Category: Morally Wrong

Walkers Crisps 2016 Competition Scam

Walkers Crisps spent a fortune advertising their summer competition called Spell and Go, using Gary Lineker in the promotions.

The adverts claimed 20,000 holidays were to be won including trips to Hong Kong, Tokyo, New York, Bangkok and lots more places. It all sounded great.

Simply buy a bag of Walkers and enter the 12 digit code on the bag into the Walkers website and it will give you a letter. You collect the letters until you have the destination name you want and you claim the holiday.

In case you cannot find all of the letters you want, there was a swap feature whereby you could swap a letter for another random one or swap with another person.

BUT, once the competition had got going, frustrated and angry people used social media to vent their feelings towards Walkers.

The problem was that all of the destinations contained one or more of the letters C,D and K and those just didn’t turn up. Nobody could find one and on the social media sites no-one could be found that had actually won one of the holidays. Eventually some people did claim to have won but it still seemed a virtual impossibility.

Figures provided by Walkers to the Advertising Standards Agency show that only 796 of the claimed 20,000 holidays were ever won.

Of the 12.8 million times people had entered a code on the website – just 98 letter Ks, 252 letter Ds and 278 letter Cs were given out.

PLUS, in the swap facility there were zero letter Ks, letter Ds and letter Cs – what a scam.

The Advertising Standards Authority received over a thousand complaint about the competition and ruled that because some of the valuable letters were released they couldn’t declare I the whole competition misleading but that the random swap feature was misleading and Walkers must do better in future.

Let’s hope that Walkers have learned their lesson and will not aggravate their customers with this kind of misleading Marketing in the future.

Do you have an opinion on this matter? Please comment in the box below.

Business 2017 Show Marketing Lies

An email from with the title

Meet Brian Tracy & Michelle Mone for FREE on 10-11 June, 2017

Sounds interesting.

Claim Your FREE Bronze Ticket of Worth £299

in This Once in a Lifetime Opportunity to Meet New York Times Bestseller Brian Tracy along with Michelle Mone & Caprice at the UK’s Business Event of the Year

Do register now as the first 40 respondents to this email will get FREE BRONZE TICKETS of worth £299. Take action NOW to grab your £299 FREE ticket before it is gone. 

Now that sounds clear. There are 40 free tickets available worth £299 each.

However, when you click on the link to a web page, the message says

Welcome to the FREE ticket sign up form to win £299 worth of Bronze ticket .

It’s no longer a free ticket, but the chance to win a ticket. That’s cheating.


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Instant Company with a Rebadged Product

This is about how companies can suddenly appear and have new “fantastic” products at bargain prices.

Creating a New Company

In the UK as long as you haven’t been banned as a director then it’s an easy, cheap and quick process. In some countries it’s even easier and people can churn out new companies as fast as they want.

Creating a New Product

Inventors and designers may spend years perfecting their product, but the simple approach is to find a product that already exists, rebadge it in some way – maybe just a different colour scheme. Then you give it a new name and that’s your new product. There are patent protection laws to prevent this but scammers operate quickly and aim to have disappeared before the law catches up with them.

Manufacturing Your Product

Lots of companies (mostly in China) will manufacture anything you want at very low prices. If it’s an item they already make and you just want a different colour or a version with your logo on – no problem.

Then comes the Marketing. Modern Marketing through email lists, social media etc. can be cheap and quick.

The method described above is very simplified of course and it’s not really this simple, but for people who do this regularly it is quick and easy.

Here’s an example.

An email arrived titled ‘Cleaning Scrubber Works for Arthritis”

Then a sales pitch for the Hurricane Spin Scrubber.

It’s a rechargeable device with a rotating head designed to make cleaning bathroom surfaces quicker and with less effort. It comes with an extending arm so the user doesn’t have to bend down – hence the claim that it helps arthritis sufferers.

Sounds good.

Strangely the email is from whereas this product cannot be considered an aid for people with diabetes.

Following up on this shows that the product is real and does work. However, customers complain about faulty items, the difficulty of getting any money back and terrible customer service. The product itself is very cheaply made and generally not very good. The company selling this product only came into existence months ago and if the pattern is followed then is likely to disappear fairly soon, to be replaced by another similar company with a slightly modified version of the device. And the process starts again.

It is far simpler and quicker nowadays to create companies than it used to be, have a factory in the Far East make the product, make money then shut down and open up a new business doing something similar.

Buying this kind of product may be right for you, but be aware that if there are problems – you may wish you’d invested in a reputable make with good customer service.

If you’ve purchased this kind of instant product or dealt with such companies – do let me know by email.

Warning: Antibiotics For Sale Online

An email from titled ‘Excite your communications thirst”

In fact the email is trying to sell antibiotics and is nothing to do with communications.

The main selling point is “Good antibiotics made with love and care

And it says

  • Shipping to anywhere worldwide
  • Lowest price
  • No prescription required

The statement about the drugs being good and made with love and care is worrying. No professional pharmaceutical company would state anything like that. As customers you want to know that a product is made according to the set standards not with love and care as if they are talking about cakes. You don’t want to know that it is ‘good’ but that it is verified to be at the required standard.

The seller appears to have no company name – just shortened urls advertising products.

I would not buy any kind of medicine from an online store such as this one. I would not feel confident that any products they supply have the correct active ingredients  and haven’t been cut with talcum powder, rat poison or whatever was to hand in the garage or slum where they were likely produced, to keep the price down.

This applies to any drug, but the world is increasingly facing antibiotic resistant bacteria and all antibiotics MUST be prescribed by a doctor and taken according to the instructions.

Allowing people to buy antibiotics online without prescription can only make the problem worse at a faster rate.

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The Pump and Dump Scam

There are reported to have been millions of emails sent out in the last week perpetrating a Pump and Dump scam for shares in a company names Incapta

Pump and dump is a very old scam whereby the scammer picks a relatively worthless and generally little known stock then uses whatever illicit means they can to push up the price as fast as possible. Once the price has risen then the scammer dumps all of their shares in the company and walks away with the profit.

In the old days, the means of pushing up the price was by getting journalists to promote the share in their newspaper and magazine columns.  Also by targeting dealers who could advise their clients to buy the stock.

These days, it’s quicker and cheaper to use spam email campaigns to push up the price really fast then bail out.

Brooklands Radio station has been receiving 1 or 2 such emails about Incapta stock each day.

e.g.  If you’re wondering why I’m emailing you now, out of the blue, after months of radio silence let me tell you that I have a good reason for that.

DO you remember the last time I sent you a tip? It was around November if I recall correctly.

If you bought that stock I told you about back then, you would have quadrupled your money at the very least.

And so it goes on. Some of the emails have stories about insider trading information or about a guaranteed buyout due next week etc.

These are well written emails and each one we’ve received has been from a different name, different email address and different words.

It is all fake of course and highly illegal. Do not buy the stock.

Incapta are nothing to do with this scam – they are just the unfortunate targets.

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Warning: e-Dinar Cyber Currency

E-Dinar is a cyber currency and it’s also described as an Internet community of people who use the e-Dinar   currency.

It is also an investment which people choose because of the promise that they will get 20% growth per month.

Is e-Dinar a ‘real’ cyber currency?

That is difficult to answer as there isn’t an agreed definition for a cyber currency. However, as with all cyber currencies there is a set limit to the number of coins available. In this case it was 22 million e-Dinars initially then last year after some changes to the currency, including an exchange to rename the currency as EDR, the value of people’s holdings dropped dramatically and the business now say the new limit is 22 billion e-Dinar  coins.

That’s an enormous increase and potentially devalues the e-Dinar dramatically.

If you want to get e-Dinars, you can buy them on the trading exchanges.

Can the Promised Growth Rate of 20% Be True?

They say that e-Dinar is the currency with a growth rate of 20% per month. Therefore, buying e-Dinar for the first two years of its existence, you will earn with the same rate, but you have to rely on that promise.

E-Dinar had delivered 0.65% per day for 3 months on the EDR but they recently changed everything  to EDC which shows very little trading volume.

The E-Dinar Compensation Plan

People are paid commission on the 20% monthly return. If you recruit people into e-Dinar then you get a share of their benefits and if they recruit further member then you also get a share (a little smaller) of their benefits and so on for up to 7 levels.  This is typical multi-level Marketing.

Is e-Dinar a Pyramid or Ponzi scheme?

E-Dinar’s only business activity seems to be the recruiting of people into e-Dinar.

The only source of revenue for the members is affiliate investment, made on the promise of a 20% monthly return

The promise of 20% ROI for two years may keep people in the currency for that period, but after two years – they may drop out. If a lot of people do that, then that’s when life becomes difficult. Will the scheme  pay out or stop?

If you know anything about this currency and how it works, let me know by email.

Warning: Face Replen Free Samples Can Cost You

It looks quite straightforward – the advert says you pay just $5 for cosmetic samples that are supposedly worth a great deal more.

So, people order the samples and pay the $5 by credit card.

Then comes the bombshell – 2 weeks later your credit card  is charged for $161.35 and $154.23

Unknowingly, you’ve signed up to buy their products every month.

These figures are for Face Replen Image Revive anti-aging products, but this technique is used by other companies as well.

Lucy was caught out by this and was understandably angry as she hadn’t agreed to any such charges. On contacting the company about this – their reply stated that as she hadn’t returned the samples unused she must pay the real cost.

Lucy’s situation is difficult as the company does warn in very tiny letters that you are charged after 14 days.

To make matters worse, the company continues to take money each month until you cancel and it is basically impossible to get that money back.

Be very careful on any supposedly “free” offers that you take up. Once companies have got your credit card details – some are not concerned whether you intended to sign up to keep paying them every month.

If you check the Internet for information of whether Face Replen is a scam, the result is interesting as Face Replen has clearly created a number of posts on various sites asking that question but then simply putting their advertising material in as the post. This is to make it more difficult for people to find true  information about Face Replen and how they operate.

It appears that the company base for face Replen is called Digby Investments located in Ireland. Whether that’s just a shell company or the real thing is unknown.

This kind of trick is called the subscription trap and Chancellor Phillip Hammond has plans to stop this scam.

Be careful what you sign up for and always read the very small print.

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The Penny Matrix Pyramid Scheme

Penny Matrix is a money making scheme that you may have seen on Facebook or you may have been asked by a friend to join the scheme.

The idea is simple – you pay a subscription of $7 per month to get you into the scheme.

To make money, you introduce two new people to the scheme. Of the $7 per month they pay – you get 30 cents for each. Then they recruit two people each and so on. Down the line you continue to get more money from the subscriptions and in theory you can make many thousands of dollars profit.

Of course this a simple pyramid scheme dressed up to look real. For the subscription you get access to a list of ebooks of which many are available free or nearly free on the Internet as they are out of copyright. It’s irrelevant really as participants join the scheme to make money not to get the ebooks.

Penny Matrix tries to legitimize the whole system by including the ebooks but it doesn’t work.

Is Penny Matrix a Pyramid Scheme Marketed As Multi Level Marketing?

The defining characteristic of a pyramid scheme is that to make money recruits must recruit more people and they recruit more people and so on. This certainly applies to Penny matrix.

The biggest issue is that in order to make money, there has to be a constant flow of new members. That might happen for a while, but it doesn’t keep happening. All these schemes run out of people then everyone loses except for the few who started it.

Penny Matrix is one of those sites that sounds far too good to be true, yet, far too many people end up falling for the scam simply because they want it to be real. According to the site, you can theoretically earn as much as $19,659.60 every single month through the system – and all it costs you is $7.

Making money with this program is all about recruiting other people – a lot of other people.

You won’t get rich with Penny Matrix.

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The Washing Water Problem

An email arrived titled “Washing Fruit and Veg Turn Them Toxic”

Bad grammar but you understand the message.

It starts off “Ever bought any inorganic fruit or veg from the grocery store?”

The moron who wrote the email clearly doesn’t know that produce that isn’t organically grown is called ‘not organic’ rather than inorganic which means the items are not made from or derived from living matter e.g. plastic fruit used as decoration.

It continues “The moment you serve or bite into your ‘clean’ food you could be intoxicating yourself or your family”

Hmm – you don’t normally get drunk on fruit and veg.

The email goes on to state that tap water is contaminated and may even have lead in it.

It’s certainly true that people used to get lead poisoning from lead pipes used for water supply but that’s not the case anymore.

The email is supposed to frighten people into thinking their water supply is unsafe and hence they need to either use only bottled water or the new magic solution on offer in the email that turns out to be a water boiler.

It’s all just to get you to click on their website advertising these water boilers.

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Boost Your Capital Or Not

The email says “Give your business a boost

From Boost Capital Limited

It’s a simple offer – more cash to help with any cash flow issues or capital to help with expanding your business. You can use the money however you choose.

And it promises no complicated forms, no upfront fees, no hidden costs and that the money can be in your account in 2 days.

All very good, but what it doesn’t say is that their typical APR is 40%. No wonder they are so keen to lend out money and not care about what it’s for.

Not as bad as some people in this market, but still pretty bad at 160 times the base rate.

If your business needs cash – there are much much cheaper ways of getting it than at 40% APR.

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