Read and pass on ........
This is going to be long and take some of your time but reading this thread is much easier than creating it. So I hope you can spare this little time to finish reading it. Please caution your family members and friends before they become victims. I hope you will read to the end for your own benefits and protection. I will come back regularly to update it but I hope some of you can help by contributing. Date of last update will be stated in my topic title.
I have even seen a family of parents and their children getting involved together in a scam. Such that you will not feel suspiscious until you could not recover your money back and realise it too late. Please note that my message here is NOT meant to support or go against MLM or direct-selling business.
Personally, I have a few friends who used to tell me that they will never be cheated because they are not greedy, they don't believe in MLM or network marketing or they have no money. Yet they lost their money because they have been greedy or because they trusted their friends wrongly. In most cases, those who introduced their friends to get involved into such businesses or investments or got their friends into losing monies will never admit they did it intentionally but claim innocent. They will give the excuses that they are victims too.
These information are meant for you to know and warn your family members and loved ones before they become victims.
"People got victimised by scams because they don't know about it and they don't know about it because those who knew about it did not share it"
Here are some hot scams(new scams no.21 down below) in Malaysia , briefly, (I will elaborate more if you contribute):
1) The Cafe Scams - Island Red Cafe & Stevens Corner(strange, both in Pandan Indah) - Island Red Cafe collects members RM6,000 each and promised 5% return every month and even give you a name in the ROC as a shareholder but what's the point when they run away ? Stevens Corner, the famous indian coffee shop follows due to drop of business since their renovation. They collect RM3,000 per member and promise return of RM150 monthly and plans to open nice fanchisee cafe called StevensTeaGarden. Someone mentioned they will make you sign an agreement that give them the rights NOT to pay you anything in future. If you really wish to join, ask for a copy of their agreement and consult your lawyer BEFORE paying them. Bet you will NOT get a copy. Both collect monies from new members with MLM recruitment schemes and pay the old members like Sunshine Empire. You never know when they will run away.
2) Water businesses - Oxygenated and alkaline water products - Some of these are bottled water and some are filters or equipment that claimed the trick. One of the better known Company that sold "oxygen" water is SITO (supposed to stand for Selangor International Trading Organiszation and claimed Selangor State Government owned some share in it). The key person and founder is a Dato Robert Ong from Rawang but his name is no longer in the business now. Their products are sold for RM2 to RM3 for a 350ml bottle and now concentrating mostly in the Indian market. Their Chinese and Malays market are long gone since a year or 2 ago. Their customers are made to believe that their water has more oxygen and able to give miraculous effects for the body. Water is H2O, how to put more O into it ? Anyone knows how much oxygen do we breathe into our body everyday at FOC ? Latest news is that this SITO Company is going to create new label to market under a new Company since the SITO name has already gone bad. Someone informed that this Company is owing alot of money(due to refunds) to ex-stockists but just refuse to pay them. (Latest news, SITO shifted to another place and their MLM business has closed but planning to start again with a different name, beware !!) Alkaline Products - Can anyone explain how it can work for the body ? The stomach's gastric liquid is so acidic that water of any pH that goes through it will not make any difference.
3) Perfumery Products(eg. Lampe Berger & Bel Air)(more details later). Lampe Berger is not so hot now in the neighbouring countries but there are still new victims every month in Malaysia . Must thanks to those who have contributed and kept the thread alive here in Kopitiam. Bel-Air have closed in Malaysia . LB is almost zero in Singapore . This perfumery product from France with over 100 years history are just bottles and fragrances(check the factory's website) but the Company marketing them in Asia claimed "aromatheraphy" products.Hong Kong TVB aired a program that exposed their scam but their members claimed that HK's TVB already apologised to them(no evidence, of course). Note that the biggest strenght in a MLM Scam is their members will go all the way to lie in order to defend for their Company. The reason is simple; these members fear that they will not be able to make their money back if the Company collapsed. Knowing that the Lampe Berger products are moving slow, they add a line of skincare products named Estebel, also claime to have over 100 years history in France.(Hardly anymore Chinese newcomers, they are now tapping the Malays in Malaysia). Mostly only Bumis active members now but their top earner Steven Yeam have already left and started a new MLM Company(see No. 21 below).
4) Numerology & Fortune telling - A Company named Visiber is using MLM to sell fortune telling classes using your birthday based on Numerology fortune telling. Prpspects will be told that they need to buy a certain "number" between 1 to 9 in the form of pendants or bracelets made of silver with stainless steel or platinum plated, and sold from RM600 to RM20,000. Customers, or rather victims are mostly females from rural areas. Very hot in Penang now and a number of spin-off Companies have started
Someone below has put a link to the Singapore news. In fact there are more to it. Although Singapore is investigating them, they did not stop their business as the business is legal and so far, no Singaporean have failed to receive their commissions as promised. Thus, the government cannot stop them yet.
The news published that the founder, director and group president is someone named James Phang but he is NOT the owner. Isn't this quite strange ? At the end of the game, James Phang can just disappear from the Company easily and claimed that he was just "employed". Such trick always happened in scam businesses.
Now, the Company has STOPPED paying commissions and interests to members with the excuse that the Singapore government has freezed their bank account while under investigation. Do you think their boss will be so stupid to keep much monies in the bank to be freezed ? They are all transfered away. It's just an excuses not to pay back to members and members are only paid "e-bonus-points" which is cashless. If they wish to convert to cash, they have to recruit new members to pay them cash and the recruiter less out trom the amount. So victims act like Vampires and "forced" to victimise other victims if they wish to get their monies back. And their victims will later transform to vampires and the scam carries on.....
5) MOBILWALLET - This Company owned by 2 young men, Stanley & Rey Gan, office in Queens Avenue Park has collect multi-millions the last 2 years. Claimed that they tied up with Telekoms, Utility Board payment like Water & Electricity bills, even Maybank got fooled by them. Advertisement Billboards everywhere. They STOPPED paying back their members few months ago and the members cannot do anything because they are made to sign an agreement unaware that they have to claims if the company stopped paying them by CHANGING terms and policies.
6) Car Fuel Booster - K-Link, the famous scam MLM Company that sold the footpatch TAKARA, later the "cock-ring" and energy-card launched the patrol-saving pills last year. Got so hot that even grocery shops are selling for them. Recently many of these cars that used the pills are rushing to the workshops to clean the residual. Few months ago, another MLM Company launched a fuel booster gadget, claimed that saves up to 20% fuel, that is attached to the cigarette lighter. Started off well using binary plan but businese begin to fade now and most users find it NOT effective.
7) Energy Products (eg. stone pendants, bracelets, mattress and pillows). They use all sorts of gimmicks and demonstration to make you into believing them. They will do some tricks and demo to prove that these products really produce energy BUT is there any tricks in their demo ? So what if there really produce energy; is it good or strong enough to help the body ? Are those simple products made of some simple materials worth RM300 to up to RM3000 each ? The effect is actually PLACEBO which I will elaborate in a new thread soon. (more details later)
8) Hi-Tech products (names like bio-tech, nano-tech that claimed millions of dollars of research involved, eg Bio-Young and XKL few years ago). Most of these will claimed a professor behind them (even with name and picture of a person) or used words like " U.S.A. formula", "German Technology" or "Nanotechnology" but with no further details. If you ask for more details like the professor or factory's address, the answer will be "trade secrets".
9) Investment Schemes - SWISSCASH is the King of all. Swisscash is nearly over now but there are many similar and smaller ones that are still on.(Now, it's closed or stopped paying back members)
10) GoldQuest - This Company that claimed to be HK-based started with some non-value gold-plated coins that are sold for over RM2,000 have several names and changed products several times. QuestVacation, QuestNet, etc. They have several offices in Amcorp Mall, PJ and their key person(in fact, the owner), a Malaysian Indian was arrested last year in Indonesiafor having involved in a very big Phillipines scam. Most of their overseas offices are closed or inactive but their Malaysia business is still hot, with some "energy" products.(Can someone please provide a link which showed the news that their boss was involved in a big scam inPhilippines and was arrested last year ?)
11) Sunshine Empire - This licensed and legal Company has an impressive office at the ground level of KUB building along Jalan Yap Kwan Seng, near Menara Public Bank and AmBank Building . They also have a showroom office at the ground level in the next building. 2 or 3 months ago, Singapore 's Straits Times and The Paper published big news reminding their people to be careful and NOT to believe in them. Hope someone can put up the link or google for it.(As expected, they STOPPED paying back members now and all investors LOST their money).
12) MJ-Life - This Company boost of a very big background with many many years of history which is NOT true. Their people or associates may be long in business but nothing to do with their MLM launched recently. Why do I consider it a scam or bad ? New members are told to pay a sum of money(up to RM1000) and you get NOTHING for it. You only get a membership can entitle you to enjoy all sorts of special price and discounts when you have medical check-ups in their centres. They will claim all those check-ups cost more if done elsewhere. It's not true. Only the naive and those new to medical check-ups will fall victims to them. Most members who paid the money ended up with nothing.
13) Seaweed Venture Scams - 1 such Company is located in Taman Maluri, Cheras. They will ask you to invest a few thousands ringgits for their venture of growing seaweeds in East Malaysia and you are guaranteed returns. To gain your confidence further, they will tell you your investment money is secured by "insurance" or "unit trusts" & "trustees". When you ask for further documents to prove, they will give all sorts of excuses or just ignore you because they know they cannot get you. These Seaweed scam is one of the hottest now, warn all your friends about it before they are victimised.
14) MXM(previously MGM) - This is a master scam owned by a Dato Kam (Pathlab) tapping the younger group, very successful 2 or 3 years ago but since they moved to their big 10-storey office at Phileo Damansara and changed name to MXM, their business dropped. They collect members RM3,000 to RM4,000 with credit card monthly easy payment and in return you get a hospital benefits insurance from Pacific Insurance worth only a few hundred RMs together with some you-don't-need medical check-ups from their associate Company Pathlab. Also talk about fitness, lifestyles bullshit that is all worthless.
15) Gano Excel/I-Touch Life/GEW2u - This company from the north, a copycat of DXN selling Lingzhi capsules created a new Company called Gano iTouch to cash-in on the internet like e-Cosway after their Company went down the drain since the last 2 years, selling Linzhi and some no-value energy pendants and alkaline water gadgets. They provide free transport every weekend from KL to visit their Alor Star office. It did not work well and recently in mid-2009 changed name to GEW.
16) NuLife (HK) - This Company started by some HK people has been in Malaysia for more than 10 years but they have flopped in HK and Malaysia due to bad management and a product scam making use of a prosecuted American named Dr Jeffrey Bland, found guilty of false products claim. Since this case in the US leaked out and many Malaysians found out that the real boss in HK is a Steven Tang(he cheated many Malaysians in another scheme about 20 years ago) their business went down all the way. Now they claim Malaysian partners cheated them and start a new Company in Malaysia . Watch out, this new Company will come out with some investment scheme idea that will get many to lose their money.
17) Arowana Fish Breeding, Oora from Germany , Biofuel(Kompleks Maluri) etc - These are some newer scams. Arowana fish venture ask you to invest some money and give you fixed return. Biofuel will tell you their Indonesia connections(just like Sunshine Empire before using Taiwan) & Oora from Germany(I never trust those cruel Germans) that market some bio-chips and a gadget that claims to give energy and therapeutic effects of accupunture, tai-chi, yoga, etc depending how you set the toy-like gadget, wear it on your body and you get the effect later. They could not explain or provide any demonstration to prove their effectiveness. Only doctors and papers claim that I will never trust. The health effect is actually PLACEBO, which I will elaborate in a different thread.
18) Easy-Pharmax !! - How could I missed this out earlier. I thought I mentioned this until I got e-mails asking me about it. This is easily in the TOP 3 during the last 2 years. Owned by a Dato Yeap(another Dato !!) Members are tricked to invest up to RM40,000 with the false promise that the Company will use e-commerce and online selling to dispose their goods and recover their monies. It won't happen, of course.
19) Gold Investment Scheme - This is an old trick but back again by several Companies promising a GURANTEE FIXED RETURN income like many other schemes. Try to ask for a copy of their fixed return agreement and consult your lawyer. Common sense tell you any business that promises a fixed return to UNLIMITED numbers of investors, higher than bank interests must be a scam.
20) Score-A or Skor-A: This Company sells you an online program of past Malaysian examinations papers for primary and secondary school students for self-testing for up to a few hundred RMs per membership. It actually cost them nothing. Members are told to invest in a few units, again using MLM with the promise of getting rich. The same program can be purchased from Utusan for just a fraction of their price and you can get better programs.
21) NEW SCAMS :
a) GRI(Global Royal International) - The boss behind this scheme is multi-billionaire James Pang(the big scammer waiting for trial in Singapore because of Sunshine Empire). Before Sunshine Empire, he operated NOP and SwissCash. This time, he is using a lot of representatives and MLM leaders since his passport is held by Singapore government and he cannot come to Malaysia . I am told that anyone who is bold enough to call himself a MLM leader in Malaysia can visit his rep in Malaysia or Singapre and they will be given at least RM5,000 as some expenses subdsidy if you are willing to market for them.
b) One Community Worldwide - Tapping a mostly Bumi market and owned by Steven Yeam(SYN) and Willie Lim of Lampe Berger previously(the Chinese no longer trust them). They are selling a negative ion mattress for RM25,000 !! The same modal, I have seen before for RM2000 from Korea . If you cannot afford RM25K ??? You can buy therapy package for RM300. Don't believe in such product ? You can go for some chlorostrum (virgin cow's milk from nowhere)
c) English-Learning Program Online - ESL(an online English learning program) You are asked to pay RM100 for one or 2 years usage of online learning. Started by a Malaysian Indian man by the name of Dr. Edward, this program has changed names at least 2 or 3 times since the last one year due to poor response and a lot of "technical problems". I consider it a scam because you are paying money for nothing tangible to direct-selling company through MLM and their program has been very "unstable" as my source put it.
Lastly but not least, thank you for reading to the end and I hope you can come back for more details and updates or help to contribute for me to update. I hope to receive information of any scams so that I can share them here to protect others. Although most of those above-mentioned are marketed through direct-selling or MLM schemes, will soon add non-MLM scams. Please contribute.