Lyoness a pyramid scheme in Poland
Poland’s top consumer protection agency has ruled Lyoness is a pyramid scheme.
The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) handed down their decision on December 30th, 2019.
I believe however it was only recently released to public, as evidenced by local news picking up the story a few days ago.
As per UOKiK’s decision, commissions through Lyoness’ MLM business opportunity “depend(ed) on the introduction (of) other people”.
These recruits made “advanced payments”, which is the inherent Ponzi scheme within Lyoness we first identified back in 2012.
In summary, once again Lyoness’ cashback shopping portal was deemed insignificant compared to direct investment.
UOKiK identified Lyoness’ pyramid scheme as a breach of Poland’s unfair marketing practice and consumer protection laws.
The decision notes Lyoness’ claim that its Ponzi scheme was “discontinued” in Poland as of March 2019.
UOKiK’s ruling also paves the way for investor refunds. Lyoness is required to inform Polish victims they are entitled to refunds, and provide details of how they can apply.
Refunds on Lyoness investment must be made within four months from UOKiK’s order being made final.
Lyoness was also ordered to pay UOKiK’s legal costs (which for some reason was only $50 USD).
In response to being declared a pyramid scheme, Lyoness told Gazeta Prawna that UOKiK’s decision was “unlawful”.
In addition, the product that the office analysis concerns is no longer offered by Lyoness for years.
This is of course a half-truth. Lyoness has a track record of changing its company names when regulators catch on.
In Norway Lyoness tried to evade a regulatory ban by changing the name of its investment scheme to myWorld.
Norway’s Gaming Board saw through the ruse and reaffirmed their original ban.
In Poland, Lyoness told UOKiK “Lyoness” stopped operating in March 2019. This however simply refers to Lyoness changing its name to Lyconet and continuing to offer the same fraudulent scheme.
Like the Nowegian Gaming Board, UOKiK wasn’t interested in Lyoness’ pseudo-compliance either.
The President of UOKiK found that the practice infringing collective consumer interests was the subject of these proceedings was discontinued upon its cessation running the Lyconet Marketing Program, which took place on March 7, 2019 together with with the entry into force of the Lyconet Agreement for independent Lyconet Marketers (Independent Lyconet Marketer).
After this date the Program is run by Lyconet International AG based in Vienna, Austria.
It should be stated that the Company has not demonstrated that the above requirement was real and not merely apparent.
Investigations into Lyoness in Poland began in 2013.
BehindMLM first reported on UOKiK (then OCCP) stating publicly that Lyoness “can be a Ponzi scheme” in February 2014.
In May 2016 the OCCP ruled Lyoness’ affiliate investor terms and conditions were illegal.
By December 2017 OCCP was going by UOKiK, and issued yet another warning against participation in Lyoness.
As I understand it UOKiK’s December 2019 decision means Lyoness in any capacity is now illegal in Poland.
Today Lyoness operates as CashBack World. Following a regulatory ban in Italy early last year, the company appears to now be targeting Greece.
I’m not sure if December 30th is the date UOKiK’s order is final, but if you’re a victim of Lyoness in Poland it’s probably worth enquiring about a refund.
Update 20th October 2021 – As part of Polish authorities’ efforts to return funds to Lyoness victims, prosecutors have seized $6.4 million from Lyoness’ Polish bank accounts.
You idiots still think that shopping and buying services is not allowed? (Ozedit: snip, see below.)
Nope. Running Ponzi schemes isn’t allowed.
Trying to hide a Ponzi scheme behind a shopping platform thankfully isn’t fooling regulators who take the time to investigate Lyoness.
So if i pay for antivirus, tele comunications, dropbox, Wix, shopify (Ozedit: derails removed, see below)
Antivirus etc. etc. has nothing to do with Lyoness’ Ponzi scheme.
I invest in units/vouchers/whateverthey’recallednow, I recruit others people who do the same and Lyoness pays me a return out of invested funds.
That’s the Ponzi scheme that has seen Lyoness banned in Norway, Italy and Poland.
Comparing Lyoness’ fraudulent business model to legitimate ecommerce activities is misleading and a waste of time.
If you guys have no clue what an MLM is its your problem. As long you have value service or product, regulators can do nothing, because you offer value to people like every normal company and it does not matter if you have multi level bonuses or not.
Get some knowledge. And Btw Polish regulators were looking at old Compensation plan. Lyconet is completly on another level now with italy and norway approved comp. Plan thats why every country is running now very good.
Oh please. “But we have a product!” pseudo-compliance hasn’t been a thing since the late 90s.
Nah, the unit investment bullshit is still there. Change the name all you want.
Accounting Units, vouchers, shopping points, blahblahblah. They’ll probably change the name again in a few months.
Also the Norwegian and Italian bans have not been reversed. In Italy all you can promote is the shopping, which is why business tanked (no Ponzi, no money).
Norway is a flat out ban. Lyoness appealed twice, lost both times. Lyoness has been dead in Norway for years.
Pretty much dead everywhere else too. They’re trying to set up Greece as the new Italy. There’s a bit of activity in the US. Hopefully if it grows that’ll get the attention of the SEC.
P.S. your comments are getting edited because I don’t let scammers post offtopic derails. This isn’t FaceBook.
No you get units for free now if you buy products or services first. Sorry but you are wrong again.
In Italy and Norway works everything as it should. You can sponsor new marketers and they can order all new services and products 🙂
Doesn’t negate direct investment and receiving returns on downline direct investment.
You can do what you want. The fact remains Lyoness as an MLM opportunity is officially banned in both countries.
Italy collapsed after the Ponzi ban and Norway has been #RIP for years.
(Ozedit: derails removed)
So how come its so good running now in those countries if you say its banned? Kinda not logical? Oh and if you get something for free its now illegal or ponzi or what lol?
So if i make a MLM in car industry and every time i sell a car i give to costumer pack of tyres for free is now a ponzi and crime?
I hope you Also know that lyconet unit system is the only system in the world where a member that came later gets rewards from members that were earlier there? How do you explain that? Inverse ponzi system based on your words?
Regulation is reactionary. A company can be banned in a country and still choose to operate. That’s on them.
The facts are Lyoness was banned for being a pyramid scheme in Italy and Norway. Now Poland too.
What you do or don’t get “for free” doesn’t change the fact that I invest in Lyoness units, recruit others who invest and get paid a specified return out of their invested funds.
You can attach whatever you want to a Ponzi scheme, it’s still a Ponzi scheme.
Right, because reinvestment has never been done before. Yawn.
Any more cliche Ponzi excuses? Otherwise I think we’re done here.
Noticed a long standing friend of mine quit Lyoness last year, citing the issues arising over findings and bans in many countries.
We had always chatted that it was a ponzi in my view, but never fallen out.
He mentioned to me that tide had turned and could no longer accept the business was in any way legitimate.
Nope, lyoness in norway does not work. They are banned by lottstift and they do not care about the ban so lottstift has made an policereport.
Many norwegans have gone together and are now prossesing a refund tru loyers.
Don’t you just love it when the MLM Ponzi pimps come out to play and try to defend their Ponzi de Jour? I know I do.
Come on Perfect, at least try to come up with a new and plausible excuse in trying to defend your Ponzi. Instead we get the same tired old mantra that MLM Ponzi pimps have been using for 10 years.
Get creative like the Ponzi’s you pimp. At least they come up with new wrinkles to try to hide their Ponzi.
Disappointed you can’t come up with something original to try and convince everyone your Ponzi isn’t a Ponzi.
What’s his name the bald guy behind this pyramid scheme has been traveling to Russia recently in an apperent move to get the scheme going over there, this is supported by voices in their members community who look forward to another “country cloud” opportunity to recoup their losses from the Italian debacle.
Where I come from this scheme is pitched practically as “constant, residual income FOR LIFE” so you invest 2-5k and you get a sallary every month FOR LIFE I think in some cases marketers make the claim that even after you pass your children will inherit this magical residual income.
No one as of yet has been able to show me that they’ve generated more than ~$10 USD from the shopping cashback part, yet they still can’t connect the fact in their head that if the shopping part is not profitable for them, how in the world will the company pay them residual income for life?
The funny thing is, I have around ~10 shopping/cashback cards issued by the shops that I visit themselves (alchohol, clothing etc.) all conviniently added to my wallet app and I have probably made more in discounts by using these cards than the dumbasses that use Lyoness’s cashback portion.
I like how the hype for the big passive lifetime income in Lyoness still exists even after we saw that the Customer Clouds bring 20% ROI (return on investment) over the course of 4 years which is extremely unprofitable.
When they were selling the clouds on the presentations they were promising a 500€/ per month passive income from every position after 3 years of the investment in the worst case scenario (possibly even more than 500€).
After the time has passed every position pays out apparoximately 5€ per/month which will result in 200€ in the course of 3 years. So baisically you pay 2400€ to become Premium and 1500€ Cloud = 3900€ and after 6 years wait (in total) you gain 200€.
This is the basic math after we saw the results and not what they say will happen which is obvioisly unprofitable.
Now when i see the Lyconet marketers claiming its not a pyramid scheme even when you see the most of them havent broke even after years of ,,hard work”and claim that ecredits, enterprise clouds, or whatever they call them will be the next big thing and still have enthusiasm and hope i dont know if i should laugh or cry for their stupidity.
With this company only the forms change (clouds, shopping points, vouchers, ecredits, balance program units, passive units, enerprise positins etc.) but the concept always stays the same (ponzi scheme making money based on people investing in the company in products that return wayyyy less than the original investment).
With their vision that one day every person in the world will use the card and if you dont invest now you will miss out all of the passive income from the worldwide shopping.And lets not forget their moto ,,Earn while you sleep”.