Advice required re possible scam

Reposted with different title as the original has not appeared.
I will try and keep this short.
My late father had some shares in an American company(A) which had not paid dividends for some time and we sold the shares after he died. Now another American firm(B) is ringing us apparently acting for a company who wants to take it over. There had been some forward stock splits or something which the shareholders were not notified about and we still it seems have some shares which they want to buy. Money for nothing sounds good. Whats the catch? Before sending out the stock purchase agreement or contract, with details of the transfer agent (C), B explains that for various reasons that I didn't understand, there is a bond involved and the buyer is putting up most of the money but I would have to contribute a certain (small)percentage also. So I have to pay a few thousand in order to get several more thousand and then get my few thousand back. It stinks!
Is this how the 'secondary market' usually works? B and C both have websites but even if I had someone in the relevant US cities to see if they really exist, how can I tell if this is genuine? B's phone number does not come up on the usual websites for reporting scammers. If I dont sell them I will apparently be left with worthless shares in a shell company. ( ie no worse off!)
Since I am actually acting for my elderly mother I have to consider that she could do with the money but we can neither of us really risk the loss of the 'bond' money. Comments please.
(reply to address is not valid)
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Agreed. Can you explain how you sold those shares? Did you re-register them in your mother's name before sale and did you sell them through a bank or other broker?
No! If you really own shares and if the company is really taken over then you will be paid. But why not just call the stock registrar or the company and ask them if they know anything about the proposition you have been made. And make sure you call their real registrar - don't assume it is Company B just because Company C says so. The registrar can tell you if you there are any shares in your late father's name and the company can tell you whether they know about Company B.
Don't pay.
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Anthony R. Gold
">> My late father had some shares in an American company(A) which had not paid
Thank you.
Unfortunately, earlier in the phone calls and emails I did sign a non-disclosure agreement 'because it is a hostile takeover and they obviously don't want other interested parties to hear about it' so I probably 'ought' not to ring the company. (Thats partly why there are no names in this.) I have been told several times that the company registrar has not been kept up to date.
I looked at the share price online and it is about a couple of pounds now and has been falling for the last year with a few blips recently. Its top value in the period is still less than we are being offered!
The 'new' shares are an exact multiple of the number that used to exist. The original ones were sold by the solicitor who dealt with probate. They hadn't paid dividends for some years, and it seems they still dont.
I am beginning to think this may simply be the sort of underhanded trading that regulators should stamp on, but still goes on. In which case I still don't think I want anything to do with it. Perhaps I could just insist I can't afford the bond money (which is sort of true) and leave the ball in their court?
Should the company's website give the name of their registrar? Sorry for all the questions but I only ever had privatisation shares myself and I am not used to the system.
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If they want the shares so badly, insist they pay all of the bond. If it's legitimate, they won't lose out by doing this.
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Companies involved in hostile takeovers CAN'T ring up random shareholders and make them an "offer" on the basis of agreeing an ND. It simply is NOT allowed. The are required to make the offer to everyone (in which case there is no need for an ND) or to no-one
It's a scam
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I think that the simplest approach is to contact the FSA:
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They tend to be very shy about giving negative feedback on companies - but they may be able to advise you on where to look (SEC files?)
" B and C both have websites".
Do a WHOIS on the sites and see if you can cross reference that information to American company information:
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Update- In the last call he was starting to contradict what he had said before so in light of all your comments I felt a lot happier about telling him to go away and stop bothering me.
Now why didn't I think of that before! This is B-
Registrant: Domain Admin ID#10760, PO Box 16 Note - All Postal Mails Rejected, visit Nobby Beach null,QLD 4218 AU Tel. +45.36946676
Creation Date: 18-May-2011 Expiration Date: 18-May-2012
'Nuff said I think.
Thank you all for your helpful advice.
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