Lyoness changes its name to “myWorld”, will regulators fall for it?
First there was Lyoness.
Then, during an investigation by the Norwegian Gaming Board, Lyoness split the MLM side of the business into Lyconet.
Based on a ton of marketing material and confusion Norway concluded that, while Lyoness had operated as a pyramid scheme, after splitting up the pyramid issues had been addressed.
Hardly. Through Lyconet, Lyoness continued it’s long-running accounting unit Ponzi scheme.
Amid ongoing regulatory issues across Europe, Lyoness was dropped for “Cashback World”.
Cashback World operates from the Lyoness website, however Lyoness branding has been completely removed and mention of the brand is kept to a minimum.
Lyconet still seems to be operating and continues to exist on its own domain.
Now, once again, Lyoness have changed their name from Cashback World to “myWorld”.
myWorld appears to have come about as a result of Norway’s second investigation and an attempt to expand white-label services.
After realizing Lyoness’ business model hadn’t changed, Norway’s Gaming Board opened a second investigation into the company.
That investigation lead to the banning of Lyoness in Norway.
Unfortunately, as with the first investigation, things are dragging out due to Lyoness’ name change.
In a March 23rd update, the Gaming Board writes that on February 8th they became aware ‘Lyoness has renamed (itself to) myWorld‘.
Instead of informing Lyoness that the original decision applied to myWorld because the business model is the same, the name-change resulted in new dialogue between the parties.
On February 8, 2018, the Lottery Authority noted a letter from myWorld / Lyoness with comments on the decision that was notified.
We had a new meeting with the company on 14 March 2018 where new information was submitted.
Based on this information, we have asked the company to provide further information and documentation in the matter.
The deadline is set for April 6, 2018.
No doubt the Gaming Board will receive a ton of confusing marketing material, in an attempt to convince them myWorld has nothing to do with Lyoness.
Whether they fall for it is yet to be seen.
On the myWorld website, the company advises ‘the myWorld group of companies unites different brands under one umbrella‘. This was already the case with Lyoness, but I digress.
The Lyoness brands myWorld “unites” are Cashback World, White Label Solutions and Cashback Solutions.
Cashback World (and presumably Lyconet) is a continuation of the accounting/shopping unit Ponzi scheme.
White Label Solutions makes it easier for otherwise reputable organizations to recruit their members into Lyoness.
In the past Lyoness has had difficulty when one of their affiliates pitches to an organization they’re personally involved in, typically upon said organization discovering Lyoness is a Ponzi scheme.
The generic sounding White Label Solutions is no doubt far less likely to raise suspicion.
Cashback solutions meanwhile targets “small and medium-sized enterprises”.
This is pretty much the existing Lyoness merchant network re-branded.
The merchant network is possibly the only aspect of Lyoness that isn’t fraudulent – with the exception of merchants signing up as Lyoness affiliates and trying to recruit customers into the Ponzi side of the business.
Changes to Lyoness’ corporate structure aren’t just on the front-end either.
Research by a reader reveals the company has recently incorporated myWorld Real Estate Ltd., myWorld Logistics Ltd., myWorld Holdings Ltd., myWorld International Ltd. and Lyconet International Ltd in the UK.
My guess would be Lyoness are finding it difficult to maintain open banking channels with all the regulatory heat Lyoness is taking.
Otherwise ditching an established brand makes no sense. Lyoness has after all been around since 2003.
Who knows, once the current Italian boom is over maybe Lyoness has finally run out of new markets to exploit.
A quick name change and maybe gullible investors in collapsed countries will fall for the same scam again.
Update 5th June 2018 – Lyoness’ name-change to myWorld has failed to convince the Gaming Board the company is legit.
On June 4th the Gaming Board reaffirmed its earlier decision, effectively banning Lyoness in Norway.
Update 13th February 2019 – On February 12th, 2019, the Norwegian Complaints Board announced it had rejected Lyoness’ second appeal.
As of January 26th, 2019, Lyoness has been permanently banned in Norway.