Bob Anna TomAt a recent training session with Tom ‘Big Al’ Schreiter, we laughed again when he started by telling us about his 22 months of “absolute failure” when he began his career.

We joked later about how our credentials in MLM and network marketing are not necessarily our successes, but more often our failures! As over 95% of people are failing in MLM, much of our credibility comes from telling our stories of failure.

Nobody wants to hear more hype and false promises. People want to know that you have been there, and that you can save them from making the same mistakes.

People want the truth, and they want solid information about how to avoid scams and how to choose ethical five pillar companies.

More on that later in an article where we will list our mistakes, but let us talk about one in particular – surfing programs!

During a year of desperation, we joined several of them and rationalized our involvement. We managed to ignore all the red flags and carried on surfing and inviting others to do the same! When we finally faced up to what was going on and what we were doing, we tried to apologize and warn our team to get out.

Most did, but one friend, a new father, lost all the family savings when the company was shut down. They are still struggling today to correct that mistake in judgement.

Charles PonziThe fact is that all Surfing Programs are Ponzi Schemes.

Wikipedia has an excellent description of a Ponzi Scheme and a history of the life of Charles Ponzi. Click on 5247 in his mugshot to read the entire story. Here is a quote from the article:

A Ponzi scheme usually offers abnormally high short-term returns in order to entice new investors. The high returns that a Ponzi scheme advertises (and pays) require an ever-increasing flow of money from investors in order to keep the scheme going. The system is doomed to collapse because there are little or no underlying earnings from the money received by the promoter. However, the scheme is often interrupted by legal authorities before it collapses … As more investors become involved, the likelihood of the scheme coming to the attention of authorities increases.

Wikipedia explains the fine differences between a Ponzi and a pyramid, but all we have to know is that they are ILLEGAL, and WE CAN GO TO JAIL! Do not pass GO. Go directly to jail! Here are some red flags and some questions to ask yourself if you’re ever tempted into thinking that surfing is a good idea:

  1. Why can I not pay with a recognized credit card?
  2. Why do the surfing companies all tell us that they will have credit card access ‘soon’?
  3. Why do some companies forbid chargebacks when they are not using a credit card anyway?
  4. Why can I not pay with PayPal? Is it because Paypal knows that surfing is an illegal Ponzi?
  5. Why do some surfing companies avoid the issue by telling us that “Paypal is not MLM friendly”?
  6. Why must I sign up for some payment processor created by the creators of the surfing program?
  7. Why is this company registered in Panama or Ecuador or offshore somewhere in Bongobongoland?
  8. If services are provided in the US or Canada, why do some companies claim they are governed by the laws of Bongobongoland? Especially if the CEO and the company lawyers live in the US? Hmmm …
  9. When I do a search on Whois, why are these sites created just a couple of months ago?
  10. When I do a search with Google Maps, why does the company’s address show up as an empty lot?
  11. Why does the owner claim to be a Christian or of any other faith when this is supposed to be a business open to one and all? If the CEO is a Christian, does this ensure the legality of the scheme?
  12. If I were to discover that this IS a Ponzi where people ‘at the bottom’ are guaranteed to get hurt, does this pose a moral dilemma for me as I pay off my mortgage with funds received at the expense of others?
  13. Why do some distributors claim that their CEO has received awards from the US Government at a dinner at the White House, when we can’t find any record of such an award in any government publication?
  14. If there is a phone number on the website, why can’t I reach a human when I call it? Why does no one ever call me back?
  15. If I am being paid for looking at other people’s sites, why is it that if I ‘invest’ $5 or $50 or $500, I still have to surf the same ten or fifteen or twenty sites per day to get the return on my money? Why should I not have to look at more sites for more money?
  16. If I am paying for advertising, why is that when I spend more money, I do not get more exposure?
  17. Do I reeeeeeeeeeeeeeally believe that I can earn 1.3% per day on my investment? That’s 1.3 x 365 = 475% per year!!!
  18. If the return is that good, why are Warren Buffett and Bill Gates and Donald Trump and Robert Kiyosaki and our banks not doing this?
  19. Why have so many other surfing companies been shut down by the SEC in the last five years?
  20. Why is Rod Cook of MLM Watchdog (click here and scroll down) so fiercely opposed to surfing programs?
  21. Why does my brain turn to mush when I look at pucky like this? I check out everything else in my life. Why do I ignore all the danger signals when it comes to this?
  22. Why would I not check this out with my Attorney General or the SEC or RCMP or the Competition Bureau of Industry Canada, just to make sure I’m safe and that I’m not hurting anyone?

Success in Ten Steps Paperback FrontA year ago, these flags would not have been so red to us, and we would not have known which questions to ask. We feel much better prepared to recognize and avoid scams since we read Success in Ten Steps by Michael Dlouhy.

For your free copy, just click on the title or on the book. We guarantee that it will save you years of failure and frustration!

We look forward to helping you any way we can.

Bob and Anna Bassett
Skype bobbassett

P.S. Aug 2, 2008

ASD Cash Generator has been closed by the U.S. Attorney General’s Office, District of Columbia

(This is now a broken link.  ASD site is gone!  May 2012)

Let’s hope not too many people got hurt by this one!

Bob and Anna

ASD Closed

August 5 2008: Another update from MLM Watchdog … Feds Sieze $53 Million!!!