Rippln call hoax on corporate staff quitting
Yesterday we went live with a story on two Rippln corporate employees quitting, allegedly due to what they referred to as “scam activity” inside the company.
I recieved a series of emails, two of which appeared to have originated from @rippln.com addresses. They were from a Dave Adams and Amanda Cosgron and outlined why they were quitting their jobs over at Rippln support.
Here’s what they sent me:
I can’t respond in good faith to these affiliates as they get scammed. I just can’t do it. It’s a scam scam scam. I quit. Amanda is also quitting she will email you too.
We are just so sick to our stomachs they are so evil…. And they sold us such a dream that we would change lives. I wish I could get them on tape.
The merchant has been set up in south Africa. They are opening accounts in south Africa.
They are planning on a 300, 500, & 1200 package. And so not to leave the poor out a $19.99 affiliate fee to market the program and make pennies in ads.
They sat here and laughed today as they said it will be bigger than zeek but no sec or ftc. Because it will be long gone before it gets to that point. I’m sick to my stomach and don’t know where to go.
They laughed about the millions they would make. People are going to be hurt bad.
I’ve called authorities but they say no crime has been committed.
I’ll probably be fired its ok its the right thing to do. It’s worth it these guys are horrible.
It’s a really shabby operation that I don’t think they thought would get this big…
Hopefully getting the word out will stop them in their tracks. I’m all about making money. But not that way it’s dirty and wrong.
The sender(s) also named Kevin Sipe and Chris Grecco as coming on board, both of whom have notoriously negative reputations in the MLM industry due to previous ventures they’ve been involved in.
After conducting my own research and attempts at verifying the information against the usual level of suspicion I apply to tipoffs, I decided to go live with the information.
I still didn’t rule out the possibility that the information was false, so I included a disclaimer stating as such and that one way or another I believed it would be verified within 24 hours.
An hour or so after the article went live I received a followup article from Dave Adams, informing me that he had been fired by Brian Underwood via email. A copy of that email was included and is reproduced below:
This goes without saying you ‘re fired.
No one will believe what you’re saying and we are already working on that. Nice try but if you want to destroy a company at least do it right.
If you publish any recording or any of the like I will sue you till the cows come home.
Our lawyer will be in touch. It’s called an NDA for a reason.
A few first-time commenters also appeared on BehindMLM (appearing to originate from two separate US states), confirming that they had dealt with Amanda and Dave over at Rippln support.
In the original article I raised the question of Kevin Thompson’s involvement in Rippln, which another unrelated source had informed me of earlier. Dave Adams wasn’t able to confirm Thompson’s involvement in the company so I reached out to Thompson myself to clarify.
A few hours later Thompson got back to me confirming that he was working with Rippln. And shortly after that I received another email informing me that
The article published today about Rippln firing someone….it’s completely false.
There has never been a “Dave Adams” nor has there been an “Amanda” that worked for Rippln. Brian Underwood did not fire anyone, he never threatened to sue anyone, etc. It was all a ruse.
In response I requested an official statement from Rippln management on the matter and received the following from Rippln CEO Brian Underwood (photo right):
Oz, the story published today about emails from Rippln employees is completely false. Rippln has not employed people by the names of “Dave Adams” or “Amanda.” I have not terminated anyone.
The content of that “email” was completely inaccurate and carefully calculated to do us harm.
After just a few short hours, the information supplied by Dave Adams now appeared to be a hoax.
Why someone would go to the effort of spoofing email headers, commenter IPs and creating fictional employees of Rippln I have no idea. The MLM industry is a highly social one and in this technological day and age false information is uncovered and acted upon swiftly. In this case within hours.
Usually myself and readers are on the investigative end of uncovering information and verifying it, but here it was great to see the process work equally well in reverse.
Meanwhile I have no idea who’s behind the ruse, however the relevant information has been passed onto Rippln to do with as they see fit. If I hear anything further on the matter I’ll be sure to share it.
Looking at the bigger picture, part of the reason Rippln are wide open to hoaxes like this are the nature in which they’re currently running the business. They of course are in no way to blame for person(s) supplying false information on the company but, as I’ve called for previously, they really do need to up their game on transparency.
Rippln initially launched with an MLM compensation plan that was unquestionably a straight up pyramid scheme. Within days of my covering it and stating as much, they pulled down the video and began to distance themselves from it, stating that they were still working on the plan.
This appears to be around the time Kevin Thompson got involved with the company.
Putting two and two together, it’s clear that after consulting with someone (Thompson or otherwise) Rippln felt the need to retract their released compensation plan and come up with something else. Just coming out with it and publicly saying as much would have gone along way transparency wise.
In closing, I’ll leave you with the tail end of Underwood’s statement on today’s hoax attempt:
With so much interest and energy, we certainly accept the responsibility of operating a safe and compliant business model.
We look forward to disclosing more about our model as the rollout process continues.
Less than 24 hours ago the company announced it had signed on “over 300,000” affiliates, none of which currently know anything about the MLM side of Rippln’s business model.
In light of being targeted by individuals seeking to spread misinformation about the company, one would certainly hope they get information about their business model out sooner rather than later.