After covering Poland’s July 2022 pyramid scheme warning a few days ago, my interest was piqued when inCruises’ response popped up in my news feed.

Upon clicking through, I was surprised to see inCruises response was dated March 22nd.

A cursory poke around left me unable to definitively establish that inCruises backdated their press-release, presumably to intentionally appear to have been published prior to BehindMLM’s coverage.

What it comes down to is whether Globe News Wire allows companies to backdate published press-releases.

BehindMLM’s coverage of UOKiK’s warning went live on April 3rd. ~24 hours later a March 2023 response from inCruises pops up in my news feed?

Just so we’re clear, this isn’t a feed that regurgitates old news. It’s one of many daily alerts I’ve set up to help me keep track of the MLM industry.

You can put whatever published date you want on an article, if Google’s bot discovers it over the past 24 hours and it fits my set criteria, it’ll show up in the feed.

In any event absent SEO issues, it’d be incredibly odd for Google’s bot to take fourteen days to discover a published press-release.

Even if you take the March 2023 publication date at face value, seems kinda odd inCruises would out-of-the-blue respond to a pyramid scheme warning issued eight months prior.

But I digress; Whether there’s any publication date shenanigans going on or not, that’s not why inCruises is finessing Poland’s warning.

inCruises’ press-release itself is choc-full of mental gymnastics – none of which addresses the company likely operating as a pyramid scheme.

Poland’s Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK), identified inCruises as a pyramid scheme in all but name.

A constant flow of new money is essential for the program to function. Our findings show that most people participate passively – by paying fees – rather than actively – by going on cruises.

I discovered UOKiK’s July 2022 warning on April 3rd while researching BehindMLM’s latest inCruises review.

That review went live later the same day – so I can personally attest to inCruises’ current compensation plan lending itself to pyramid recruitment.

Rather than address that head on (by, for example, providing active retail Membership and affiliate Membership numbers), inCruises frames UOKiK’s warning as a result of crypto misidentification in 2021.

This inGroup decision is a consequence of the incorrect assessment of the inCruises Membership offer by the Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKIK).

In March of 2021, the UOKIK published a list of cryptocurrencies they deemed potential frauds. To our surprise, the inCruises Membership offer was included on this list. inGroup has never operated any type of cryptocurrency business.

Nevertheless, despite repeated calls to remove our name from this list due to its defamatory nature, the UOKIK refused to acknowledge the correct and legal nature of the inCruises membership business model.

inCruises doesn’t operate in the MLM crypto niche as we typically think of it (synonymous with investment fraud), but the company did start accepting crypto payments in June 2019.

It’s not unreasonable to assume UOKiK was concerned inCruises was running a crypto pyramid scheme in Poland circa 2021.

In fact, that’s exactly what UOKiK was investigating;

The President of UOKiK warns consumers against alternative investments that may turn out to be fraud or pyramid schemes.

The website is run by INCRUISES INTERNATIONAL LLC from the USA. It involves paying the user $100 every month on an exclusive boat trip. The organizer has to pay the same.

After one year, the user can allocate 60 percent (of) the accumulated amount for the cruise, after 2 years – 70%, and after 5 years – 100%.

In addition, you can earn income from referrals to other users who have made purchases. UOKiK is conducting explanatory proceedings.

There’s nothing about cryptocurrency in UOKiK’s published March 8th, 2021 inCruises warning.

Furthermore, UOKiK didn’t “publish a list of cryptocurrencies” in 2021 as inCruises claims.

UOKiK’s 2021 warning pertained to “alternative investments that may turn out to be fraud or pyramid schemes”, of which inCruises was one of the listed business.

Many of the business models reported to the prosecutor’s office are based on the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies.

They are used in creating scams, so-called pyramid schemes and other fraudulent schemes.

Again, inCruises was accepting cryptocurrency as form of payment for its suspected pyramid scheme at the time.

In their 2023 press-release, inCruises goes on to state;

In response to this listing, inGroup retained legal counsel in Poland and has engaged with regulators, providing everything that was asked to clear this situation.

inGroup’s founders and top executives have spent many hours meeting with government officials to resolve this matter.

What this appears to confirm is UOKiK’s 2022 pyramid conclusion was based on Member data that inCruises supplied them.

Rather than address that, inCruises serves up this strawman;

During these meetings, when it became apparent they could not label us as a cryptocurrency scheme as originally published, they ultimately found an obscure Polish law, unique only to Poland, called a “Consortium or Argentinian Scheme.”

According to this obscure law, Polish companies can’t group customers’ funds to negotiate better terms with third-party providers and provide discounts to their customers. inGroup has proved that this is not how our business model works.

There’s nothing about “negotiating better terms with third-party providers” in UOKiK’s 2022 warning.

The charge is that inCruises is operating as a pyramid scheme. UOKiK puts forth the majority of inCruises revenue being tied to affiliate Member fee payments, as opposed to retail Member payments and travel.

A constant flow of new money is essential for the program to function. Our findings show that most people participate passively – by paying fees – rather than actively – by going on cruises.

If the majority of inCruises’ Members were retail customers, it would have been easy to show UOKiK retail booked travel revenue. That revenue however doesn’t appear to exist, at least not significantly compared to recruited affiliate Member fee revenue.

Suggesting it knows Polish law better than Polish regulators, inCruises goes on to state its pyramid recruitment centric compensation

adheres to the description of Poland’s legal network marketing business model.

In the US, the FTC advises MLM companies without significant retail activity are pyramid schemes.

Based on website traffic analysis by SimilarWeb, inCruises is primarily being promoted in Kazakhstan (20%), Ukraine (17%), Italy (12%) and Spain (9%).

Pyramid schemes in all of these countries are illegal.

Should regulators in those countries launch their own inCruises investigations, based on inCruises’ internal Member ratio and revenue figures, they’re likely to come to the same conclusion UOKiK did.

In the meantime, if you’re being pitched on inCruises, ask your potential upline how many active retail customer Members they have versus active recruited affiliate Members.

If the inCruises affiliate doesn’t have at least a 50/50 split of retail and recruited affiliate Members, that affiliate is running their inCruises business as a pyramid scheme.

Also pay attention to how you were initially approached about inCruises. The company doesn’t pay commissions on booked travel, so you were likely pitched on inCruises’ income opportunity.