Is PayBox.me A Scam?
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So lately I've been getting a lot of emails regarding the legitimacy of this company. So I figured let me see what this is about because apparently it's hot on the streets. But from experience I know that just because a lot of people are promoting a company, it doesn't mean it's on the up and up.
So what is PayBox.me?
PayBox.me is a brand new company that wants to start up a new online currency and payment system along the lines of PayPal. Let me mention that tons of people have tried to compete against Paypal. As of right now, none have been as successful. In any event PayBox.me is in a beta phase. That always makes me feel uncomfortable because it is hard to find cold hard facts about a company when they're still in this testing phase. What I usually look for is proof of payment and other factors. But when a company states they're in beta, it sort of gives them a pass. They always argue, get in now because when we go live this is going to be bigger than sliced bread. Unfortunately a lot of companies that are in beta don't ever go live and they end up getting a lot of free advertising. While others are left with just empty pockets.
PayBox.me seems to be following the same path. They're doing a lot of recruiting of so-called Early Bird partners who will allegedly help fine tune the design of the program with their feedback, and how they use it. Signing up is free so you're not out of money if this goes belly up. The plan is to launch late in 2011 and phase in things between now and then. Personally the ambiguity of a launch date always makes me nervous. Again, I've been around the block a few times when it comes to this stuff and a fluid launch date is a nice way to keep stringing people a long. They claim the first thing to get up and running will be person-to-person transactions, which they are doing now. Then they will bring in businesses with shopping carts and payment options. Once all that is set, the plan is to get debit cards linked to the PayBox account and deal with foreign exchange.
How do you earn money with PayBox Early Bird Program?
First of all there is no REAL money. It 's all PayBox Currency. You get $50 in your account off the top, just to say Thanks for signing up. You will earn up to $20/day just for doing those phantom and unknown tasks. And they pay you $5 for each referral. Look I've always found it annoying when companies make up their own points or money system. But I've learned not to hold that against companies anymore because there are legitimate companies like MySurvey, Swagbucks, ICS, etc that have their own money system. But the difference is that money can actually be transferred into REAL hard cash. I've done it many times and so have people I have referred. They have a provable history of people that have gotten paid. PayBox.me makes me nervous because they're in beta and that doesn't mean they'll ever go live. So all that money they're giving you for signing up, breathing or whatever else means nothing unless they can launch this business.
Here's the other thing that's bothering me. To make this business a reality they need real money, so where is it coming from?Do they have any financial backing from angel investors or some other large corporation? Are they planning to make money with advertising? How exactly are they able to just randomly give you the amount of money they are claiming? I couldn't find any about us information that would help answer this question. All I can see is that we'll give you a lot of money but there is no explanation as to exactly how this will be backed up.
How and when do you get paid?
Good question! You would think they would make that easy to determine. But they don't tell you upfront. However, hidden in the terms of service is this statement:
"…If you are an EarlyBird user (a user who is active before PayBox services are generally available to the public), you may earn a variable daily rate which will be automatically added to your PayBox account balance. The conditions for keeping your account active will be posted within the login area. The rate paid may change at any time, and may be discontinued without notice.
All account balances are held in PayBox currency. PayBox maintains a currency that is autonomous and independent of all nations and governments. The PayBox currency is denominated in dollars and cents (similar to the currency of the United States and over 20 other countries). The PayBox currency is currently in a closed system, and cannot be exchanged or spent. Before long we plan to open our currency to be spent and exchanged just as you can with any other currency."
I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed so maybe I missed this in the above statement. But were you able to find anything in there about when we can expect to be able to freely exchange or cash out this funny money? The time frame of "before long" doesn't sit well with me. I know with ICS for instance when I reach $2 I can cash out my money. I know with Swagbucks when I reach a certain amount of Swagbucks I can redeem it for money from paypal. There is none of this ambiguity. So that doesn't sit well with me.
More things that make me feel uncomfortable
The domain name. Most companies try to get a .com name. It's just a common practice because we as consumers immediately assume every company has a .com address. So the fact that they opted for a .me address is strange. But here's the reason why they couldn't get the .com. There is already a legitimate German company who has the .com, .net etc extension. If you visit Paybox.com you'll see it's a totally different company and website. There is a strong possibility that Paybox.me might be riding on the good brand name of Paybox.com to lure people into a false sense of security when doing their research.
If by chance Paybox.me does go live, I doubt they will ever be able to use their current name legitimately. Chances are Paybox.com may sue them. Something else that about the domain name that makes me uneasy is that it's only registered until August 2011. If you can't do the math, that's only about a year. Most legitimate companies that plan to start a business and be around for a while will register their site for a number of years. Spammers are the folks that tend to only register for a year because they know their sites will usually be banned or black listed by the time they're done with their dirty work of spamming or scamming people. Doesn't it seem strange that around the same time they should be paying people the site will expire? Makes you wonder huh? Maybe it was an administrative boo boo?
Mystery Money As I said earlier how are they able to afford to pay you the large amounts of money they're claiming? Money has to be coming from somewhere to cover these balances. The problem is these guys aren't really up front about where this money is coming from. On top of that they would also need to have establish some business partnerships with a whole lot of well known retailers to try to trade Pay Box currency for their goods. So right now the money has little value if any in my mind.
Phantom Owners Not only is the money situation a mystery so are the owners. They don't provide an about us page to let us know about the owners or company. That means there is also no address or phone number if something pops off. The company is basically a phantom. Look I'm all for privacy but if you're planning to get in the business of exchanging money, shouldn't we all know a lot more about you. After all paypal has an extensive about us page as they should considering all the money they handle.
Adsense Ads I have a love hate relationship with Google adsense and other advertising. As someone that provides you free content and job leads, it's a legitimate way for me to monetize my time without charging you good folks for it. Ads are a necessary "evil" on my site (although far from perfect) and works with my business model which is based on providing free information to you. So it makes "cents" for what I do. Magazines, TV networks, etc., work in the same way. But Paybox.me claims to be an upcoming business that is based on online payments and currency exchanges. So why the hell is it trying to make money by placing adsense ads on their site? This is very fishy and here's why. They literally have thousands of people advertising their website right now. This means their website is getting a ton of free traffic based on a promise of allegedly paying their members when they go live sometime in 2011. So while everyone else is hoping they do go live in 2011, Paybox.me is already making money with the adsense ads on their homepage right now. It may not be a lot given the ad unit being used and where it's placed, but the fact of the matter is they're getting free traffic and money. If they don't go live, they still make out even if the rest of their members don't. That sounds like a win win for Paybox.me not the members!
Based on the information I above, I honestly don't feel very comfortable with recommending this company even if there is no out of pocket investment involved. There are too many unknowns for my liking. If you've watched my scam video you already know that one of the things I always state is not to be a guinea pig for new opportunities. I take a Vulture approach to these money making opportunities. I wait for everyone else to get to the prey first and let them eat. If everyone is still standing pretty much unscathed after that, then I swoop in and get my share. Contrary to the beta and pre-launch hype, I have found there is still money to be made if you know what you're doing and have the right skills. So I never fall for it. My time and name are too important to risk jumping on a boat that is sinking and encouraging others to do the same.
In addition to all that, my team's research has found out that there was a scam that was exposed a couple years ago called GreenZap that was eerily familiar except some variations in the amounts being paid. You could literally replace word for word GreenZap with Pay Box and you get damn near the same story. Green Zap eventually got caught when the members were unable to exchange the funny money into money retailers would accept. I suspect that this may also happen with PayBox.me. But I could be wrong and would love to be.
I know there are those who will say, “But Eddy, it is free to sign up, so what can I lose just in case it is legit?” Well it all depends on what you value besides money. Here are some possible scenarios where you can lose something of value.
If this turns out to be a scam you could risk having your email address being sold to scammers. But that's easy to avoid by using a throw away email you still have access to just in case this does turn out to be legit.
You could be losing your time. From experience I know people who complain about making a few cents or dollars from perfectly legitimate opportunities I have recommended. I can only imagine how nuts these same folk go if they got absolutely nothing from this company. Who could blame them? Even i wouldn't and I'm the king of optimistic perception of money making opportunities. lol
You could lose credibility. Some of you may refer an opportunity like this to your friends, family members, website visitors or facebook fans. Can you imagine what would happen if this turns out to be a scam or much to do about nothing. I've recommended companies that have had a few flaws or turned for the worst later on. Some folks aren't very forgiving and you could risk your good name. Then when you do recommend something legitimate they'll be less inclined to follow your lead. This may end up losing you money on some other things.
Based on the unknowns and how this could play out, I say pass on this opportunity for now. Until this thing goes live and shows some sustainability and money, there is absolutely no reason to be taking the plunge. Especially because there are plenty of already established companies that are actively paying folks. (See my recommendations page or work at home jobs page.) I say wait this thing out. If it does turn out to be legitimate, trust me you'll still be able to make money later. There are literally billions of people on the internet. The early birds aren't going to reach them all. So you have more than enough people to target if this does turn out to be legitimate.
That being said, you're a grown ass adult and take my review with a grain of salt. Do what you feel is best based on your opinion and due diligence. But be prepared to deal with the consequences whatever they may be good or bad. If any of you are a member of this company and have anything to include, please feel free to chime in good or bad.
We love to hear all sides of the stories. Let me know what you guys think. Am I off base here with this opportunity?