Sometimes, the surest sign of whether a 'scheme' is a scam or not is the sort of people it seem to attract. If the scheme is flooded by recruiters who previously were involved in various matrix schemes (illlegal!), pyramid schemes (illegal, doh!), Ponzi schemes (need I say it?) and so on, you should run away from it as far as you can, even if the business sounds perfectly legitimate to you. Why? Because those "frequent players" know something you don't: the scheme they joined really rewards recruiting, no matter what it APPEARS to be actually doing. And they are experts in recruiting... something that is very useful... in a pyramid scheme.
Now let's cite the example... Ian Driscoll, formerly of BannersBroker, now pushing FlexKom.
This is Ian Driscoll, from his FlexKom pimping website: (yes, that's actual size)
BannersBroker is a global ponzi/pyramid scheme that is basically an "auto-surf" scheme where you put money in, supposedly watch other people's banners, and get paid a profit (from where?). Here is a link to Web of Trust's reviews (by users) on the scheme:
And here's RealScam's file on BannersBroker
So what's Mr. Ian Driscoll, the UK face of BannersBroker up to? Apparently he's latched onto a different train: FlexKom.
FlexKom claims to be a combination shopping card / virtual currency / merchant network scheme out of Turkey. Where the "profit" is generated from is unclear, as most shopping at participating merchants generate rather minimal fees (up to 3%?). However, they apparently reward people who brought in a LOT of people who bought the FlexCards and loaded with X amount of FlexDollars (1 FD=1 Euro, they claimed). Up to 30% (huh?). For a full review, see BehindMLM's review of FlexKom
There are plenty of reports over Europe about possible FlexKom scam. And the company had taken a pretty hard line of suing newspapers who reported on such, or so Ian Discoll claimed. But what's interesting was the quote from The Mirror (UK)
His [Ian Driscoll's] previous venture was an online advertising “business opportunity” called Banners Brokers that was branded an international pyramid scheme and, Driscoll admits, “turned into a nightmare”.
Direct selling, network marketing, pyramids, call it what you will, he confesses: “Often I am ashamed to be in the same industry as some bandits.”
But he’s certain he’s struck gold with FlexKom: “This is the future, mark my words.”Yet in 2013 he was hot about BannersBroker, and there are PLENTY of posts, slides, and such where he's going all out for BannersBroker, new type of Internet business, blah blah blah.
Frankly, it's exactly the same as Ad Surf Daily: advertise on some no-name websites that look like they've been built from Wordpress themes in 4 hours. And somehow this is supposed to generate huge profit... AFTER you put in thousands of your own money (minimum of $1000).
And now he's scrubbed his own Tweets of BannersBroker, and renamed his Twitter account to FlexKom Ian Driscoll. So he's apparently going "all in".
The same way he's going "all in" on BannersBroker.
And the way Mr. Driscoll is pushing FlexKom is more reminiscent of "Comical Ali" (aka Baghdad Bob) in claiming that FlexKom will soon sell phones that has its own ecosystem instead of Google's. (IMHO, what'll really happen is FlexKom will order a bunch of junk Android clones from China, with their app preloaded.)
There's also reports that the fancy $500 "POS 3" terminal FlexKom is selling as a part of their merchant package is really a Chinese tablet (worth about... $50?) with an app on it that logs into FlexKom merchant network.
Can a leopard change his spots? Can a zebra change his stripes?
We're marking your words, Ian Driscoll. Too bad there's no "3 strikes" law in commerce. But we know what you did. And Google does not forget.