Credit Card Processing Scams

"Buy 1 for yourself and get the chance to sell your friends and family 5 and get your downline started!" We examine the multi-level marketing industry, where only the people who come up with the ideas make any money, and everybody else is left unhappy, broke, and tired of reading scripts and selling overpriced vitamins and similarly worthless products. Includes Global Prosperity, Pinnacle Quest International, IRS Codebusters, Stratia, and other new Global Prosperity scams.

Moderator: wserra

Green Lantern

Credit Card Processing Scams

Postby Green Lantern » Sun Nov 07, 2010 12:48 am

I apologize if these are covered elsewhere:

In the last month I've received several calls from companies claiming to be "partnering" with Visa/Mastercard. The solicitation is for a "home-based business." It takes the caller awhile to get to the point, but the "business owner" (you) is supposed to supply names and phone numbers of local businesses in exchange for a commission check on all businesses signing up for the credit card processing service Company X provides. You don't even have to contact the businesses---their sales reps do this for you. Company X further claims that 80% of the companies you provide are likely to contract for the new services (from 4% to only 2%!), saving the new subscriber company "$1000-3000 per month." The caller claims you will make between $1000-3000 per month in commissions for providing these names and numbers.

AND---Company X wants $250 (or more) to "get you started in this home business."

They all hang up when I ask some basic questions ("Why should you pay me to do something you can get from any Yellow Pages?" "Why do you want my VISA/Mastercard number?" "Can you fax me a list of people who have earned $12,000/year so I may discuss this w/them?" etc.)
Last edited by Green Lantern on Sun Nov 07, 2010 7:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Thule
Tragedian of Sovereign Mythology
Posts: 694
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2008 7:57 am
Location: 71 degrees north

Re: Credit Card Processing Scams

Postby Thule » Sun Nov 07, 2010 2:45 am

Green Lantern wrote:
In the last month I've received several calls from companies claiming to be "partnering" with Visa/Mastercard.


Send an email to Visa and Mastercard. I don't think they will take kindly to scammers claiming "partnership".
Survivor of the Dark Agenda Whistleblower Award, August 2012.

User avatar
JamesVincent
A Councilor of the Kabosh
Posts: 2647
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:01 am

Re: Credit Card Processing Scams

Postby JamesVincent » Sun Nov 07, 2010 4:37 am

I had heard of those types of companies but never personally ran across them. Just because I was bored I did a quick Google search and found these company.
appsagents.com/

I really liked the fact they are "NOT a network marketing or an affiliate marketing program." but that they offer "By becoming an Agent with our team at Advisor’s Choice Network, you’ll help families and businesses by providing necessary solutions to today’s economic challenges." all for the low price of "low one time cost of becoming an agent with Advisor’s Choice Network for just $29."

So what do you get for that low price? " The opportunities to earn commissions with us are endless. We haven’t had too many people pass this opportunity up!"

Kinda sounds like an affiliate program of some type to me. Maybe not a typical matrix like most MLMs but you pay to have the opportunity to make money for them, get a residual off of the product used, and make money by selling the product. Kinda fits the profile doesnt it?
I dont know... maybe Im stupid.
Last edited by webhick on Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Removed the linkable part of the agent's site. Didn't want to raise their google rank.
"Just knowing we're in the same genus makes me embarrassed to call myself Homo." Professor Farnsworth

User avatar
webhick
Illuminati Obfuscation: Black Ops Div
Posts: 3868
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2007 2:41 am

Re: Credit Card Processing Scams

Postby webhick » Mon Nov 08, 2010 4:56 am

JamesVincent wrote:I had heard of those types of companies but never personally ran across them. Just because I was bored I did a quick Google search and found these company.
appsagents.com/

Believe it or not, that's just the agent's site. There's a link towards the bottom which is a referral link to the company's site which is Advisors Choice Network.

I really liked the fact they are "NOT a network marketing or an affiliate marketing program." but that they offer "By becoming an Agent with our team at Advisor’s Choice Network, you’ll help families and businesses by providing necessary solutions to today’s economic challenges." all for the low price of "low one time cost of becoming an agent with Advisor’s Choice Network for just $29."

I also don't get how this guy is selling the membership for $29 when the main site says that there is a $125 one-time setup fee and a $39.95/month fee thereafter.

Kinda sounds like an affiliate program of some type to me. Maybe not a typical matrix like most MLMs but you pay to have the opportunity to make money for them, get a residual off of the product used, and make money by selling the product. Kinda fits the profile doesnt it?
I dont know... maybe Im stupid.

Didn't smell like an MLM to me either. At first. And it smells bad in other ways too.

The main site is crap and some pages don't render properly. I couldn't find the compensation plan readily. I had to click "Get Appointed Now" and scroll down to the bottom of the page before I saw the "CLICK HERE to view the Advisor's Choice Network Agent Agreement and Compensation Plan" link which led to a document on Google docs (very professional...). The last page of the agreement says things like how much you earn from your legs, how much you earn from a 1st generation VPs, 2nds and so on. It's pretty complicated and I don't think I'm in the mood to wrap my mind around it but here are some observations.

They don't define the term "override," but use it constantly.

There are technically 7 positions. Agent, Senior Agent, Vice President (this goes from just a plain old VP to a 6th Level VP), a Regional Vice President, a Senior Vice President, and an Executive Vice President. You start as an agent and move up based on certain requirements.

A "base shop" is an individual and their downline. There's things like Super Base and Super Team, but that's not even relevant until you become a VP.

VPs and Senior Agents "override" all activities within his/her base shop. I have no idea what that means, but it doesn't sound good.

A newly promoted VP's immediate VP no longer receives commission "overrides" on new sales in the new VP's shop, but instead receives a 3% PV bonus on the new VP's base shop. But only if they both meet the minimum performance requirements set by the Standards Board. I can't tell you what they are or when they're determined because they don't tell you that. Just that they'll post it on the website, or send it in an email, or by other means of "written methodology commonly accepted." Something tells me there is no Standards Board and they haven't bothered to set these because....

I suspect that very few people, if any, make VP because "Promotions to the level of Vice President and above are strictly controlled by Advisors Choice Network, Inc's management."

At the beginning of the document, it states that the company will be referred to as "Advisors Choice", but the compensation portion of the document fails to refer to them that way.

Oh, "Commission and bonus payout amounts and/or percentages are subject to change due to economic circumstances (i.e. provider's ability to pay) beyond the control of Advisors Choice Network, Inc.'s management." So, all they have to do to get out of paying you is say that their provider can't pay and they're home free.

That's about all I'm going to do with the commission. Considering all the talk of legs and downlines, this is definitely a pyramid. It does appear that they're trying to sell product/services, but what kind? Well, Search Engine Marketing, Mobile Marketing, Credit Card Processing, Unsecured Lines of Credit, Automated Inventory Control, Land Banking, Insurance, Annuities/Indexed Products, Retirement Programs, Mortgages, Debt Relief, and Credit Restoration. They do say in their Agent agreement that the agent is responsible for any licensing necessary to do that stuff.

So, I checked on the company. It was started in California on 11/13/08. Two years old. Well, at least it exists. Onto their partners:
  • ChoiceAdz says it's based in Anaheim Hills, California and has more than ten years of industry experience. Did a search at California's Secretary of State. No such company.
  • Atlantic Pacific Processing Systems, Inc. says it's in Fountain Valley, California. Guess what? Did a search at CA's SOS. No such company. Also, the link they put on the partner's page led to ChoiceAdz, so I had to look up the company myself. The logo matches the partner page, so I'm sure I have the right one.
  • Directors Financial Group also in California? Wait, that one actually does exist. It was started in 2007. But here's the funny thing. If you click on that name on the Partner's page, you end up on another page within the ACN site which sports the DFG's logo and is themed towards that logo. Problem is that the phone number doesn't match the phone number on DFG's real site. As a matter of fact, the phone number is for ACN. Now, I wonder why'd they'd put a link to a partner site essentially only leads back to them? Perhaps they are not really partners with DFG? Also, when I click on the agent's tab on the fake site, I see a password protected site. So, I typed in "password" and I'm taken to a "404 - File not found" on LendersHomepage.com.
  • National Brokerage actually looks legitimate. I looked at their partner scroll on one of their pages and it listed legitimate insurance companies, but not ACN. I didn't really look into it further.
  • Ace Capital Group led to a page within ACN's site, so I looked it up separately and the logo matched so I think I have the right one. Anyway, it has a bunch of offices based in California, but ...looked it up at CA's SOS and the only two hits under Corporation were both dissolved by the end of 2003. Under the LLC/LLP search there was one started in 2006.

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, the products you'd be selling for Directors Financial Group, National Brokerage, and Ace Capital Group would all probably require some kind of licensing or regulation. And if you've got a license to sell those kinds of services, you're not looking at an "opportunity" like this to sell them. So, most people looking into this would most likely be trying to sell the internet advertising or the merchant services from the two companies that don't even exist. And since companies that don't exist won't earn you any commission, the only thing you'd be earning commission on is the $125 start up fee and $39.95/month fee from any new recruits.

What a funny little scam.
When chosen for jury duty, tell the judge "fortune cookie says guilty" - A fortune cookie

User avatar
JamesVincent
A Councilor of the Kabosh
Posts: 2647
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:01 am

Re: Credit Card Processing Scams

Postby JamesVincent » Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:27 am

Definitely interesting. I looked at the site you had linked and started wandering around and didnt see a founder or anything but I found a little letter on one page signed by a Butch Chelliah. Doing a google on that name took me a very very basic home page
http://www.butchchelliah.resourcesofame ... index.html
Definitely the page of " * A Sales and Marketing Expert always in demand ". Looking through the bio nets not a single name drop or company that he supposedly created even though he himself said hes created multiple mega companies and a sales and marketing company. On the Advisors Choice Network page he is listed as the president/ CEO of the whole shebang. I know all of my high powered friends never tell you that their great but their bio's will always say what their companies have been and what they did there.

On another interesting note a whois of the site advisorchoicenetworks.com shows another internet site as the owner.
http://www.whois.net/whois/advisorschoicenetwork.com
That site being CASHOPOLYCOMMERCE.COM which then takes you to here
http://www.e-onlinedata.com/cashopoly

Back to Mr. Chelliah. His google profile lists him as an advisor at ACN where his personal website .com goes to the before mentioned bio page and his .net addie takes you to a replicated ACN page.

Looks kinda weirdererer.
"Just knowing we're in the same genus makes me embarrassed to call myself Homo." Professor Farnsworth

User avatar
webhick
Illuminati Obfuscation: Black Ops Div
Posts: 3868
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2007 2:41 am

Re: Credit Card Processing Scams

Postby webhick » Mon Nov 08, 2010 7:42 pm

JamesVincent wrote:That site being CASHOPOLYCOMMERCE.COM which then takes you to here
http://www.e-onlinedata.com/cashopoly

That's just the webhost. There's no Admin/Technical contact listed on the whois record, which means that you have to go to the registrar to find more information. In this case, Godaddy. The GoDaddy whois indicates that he opted for private registration, so there's no usable name there.

I doubt "Butch" is his real first name, so I googled "chelliah scam" and pulled up something. Now, this is just speculation because I can't tell if its the same person or not, but there is a one-off blog post about a Jeevan Chelliah who also has a wife and two kids and who (this person alleges) does shady real estate transactions. There is a picture on the blog post, which you can compare to the one on the personal site. While the picture on the personal site is too small to say that it's the same guy, their builds are similar enough that I can't rule it out. The blog post isn't something I'd use as a definitive source for any wrongdoing. There's a lot of accusations and not a lot of verifiable facts.
When chosen for jury duty, tell the judge "fortune cookie says guilty" - A fortune cookie

User avatar
webhick
Illuminati Obfuscation: Black Ops Div
Posts: 3868
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2007 2:41 am

Re: Credit Card Processing Scams

Postby webhick » Mon Nov 08, 2010 7:58 pm

You know, I was looking Butch's personal page and it's a subdomain of resourcesofamerica.com. So, I backed it out to the main site to see what kind of site it really was.

Ahem. They do debt settlement, merchant banking services, and credit restoration. There was no links to "contact" or "about" pages. I clicked on the Preferred Partners link on the main site and guess what comes up? ACN! So, I clicked on the debt settlement link, which brings you to roadebtsolutions.com which is clearly the same site, but now I get a "Contact" page. The contact page doesn't have an address, but it does have a phone number - which google reveals as belonging to ChoiceAdz.com.

The menu changes with every page and via some carefully calculated random clicks of frustration, and I ended up with this page: http://www.roadebtsolutions.com/index.html

ETA: I don't know what happened, wait, that's not true. I dropped my stapler on the keyboard and my post got sent before I was finished. Damn you Igor! So, let me continue.

Finally, we get some contact information. ROA is based out of Anaheim Hills, CA. Did a search at the CA SOS, and nope. Company doesn't exist. Phone number listed still goes to ChoiceAdz.com. BUT, there are additional names: Kathy Kelly who is in charge of Business Development, Edward Ceballos who is in charge of Agent Training & Development, and our old friend Butch who happens to be the President.
When chosen for jury duty, tell the judge "fortune cookie says guilty" - A fortune cookie

User avatar
JamesVincent
A Councilor of the Kabosh
Posts: 2647
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:01 am

Re: Credit Card Processing Scams

Postby JamesVincent » Mon Nov 08, 2010 10:16 pm

So Butch is the president of ACN and Choiceadz.com? Yet none of that shows up on his bio, profile pages or anywhere but company websites. I was kinda wondering if when I got to the http://www.e-onlinedata.com/cashopoly page if possibly that is the real company there and all the ACN and APPS stuff is just them selling the other companies product and putting their name and profit on it.
Kathy Kelly was also on the bio page writing a testimonial about how great ole Chuck is at business but no backlink or info on her there.
"Just knowing we're in the same genus makes me embarrassed to call myself Homo." Professor Farnsworth


Return to “MLM Scams Forum (as if any of them aren't)”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest