Fox 11 In Los Angeles Says California Attorney General Seeking Information On Narc That Car; Will Data Network Affiliates Get Drawn Into Inquiry?
A company that recruits members to record the license-plate numbers of cars for entry in a database now has drawn the attention of the attorney general of California, Fox News 11 in Los Angeles is reporting.
Although it previously was known that Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott was working with the district attorney of Henderson County, Texas, in a Narc inquiry, Fox News 11 became the first outlet to report that California Attorney General Jerry Brown also is seeking information on the firm.
Narc That Car, which recently changed its name to Crowd Sourcing International, was the subject of an investigative report by Fox 5 in Atlanta last week. The Atlanta station interviewed Georgia Attorney General Thurbert E. Baker, who raised questions about the manner in which Narc purportedly was verifying license-plate data through the state’s Department of Driver Services. The station shared video with the Fox station in Los Angeles, which has video from its own investigation into Dallas-based Narc.
As part of its Narc report, Fox News 11 (Los Angeles) aired video from a YouTube sales promo by former Narc promoter Jeff Long, who jumped ship earlier this year and threw in his lot with Data Network Affiliates (DNA).
It is possible that DNA could become part of any government probe that evolves in California, Texas or Georgia because the firms are known to have promoters in common and because of claims made by promoters.
DNA, which uses a Cayman Islands address in its domain registration and a free gmail address from Google to conduct customer service, purportedly is a competitor of Narc. Long started out by pitching Narc, instructing prospects in a YouTube video to record plate numbers on their cell-phone cameras as they strolled through Walmart parking lots, according to his YouTube video.
But Long then switched to promoting DNA, according to the YouTube site.
“This video talks about NARC That Car… IF YOU ARE PLANNING ON MARKETING THIS BUSINESS ON THE INTERNET DO NOT JOIN!!!!! NarcThatCar CANCELED AND DISABLED My distributorship because I put this video on YouTube…I’m now the #1 leader and sponsor in their BIGGEST COMPETITOR’S BUSINESS…DataNetworkAffiliates. Again…don’t join NarcThatCar if you plan on marketing on the internet!!!!!! JOIN DNA WITH ME FOR 100% FREE!” a screaming message on the website says.
Long, who reportedly went on to become DNA’s largest affiliate, participated in a DNA conference call to tout Narc’s supposed competitor. DNA, which gained a reputation for authoring bizarre communications, suddenly then announced it had gotten into the cell-phone business and was offering an unlimited talk and text package for $10 a month.
Even Dean Blechman, DNA’s former CEO, described some of the communications authored by the company as “bizarre.” Blechman quit in February after only a few weeks on the job. DNA waited nearly a week to announce his departure, then butchered the announcement, Blechman said in an interview with the PP Blog.
DNA claimed on April 26 that it had been snookered into believing that it could offer an unlimited cell-phone usage plan for $10 a month and withdrew the offer. The withdrawal — and the ceaseless hype that has emerged from DNA — has led to questions about what, exactly, the company is offering and whether it was engaging in bait-and-switch tactics.
Questions also have been raised about the worth of both the Narc and DNA databases. Long, for example, said he gathered extra license-plate numbers and offered them for free to prospects so they could qualify for their initial multilevel marketing (MLM) payouts by entering data he supplied.
Other Narc promoters have used the same approach, which could lead to a polluted data stream. If a promoter in Florida supplied plate numbers to a prospect in Alaska, for example, it could lead to a result in which a car sighted in Florida was listed in Narc’s database as having been sighted in Alaska — or any state the prospect chose.
Such an approach could undermine Narc’s claim that it exists in part to assist law enforcement and the AMBER Alert program for missing children. Experts say corrupt or untimely data actually could hinder efforts to locate abducted children, and the Justice Department, which manages the AMBER Alert program, has denied it has any affiliation with Narc — despite promoters’ claims to the contrary.
Even if a Florida sponsor, for example, provided an accurate address at which a car was sighted, the mere fact an Alaska prospect was asked to input the data as though he or she actually had seen the car in Florida leads to troubling questions about whether Narc members were simply gaming the system to earn commissions.
And there may be other questions in any probes that emerge: Are police officers — off-duty and on-duty — helping Narc and DNA collect data? If the officers are collecting data on-duty, is it an appropriate use of their time? If they are collecting data off-duty, are they participating in a pyramid or Ponzi scheme?
Not a single Narc promoter interviewed by Fox 5 in Atlanta could identify a single data client of Narc. Narc itself says its clients identities are proprietary, but the Better Business Bureau, which gave Narc an “F” rating, has received thousands of inquiries on the company. The BBB also said it is concerned about Narc advertising claims.
Some promoters have claimed the firm was endorsed by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. Others have claimed it was endorsed by AMBER Alert. Narc removed a reference to AMBER Alert from a sales video after the Justice Department denied it had any affiliation with the firm.
Still other promoters have used craigslist to pitch Narc as though the company were a jobs-provider, rather than an MLM opportunity in which members are independent contractors reliant on their ability to recruit new members to make money. Some members even have started .org websites, as though joining Narc was the same as donating to a charity.
Reckless advertising claims have led to questions about whether both Narc and DNA had come into possession of money as a result lies told by promoters. The claims also have caused some MLM observers to wonder if the industry had reached a new low. Despite the uncertainty about both Narc and DNA, promoters are in the field recruiting members. DNA now says its has more than 125,000 members.
View the video on Fox 11 in Los Angeles:
Visit the Fox 11 site.