Saturday 1 July 2017

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Is the EU Business Register legit?

Hi. I received an invitation to insert my company details into the EU Business Register for 2017/2018. The invitation says that it will let companies in Europe know about my company. The email says that it’s free but do you think it’s worth it?

Certainly not. Please don’t consider this, not even for a moment.

The EU Business Register looks remarkably like the “World Business Guide", a scam we warned people about a few years ago. They also offered companies a listing in an online business directory service and like them I think that the EU Business Register is a scam. Even though the invitation you received says that “Updating is free of charge”, in fact the small print says that: “THE PRICE PER YEAR IS EURO 995”. That’s over P11,000. Worse still, it also says that the “TIME OF THE CONTRACT IS THREE YEARS” meaning you’ll be entering into a contract for more than P33,000, all to have your details entered into an online directory that nobody actually uses.

If I’m correct that this is the same people who ran the previous, identical scam (and I’m certain they are, they’re almost identical except for the name) anyone who refuses to pay up will start receiving increasingly aggressive threats from debt collectors and law firms until they hand over the payments they’re demanding.

The good news is that they’ll never actually take anyone to court because no sober judge or magistrate would force someone to pay to be abused like this. I can certainly find no record of the people running the previous directory actually entering a courtroom to do so. Nevertheless, let’s not give them the opportunity to harass people. If you do want to market your business you could spend the same amount on a decent web site that really might get you some business.

Is BitClub Network legit?

Someone is trying to recruit me to invest in BCN (BitClub Network). Apparently they are dealing with Bit coins. What are you views? Is this a genuine investment, is it a pyramid scheme?

Please advise for me to make an informed decision?

The BitClub Network describe themselves as "The most innovative and lucrative way to earn Bitcoin" and they suggest that Bitcoin mining is a way to make money. It’s a complicated issue but Bitcoin mining is the process of storing and validating Bitcoin transactions and possibly earning Bitcoins for doing so. However, the resources such as computing power required to do this are immense and it’s not something that you and I can afford to do.

They go on to say that "With BitClub Network you earn daily profits from our shared mining pools. We also have a referral program so you can get paid for anyone you refer."

Yes, it’s true that they do mine Bitcoins but that’s not really what they’re trying to sell you here.

The clue was in that last statement. They say that you “get paid for anyone you refer”. Doesn’t that sound like a pyramid scheme to you? In fact, I suspect it’s a Ponzi scheme, where any returns people get are paid directly from the people who join after them. I’m not the only one that thinks so. If you fight your way through the advertisements for BitClub Network on the internet you can find a number of people warning that this is a Ponzi scheme.

I urge you not to have anything to do with BitClub Network. It’s yet another scheme that, sooner or later, will collapse, just like all other Ponzi schemes and pyramid schemes do, leaving a few people at the top of the scheme rich but the vast majority a lot poorer than before.

Before anyone thinks I’m against Bitcoin, think again. I’ve said repeatedly that Bitcoin is a fascinating new form of currency that may well be something like the future of money. However, Bitcoin is incredibly volatile and unpredictable and worst of all, is completely unregulated. There’s no central bank, no NBFIRA, no consumer body that can help you if things go wrong. Is that a risk you can afford to take?

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