number of 212-359-2934. So, it took some digging, but I figured out that his name is spelled GEOFFREY GARRATT. Geoff works in the Staten Island office of First Standard.
Geoff told me he was checking back with me after our last call. He said that during that last call he gave me a recommendation of Netflix. I told him that we hadn’t spoken. He said that we did. I asked him when. He said on July 2 of last year.
Well, it just so happens that, on July 2, 2015, I was winging my way to Boise, Idaho, to visit my daughter. Maybe Geoff was confused. Maybe I am forgetful. But I’m pretty sure that he didn’t call me at the airport or while I was on an airplane.
When I caught Geoff in this inconsistency, he then “apologized.” I put apologize in quotes because he wasn’t remorseful in any way, he was simply chastened because he was caught in a lie. He kept selling. I then hung up.
I went to Brokercheck and searched for all brokers registered with the First Standard office in New York, which is where the phone number goes. There are 11 brokers listed at that address. They are listed here. Not one of them is either named Jeff or Garrett. There may be other First Standard offices, but I couldn’t find them. Besides, this was the phone number on the caller ID. I also found an office in Garden City, NY. No Jeff Garrett there, either. Ultimately, I was able to figure out how Geoff spelled his name and found him on BrokerCheck. That is when I learned that he was working on Staten Island.
Odd that he didn’t tell me that he was the subject of an unauthorized trading complaint or that there was a pending arbitration for over $633,000. That’s probably something the average investor would want to know about a stranger who just cold called him or her. And I’m sure it is a coincidence that he left his prior employer, National Securities, in March, 2015, which was shortly after this large arbitration claim was filed.
So, into the Cold Caller Hall of Fame we place Geoff Garratt and First Standard Financial for employing such a fine, upstanding, young man. Nicely done, Geoff.
That’s all there is to say about this from lovely Jupiter, Florida. I’m Marc Dobin.