Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The self-review fakery: How one fake review claimed to be great

I previously wrote a review of the ZeekRewards opportunity and concluded it is a disguised Ponzi scheme.  And I welcome any and all corrections and comments except obvious spam.

Well, I got one, from a guy name "Phelix", who claimed it's a "great review".

Turns out, I've been suckered in posting a link by a Zeek spammer.

The IP address traces to Qwest.net out of Boise, Idaho.

The so-called review is partially reproduced below:

As you can guess, from the title, this website is PROMOTING ZeekRewards, thus it is unlikely to be neutral or negative toward ZeekRewards, but I was surprised at the amount of inaccuracies in this article, which basically relegated it into "bullsh__" status. Here's my rebuttal:

@Phelix -- read through it, unfortunately, it is horribly written. It mainly has two arguments
1) ZeekRewards is not an investment because they say it's not.
Apparently the writer of that post never HEARD of the Dewey Test (which I did explain).
2) It has hired some of the notable names in MLM Law to "consult" for compliance.
Hiring consultants does not make the business legitimate or compliant. BUSINESS MODEL AND BUSINESS PRACTICES determines whether a business is compliant with the law.
There has been no changes in the parts that affect Dewey test, so nothing there. The flow of money also have not changed: affiliates buy bids, Zeekler turns a profit, gives half to ZeekRewards (alleged), who pays all the affiliates. Affiliates are still paying themselves. Thus, it is STILL a suspect Ponzi scheme.
The post also made a series of factual errors. It couldn't get the RPP (retail profit share) right... It's 0.8 to 2.0%, not 0.02 to 0.07%. It claims that RPP is 0.02 to 0.07, then decided to use 0.01 as example!
It also committed some really stupid math errors. 0.01% of 10000 is 1, not 100.
Then there's the empty citations... While it may be true that NMMJ did published a statement that Zeek has a 25 to 1 customer to affiliate ratio, nobody can cite the source (NMMJ writer? Laggos? One of the Zeek execs? like Dawn or Paul Burks?) Nor was the raw data available (exactly how many to how many?) Nor was the exact definition of "customer" (everybody who ever bought a bid? Everybody who registered an account to bid ever?) or "affiliate" (free affiliates or paid affiliates?) given.
Overall, the whole post has a severe lack of genuine desire to examine both sides of the issue, and is instead a one-side sales piece that contains a TON of errors (factual and logic).
It's also interesting that the author's name cannot be located on the site. It's posted simply as "admin".

I posted this reply, but something bothered me, as there *has* to be some way to track down who wrote this website. This is a "subdomain" so I had assumed that this was a "web hosting" deal. Turns out, it wasn't. I forgot my own rule: FOLLOW EVERY LINK when investigating a website.

I followed the Digg link, and there it is:

The guy registered himself as Phelix, with the name "rperry.zeekler.com". The guy who posted the comment at my hub was Phelix. The guy wrote the bogus review himself, then post the link to it on my hub!

I followed the Facebook link, and there it is... R. Perry, joined Facebook at 30-MAY-2012. And the same post as appeared on his Digg page. He's linking to his own posts.

So who is this "R.Perry"? A search for the website MindImage.net shows that it's registered to a MindImage LLC.

Registrant:   Mindimage LLC   4021 Garnet   Boise, Idaho  ID   US
   Registrar: DOMAIN   Domain Name: MINDIMAGE.NET      Created on: 23-JUL-99      Expires on: 23-JUL-12      Last Updated on: 25-JUL-11
   Administrative Contact:       , Admin  @privacypost.com      Mindimage LLC      4021 Garnet      Boise, Idaho  ID      US      (208)853-1405

But no name thus far. Still, a LLC is a legal entity, and there should be a way to look it up, so I went to Idaho Business Registry, and voila, there he is:

So our poster "Phelix" is actually Mr. Ryan Perry of Boise Idaho. Even the address matches, but note the date: MindImage LLC dissolved back in 2009.

But the DNS record was last change in July 2011. So Ryan Perry apparently neglected to tell his web provider that his "business" no longer exists.

So, Mr. Perry, what made you abandon your web design and hosting business, and join a potential ponzi scheme?

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  1. @Anonymous -- sorry, I can't publish comments like that. It's not really that relevant any way.

  2. He's in jail. That's why he abandoned his business.

  3. You know ryan personally. Would (previous poster) you talk to me? You can contact me through provided link