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.
I knew something was shady about this company, I have over 3000 members under me, but will be calling it quits, and will warn everyone on my team. I would never even consider paying $300-$900 for this.
There are so many things wrong on so many different levels, it’s turning into utter sensationalism.. the whole thing just smells so bad. Has the “corporate staff” story been confirmed or is it total speculation or a hoax?
I’ve put numerous people in as well and also ceased promoting it for weeks now. It’s becoming very obvious, with all the players involved what Rippln’s intentions are and where they are headed..
Rippln CEO Brian Underwood has claimed it’s a hoax. Apparently neither a Dave or Amanda has ever worked at Rippln.
I’m not pushing it as it’s now between Rippln and whoever supplied the information.
As for their business model, I just read today that Rippln are going to release something they’re calling the “Rippln Manifesto”:
Sounds to me like more marketing, which appears to remain the core focus of the company.
This was also published on Rippln Facebook earlier today:
Meanwhile nobody knows what the actual MLM business model is or the specifics of what they’re being told to join.
When will that information come out? Who knows… 300,000+ affiliates don’t seem to care though, which is worrying.
Thanks for the info. Oz, I definately didnt trust this company, and even though I have a large group, I will be sending out my warning tonight and will change their status on my website to Scam Warning.
The Rippln manifesto.
You see, Rippln isn’t a company, it’s a movement and we all need one, every day. A diet rich in fiber helps with that sort of thing.
[Pure Speculation Alert]
Isn’t it just a little bit funny that on the same day Rippln released a video hyping the notion that “people will try to stop them but will fail” someone spoofs email headers, commenter IPs and creates fictional Rippln employees on one of the best run anti-MLM scam blogs?
I ~wonder~ if they underestimated Oz and ~hoped~ he’d have bought into some disinfo despite their efforts to correct him as a way to ~prove~ that people were trying to take them down and discredit a very high profile critic at the same time.
Let’s face it, very manipulative marketing is the only thing the people behind Rippln have shown any ability for. They had to scrap their original comp plan (or at least how they presented it) because it was illegal as all get out and legit tech commentators have laughed them out of the room with how ridiculous their notions of how the app market works.
The only real achievement Rippln can claim is that they have assembled a list of leap before they look biz opp’ers 300K long and that is worth money (only not to those affiliates).
They can’t wait till late this month to release their app and their comp plan but at the moment Rippln corporate are making chickens with their heads cut off look like a precision military drill team.
If they can’t do anything to make it look like they know what they’re doing the next best thing is to try to make their critics look like they don’t know what they’re talking about.
[/Pure Speculation Alert]
Oz, if you can pull up the FULL header I may be able to track it back to a specific server. 🙂 I used to do that quite a bit during the spam days before all the auto-filters kicked in. 🙂
Not worth my time. I’ve forwarded the relevant info to KT, he can do with it what he wishes. My time is better spent elsewhere.
I’ve put up what happened as it happened, people can make up their own minds from there.
This is probably another company like GoFunPlaces . If the company doesnt have a real product it isnt real!
Dooly has published the headers on his website. It’s apparently from an open SMTP server in Germany that’s easily used by any spammer as SMTP forwarder.
Who would do such a thing, hmmm?
Just to throw a bit more cold water on the whole thing… here’s an app maker that complained that their app isn’t making any money from in-app purchases even though their game had been downloaded 630K times in merely a week (that’s last October).
The idea that Rippln can make their own apps, make money from inapp purchases, and rebate some of that back to its members is fantastical and wishful thinking. For every mega-success story there are dozens, perhaps hundreds of failures.
They eventually switched to the paid-app model, reversing the “freemium” app:
And they had been working on that game for a YEAR. Rippln has got NOTHING to show, it’s all buzz. It’s vaporware.
CEO Brian Underwood was introduced as the “thought leader” on a recent Rippln marketing call.
The video in question was a wasted 20 minutes discussing why Rippln was a “viral sensation”. No word on the compensation plan, specifics on what Rippln affiliates will be selling or costs to get involved.
Meanwhile the blind marketing hype continues, with Rippln just announcing 400,000+ affiliates have been recruited into the company.
Wazzub, Wazzub, Wazzub…
I think we need a name for Ripple fans. I suggest RippleHeads, or RipHeads.
I received this email from what appears to be the hoax orchestrator earlier this week (same email server used to spoof the header):
Can only really take it at face value with a grain of salt but it seems to be the work of a scorned investor (again, grain of salt – running around telling porky pies isn’t the best way to get your message across).
They also seem to be under the impression that I’m Troy Dooly…
AND THE SAGA CONTINUES… this is better than anything on daytime tv!
I Got some of the same information – or disinformation over at the MLMWatchdog. Made phone calls to Dallas and the Ripln gang up there went – huh?
Wow hit all the MLM Watchdog Media! Somebody really passionate about Terry and his gang before they have a final complan! WOW