AdViewGlobal (AVG), an autosurf with close ties to AdSurfDaily, is getting more insidious by the hour.
An AVG forum set up by some of the Mods and members of ASD became a den of infighting among AVG members yesterday. One poster started a thread begging the Mods to intervene, which is to say the poster wanted the Mods to delete reasonable questions and criticism from other members about AVG’s operations.
The Mods complied. The thread had been titled “Moderators…please moderate this private forum!!”
At issue were slashed AVG payout rates after it had run a mind-boggling, 200-percent, matching bonus program for weeks — for both new members and their sponsors. AVG’s published payout rate yesterday was “only 0.056%,” according to posters.
Some AVG members said they expected much higher payout rates. The mere fact that autosurfs promise or suggest a return, however, is problematic. Regulators view the surfs as sellers of unregistered securities disguised as advertising programs.
The return is one of the central issues in the case against ASD — and has been the central issue in all previous autosurf prosecutions, including the CEP Ponzi scheme. The government long has been wise to the wink-nod nature of the business model and attempts by operators and promoters to sanitize it by drafting participants into a verbal conspiracy and scolding people for not using precise language to sustain the deception.
ASD President Andy Bowdoin said he went through $800,000 in his bid to claim tens of millions of dollars seized by the government last August. Now, months later, Bowdoin still is facing litigation by the government on three fronts, and a racketeering lawsuit filed by ASD members seeking class-action status.
Attempts to force autosurf participants to use specific phrasing — such as insisting the word “advertsing” be used instead of “investing” — are commonplace. The attempts alone show consciousness of guilt. The wink-nod nature further is exposed through deletions of posts that don’t adhere to the company line.
Deletions often are defended as an attempt to keep the company discussions “positive.” Regardless, it’s easy to view them as bids to force everybody to lie in the name of the company, so the deception can continue. Virtually all autosurfs operate as Ponzi schemes.
Also at issue at the AVG forum yesterday was a pattern of confusing information from the company.
AVG announced the sudden resignation of Chief Executive Officer Gary Talbert March 20; Talbert is a former ASD executive. On March 23, the surf announced its bank account had been suspended. Problems with eWalletPlus.com, a money-exchanger, followed. One AVG member now says the company was using a U.S. bank, despite promoting itself as an “offshore” opportunity.
Banking problems led to the demise of ASD.
In late March, Shad Foss, an autosurf promoter against whom the receiver in the CEP Ponzi scheme case sought to claw back ill-gotten gains, sent an email to promote AVG. The email advised prospects that $5,000 in AVG would turn into $15,000 “instantly!”
ASD once advertised that it accepted CEP Trust, the failed payment processor run by the operators of the CEP Ponzi scheme.
On Tuesday, two payment processors used by AVG — SolidTrustPay of Canada and StrictPay of Panama — were offline for hours. Both surfs simultaneously were experiencing the same problem: the inability to load secure pages. Why the problem was occurring is unclear.
What is clear is that such disruptions demonstrate just how vulnerable surfs are to unexpected events. AVG is behaving like an operation starved for cash. It is having management, banking and payment-processing problems simultaneously — while still running bonus promotions.
AVG is getting more insidious by the hour.