UPDATED 8:54 P.M. ET (U.S.A.) Rumors abound online that authorities in India have carried out some sort of action against the Banners Broker “advertising” program. As of the time of this post, the PP Blog has been unable to confirm the rumored action with a law-enforcement source.
“Advertising” scams long have been associated with the HYIP sphere. The $119 million AdSurfDaily Ponzi scheme, for instance, was such a “program.” Such scams are associated with the unlawful sale of unregistered securities and claims by law enforcement of members’ money being siphoned by operators. “Winners” in such schemes can be sued for their ill-gotten gains. There also have been instances in which key pitchmen have been sued by regulatory agencies and even charged with crimes.
Several things the PP Blog has noticed:
A “welcome page” Banners Broker URL exists for the United States but is throwing this error message: “Unable to locate template file welcome_us.tpl.”
The nonworking US URL is http://www.bannersbroker.com/main/welcome_us. It is listed on an apparent Banners Broker affiliate’s website with a headline of “BANNERS BROKER INDIA.” The site also lists a U.S. address for the company in Ocala, Fla. Other addresses and welcome URLs for other countries appear on the same page. Welcome URLs for India, Canada, Ireland and the United Kingdom appear to be working. Only the URL for the United States appears not to work.
Whether Banners Broker removed the U.S. “welcome” URL in a bid to distance itself from U.S. regulatory scrutiny is unclear.
Regardless, the Banners Brokers site is viewable in the United States from the URLs for other countries and by connecting directly to the Banners Broker dotcom address. Although Banners Broker lists the flags of several countries on its homepage, the American flag is not listed. (Or at least wasn’t viewable by the PP Blog from the United States.)
The Better Business Bureau has given Banners Broker an “F,” the BBB’s lowest grade.
At least one Banner’s Broker affiliate site is calling itself “Banners Broker Brief” and using the BBB acronym long associated with the Better Business Bureau. (A 2010 Phil Piccolo scam known as Data Network Affiliates arranged for one of its products to be called BBB. Such approaches sometimes are used to leech off of the Better Business Bureau’s famous acronym and to distort search-engine results and make “negative” information harder to find. It also is common in certain MLM schemes for affiliates to use the word “scam” when presenting the “opportunity” — and they then explain why it’s purportedly not a scam. This approach also may make it difficult to find “negative” information about a “program” because information can become buried in page after page of claims that the “program” is not a scam.)
Any number of affiliate YouTube videos exist for Banners Broker. Some are of the check-waving variety. Instead of featuring checks, however, they appear to feature screen shots of payments that purportedly originated at SolidTrustPay. SolidTrustPay has a reputation for doing business with scam after scam. Zeek Rewards, which the SEC described in August as a $600 million Ponzi- and pyramid scheme, used SolidTrustPay.
Banners Broker appears to have been popular among Zeek promoters. One video exists in which a Banners Broker affiliate tells the audience about the SEC’s Zeek case, but the affiliate claims he believes Banners Broker is not a fraud scheme. Even so, he allows that it could be.
Banners Broker has a major presence on the Ponzi boards — again like Zeek. Some promoters race from scam to scam to scam.
There are claims about Banners Broker “doubling” money.