Saturday, February 15, 2014

Scam Absurdities: Kingdom 777 (i.e. WCM777) adopts Ponzi Speak and Pyramid Selling

A blatant ponzi scheme such as WCM777 (which changed its name to Kingdom 777) that was chased out of both North and South America by various jurisdictions, decided to go Orwellian by adopting "Newspeak", which seems to be copied from existing ponzi schemes, such as Ad Surf Daily.

BehindMLM made a copy of Kingdom777's official announcement:

Kingdom777 "word usage explanation" announced 13-FEB-2014

  • Investment, purchase
  • Investor, member
  • Dividend or return , bonus

Hilarious, since this is exactly what "Andy" Bowdoin of Ad Surf Daily ponzi did. Quoting from the SEC press release:
To avoid regulatory scrutiny, Bowdoin referred to ASD’s investors as “members,” referred to the investor’s money, payment and investment principle as “ad packages,” and referred to the return on the member’s investment that ASD promised and paid as “rebates.” 
Let's compile the list...

  • investor, member
  • investment, ad packages
  • return, rebates

Yep, same thing.

But there's something else... It seems Ming Xu is simply replaying the Vantone scam, which is the same trick that Interush tried in Hong Kong, and already busted.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Bad Propaganda: The Real Story Behind the "Dropout Lambo" Meme

A recent viral meme that was made popular by Vemma sheeple was the "Dropout" Lamborghini Aventador

Hyundai SantaFe with "Scholar" Vanity plate,
and Lamborghini Aventador LP700 (2012)  with "Dropout" vanity plate
via Flickr circa 2013
The intent from Vemma sheeple is to ridicule school, and how Vemma is going to change the lives of the young people participating in it.

But what's the *real* story about the DROPOUT Lambo?

The Lambo is real. Its owner "PK" (who asked not to be identified) contacted me to give me the real story. Yes, I've confirmed his identity.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

MLM Absurdities: MLM may be a Cult... revisited. Why Do Herbalifers get Tattoos?

Previously, MLM Skeptic has discussed how often MLM resembles a cult (of money/greed), where members are to worship their upline and their company, any dissent is stamped out with shame, any defectors ridiculed and denounced, any critics ignored.

Today we will discuss a different part of cult behavior... identifying marks... such as tattoos.

Michael Burton
showing off his Herbalife
tattoo at an Herbalife event
in Serbia 2012
Tattoos used to belong to the realm of gangs and religious cults. It is only in recent years that the more elaborate tattoos have made the transition to "fine art".

Think about it. Tattoos are semi-permanent. It's on your body. It is intensely personal. It is extremely difficult to remove (often costs thousands of dollars), so you are REALLY showing your commitment if you choose to get one.

No wonder gangs often have gang tattoos, so much so, law enforcement have gang tattoo databases to readily identify gang affiliations.

And religious cults often have tattoos, special signs or greetings, and such.

But tattoos for a company? Really?

Back in 2013, a real estate company in New York offered 15% pay raise if its employees get a company tattoo. Owner said he was inspired by one employee who got a tattoo just for the heck of it, and the owner offered him a raise, and from there he decided to go for broke.

Putting a company tattoo on yourself just for the heck of it? That takes some dedication... Or mental illness.

Meet Michael Burton... member of (cult of) Herbalife.

Here's Michael Burton, showing off his Herbalife tattoo. He said he used to be a flabby used car salesman and went backrupt, so he went into Herbalife (at insistence of his in-laws) and became so fit, he competed in those fitness competitions.

Then he went bankrupt. And he owes tons of people money. And he has almost nothing left. Except his passion for Herbalife and his Herbalife tattoo.

But he's hardly the only one with Herbalife tattoos.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

MLM Absurdities: What They Don't Want You To Know About Ganoderma "Healthy Coffee"

In the past several years, a plethora (plague?) of "healthy coffee" companies appeared on the market. They bear names such as "Gano Excel", "Organo Gold", "Vidacup", "SereniGy", and so on. And they claim to bring you coffee, but with some magical healthy ingredient added to make you healthier, like ganoderma mushrooms and/or some other magical herbs. Sounds enticing, but here's what they don't want you to know.

1) Lousy coffee beans are used to make flavored coffee.

Traditionally, there are good coffee beans... and bad coffee beans. People would buy the good ones for a premium. So what do they do with the not so good ones?

They make flavored coffee with them. The added flavor (and smell) made the bad coffee more palatable.

Coffee geeks would never desecrate good coffee with flavors, even good flavors.

2) How are flavored coffees made any way? 

Modern flavored coffee is made by adding flavored oil to whole roasted beans, before they are grounded. Generally, 3% flavor oil (i.e. 3 pounds of flavor oil for 100 pound of beans) is added. Then the whole thing is sent through a mixer so the oil coats the beans (which can mess up your grinders)

Flavor oil on coffee. Hmmm...  So how did they get Lingzhi flavor onto coffee, if it's generally water extracted?  (see 4)

3) Generally there are only 4 camps of flavored coffee (no mushrooms)

Coffee dated back hundreds of years from Africa when the inhabitants of present-day Yemen drank coffee flavored with nuts. Later, fruits, chocolate, and such flavors are added. Foodeditorials wrote:
Generally speaking, there are four categories of this type of coffee. The first category includes flavors based upon spices such as clove, cinnamon, anise, and cardamom. Next, there are also some coffee flavors that are based upon fruits such as coconut or raspberry. Chocolate based flavors are the next type with the most common being chocolate mint. Lastly, some flavors are based upon nuts like vanilla, hazelnut or macadamia nuts. Crème coffees also have their share of followers; these include flavors such as Irish Creme or French Vanilla coffee.
To recap, that's spice, fruits, chocolate, and nuts. For hundreds of years, these are the four main categories of flavored coffee.

No mushrooms. Ever wonder why?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Bad Argument: When You Comment, You Should Check Your Facts!

Was browsing YPRPariah's website, and found something amusing... Some Vemma noob came and posted some comment about how great is Vemma and how everybody else are losers for doubting Vemma, blah blah blah.

Vemma Product Photography and Ad
Vemma Product Photography and Ad
(Photo credit: themichaelminer)
Here's a point for point critique.  His stuff is in blue, and mine will be in red
Honestly I use to be skeptical about vemma just like everyone here. As a business student I’ve been approached multiple times. but I realized that if I’ve been approached so much times it must be a trend and I put my ego aside and just let my friends explain to me why their so excited
So he just admitted he's a victim of FOMO: fear of missing out.  
 At the end of the day you guys really have to choose who your listening too.
So why should we listen to him?  
For anyone who’s skeptical your choosing to listen to a wordpress blog which has no credibility over people like robert kiyosaki, bob proctor, and eric thomas who are all millionaires who all directly work with vemma.
It's interesting how much credence he puts in "credibility". I wonder if he knew the following:
Kiyosaki was an Amway rep and his book was made popular by Amway's Sager Group. And he advocates screwing over his partners because he got away with it TWICE. He charges big speaking fees to appear at events. 
Bob Proctor basically stole all his schtick from Napoleon Hill (and admitted so), and his wife and daughter are high-rankers in Vemma 
As for Eric Thomas, former NFL player and now "Hip Hop Preacher", he's an inspirational speaker who will come to your event if you pay him enough. Between 10K and 20K per appearance, according to one article, as spoken by himself. 
They work with Vemma because Vemma paid them. They are mercenaries, much like lawyers. 
 Why would such credible people put their million dollar reputations on the line to work with vemma if it was a scam? They don’t need any extra money so the risk of working with a scam DEFINITELY wouldnt be worth it.
The answer is simple: they can always speak for someone else. Kiyosaki is constantly pumping out more rehash of his books and has that stupid "seminar" for pumping people more money. Bob also speaks for various other companies as well as his own "The Secret" related seminars, and so does Mr. Eric Thomas. If anything happens to Vemma, it wouldn't hurt them much, if at all. The damage he *thinks* will happen to them is negligible, and the deterrence he relied on is nonexistent.
This is just "appeal to celebrity" fallacy, or "association with celebrity" fallacy.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Scam Absurdities: What Sann Rodrigues of TelexFree do NOT want you to know about his past

It is amazing how little "due diligence" people use when it comes to "making money". Often, all you have to do is Google the name, and scroll through a couple pages of cheerleading results, to get to the truth. Today, we shall do a little digging into a gentleman by the name of "Sann Rodrigues"... except that's not really his name, but more of an alias.

Sann Rodrigues current has the title "First Millionaire TelexFree US", and appeared at various TelexFree "seminars" roughly like this:

Sann Rodrigues speaking about TelexFree? or FoneClub?
Not His Full Legal Name

First things first... Sann Rodrigues is not his "full legal name". His full legal name is Sanderley Rodrigues De Vasconcelos. Actually, there's probably a few surnames missing, as Brazilians tend to use both surnames of both parents, so I'll refer you to wikipedia page on Portuguese names (Brazilians use it too)  However, the "convention" is to use the last surname on the list (usually paternal), so his name *should* have been Sanderley Vasconcelos. For him to call himself Sann Rodrigues would be like Samuel L. Jackson to name himself Sam Leroy. (L stands for Leroy, really)  

While one is allowed to use a different surname in the family, like Ayrton Senna is really Ayrton Senna da Silva, Senna chose to be known as Senna because da Silva is a very popular surname. However, "Sann Rodrigues" had done the exact opposite, because "Rodrigues" is a VERY VERY common South American surname, found in both the Spanish speaking parts *and* the Portuguese-speaking parts. 

One wonders if Mr. "Rodrigues" has something to hide.

Sann Rodrigues was head of FoneClub Scam in both US and Brazil

Second, what he had to hide becomes crystal clear when one Googles his name directly and skip past all those videos and such... and found a government website link. 

It appears that in 2006, Mr. "Sann Rodrigues", who was also known as Sanderley Vasconcelos, was shut down by the SEC, the same folks who closed the Zeek Rewards ponzi scheme, for operating a pyramid scheme called "Universo FoneClub" specifically targeting Brazilians, and Brazilian- Americans. Especially illegal immigrants who was afraid if they complain to the authorities they will be deported. It is an especially vicious affinity scam.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Scam Absurdities: Ian Driscoll of BannersBroker ponzi now pushing FlexKom. Leopard Still Can't Change His Spots.

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.