Thursday, August 14, 2014

Breaking News: Brazilian TelexFree promoter shot, one killed; Peruvia TelexFree promoter arrested

Peruvian Arrested at Airport for TelexFree Fraud

Peruvian alleged fraudster who recruit people into the TelexFree ponzi scheme was caught at the airport airline counter by Peruvian authorities, according to and taken into custody.

Detectives of Peruvian Judicial Police arrested Yoel Alexander Sandoval Mamani (age 24), better known as "Uncle Manrique of Cusco" at the airport. When confronted, he initially denied being the person sought for million P$ fraud, and was carrying a hidden bag with six thousand P$ "that were products of the fraud that was Telexfree International". Then he confessed that he intended to go to Brazil "to safeguard his financial integrity" after one of his fraud accomplices was arrested in Cusco.

Ambush in Brazil over TelexFree losses

A man was ambushed in Brazil when walking to work on Wednesday (13th) for his graveyard shift (10PM) and shot through the head. Police stated this was due to the victim having enticed the shooter previously to put 3500 R$ into the TelexFree fraud. The alleged shooter is still at large.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Scam Post-Mortem: TelexFree location lies confirmed by authorities

Back in July 2013, LONG before TelexFree got raided (April 2014) by DHS, FBI, etc. MLMSkeptic had warned the readers about how TelexFree office is a virtual office, and its co-owner, James Merrill, is allowing misinformation, such as "TelexFree own the whole building" to be perpetuated by its members in multiple languages on multiple continents.

Today brings an end to that chapter of the TelexFree lie; the bankruptcy trustee has terminated the $5944 per month lease of the TelexFree office, which only started January 2014 and is scheduled to run through March 2015. By forfeiting the deposit and a portion of the furnishings, the lease has been terminated, saving tens of thousands of dollars that can be repatriated to the victims of TelexFree.

In other words, it took another 5 MONTHS (July to December 2013) of constant pressure by "promoters" to convince TelexFree that they need a "real" office rather than the virtual one they had been touting. And they are willing to pay THOUSANDS of dollars a month just to keep up appearances, with office staff that does nothing except to smile and look busy, and there were only 7 of them for a company that allegedly did 1 billion dollars of business a year, according to themselves.
It is further alleged that in 2013, TelexFree reported sales of $1.016 billion, while known sales of the TelexFree VoIP product represented less than 0.1 percent of TelexFree’s total revenues.  --- FBI press release 
But TelexFree — whom some affiliates say is a $1 billion company with a VOIP product — has only seven employees at its Marlborough office, according to regulatory filings in Tennessee. These employees work in “administration, sales and marketing, accounting, and operations positions.”  --
That can't be legit.

But wait, there's more!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Scam Psychology: The illusion of explanatory depth (especially about MLM)

One phenomenon that initially puzzled the MLMSkeptic is the SEVERE LACK OF UNDERSTANDING by most MLM participants about their own industry. They seem to be completely unaware of the facts, and instead believe in misinformation, such as

  • Harvard Business School teaches/endorses MLM (NO THEY DON'T!)
  • MLM / Network Marketing Created the Most Millionaires (NO THEY DIDN'T!)
  • Having a product means the scheme cannot be a pyramid scheme (WRONG!)

And many more.

It is as if many participants are relying on... "folk wisdom" passed down by their uplines, who are passing misinformation, whether by design or negligence, leading to a game of "telephone" where after a few generations / levels there are no facts left, only misinformation.

That's when I discovered yet another cognitive bias... "the illusion of explanatory depth".

Basically, most people only *think* they know something. This is termed "feeling of knowing" by psychologists, or "FOK". They only follow correlations, and form their own idea about what caused what, even though those can be elaborate ruses or illusions designed to trick them. They actually have NO IDEA how whatever they observed actually works.

Here's one example. Do you know how bicycles work? Are you sure? (Those who can look at a bicycle or ride a bike several times a week can probably skip this test)  Without looking it up, draw the bicycle frame, wheels, where are the pedals, and where does the chain go.

Go ahead, draw it. When ready, click "continue".