Tuesday, July 18, 2017

IPro Network (IPN) and the MLM Game of Telephone: garble up the message to sound better

Recently I came across a comment about IPro Network on BehindMLM.

First, what is iPro Network? Some generic discount network based on some generic altcoin they are billing as some fantastic e-commerce opportunity, you should buy into the currency despite there's no proof that it was widely adopted (since there are tons of altcoins out there). It's so fantastic, there is absolutely NO TRACE of the CEO on the internet (other than on their own website), who wears a clearly wrong size shirt (he can't even button his collar), despite claiming "15 years experience".

Anyway, here's the comment about why is the review so hard on a "legitimate" opportunity.

"Bill Antonio": "Oz I appreciate you trying to protect marketers from scams but why is it that you seem to criticise every business opportunity and preventing people from making money online from legit companies. IPN has been endorsed by Scott Warren a most sought after MLM Lawyer as IPN has met all the compliance guidelines and has also being endorsed by well-known entrepreneur Kevin Harrington from Shark Tank who is highly respected in the business world.They also have sought after motivational speaker Jay Abraham who is in the same league as Anthony Robbins. These people will never be involved in any scams.

Okay, there are a couple things to note:

1) Did Scott Warren, an MLM lawyer, "endorse" IPro Network?

2) Did Kevin Harrington (Shark Tank) endorse IPro Network?

3) Does Jay Abraham work for IPro Network?

Not surprisingly, the answer is "no proof of such" in each and every case.

This is like the game of telephone, where somehow message was distorted into whatever the promoter wanted to say, instead of the REAL content.


So what is the truth? Let MLMSkeptic lead you to some discovery.


Thursday, July 13, 2017

More HELO band hilarity: it can read your wrist when you're not wearing it

Someone spotted this gem from the official HELO FAQ

HELO FAQ: "When you don’t wear it (HELO band),
it still reads something literally from the air" 

That's right, this band is so fancy, you don't even need to wear it for it to sense your body.

WTF?! This is so bogus, I'm surprised anybody would fall for **** like this.

For other HELO band hilarity, read my original article.


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Overpromise and Underdeliver: the HELO band

Those of you who have diabetes or pre-diabetes may have been spammed on Facebook or similar social media sites by someone marketing the HELO band. At first look, it is basically something like a Fitbit or such. However, it had promised in Jan 2017 something that had never been achieved by anyone: non-invasive continuous blood glucose estimation. See press release dated Jan 10, 2017.

PRNewswire press release from WRMT where it claimed it will
launch blood glucose estimation tech in its "Helo" wellness band
dated Jan 10th, 2017
However, it is interesting to note that NO SUCH FEATURE was mentioned on World's official website, worldgn.com

worldgn.com shows no blood sugar feature on their HELO device as of JUN-28-2017

Now isn't that interesting...


Sunday, June 25, 2017

HUMOR: How to get rid of people who want to rope you into "make money fast" schemes

Feel free to utilize these pointers to counter sales pitches next time people come up to you and want to recruit you for some sort of income scheme they tout as "can't lose", "risk free", and so on.

#1

  • Wow, sounds amazing. Is your entire family in? I'm sure blood is thicker than water and all that. Is/Are your brother / wife / papa and mama / etc. in? How many relatives did you recruit?
#2
  • Wow, that sure sounds impressive. Did you quit your job and go full-time? Sounds like you can do a lot better in this (insert name). 
#3
  • That's certainly interesting. However, I'm a bit empty in my wallet now. Tell you what, lend me the seed money. I'll split any profit with you 50/50. What do you say? 
#4
  • I thought you said you made plenty of money? So you don't have any money to lend me? 
#5
  • You thought your scheme was impressive? Let me tell you about mine... 

(Inspired by a post from JusticeAlwaysLate, a scambuster on Facebook) 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Why should you trust your upline if s/he is making money off of you whether you fail or succeed?

From when you're but a wee little toddler, you've probably been taught some (or all of the following):


  • Don't take candy from creepy people
  • Don't take health advice from tobacco company
  • Don't take money advice from loan company
  • Don't take ethical advice from the Devil

So why do so many MLMers take business and money advice from their upline?

Think about it, In each of the scenarios above, it's basically inmates running the prison, or fox guarding the henhouse... There's an ETHICAL conflict in the scenario.

But, but you say, my upline *wants* me to succeed because if I succeed, s/he earns more, and so do I! How can this be an ethical conflict?

But that's because you fail to see the situation from your upline's perspective, but rather, from the MLM myth it perpetuates about itself.

Let's see it from your upline's perspective....


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Scam Psychology: Crank Magnetism and Sheeple Magnetism

"Crank magnetism" is a phenomenon describing that a crank for one idea often is also a crank of one or more unrelated but equally unorthodox and often irrational ideas.  The term was coined in 2007 by Mark Hoofnagle to describe a particular Holocaust denier who also latched onto some crazy DNA theory of disease from someone else.

When I encounter this term, I immediately thought of how "sheeple", i.e. those victims ready to be fleeced, tend to fall for one scheme after another, not necessarily at the same time, but they are vulnerable to cross recruitment, i.e. "here's something else that'd be good for you". To my surprise, there is no such term.  While sheeple is defined, and there are related terms such as reload scam, the phenomenon that a sheeple can believe in multiple unrelated scams is not a term.

So let me coin the term now: sheeple magnetism... phenomenon describing a sheeple, who fell for one scam, is often vulnerable to other scams.

Ponzi scheme victims are the most often found examples of sheeple magnetism, esp. if they were among the "net winners", i.e the minority who got more out of the scheme than they put in (so the rest are net losers).  They were often given "contrafreeloading" tasks to make them believe they "earned" their money. Such "victims" will go on to a different scheme that they recognize to be of a similar structure: way too easy work, way too much money, and believe they found their path to riches.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Two Ponzi Scammers Got Their Prison Sentences Handed Down...

Two ponzi scammers got their prison sentences handed down recently in early 2017.

Paul Burks, who was the head of the $939 million Zeek Rewards ponzi scheme with over 1 million victims around the world, got 14 years in a Federal prison, in addition to fines of $244 million in restitution (which he can't pay as he already gave up all his possessions) and 3 years probation. Given that Burks is already 70 years old and is believed to be not in the best of health, he may spend his final days in prison.

Two other top heads of the scheme, Daniel Olivarez (computer guru) and Dawn Wright-Olivares (VP of Operations and spokesperson) have been sentenced previously to lesser terms for their contributory roles in the scam that was shut down in 2012 by SEC and Secret Service. It was believed they were fined and have to give up their residence. There was no word on what happened to a restaurant Dawn allegedly operated, or what happened to her job at a different MLM company called iWowwe.

MLM Skeptic had been tracking Zeek Rewards for over a year before it was shut down and published several articles explaining how Zeek Rewards cannot be legitimate. Indeed, in the final days of their scam they tried to gag me with a "takedown request" to my content host by claiming MLMSkeptic had violated their trademark when it was quickly realized that the alleged trademarks was not even owned by them! Must be really desperate over there in their final days, as only a few weeks later when SEC and Secret Service stepped in.

In other news, co-leader of a smaller ponzi known as "The Achieve Community", Kristine Johnson, was sentenced to 21 months in Federal Prison. TAC, which is peanuts compared to Zeek, was shutdown in 2015 by SEC. It was a pretty simple Ponzi scheme that didn't bother to polish itself by hiring celebrity lawyers and experts and pretending to be legitimate. They mainly stuck to Facebook and such, by claiming "triple algorithm" that can multiply money... What utter nonsense.

MLM Skeptic had not been tracking TAC but it was identified early on by Oz of BehindMLM as a simple cycler ponzi scheme.

What do these two scams have in common? It's actually quite simple..

GREED.