Grocery Rewards Network Review: $150 recruitment scheme

grocery-rewards-network-logoGrocery Rewards Network launched in December 2014 and provide a contact address in the US state of New York on their website.

Further research reveals this address to be virtual office space rented from Regus:

regus-office-space-new-york-grocery-rewards-network

fake-office-space-grocery-rewards-network

Grocery Rewards Network would appear to exist in New York in name only.

Identified as the President of the company on the Grocery Rewards website is “Stephen G. Barr”.

Stephen G. Barr has a Harvard education background and is well experienced in the start up world.

He has sat on nearly 50 company boards and is one of the top 3% angel list investors.

This matches the information provided on Barr’s Facebook profile, where he identifies himself as being from New York but currently residing in California.

stephen-g-barr-president-grocery-rewards-network

Given this, it’s likely that Grocery Rewards Network itself is in actuality being run out of California too.

Despite an extensive social media presence, I was unable to put together an MLM history for Barr.

Read on for a full review of the Grocery Rewards Network MLM business opportunity. [Continue reading…]


Total Takeover Review: Two-tier recruitment commissions

total-takeover-logoIdentified as a trio of “business partners” in a Total Takeover prelaunch marketing video are Dave Lear, Wallace Nuanez and Val Smyth.

Total Takeover is currently in prelaunch (accepting free affiliate signups), with an advertised launch date of January 26th.

wallace-nuanez-dave-lear-val-smyth-total-takeover-admins

Dave Lear and Wallace Nuanez (sometimes credited as “Wallace Nunez”) appear to have a long MLM history together.

The pair first popped up on my radar as part-owners of Tazew.

Tazew launched in mid 2013, paying affiliates to recruit new affiliates against an irrelevant mobile marketing tools backdrop.

The Tazew website is still up today, but the scheme appears to have stalled shortly after launch.

A quick Google search reveals Lear and Nuanez, either together or individually, have been involved in VidaCup (coffee), Empower Network (cash gifting hiding behind free WordPress blogging platform), Brain Abundance (brain pills), RE247365 (short-lived recruitment scheme riddled with fraud), Liberty Health Net (matrix-based recruitment), Sisel (random assortment of products) , Pure Leverage (recruitment orientated blogging platform) , Organo Gold (coffee), EPX Body (weight loss) , Uneeqlee (text messaging ads + recruitment), Javita (coffee), FGXpress (pay to play + autoship) , VappNet (failed gaming app), Seacret (dead sea salts + autoship) and Stiforp (recruitment).

Even between the two of them, given the sheer number of opportunities Nuanez and Lear have been involved in I’d readily classify them as “opportunity jumpers”.

Val Smyth on the other hand hails from The Legends Network. Bob Bremner is officially credited as the founder and CEO of the company, however multiple readers (some affiliates of the company) claim that the company is infact owned by Val Smyth (see comments section of our Legends Network review).

Prior to that Smyth launched a series of marketing tools orientated opportunities, each utilizing 1-up style (pass-up) compensation plans.

Now, Smyth Nuanez and Lear have gotten together to launch Total Takeover (not to be confused with The Total Takeover, a collapsed $50 a month cash gifting scheme launched in 2013).

Read on for a full review of the Total Takeover MLM business opportunity. [Continue reading…]


$669,000 in default judgements against Canadian net-winners

zeekrewardsLast November saw the Receiver file a clawback lawsuit against twenty-five Canadian Zeek Rewards investors.

Some have replied to the litigation filed against them, but a number of net-winners chose to simply ignore the proceedings against them.

Allowing sufficient time for a reply to be filed to pass, this resulted in the Receiver filing for default judgement against eight of the investors in late December.

In orders filed yesterday, the Court Clerk granting the motions for a total of $669,368. [Continue reading…]


Union Cycler Review: $2.50 a position 200% ROI micro Ponzi

union-cycler-logoThere is no information on the Union Cycler website indicating who owns or runs the business.

The Union Cycler website domain (“unioncycler.com”) was registered on the 10th of December 2014. Shannon Walker is listed as the domain owner, with an address in Manchester, UK is also provided.

I only just reviewed CashFlowClicking a few days ago, which also listed Shannon Walker as an admin with a different UK address.

I concluded in my CashFlowClicking review that Shannon Walker as presented as the owner of CashFlowClicking likely doesn’t exist. CashFlowClicking has all the hallmarks of being run by Indian scammers.

Union Cycler would appear to be no different, with Alexa estimating that the two countries traffic wise to the domain are Russia (16.2%) and India (14%).

Furthermore, CashFlowClicking images are being hosted on the Union Cycler website:

cashflowclicking-logo-union-cycler-website

This is obviously not a co-incidence, with the owners of CashFlowClicking simply recycling their Ponzi script to launch Union Cycler with.

Who actually runs Union Cycler remains a mystery… but it’s a safe bet that it’s not Shannon Walker.

As always, if a MLM company is not openly upfront about who is running or owns it, think long and hard about joining and/or handing over any money. [Continue reading…]


Achieve Community in crisis. No processor, not compliant.

achieve-community-logoDespite previously claiming that their “new Payout Processor is Global Cash Card”, news today that Achieve Community is once again without a payment processor.

When exactly Kristi Johnson was made aware GCC would not be working with Achieve is unclear. Today’s announcement however appears to have been prompted by an Achieve affiliate publishing an email they received from GCC. [Continue reading…]


CashFlowClicking Review: $10 “cashtap” investment positions

cashflowclicking-logoThere is no information on the CashFlowClicking website indicating who owns or runs the business.

The CashFlowClicking website domain (“cashflowclicking.com”) was registered on the 25th of November 2014. Shannon Walker is listed as the domain owner, with an address provided in Nottinghamshire in the UK.

Typically a generic anglo-saxxon sounding name and UK address suggests CashFlowClicking is being run by Indians. In this particular instance however I’m not 100% sure, as Alexa estimates that 17.8% of the domain’s website traffic originates out of the US. The UK is second with an estimated 9.2%.

A Facebook account exists for Shannon Walker, having been created only recently on the 19th of September 2014. Whoever operates the account uses it to comment on the official CashFlowClicking Facebook page.

Putting all of this together it’s likely that “Shannon Walker”, as created for the CashFlowClicking domain registration, doesn’t exist.

As always, if a MLM company is not openly upfront about who is running or owns it, think long and hard about joining and/or handing over any money. [Continue reading…]


IFC Group clarify GetEasy’s investment bank plans

geteasy-logoIFC Group (International Finance Corporation Ltd.), not to be confused with legitimate companies bearing the same name, is an Israel-based partner in the global GetEasy Ponzi scheme.

Instrumental in the laundering of money through GetEasy’s business operations and seemingly in control of the flow of new investor funds to existing investors, IFC is headed up by Michael Herzog.

michael-herzog-ifc-group-geteasyOn his LinkedIn profile, Herzog (right) describes himself as someone perfectly suited to orchestrate a Ponzi scheme primarily targeting Europe and South America.

Dr. Michael Herzog, PhD, MD founder and chairman of International Finance Group, International Finance Bank and other companies, brings more than twenty years of experience in the management of global equity, fixed-income and derivatives portfolios to the firm.

Since early 1997, he has worked on several investment banking transactions to finance debt reduction for several countries as well as infrastructure projects throughout Latin America as well as satellite and telecommunications projects.

Following on from GetEasy CEO Tiago Fontoura’s video announcements yesterday, Herzog has today issued a press-release further clarifying GetEasy’s global Ponzi investment bank plans. [Continue reading…]


GetEasy: We are first legal investment-based MLM opp

geteasy-logoLaunched in the wake of the Ponzi schemes BBOM and TelexFree, GetEasy targeted investors from the same countries BBOM and TelexFree had previously flourished in.

Having exhausted that market, the scheme soon spread its wings to greater South America and Europe – with the latest reports indicating GetEasy has now also main inroads into Asia (Malaysia and India) and Africa.

Problems for the company first arose when the front GetEasy used to justify the shuffling of new investor money to existing investors began to fall apart.

Probably the most damaging was the revelation that the tracker company GetEasy had long professed to source GPS trackers from, announcing they have nothing to do with the company:

TachoEASY AG has recently become aware of the fact, that the trade name TachoEASY was associated with the Geteasy Group.

We have received a large number of statements of actual consumer confusion. We were also approached by third parties and asked about our possible relation to Tachoeasy Iberica.

TachoEASY AG is not affiliated with these entities and demanded vis-à-vis Tachoeasy Iberica that they immediately cease and desist any and all use of the trade name and logo TachoEASY.

The products distributed by Tachoeasy Iberica are not the original products developed and sold by our company, the TacoEASY AG. Any statements to the contrary are false.

There have also been reports that music streaming service Pleimo, another GetEasy smoke and mirrors relationship, terminated their relationship with the company after GetEasy failed to pay them hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees.

Note that I myself wasn’t able to confirm this but it has been widely reported in GetEasy affiliate circles, so perhaps take it with a grain of salt.

As the threads of the elaborate web GetEasy had spun to cover its Ponzi operations came undone,  regulatory problems also began to surface.

October saw “Polícia Judiciária (Portugal’s primary law enforcement agency for criminal investigations), reveal they had launched an investigation into the company. In the following month the Bank of Portugal then warned investors that GetEasy were

not authorised, in Portuguese territory, to accept deposits or other repayable funds (nor to carry on any other financial activity subject to the supervision of Banco de Portugal).

Reports of GetEasy payment problems had already surfaced prior to the bank’s warning and police investigation, with the lack of payment issue remaining unresolved to this day.

Around mid-December rumours of a new company name have emerged and hints at possible new smoke and mirrors contracts to mask the flow of new funds to existing investors abound.

Now, after broken promises and then mostly silence from GetEasy corporate, CEO Tiago Fontoura has made a series of New Years Eve announcements.

In a thirteen minute video uploaded to YouTube, Fontoura attempts to set the record straight. [Continue reading…]


MPT Max Review: My Private Trade’s latest incarnation?

mpt-max-logoThere is no information on the MPT Max website indicating who owns or runs the business.

The MPT Max website does have an “about us” page, however only the following vague information is provided:

MPT Max is a Williams Corporation brand.

When you trade with MPT Max, your counterpart is Williams Corporation Limited, Hong Kong.

Williams Corporation also manages MPT Max`s back office among other administrative tasks, and uses Simray AS (Simray AS) of Norway as its partner in processing transaction such as account fundings and withdrawals.

Established by veteran trading professionals, Williams Corporation empowers fast, secure and accurate trading execution for online foreign exchange businesses.

Simray AS appear to be a real company, who on their website claim to provide ‘trading technology for the finance industry‘.

In a warning issued to investors back in 2011, the Austrian Financial Market Authority wrote

Williams Corporation Ltd. (“My Private Trade”) is not authorised to carry out certain banking transactions requiring a licence in Austria. Trading for one’s own account or on behalf of others in financial futures contracts including equivalent instruments settled in cash as well as call and put options on the instruments listed in lit. a and d to f, including equivalent instruments settled in cash (futures and options business) pursuant to Art. 1 para. 1 no. 7 lit. c BWG is therefore not allowed.

My Private Trade appears to be an affiliate portal for Williams Corporation, with the company referring to its agents as affiliates.

It’s also likely what the “MPT” stands for in the company name “MPT Max”.

Things get murkier with regulators in Slovenia identifying My Private Trade as synonymous with Simray AS.

In 2010 the Slovenian Securities Market Agency (ATVP) issued their own warning against Simray AS:

Slovene Securities Market Agency is warning investors about activities of the company SIMRAY ASA.

SIMRAY ASA, which is offering their services thorough internet site “myprivatetrade.com”, has not obtained the Agency’s authorization according to Market in Financial Instruments Act (official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia 67/2007, 100/2007, 69/2008 and 40/2009) or any other securities law to carry out services in the financial instruments field in Slovenia.

SIMRAY ASA is not authorized under the MiFID directive to provide direct investment services and deals related to financial instruments on the territory of the Republic of Slovenia.

The Agency strongly urges investors considering dealing with company SIMRAY ASA to exercise the greatest possible caution before proceeding, bearing in mind the contents of this public notice.

So Simray AS is Williams Trade is My Private Trade is MPT Max. But who’s running the show?

Norwegian Wikipedia fills in the blanks:

My Private Trade is an Internet-based currency trading service operated in cooperation between the Norwegian company Simray AS and the Hong Kong -based Williams Corporation Ltd. The concept operated from Copenhagen and Dubai.

The company was founded by Ståle Fossberg and Morten Oseberg Andersen under the name Simray Holdings LLC, but later changed its name to Simray ASA and finally Simray AS.

Fossberg is a Norwegian radio worker and former co-owner of T5PC Travel who was affiliated (with the) pyramid game T5PC.

Andersen is also the president of Norwegian Business Group in the United Arab Emirates. Simray was also involved in online gambling concept Playroom4you which was discontinued in 2012.

In addition to offering its customers to make money on currency trading, it is also an income opportunity by referring new customers to the concept of business model multi-level marketing (MLM).

Several European countries have issued warnings to their citizens against placing money in the concept because it is not MiFID authorized.

On their websites rejects My Private Trade all these allegations and believes that these warnings is about misunderstanding of the business concept. They also deny that they engaged in pyramid schemes.

The authorities in Hong Kong have also warned Williams Corporation because they believe the company has no license to provide financial services.

Sure enough, a visit to the “legal” page on the MPT Max website reveals the following notice:

From time to time, MPT Max and its service providers Williams Corporations Ltd. and Simray AS receive enquiries from Financial Authorities about their operations and the services offered.

It is apparently not always clear the nature of this business and the services provided, but we are always happy to provide any information and clarification required.

However, in some rare cases our communications fail in such a way that financial authorities occasionally misinterpret the information we provide and believe that MPT Max and its service providers operate in a business sector that they do not.

In some extreme cases, the financial authorities even post a public warning indicating that we are offering services we are not actually offering.

MPT Max and its service providers do not offer services such as banking or futures or option trading.

When any financial authority inaccurately issues warnings against MPT Max offering such services, it results in negative and unjust publicity for MPT Max and its service providers.

If anyone becomes aware of any unjustified warnings, please contact us immediately so that our legal department can take action and try to clarify this with the relevant authority.

So with the above perhaps addressing the regulatory banking and options trading concerns, the question remains… is MPT Max, My Private Trade, Williams Corporation and Simray AS one big pyramid scheme?

Read on for a full review of the MPT Max MLM business opportunity. [Continue reading…]


Zeek Rewards Receiver sues top Australian net-winners

zeekrewardsSo far the court-appointed Zeek Receivership has sued the $850 million dollar Ponzi scheme’s top domestic (US) net-winners and their Canadian counterparts.

Now, in a lawsuit filed on the 29th of December, the Receivership is going after Zeek’s top Australian net-winners too. [Continue reading…]