While browsing the web for information on Lyoness and its instigators, one might stumble upon one of the many Lyoness propaganda websites, designed by Lyoness itself or a deluded adherent who still has not understood that he/she has been scammed and is being programmed to scam the people dear to him (and anyone else, for that matter). These websites are perniciously developed to obstruct information-seekers from finding the truth. Instead, through these websites, people are being persuaded to believe that Lyoness is a trustworthy company, a tremendous opportunity and a viable business partner. Following that, the information-seeker may be persuaded to join the Lyoness racket.
In general, the crumbling stages of a pyramid scheme are a rich area for fraudsters interested in making a few quick bucks. This blog post will visit and try to explain these most common types of 'follow-up scams'.
Cross-recruitment refers to the tactics used by racketeers to enrol the victims of disintegrating scams into their opposing 'viable business opportunities'. When 'pyramid games' were at the peak of their popularity (in the 1990s), many former adherents were persuaded to use their valid tactics of recruitment for enrolling people into other schemes, which on opposite of the 'pyramid games' were in fact a guarantee on a steady source of ('passive') income. A similar development is likely to take place in these stages of the dismantling of the Lyoness pyramid scheme.
Additionally, the instigators of the Lyoness scam may be interested in starting over (like Freidl did after the collapse of GTS and Galvagin). The demise of the current scheme will be blamed on the media, the authorities, sceptics, experts, whining (losing) participants, 'a few corrupted recruiters', et cetera. As most victims of the Lyoness racket may still believe their money is safe and will be (one way or another) returned to them, these victims should beware not to let the wish become the father to the thought. In other words, do not believe the lies that will inevitably be told to you, no matter how desperate you are to get your investment back. Use your common sense and realise that if your money will come back to you, it is not Freidl (or Lyoness) who will deliver it. Not with this scheme, and not with a new one.
As described in the beginning of this article, when searching for information about Lyoness, its reputation and its intentions, people may be led onto websites of a doubtful character at best. On these websites, seemingly independent advisers will tell you that the bad press on Lyoness is pure slander and libel based on hearsay and that Lyoness is in fact an amazing company, with a perfect reputation and the best intentions in the world. As most readers of this blog will know, these are blatant lies. These lies are expressed for the simple reason to confuse their readers and trick them into believing that Lyoness may in fact be a viable business opportunity.
Interesting examples of such websites are www.islyonessascam.blogspot.com and www.lyonessscamreview.com. Both of these websites have done their share of SEO training and appear very high in the results of Google on the search term "Lyoness Scam". On the latter one, 'ms. Jeanette Hayworth', a self-claimed retired investigative journalist, spreads pure Lyoness propaganda, ridiculing the work of critics and claiming that their very concerns are actually just lies to take the company down. Doubting prospects may end up on one of these websites and actually believe the blatant propaganda, join Lyoness and lose a considerable share of their life savings.
Another form of ill-intended advice is provided by so-called 'scam assessment websites'. Without claiming they all have bad intentions, readers of this blog should note that many of such websites are controversial at best and that when consulting of these websites, the best that can happen is that you pay someone to get a small part of the information that is publicly available on the internet. In worst case, the website could charge your credit card or recruit you into a follow-up scam. It is recommendable to seek professional advice instead.
Advance fee fraud
Much like in case of the obvious 419 fraud scammers, people will be interested to offer the victims of Lyoness a chance to get their money back, if only they pay a shall fee first. The basis of such fraudulent constructions is always that the racketeers will promise you something you really want or need (in this case, a refund of your investments), and the only thing you will have to do is compensate them for their effort somehow. The fee can be disguised in an uncountable number of ways, but be particularly wary of newly founded victim organisations that offer to provide legal advice and/or provide legal assistance in court, in exchange for a modest participation fee. Make sure to check carefully whom you are doing business with and do not hand over any money until it is clear that they actually have your best interest at heart.
As in case of the cross-recruitment techniques, it is possible that not only third parties, but also Lyoness instigators or adherents will join in this lucrative market. By trying to enrol the victims of Lyoness into new schemes that would already be the case, but another know tactic is to dangle the return of investments in front of the eyes of the destroyed victims. They would be promised a full refund, if only they would be patient, not complain to the authorities and the media and pay a few minor fees. Be aware that such scams may also be initiated by Lyoness adherents, particularly those who recruited you.