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Scam Artists Taking Advantage of VoIP’s Popularity

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As it happens with every industry you’ll always have those high points, in where providers offer incredible advantages and truly break the monopoly of the traditional telecom companies. Though the low points do also exist; in where fraudsters or scam artists take advantage of the popularity of the industry for less than honest objectives.

In Canada we have seen what happened with XpressCall recently; where the provider launched with fanfare announcing great plans and offering free tablets to just fold in about 6-months. Leaving stranded several subscribers, breaking promises and tarnishing the trust of people.

In a new story reported by CBC; there may be a Ponzi scheme setting up shop in Canada. In particular, it refers to TelexFREE; who has seen operations shut down in the US and in Brazil. TelexFREE asks for investors promising high return rates based on the use of its VoIP software.

In our review the technology used by TelexFREE is VoIP based dialer app for Windows; which makes us wonder how come such a simple app would require that many investors and how much revenue could this, in any case, generate, if any at all? In our view dialer is very limited, only for Windows, no smartphone app, no added features and no calling rates shown. Consider the fact you could buy a white label (one you could brand it as you wish) dialer about everywhere. For example, you get a lot more out of reputable diallers such as Localphone, Rebtel or Skype; which do support multiple platforms, text messaging, web calling and/or video calling, very clear international calling rates along with a list of other features.

It is relevant to know in Brazil TelexFREE was shut-down after the firm was accused of defrauding a million investors on about a billion dollars in just a year. In a similar fashion in the U.S. regulators froze assets and charged the company with running a Ponzi scheme.  In the classic Ponzi scheme there is a membership fee for the investors; in where return may be obtained not by the profit of the normal business operation itself but rather by the constant acquisition of new investors. Newer investors pay to the old investors and so on. In the U.S. the Security and Exchange Commissioner regulator reported the profit from almost 2-years of operations TelexFREE reported 1.3 million in sales revenue; to make good on the return promises TelexFREE should have had sales revenue of $1.1 billion.  At this time none of the allegations have been proven in court.

Reportedly two of the people charged in the alleged Ponzi scheme in the U.S. have registered TelexFREE Canada in BC. It’s said BC’s Security Commissioner is monitoring the situation closely.

Though while Canadian authorities are monitoring that may not be enough; sometimes is worth taking a second look and analyzing the situation. As the old saying goes; if it is too good to be true then it probably isn’t. Run your independent due diligence either when choosing a provider as a subscriber or as in the latter case as an investor.  If it is VoIP related, we at GoneVoIP can help Canadians choose right.

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