Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Scam Absurdities: Stupid Meme passed on by MAPS idiots

Recently I came across this really really really stupid meme posted by a "Lloyd Dotson"




There are (at least) 3 things that were VERY VERY wrong with this meme. Did you spot them yet?

When you think you did, continue.


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

How Much Is a Scam Like a Cult: 2015 Edition

Previously MLMSkeptic have discussed the similarities between a cult of believers (about a common theme) and a large scale scam such as a pyramid or a Ponzi scheme (and in certain cases, multi-level marketing).

The Outcast (1954 film)
The Outcast (1954 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A new article on ScienceBasedMedicine.org brought an alternative viewpoint... on how believers of a scam act much like believers of  various alternative medicine modalities. And it is a report on an WIRED article called "An Alternative-medicine Believer's Journey Back to Science", where a doctor (MD and PhD) and wife and two autistic boys fell for the "autism biomed" industry where members tell each other about treatments that nobody had proven to work, but "try it any way", many even promoted by other doctors. After years of such, and a lapse while in Disneyland, they found that none of what they did actually had ANY effect, and the boys actually IMPROVED when they were removed from the supplement regimen, or at least did no worse. After further tests over months and years, he publicly renounced his involvement in the autism biomed movement and denounced unproven treatments and such. As a result, he'd been branded an apostate and had received death threats.

An apostate is someone who had examined the beliefs in detail, even followed those beliefs for a time, then had an epiphany and chose to REJECT the belief instead. As a result, he's now considered an outcast.

There are many apostates among network marketing. Indeed, due to the amount of churn rate, it can be argued that there are many more apostates than believes in Network marketing. According to Robert L. FitzPatrick of PyramidSchemeAlert.org, of the 10 million people that had estimated to have joined Amway since its founding, 9.3 million had been "churned" through and quit. Thus, the alleged apostates should vastly outnumber the believers. (9.3 million vs. 700K)

However, the similarity between network marketing a cult (or religion) is how they treat the apostates: very badly.


The Worst Kind of Scammer: False Claim of Government License by Options Rider

Ever heard of "Options Rider"? No? Me Neither, that is, until they started announcing absolutely bull****. But let's start from the beginning.

Back on April 16th, a review of Options Rider appeared on BehindMLM. The company purports to be offering option trading out of New Zealand, but the address is that of a Regus virtual office. And no owners were identified on their website. Shady enough? Searching the interwebs revealed two names: Bob Roberts and Thomas Carter.

Bob Roberts appears to be associated with another virtual entity called BancdeOptions, supposedly HQ'ed in Hong Kong, but it's another virtual office.

Here's the really hilarious part though... At the time of BehindMLM's review (early April 2015) Options Rider showed a license number:  FSP license number 207/13

Sometime after that review, they changed it to FSP license number FSP109805.

But I was able to locate a version of the Options Rider contract, on "WV Trading" that PREDATES the both of them that says: "CIF License number 207/13"


The Company is authorized and regulated by the New Zealand Securities and Exchange Commission to offer certain Investment and Ancillary Services and Activities under the Provision of Investment Services, the Exercise of Investment Activities, the Operation of Regulated Markets and Other Related Matters Law of 2007, Law 144(I)/2007, as subsequently amended or replaced from time to time (“the Law”), with CIF license number 207/13.
The problem is New Zealand does NOT have a Securities and Exchange Commission. New Zealand investments is regulated by Financial Markets Authority. And the cited laws do NOT exist in New Zealand. And obviously, "CIF" number is meaningless in New Zealand. In NZ financial entities are licensed as FSP (Financial Service Providers), but its relevance will become clearer. There is no "Options - anything" licensed as FSP in New Zealand. Search the database yourself.

In fact, you should notice that by typing in a few test cases that NONE of the FSP number goes above 5 digits. Thus, the 6-digit number given by Options Rider is BOGUS.

By now it should be clear that this company is a scam, citing license by a nonexistent government agency for legitimacy. But wait, there's even more hilarity in the lies of Options Rider!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

More Idiots Who Don't Check the Information They Pass On: UFUN Edition

UFUN is a multi-national alleged ponzi scheme that has ties in Thailand, Malaysia, China, and other countries. In the past three weeks Royal Thai Police have swept up a lot of the heads of the company, but the company's real headquarters is in Malaysia, and at least three of the heads escape through Malaysia. One's remaining in the limelight, supposedly celebrating some signing documents with some developement project, while the other other two have fled Malaysia as well. A retired Thai General that's involved has escaped to the US.

Its primary American cheerleader appears to be a guy by the name of Rodney Burton, who gave himself the title "Global Ambassador", and recently posted something like this on Facebook:



The problem is the link was in Thai, and he clearly does not read Thai, as a different link describing the same announcement reads VERY VERY differently. As you can see, same three guys, just a very different angle. Follow me so far? Here's the link:  

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/national/UFUN-case-a-transnational-crime-police-30259107.html



And a quote from the article:
Suwira quoted prosecutors as saying that the UFUN case would be regarded as a transnational crime if police were able to present to the OAG clear evidence that the company had been involved in similar criminal offences outside the country as well.  
If the attorney-general deems it a transnational crime, the punishment will be harsher than under normal law. The attorney-general will be the person setting the interrogation method and there will be more complicated steps in the probe, he explained. 
For now, police will gather more documents and interview those claiming damages to confirm whether there were criminal offences outside Thailand, Suwira said, urging affected persons to file complaints with police during the May 1-5 holiday period.
So basically, this Mr. "GlobalAmbassador" Burton got it completely wrong. There is plenty of evidence of UFUN's guilt in Thailand. There's not quite enough evidence of victims OUTSIDE Thailand for Thai Office of Attorney General (OAG) to elevate the case to "Transnational Crime" and invoke ASEAN and Interpol international assistance to end this scheme once and for all.

BIG SOLID CASE AGAINST UFUN
PLENTY OF EVIDENCE IN THAILAND

Which proves that if you don't read or understand Thai, you should not pretend to understand what the video actually said. Liar, liar, hair on fire...

Right now there's no mention of how will Thai Police gather victim reports from outside of Thailand.

I personally would suggest that if you are a victim of UFUN outside of Thailand, and have a local Thai Embassy, you should write up your report and ask your local Thai Embassy to turn it over to Thai Police. I can't think of any other way at the moment. If there is an address or such where you can send such reports published, I will update the method here. 


Fiverr is the Goto Place for Shill Testimonials

Fiverr is a site where people put themselves out to do small jobs for $5.00 USD (thus the name) and recently, a LOT of scams needing "testimonials" from people decided to employ amateurs off Fiverr in hopes that people won't recognize them as shills.

Too bad, here's MyFlexJob getting caught using Fiverr folks for "realistic" testimonials.

Here's a "Mr. Alexander Herring" (Does he go by "Red"?) claiming to have realistic testimonials:



It's realistic, but not real, since she'll do it for anybody for $5!



But wait, there's more!


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Sunday, April 26, 2015

OLD NEWS: World Ventures busted in China, Taiwan, and Malaysia back in 2014

According to Chinese news (Hunan TV) World Ventures, i.e. "WV", was investigated by Changsa Public Security back in October 2014. Other sources indicate that World Ventures was also met with legal challenges in Taiwan, and Malaysia, where it was accused of operating illegally.

Ministry of Labor and Commerce Enforcement Agents along with Public Security raided a facility that had a huge sign with the WV Logo and slogan outside, and asked the two present, a male and female, to show the business registration papers for WV. The two refused, claiming they had nothing to do with WV, but is instead a university career training workshop, and thus is not licensed and not for profit.

When confronted with the sign outside, the male "supervisor" deny any and all knowledge about the banner, claimed they had nothing to do with the banner. During the search, a business card was discovered with the supervisor's name on it, and even had the WV logo, but the man still refused to admit he runs a local WV branch, but instead tried to explain "I merely suggested some trip ideas to my friends and relatives."  PS personnel then found the documents saved on the company computer and printed them out, which contains WV promotional material and comp plan. When confronted, the man continue to deny, claiming it was left by visitors. He was then confronted that his own printer printed those off his own computer. Then he had nothing else to say.

Labor and Commerce enforcement bureau spokesperson explained that WV is suspected of illegal pyramid selling, but most of the websites used to promote such are located outside of China, and thus making investigation and enforcement difficult.