Tuesday, January 20, 2015

BREAKING NEWS: Coverup in Ghana? Bank employees claimed they've been duped to provide TelexFree loans then fired to cover up management incompetence

Nine workers of "Opportunity Savings and Loans" in Ghana are threatening to sue the S&L for wrongful dismissal. The S&L apparently started providing loans to people for purchasing TelexFree positions in December 2013. Within months, the complainers claimed, questions started to arise as rules, such as residency check, were not followed, but apparently team leaders took responsibility. Then loans were issued without issuer's knowledge (i.e. wrongly attributed loans) and never corrected. In the end, the bank lost 1.2 million GHS (roughly 362000 USD) and fired the nine workers.

Now the nine workers are alleging that they were following orders, the branch leaders knew exactly what happened, all correspondences were copied and concerns brought up and dismissed by the said leaders, who were apparently not fired. Now the company president has fired the nine instead to cover up mismanagement.

The bank president dismissed the charges and said the case had been referred to the Police and he fired the employees who broke the rules, and he has no further comment.

See SpyGhana article.   http://www.spyghana.com/opportunity-savings-loans-sacks-9-workers/

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Murder Linked to WCM777 Ponzi, Arrests Made

According to Press Democrat news of Napa County, California, an arrest on 15-JAN-2015 was made related to a murder in 2014 of a Santa Rosa businessman. The murder is related to losses related to the WCM777 ponzi scheme shut down by SEC in 2014.

Napa County Sheriff's Department arrested Angela Martinez Arias, 41, of Petaluma at her place of business in Rohnert Park. She is being charged along with three others (one of whom died in confrontation with SWAT) for murder of Reynaldo Pacheco, 44, of Santa Rosa.  Pacheco was reported missing in March 2014, and 9 days later his body was found. He had been bludgeoned to death with a rock.

Detectives now believe that Arias have lured Pacheco to her location to discuss losses suffered in the WCM777 ponzi scheme, which was shut down by SEC on March 28, 2014. Upon arrival, Pacheco was kidnapped by her three co-conspirators, transported to neighboring Napa county and killed.

This is the first documented murder linked to the WCM777 Ponzi scheme.

You can find all WCM777 coverage on this blog by following this link:

http://amlmskeptic.blogspot.com/search/label/WCM777

Thanks to PatrickPretty.com for the initial link to article.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

(Humor) Classifying the Different Types of Network Marketing Douchebags

Let's face the reality: Network Marketing has always had an image problem. It's a thin blurry line away from an illegal pyramid scheme. Even the so-called "legitimate" companies now admit they sell more opportunities than products. Different companies are getting slammed around the world for being a pyramid scheme, esp. in Asia and Europe. AND they have a penchant for pushing woo on the unsuspecting public.

Therefore it is no surprise that network marketing attracts a LOT of douchebags who have somehow latched onto MLM as their ticket to success. This is my attempt to classify the douchebag traits. If you spot a trait you think isn't on this list, let me know via the comments and we can discuss them!

NOTE: It is possible for a douchebag to hold more than one (or even, ALL) of these traits

The Evangelist

The "evangelist" want to tell people that MLM (and their product, sometimes) is the greatest thing ever much like a preacher preaches religion. They are armed generally with propaganda (i.e. myths) instead of facts. They are very excited to tell you about the industry and their products, but their primary concern is sign you up as their downline. In general, they are all about the positive.

Subtype A: the Firebrand

The firebrand is an evangelist who has pure HATRED of any one who refused to be preached to or don't agree with their view (MLM is the greatest!)  Any disagreement will be pinned on "they don't understand", "they are doomed as wage slaves in a deadend J-O-B", or even "it's a conspiracy against _____".

Subtype B: the Fluffer

The fluffer is an evangelist who will also fluff you up (and only you) to be aroused to his or her ideas, so much so they are nuts about positivity. They'll tell you that you can be or already are special, you have potential, blah blah blah. The fluffier you are, the easier you are to pluck later, after getting your ego stroked (in more ways than one).

Subtype C: the Fear-Monger

The fear-monger is an evangelist selling fear. Actually they sell "solutions" to relieve people of their fear (that they caused) and their money.  They will preach to your existing fears (you'll die broke in a ditch, you'll amount to nothing in a dead-end minimum wage job, you'll die of broken health...) and they'll pitch you a solution (income opportunity or woo supplements) that will solve the fear they caused in you.

Subtype D: the Bling-Flasher

The Bling-Flasher is an evangelist who show the world the amount of bling (jewelry, fancy watch, fancy car, fancy house, etc.) s/he can afford and "share" this abundance with you through his/her gospel of prosperity. Car may even have vinyl wrap proclaiming their affiliation (Vemma logo cars like BMW, or the infamous Mary Kay pink cars) and generally talks about opportunities (and selling such) instead of selling products.  What they don't tell you is how many products they sold, or how much did they spend traveling around "inspiring" people (i.e. recruiting).



The Defender

The defender is out to "defend" his faith... uh his scheme against any sort of criticism or even doubt against critics or even members whose faith had been shaken by variou scandals or bad news. They fall into several types (though some defenders can exhibit multiple traits)  Defenders can be noobs or seasoned veterans.

Subtype A: The Credentialist

The credentialists want to show the world how "smart" they are by flashing their credentials around. Their message is "trust me" because "I was rank X in Y different MLMs", "I had bazillion downlines", "Acme MLM asked me to consult with them", or even "I wrote about / teach MLM at _____".  However, if you dig a little deeper you may find that a good portion of their credentials are made up or exaggerated, such as "a dozen years of network marketing experience" actually meant "jumped ship every year, amounted to nothing". Will often turn indignant when confronted.    (Also see Pseudo-Intellectual, Indignant)

Subtype B: The Pseudo-Intellectual

The pseudo-intellectual reacts to criticism such as "Scheme X may be a pyramid scheme" with neutral or condescending (you don't know what you're talking about, you can't talk about things you haven't tried...) wall-of-text, often copied from their upline's bogus explanations or Wikipedia without understanding what they posted. Generally they resort to bogus explanations like "all companies are pyramid-shaped", "pyramid schemes don't have products", and so on.   Their long-winded responses are filled with fallacies and bad arguments, instead of properly formulated reasoning or evidence. They usually don't even know what laws define a pyramid scheme in their own jurisdiction.  When confronted with their ignorance, they generally turn indignant or tried to flash their credentials to validate their view. (Also see "The Indignant" and The Credentialist)

Subtype C: The Indignant

The Indignant can be recognized by their indignant attitude, such as "how DARE you criticize my pet scheme?!?!"  They usually respond with ad hominem insults "whoever wrote the criticism must have a bug up their ***" or some such rather than pseudo-intellectual or credential responses. Also see "The Loan Shark".

More after this page break...


Friday, January 9, 2015

Scam Tactic: Love Bombing

sun myung moon lider de ALADO iglesia de la un...
Sun Myung Moon
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This is the start of a new subtopic called "Scam Tactics" where I attempt to document certain approaches used by unscrupulous people on unsuspecting victims.

Today's topic: Love Bombing

The term "love bombing" originated in the 1970's from the "Unification Church" lead by Sun Myung Moon. If you don't recall the name, you may have heard of the Moonies cult. In a speech in July 23, 1978, Moon gave a speech, which is transcribed and translated below:
Unification Church members are smiling all of the time, even at four in the morning. The man who is full of love must live that way. When you go out witnessing you can caress the wall and say that it can expect you to witness well and be smiling when you return. What face could better represent love than a smiling face? This is why we talk about love bomb; Moonies have that kind of happy problem.
It sounds simple, but the way it works is a bit more insidious. As explained by professor Margaret Singer, a cult expert:
As soon as any interest is shown by the recruits, they may be love bombed by the recruiter or other cult members. This process of feigning friendship and interest in the recruit was originally associated with one of the early youth cults, but soon it was taken up by a number of groups as part of their program for luring people in. Love bombing is a coordinated effort, usually under the direction of leadership, that involves long-term members' flooding recruits and newer members with flattery, verbal seduction, affectionate but usually nonsexual touching, and lots of attention to their every remark. Love bombing - or the offer of instant companionship - is a deceptive ploy accounting for many successful recruitment drives.
Basically, the members fluff up your self-esteem by paying very close attention to your every action and appearance, and only give you positive feedback.


Monday, December 29, 2014

EXPOSED: "Wake Up Now" sells dreams to people who can't afford it in cult-like atmopshere

This American Life, a NPR radio / podcast, has a segment on "Wake Up Now", a business that "inspires" people into joining and making big bucks via cult-like mass media events, while its own PR chief says "we want people to make 5-600 a month", and most people don't make even that, according to its own income disclosure statements. WTF?

Listen to it yourself:

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/543/wake-up-now?act=1#play


Friday, December 26, 2014

BREAKING NEWS: TachoEASY AG confirms name was stolen by TachoEASY Iberica, NOT affiliated at all

Sharp-eye readers of BehindMLM have just spotted this press release on the TachEASY.DE (and TachoEASY.AT) 

TachoEASY AG has recently become aware of the fact, that the trade name TachoEASY was associated with the Geteasy Group. 
We have received a large number of statements of actual consumer confusion. We were also approached by third parties and asked about our possible relation to Tachoeasy Iberica. 
TachoEASY AG is not affiliated with these entities and demanded vis-à-vis Tachoeasy Iberica that they immediately cease and desist any and all use of the trade name and logo TachoEASY. 
The products distributed by Tachoeasy Iberica are not the original products developed and sold by our company, the TacoEASY AG. Any statements to the contrary are false.
For any further questions, please contact TachoEASY AG.

In other words, TachoEasy Iberica is a clone of a real company, and was apparently created to provide "social proof" for the GetEasy ponzi scheme.

Friday, December 19, 2014

News Update 19-DEC-2014: Zhunrize Plea Deal; PlanB4You Busted; Zeek Money May Be Stolen; FDA Admonishes Herbalife

Lots of little news this week... Remember folks, don't accept random news items without attribution. I link to my sources, and you should click through to make sure I didn't lie to you (unlike others)


PlanB4You Ponzi Busted in Europe

PlanB4You was reportedly busted by local police (Google Translate of refdag.nl article)  when a seizure order was issued and bank account containing 2.5 million (?) have been frozen and multiple locations raided. Several luxury cars were apparently seized. And challenges to court have been denied.

PlanB4You (review by BehindMLM) is a virtually exact copy of Ad Surf Daily ponzi busted in the US in 2008, with 25% ROI in 25 days.


Zhunrize reaches Plea Deal with SEC, may go into receivership

Previously we reported that Zhunrize has been closed by SEC as a ponzi scheme, and at least one shill or troll claimed it was not true, and they had reopened. Seems every Ponzi scheme claimed this at one time or another, as there are reports this also happened with PlanB4You reported above.

Any way, to nail that rumor shut... (reported by BehindMLM) Zhunrize and owner Pan have reached separate deals with SEC to pay fines and disgorgement of ill-gotten gains. The judge has yet to sign the deal but is expected to.

There may be criminal cases pending later. Receivership will be appointed if the deal is accepted and that's the end of that.