Technobiography

Mobile phones, services and applications. PCs, PDAs, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Internet, gadgets, electronics, photography. A technology-life journal ... Relaxed prose, sometimes witty, sometimes funny, reflective and insightful. Short and sweet. Filipino.

Monday, August 15, 2005

m-Commerce Pyramid Scheme?

Scheme, Scam, Spam -- they all sound the same.

I'm used to deleting spam from my public hotmail email box. But one email caught my attention:
Sender: *e** **o**
Subject: Earn W/ Your G-Cash & Smart Money Account
The subject caught my attention not because of the promise of "quick cash" but because G-Cash and Smart Money are within my field of consultancy.

I investigated further and found myself browsing through a 17 page PDF file. The "eBook" was screaming with all caps and so many exclamation points that my heartbeat went up!

I didn't have the time to read the fine print. But with all that I had seen, I still didn't find the legitimate business model.

I sent a reply and told the sender that I'm both interested and skeptical. He replied quickly (less than half an hour) saying he too was skeptical at first. But he continues to say that he started to believe when cash (G-Cash and Smart Money) was flowing into his cellphone.

I sent a second reply with excerpts copied below:
Hi *e**,
Basically, my question is: Where does the money come from?

And so far, the answer I have found is: The money comes from new members.

If you could point out otherwise, I would like to hear it.

Normally, I just trash this kind of email. But this concerns my area of
study (m-commerce, I'm sure you've found that out through my blog) and it is
coming from a fellow IT professional, thus I am not dismissing it too
easily.

My interest is to understand.

Thanks and peace,

Edwin
After around 6 hours I haven't heard from him.

If and when I do, I'll write about it.

In the meantime, I hesitantly give out their URL (http : / / mobilecashphilippines . com) . I don't want to help advertise what I perceive is a pyramid scam scheme. I do not have enough info nor time either to definitively declare this as a scam. So I am opening it up to readers who have the time to read through the get rich quick website.

I am giving my fellow IT person the benefit of the doubt. But so far, I see more to doubt than to benefit.

If I don't receive an email from this person, I feel it is safe to say that the money indeed comes from the new "members" of the pyramid scam scheme.

m-commerce users beware!

ka edong
Read: Pyramid Scam, m-commerce style
Text Scam (?) - "tonights lotto draw"

7 Comments:

  • At 6:43 pm, Blogger Jepoy said…

    pssst... ka edski -->

    http://jepoyeng.blogspot.com/2005/08/mlm-on-mobile.html

    allergic ako sa mga MLM. hehehe.

     
  • At 10:55 pm, Anonymous ka_edong said…

    Do visit Jepoy's article where he shares additional info about the m-commerce scam.

    Here's the comment I posted on his page:

    whoa! ayos, a! you did (some of) your homework. Ako, di ako sinipag mag-sleuth.

    I therefore conclude that there *are* *real* people (not necessarily evil) who spend their time and energy doing this. Not necessarily to fool people, but perhaps to just earn money.

    no reply yet from my email sender.

    I'll label this as a scam. A rather hi-tech scam using m-commerce.

    On the bright side, at least they are "evangelizing" people about m-commerce. On the dark side nga lang, baka ma-takot ang mga tao sa m-commerce dahil diyan sa MLM. tsk tsk tsk...

    thanks for the link, ka jepoy!

    ka edong

     
  • At 11:42 pm, Blogger Jepoy said…

    ka edong, pasend nung ebook.. sasali ako.. ahahha

    lastikman@gmail.com

    salamats. mwah!

     
  • At 10:17 am, Anonymous ka_edong said…

    sent.
    sali ka? sali ka sa ma-hahabla, sige ka!

    ka edong

     
  • At 11:30 pm, Anonymous jett said…

    ako rin ... sali ako, sali ako. hehehe. pa-send ng ebook. jettgamboa sa gmail

     
  • At 11:31 am, Blogger ~dexter said…

    hmmm... do i hear "Ponzi scam" here?

     
  • At 5:18 pm, Blogger Edwin "ka edong" said…

    Yup yup, I think it's a Ponzi scheme, from what I've read.

    ka edong

     

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