Category Archives: Scams

Lured into Subscription by buying a Sample – Beware

I just got this in my mailbox from Desjardins Visa, read it and be careful!


“We are writing to let you know about an issue involving the purchase of online product samples that has caused unwanted surprises for some of our clients.

When requesting a product sample, clients sometimes forget to review the terms and conditions of their purchase and do not realize they’re actually also agreeing to a subscription. As a result of the subscription, additional products are delivered and billed to the client. If you recently requested a sample online, you can check the sales conditions on the merchant’s website to see whether you have actually taken out a subscription. You can then contact the merchant if necessary.”

I’ve heard of Costco doing this kind of sneaky stuff, they sell a certain luxury cream very cheap, but then that cosmetic company starts billing you monthly.

I’ve looked into it online and turns out it was some survey on Costco’s site that offered you free samples given that you pay the shipping, but then billing you the full cost if you wouldn’t return those back.

Of course Costco will deny any relation to this, they say that those are scammers who pretend to be them and there is even a fraud note on Costco’s site.

Remember, there is no free lunch and always read the small print.

What happened to the stock generation game by Mavrodi?

I was listening to the interview with Sergey Mavrodi, a Russian entrepreneur, or criminal, depends on who you ask.

He created one of his money schemes in 1998, it was a virtual stock market game called “Stock Generation”. It was registered offshore, somewhere in the Caribbean, with a proper gaming licence.

There were tens of millions of users, but only 3 users disliked something and complained. That triggered a court case in Boston, which Mavrodi won, but then lost at the appeal stage of the case.  He was accused of fraud.



Karatbars International – Is it a Scam? (IMS & Associates, Offshore Credit Cards, Gold)

Today some girl I barely know called me all bubbly, saying something like “I just found out about a wonderful business, I don’t even understand it myself, but it is so profitable that there are not enough chairs to seat all the attendees.”

Whenever someone says that it is wonderful, but they are reluctant to explain anything because someone else can explain it better, a red flag goes off for me. In my opinion a beautiful business idea should be simple enough to get across without a big presentation.

I doubt I’ll even attend that presentation, but I can tell you right away that there is something strange going on. Any reputable credit card provider has a polished website, but these guys seem to have it quite mediocre, with little formatting mishaps here and there and Wikipedia is indicated as a source for some information. Even the video looks somehow familiar since all of those images are taken from stock photo sites.

I found the following online from the AMF Bureau:

Montréal – On April 17, 2014, at the request of the Autorité des marchés financiers (“AMF”), the Bureau de décision et de révision (“Bureau”) issued prohibition orders relating to certain activities of Karatbars International Gmbh (“Karatbars”), Robert La Rivière, Michel Desroches and Anthoni Snopek involving Karatbars’ affiliate and referral program.

More specifically, the Bureau has prohibited them from directly or indirectly trading in securities under any form of investment covered by the Securities Act issued by Karatbars, whether via the Internet or otherwise. It has also prohibited them from acting as a securities adviser. The Bureau is concerned that, without these orders, the respondents will continue to solicit investors.”

As you see, the company is already in trouble in Quebec and I imagine that other provinces will catch on to this soon too. This is just another pyramid scheme according to the critics and some information provided is actually false (ex. Prosegur does not store gold on their behalf).

Deloitte email is hacked again! Sending out Prize Spam.

Just got an e-mail on Jan 12 2015 from a man in Deloitte (with official company address) telling me that I won a prize.

You have been awarded a personal donation through your E-mail ID . To claim prize get back for more info.

This message (including any attachments) contains confidential information intended for a specific individual and purpose, and is protected by law. If you are not the intended recipient, you should delete this message and any disclosure, copying, or distribution of this message, or the taking of any action based on it, by you is strictly prohibited.


Yes, I applied there a long time ago, but I`ve never been in correspondence with anyone under that name.

Hardy, Jim (US – Seattle) <>

Looks like their database got hacked into again.

There are reports of hacking Deloitte in December, but I guess it`s still going on.

Don`t they hire good programmers and engineers to keep them safe? After all, they do handle a lot of sensitive financial information.

Didn’t sign up for program with EVO? Getting unauthorized charges?

I used to be a customer with Global Payment Solutions and they gave away my information to a telemarketer who called me on behalf of EVO Canada, another merchant provider. My account with Global Payments (also known as Federated Payments) has been officially closed since 2012.

I had no idea that listening to the offer meant that this is a binding contract, they used the negative option acceptance tactic that is illegal in Canada. During the call I asked why I am contacted and it was explained that it is because I am a former customer with Global Payment solutions.

I only found out later when I saw the charges in my account since I’ve never even been sent a statement or a receipt. I tried to talk to EVO about this and they are completely unhelpful. Even worse, without my permission they put up my personal information on search engine.

There is absolutely nothing in writing from my behalf accepting the offer or authorizing the charge.

At the moment I am looking into this. is not helpful at all, they just direct me to EVO. Luckily my bank reversed the charges.  Global Payments refuse that they have anything to do with it. They all refuse to give their last names or e-mail, including the manager.

Please leave a comment if you are in the same boat. Let’s stop this business directory scam.

offerswizard how to remove malware adware

How to Remove OffersWizard Adware

Do you see ads all the sudden on your computer that are not supposed to be there? Let’s say, on my eBay page all the sudden today I got a bunch of annoying ads. If you have a closer look, you’ll see that it is by OffersWizard. As I tried to click on the options to remove the ads, it took me further and further into this spam.


OffersWizard is an example of a potentially unwanted program that shows up and annoys the hell out of the user, trying constantly to show sales ads at any possible opportunity. It even makes me wonder who would possibly advertise through such means.


Turns out I got mine through converting Excel files into pdf files for free. This malicious program went to work the same day!


How to remove it? First you should click on the Control Panel and select the programs option. See which programs were recently installed and most likely one of those is in fact the adware.

remove adware network system driver


You may also want to check chrome://extensions/ and see if there is anything unauthorized there.


mary kay ebay

Why are Mary Kay lotions so hot on eBay?

If we look at the hot list, it turns out that Mary Kay products are very hot on eBay – make up, lotions, and so on.  But Mary Kay consultants are not allowed to use this avenue and some even got threatened with lawsuits.

With all the abundance of MK consultants around, why would someone turn to eBay to begin with?

One  thing that this highlights for sure is that Mary Kay products are good enough quality for people to actually go browsing for them. At any given time there is 40,000 to 50,000 MK products for auction.

mary kay ebay


Offshore Tax Havens and IRS Investigations

Lecture by Daniel Reeves: Offshore tax havens and the financial community


Daniel Reeves, he worked for 35 years at the IRS (United States Internal Revenue Service), guided the development of offshore compliance initiative program and higher profile tax investigations into cross border banking practices of UBS, HSBC, and Standford Financial Group among others.  He recently retired from his position as an offshore adviser for senior matters.

However, this lecture will be slightly different.  In this lecture Daniel talks not about the big corporations, but about extremely wealthy individuals – people who enjoy the best that this world has to provide and they live in multiple homes with servants and yachts and planes.  But yet despite all of these luxuries that they have, they don’t think that they have to pay tax.  They think that all of you should pay tax!

There was a very wealthy woman in New York City named Leonna Helsmley.  She was a nurse and she ran a chain of high luxury hotels and she got famous for having once said – “Only the little people pay tax.”

But as Bob Dylan said, the times are changing, and he was right.  Complete lecture below: