For several months, whenever we opened our computers we were inundated by posts about Manama millionaires and people making lots of money online. Gulf Insider investigated this subject.
Recently, we have been seeing a lot of posts in the internet about Manama millionaires and “how to get rich quick”. Naturally, being the curious people that we are, we wanted to see where this goes and if we could really make a quick buck.
It’s time for a cool change
The first site that we came across “Global Domains International (GDI) Inc. Worldwide Testimonials” which told us “Congratulations! You have just come across something that has the power to change your life for the better, forever!” Apparently, it is a worldwide domain name registry for all .ws domain names. The company will charge you $10 a month for a package that includes your own domain name, hosting accounts, and up to 10 email accounts, plus an easy to use online website builder that will allow you to get a professional looking website with a free one-week trial run.
The faces behind this online business, Michael Starr and Alan Eizer say “You can have anything you want in life, if you will just help enough other people get what they want”. The rationale behind this website business is that “Industry experts predict that over 500 Million domains will be active annually within the next ten years. GDI has no competition in the network marketing industry. We are the only company that has the ability to market our domain names through the power of network marketing, and we’re willing to pay you handsomely for helping us get the word out worldwide. There are no geographical or income limits with GDI (GDI website)”.
The people (let’s call him Person A) who sign up are paid $1 per month, per domain. So if they refer five people, they get $5 per month. If it doesn’t seem like much, the deal supposedly becomes sweeter by leveraging the power of “networks” or “pyramiding”.
For this scheme to work and for everyone to make a profit, there would have to be an endless supply of new members which becomes statistically impossible the “larger” the pyramid grows. There may or may not be legitimate products involved. But at the end of the day, it’s all about how many people can you get to work building the pyramid? And who is the pharaoh who sits at the echelon to whom all the money is being funneled to? That’s an interesting question.
The VIP Lifestyle
In the midst of all these yearning for this kind of “charmed” life comes a video which is titled “Millionaires in Manama want to ban this video”. We watched this video and saw the kind of expensive life accompanied with all the toys money can buy, the cars, the yacht, and the sleek, designer suits.
And apparently, we can live this same kind of lavish luxury as soon as we give out our credit card digits. These types of sites and advertisements rely on testimonials from people which serve as their “word of mouth” advertisement. However, we don’t even know if they exist or if they are using their real identities.
A story appeared in The Daily Tribune last October, regarding a scammer who went by the name of “Omar Safa”, who claimed to be a Bahrain resident. His testimonial said that he has made a lot of money using the work at home job program and that he has been interviewed by media people. However, a quick search of Bahrain publications revealed nothing of this interview. We have tried to contact several companies that offer quick money schemes, to get their side on this matter, but so far no one has gotten back to us.
In addition, there has been a lot of fake pictures going around the internet specifically targeting Bahrain; including a certain billionaire from Bahrain whose name and picture was used to endorse a product called Cloudtrader. In reality, these businesspeople don’t endorse these companies.
The lowdown on Pyramids
Because of the number of complaints received by the Industry and Commerce Ministry’s Consumer Protection Hotline on both pyramid schemes and network marketing; a ministerial order has banned both business models in Bahrain. So far, no case has been referred yet to the Public Prosecution office but “if anyone is ignoring the ban and continues with such practices, they can face a prison sentence and a fine of up to BD5,000”.
Bottom line, are these get rich sites a scam? Answer: Yes!