Saturday, February 27, 2010

TVI Express: operating ILLEGALLY in the US according to FTC

Federal Trade Commission requires ALL business opportunity and franchise sellers to give all potential buyers a disclosure statement that contains the following:
  • names, addresses, and telephone numbers of at least 10 previous purchasers who live closest to you;
  • a fully audited financial statement of the seller;
  • background and experience of the business's key executives;
  • cost of starting and maintaining the business; and
  • the responsibilities you and the seller will have to each other once you've invested in the opportunity. 
The TVI Express website has no such disclosure statement available. In fact, it only has ONE thing out of the five listed ANYWHERE on its website: cost of starting and maintaining the business ($250-$275, and $0). It does NOT provide any previous purchaser's info. It offers NO financial statement. It has NOTHING about backgrounds and experience of key executives. And it explains NO responsibilities between you and TVI Express (i.e. the contract terms you have to sign). Thus, it is clear that TVI Express is operating illegally in the US of A.

And please don't feed me some BS about how TVI Express is really a travel club. Even TVI Express's website says you are a distributor, and a business opportunity provider.

And yet there's bazillion articles on the Internet that somehow tries to convince you that TVI Express is NOT a scam. Well, it is illegal in the US, that's for sure. And if you want to throw you money at an ILLEGAL business, that's your problem.

Friday, February 26, 2010

TVI Express: 7 questions you should ask before joining

NOTE: This is a companion article to "TVI Express: 8 verified facts you need to know before joining"

TVI Express claims to be a "multinational conglomerate headquartered in London, UK", and lets you make $10000+ in weeks. If it sounds too good to be true... well, it probably is. At the minimum, read the 8 facts above (and click on the links I provided so you can see for yourself), then ask yourself these questions I pose:

1. Just where exactly is TVI Express located?

If you said, London, you'd be wrong. TVI Express is no longer a London Company. They now list a Cyprus address (just go to their website, says so right at the bottom), even though they use a London phone number, and claims to be a London company. So why aren't they listed as a UK company (search in Any if they are a London UK company, why do they claim that they are only subject to Cyprus and India laws? (See their Terms of Service at the bottom)

Why is this relevant? Simple: if you ever have problems, who do you call, or even arrange a face-to-face meeting? Or legally speaking, whose law is applicable? Can you afford to hire a lawyer in that area in case you have a legal dispute? To which government do you report the problem to? And why would you hand over money to a company if you don't even know where it is located?

TVI Express booster makes baseless claims of legitimacy

While on the Internet gives voice to any one who wishes to speak out, it also gives rise to people who speaks absolutely bull**** by making baseless claims with no facts to back them up. Here, we will show another TVI Express booster gives baseless claims based on his personal opinions, thus, absolutely no credibility.

The article is at

First, what is If you read the FAQ of their website, you'll find that ANYBODY can submit stuff to this free database of articles. And the reviewers don't really do any fact checking. They just make sure it doesn't contain anything illegal or get them into trouble. Thus, having an article here is no guarantee of credibility (though it is ranked pretty high on Google search).

Second, the article is full of typos. "Mercedes Benze", "200,00 members", and more. You get the idea.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

TVI Express scam exposed by Chinese reporter

NOTE: the Google Translate Link is here, in case you want to see the original, and the automatic translation.I do not claim to be a professional translator, so if you spot mistakes, let me know.

出盘就拿15000美金? 记者揭TVI网络传销内幕

Cycle out and get $15000 USD? Reporter reveals the secrets behind the TVI Express pyramid scheme

2009-06-12 10:10  来源: 齐鲁晚报  source: Qilu Evening News

NOTE: Link to a screenshot of online chat between the reporter and the TVI Express rep in China is not linked here. You can view the original via the link above.

“每天产生一个15000美元的会 员,这是一个奇迹,你还等什么?”
"Every day a $15000 dollar member is born. This is a miracle. What are you waiting for?"

Recently, a company named "TVI Express" is using this extremely tempting advertising language all over the Internet. Is there such a thing?

根据有关线索,记者在调查后发现,这个所谓以电子商务和在线 旅游为名的公司,其本质经营的仍旧是靠“拉人头、发展下线”来赚钱。
Based on available clues, this reporter, after an investigation, has found that the so-called e-commerce and online travel company, is really based on recruiting and developing downline for money.

Monday, February 22, 2010

TVI Express fraudster claims recruiting is actually selling

Welcome to another episode of "TVI Express Madness", where we document the apparent madness exhibited by TVI Express members, causing them to make illogical statements, ignoring reality even if it is staring them in the face. We will debunk more untruths put out by TVI Express recruiters desperate to fill their own "matrix" in pursuit of that mythical $10000 (and maybe some dubious e-Vouchers) payout.

The website we will debunk today is

As you can guess, TopTVIExpressTeam is a recruiter site, hoping for some more members to fill their matrix so they can cash out. They even wrote several blog entries claiming why TVI Express is not scam. What reason did they use?
"An opportunity that promises that you will make a certain amount of money when they know full well that very few if any people actually have a chance to do so. An example would be saying that you can make $10,000 per month, but to do so you would need to sponsor hundreds of people into the business. Since the average person only sponsors about two people into any business, what chance do they have of making $10,000? None and the people making those promises know that. That is what I call a scam.
How does TVI Express measure up to that? They say that you can make $10,000 along with a $5,000 travel voucher if you are committed, work hard and sponsor 2 people. You then help others to also sponsor their own 2 people which pushes you thru a matrix/board that has 14 positions on it. As each of those positions sponsors people you are pushed toward the top where you cash out and get paid.
Clearly, Bob has absolutely no idea what a pyramid scheme is, or the airplane game, or the 8-ball model. Yet it's right there on wikipedia, even has nice pictures!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

TVI Express: 8 facts you need to know before you join

TVI Express claims to be a "travel industry opportunity", that is now 1 year old, with over 600000 members worldwide. You buy into this opportunity for $250 (or $275), recruit two others to do the same, then sit back and wait for $10000 (or $10250, or $15000...) to roll in. Is it too good to be true? Here are 8 verified facts you need to know before you join up. I provided the links so you can check for yourself.

FACT #1 -- TVI Express claims to be based in London, England, but is not.

On TVI Express's "about us" webpage, it proudly claims it is based in London, UK.
"Travel Ventures International is a leading multinational conglomerate headquartered in London, United Kingdom."
Yet on the bottom of that very page, the address listed is in Cyprus, which is a little island off Greece. (Keep in mind that TVI Express used to list an UK address until end of 2009.)  Even today, it is using a London UK phone number (country code 44).

Friday, February 19, 2010

TVI Express cannot deliver its own promise on travel

One of the reasons TVI Express proponents cite to "legitimize" TVI Express is what you get for $250... "7-day 6-night accommodations at a 5-star hotel for two, AND return ticket". Says so right on this TVI recruiting site. (Incidentally, press Ctrl-A, and see how much keyword and link spamming this site uses... most of the links are not visible!)

It is very interesting to note that there is NO LONGER ANY MENTION of this 7-day 6-night thing on TVI Express's own website. If you can find a link to it, please let me know.

I found the link the the 7-day 6-night thing. It's actually right on the front page, at the bottom. However, it has been updated to say 3- to 5-star hotel. Here's what it would have looked like BEFORE the change:

It appears that TVI Express cannot even deliver on that promise. What you actually get apparently, is just an e-mail with a PICTURE of a certificate (that you can printout), that says you're a member, and the code on the certificate is redeemable for accommodations at a 3 to 5-star property. That's right, you have been DOWNGRADED. And there's no mention of the "return tickets" at all.

TVI Express's relation with Travelocity, real, but not much there

A lot has been said about TVI Express and its alleged relationship with Travelocity. Proponents of TVI Express use it to boost their claims of "legitimacy" (you can actually book trips and whatnot on it, so it must be legit!) and Opponents of TVI Express (I must claim membership as well) see that as a sign of fraud, not legitimacy.

Well, today I will show you just how easy it is to create that "back office" booking travel, under the TVI tab "Travel Express".

You see, Travelocity has this Travelocity Affiiliate program, called "World Choice Travel" or WCT, that not many people know about. Any body off the street can open a website for this, provided you do the following:

  • You plan on implementing the WCT booking engines on your site within 30 days.
  • You will not feature our competitors' booking engines on your site without WCT's authorization.
  • You are confident your minimum sales will include no fewer than 40 hotel or airline bookings per month.
  • You have experience with online marketing and driving traffic to your website, including Search Engine Marketing (SEM).
Yep, that's it. That's why TVI Express's "back office" looks exactly like Travelocity. It accesses the same engine. Does that make them "associates" in any way? Only in the way that Amazon Associates is associated with Amazon.

So those of you who thinks that TVI Express's "relationship" with Travelocity somehow legitimizes the company... It doesn't. Not by any stretch of the imagination, not when there really isn't any "standard" to be qualified. I can set one up in 48 hours myself.

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TVI Express booster gives bogus example of Ponzi scheme

Welcome to another episode of "TVI Express Madness", where TVI Express distributors demonstrates their symptoms by writing nonsense on their websites. In today's episode, another TVI Express booster cites for supposed legitimacy, then promptly ignores it when it comes to explaining why TVI Express is legal...

He supposedly cites information, but gave no backlink. But let's ignore that for the moment. Suffice to say the definition of a Ponzi Scheme is accurate enough. From his own quote:
Instead of investing victims' funds, the operator pays "dividends" to initial investors using the principle amounts "invested" by subsequent investors.
Or in other words, the latercomers are paying the early-birds.

So what does he say that show explains WHY TVI Express is NOT a Ponzi scheme?

If this company was to take all of the money coming in and did not invest it for future growth (like new computer network labs and offices in India, like they doing at this present time) then someone might think this was some sort of ponzi scheme.

Instead of explain how TVI Express is NOT using the latercomer's money to pay the early birds, he goes off inventing a new explanation "they are investing in their infrastructure in India". So WHY did you cite the FBI website? Huh? And where's the PROOF of this claim, that they're investing in infrastructure in India?

TVI Express is no longer a London company

If you go to TVI Express website, you'll see that they are now based out of Limassol, Cyprus (at the bottom of the page), which is a little island off Greece TURKEY (yes, I am sorry, I fogot to actually LOOK at the map!).  However, they are still using their country code 44, which is a UK number. (FYI, Cyprus' country code is 357)

Yet TVI Express's own website still loudly proclaims that they are based out of London! Does that make them a liar? You be the judge.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

TVI Express members are tax evaders

And they're very PUBLIC about their tax evasion!
The Presidential Group of TVI Has Another $10,000 Earner! Jocelyn (last name withheld so the IRS doesn't find out), one of the founding members of the Presidential Group Of TVI North America, is the most recent member to earn her first big paycheck.

So IRS don't find out eh? That makes Jocelyn a tax evader! And these are contributing to the evasion!

Or the this TVI Top Team is a bunch of fakers.

Which one would you rather be? Remember... Al Capone was never caught, except by the IRS.
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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

More TVI Express shills post bogus claims of legitimacy

Welcome to another episode of TVI Express Madness! With over 600,000 victims, this pandemic is worldwide, and infecting more people every day! The symptoms are complete loss of grip with reality, as they spew out gibberish, all just in attempt to score that mythical $10000 payoff!  We are trying to bring awareness to this problem!

Today's documented victim is

The author, another TVI Express shill,  tries to explain why TVI Express is NOT a scam. However, just by looking at the name, it is already hard to take this website seriously. How can a a member of TVI Express, even CLAIM to give an impartial review of TVI Express, much less is TVI Express a scam or not? Yet it has the temerity to call itself "TVIExpressReviewBlog"... What utter... nonsense.

So what is their definition of a "pyramid scheme"?
"When there is no exchange of product and only an exchange of money, then the program is considered illegal. This type of money exchange program is what people should be calling a scam. So if you are just exchanging money and you are not getting a physical product or a service for that money, that is illegal."

Actually,  Federal Trade Commission, who goes after pyramid scammers, has a better definition:

Pyramid schemes now come in so many forms that they may be difficult to recognize immediately. However, they all share one overriding characteristic. They promise consumers or investors large profits based primarily on recruiting others to join their program, not based on profits from any real investment or real sale of goods to the public.
In other words: if you make more money from recruiting people than from selling things or service, you are likely involved in a scam.

TVI Express shills post bogus claims of legitimacy

Here is a typical "article" claiming that TVI Express is not a scam.

"... They [TVI Express] have third-party relationships with some of the leading businesses in the travel industry. This should tell anyone that it’s not a scam. Carnival, Hilton, and Hertz are just a few of the businesses that TVI has associated themselves with."

Except where is the "proof" that TVI Express has, or have ever had such relationships with those companies? Is there a press-release somewhere by any of these supposed 'associates'? Nope. An unverifiable claim was made. I guess I could say I am related to the famous author Amy Tan, and how are you going to prove me otherwise? (Incidentally, I really am)

And please note the term "third-party relationships". That means TVI Express doesn't actually do business with any of them directly, but through a third-party.

Gee, I guess because I own a PC with Intel CPU inside, I am "associated" with Intel! I have an HP fax on my desk and a LG cell phone and use Verizon. So I must be associated with Hewlett-Packard, LG, and Verizon as well!

If that proves that TVI Express is legitimate, I guess any Al Qaeda goon who owns any sort of name-brand electronics is legitimized by owning such electronics! "Me no terrorist! Me iPhone here!"

Then the "author" brings out the "If they pay, they must be legit" excuse, despite the fact that Bernie Madoff haven't faded from the headlines completely yet.

With no other excuse left, the "author" resort to making an unsupported statement:

"TVI Express is not a scam. In fact, they are a legitimate company that was created by individuals who, obviously, thought outside the box."
Outside the LEGAL box, it seems. And it must have included a case of the stupid pill, because people have to be taking it to spew garbage like this. 

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

TVI Express: even LESS legitimate than YTBI, which actually sells something!

YTB InternationalImage via Wikipedia
California's Attorney General had ssued YTBI, a "MLM travel business opportunity company".The lawsuit was settled in 2009, forcing the company to thoroughly reorganize the way it does business. So what's the relevance? They sound exactly like TVI Express, even assuming TVI Express is completely legitimate. And we've seen the other warning signs.

"Participants, who pay a $450 set up fee and $50 per month to maintain an "online travel agency" website, can collect commissions for recruiting new participants, utilize the website for their own travel purposes, as well as sell travel packages to others. However, most participants make the majority of their money by recruiting new agents rather than through travel sales of their own."

Doesn't this sounds JUST like TVI Express, except for the lower initial payment, and no monthly fees?

When you throw in the FTC test fail, and the striking similarities to another scammer, the Fortuna Alliance, the fact that their "matrix" is a mirror copy of 8-ball scam, and bazillion other problems, any one who don't see that TVI Express as a scam may just be self-delusional, IMHO.

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TVI Express: even their "matrix" is recycled scam

Those who are in Australia may have heard of GoldenGalaxy, and those in Canada may have heard of CashClub. Both operated something very similar to a matrix, which is just a fancy name for a pyramid. And both were subsequently convicted of being an 8-ball scam, which is just a variation of the pyramid.

(see and search for Cash Club and Golden Galaxy)

Need a reminder on what an 8-ball scam looks like? Here's the Wikipedia entry:

As I've shown before, the TVI Express traveller's board and express board, or matrix, or whatever they want to call them, is an 8-ball scam. This is from a TVI member's website, :

So either the TVI Express member is lying and posted a fake picture to illustrate TVI Express, or he had just proven that TVI Express's matrix, both of them, are 8-ball scams.

And yet you still find TVI Express boosters such as Lynette, who keep posting personal attacks, yet failed to explain any of these "striking similarities", to put it kindly. (I personally would call them "smoking guns".)

When one speaks bullshit for too long, one starts to believe in one's own bullshit. This is especially true if one needs to believe in one's bullshit in order to sell it to other people.

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

TVI Express is operating illegally in China

National emblem of the People's Republic of ChinaImage via Wikipedia
Chinese Law requires all MLM's to register itself and to prove it is NOT a pyramid scheme. The national-level State Administration of Industry and Commerce (SAIC) has a specific "Direct Selling Regulation Bureau" that licenses MLMs. So far, TVI Express has NOT registered itself and been approved, according to news report. (alternate translation)

What's more, Shangtong's Gongshangbu (Ministry of Labor and Commerce) is also investigating TVI Express, in addition to previously reported investigation by Zhejiang authorities, according to this Chinese journalist's report.

This journalist posed as a potential member and chatted up an existing TVI Express member online, and gotten an inside look on how TVI Express works. It's nothing new, but it's just as damning otherwise.

In Wuxi, another part of China, police are also after the scammers using TVI Express to fleece people out of over 300000 RMB.

In Wuhua, Yunnan Province, yet another part of China, police raided a hotel room where TVI Express boosters are trying to spread the word and fleece more victims.

In Xiapu, Fujian Province, police have, with help of Shanghai police, arrested a TVI Express recruiter who has taken over 4.7 MILLION RMB from various victims. 

I can go on and on, but I won't. The point is China says TVI Express is illegal. And if one country says it is, perhaps... other countries may follow.
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TVI Express denounced as SCAM by Botswana Consumer Watchdog

Botswana Newspaper "The Voice" and Consumer Watchdog examined "TVI Express" and found it to be a pyramid scam you should stay away.
"...TVI is unbelievable and should not be trusted.  It’s a pyramid scheme and I guarantee that if you give them your money you’ll just be throwing it away."
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TVI Express: recycled Fortuna Alliance pyramid scam

The unsustainable geometric progression of a c...Image via Wikipedia
In the 1990's, when Internet is still young, the FTC busted a pyramid scammer called "Fortuna Alliance", that promised the same things that TVI Express is promising today. Want to see how much of a copycat TVI Express is when compared to a PROVEN scammer, the Fortuna Alliance? You won't like what you see, esp. if you are a member of TVI Express.
"In the complaint detailing the charges, the FTC charged that Fortuna Alliance, L.L.C., and four officers, marketed the pyramid scheme through a home page on the World Wide Web and with printed promotional materials. Using fabulous earnings claims, they induced tens of thousands of consumers in over 60 countries around the world to pay between $250 and $1750 to join their pyramid scheme, claiming that members would receive over $5,000 per month in 'profits' as others were induced to 'enroll.' In addition, Fortuna and its officers provided advice and promotional materials for members to recruit others to join the pyramid, both through direct contact and by setting up their own web sites. The FTC's complaint asked the court to order a permanent halt to the alleged deceptive practices and to order redress for the people Fortuna signed up to the scheme."
Cited from

Friday, February 12, 2010

A bachelor of criminal justice cannot recognize pyramid scheme!

Seal of the United States Federal Trade Commis...Image via Wikipedia
Our resident TVI Express booster, Lynette, claims to have a bachelor's degree in criminal justice, yet she clearly cannot even spot a pyramid scheme! Here's an article from the FTC that explains VERY clearly what a pyramid scheme is, and how pyramid schemes can pretend to be MLM companies. Here's some select quotes:
Pyramid schemes now come in so many forms that they may be difficult to recognize immediately. However, they all share one overriding characteristic. They promise consumers or investors large profits based primarily on recruiting others to join their program, not based on profits from any real investment or real sale of goods to the public.
So, what does TVI Express sell? Nothing. As I've repeated MULTIPLE times, from TVI Express's own FAQ, NOTHING is sold. All of the money comes from recruitment.
In the largest pyramid case brought by the Commission in the 1990's, we witnessed how pyramid operators often try to use the international banking system to hide their assets. In FTC v. Fortuna Alliance, the defendants allegedly promised consumers that, for a payment of $250, they would receive profits of over $5,000 per month. The program spawned numerous web sites on the Internet and victimized thousands of investors across 60 different countries. Although the defendants initially operated out of the United States, the Commission discovered they had secreted millions of dollars to offshore bank accounts in Antigua. But international cooperation saved the day. With the aid of the courts and banks in Antigua, the Commission obtained an order against the defendants, requiring them to repatriate over $2 million in offshore assets and pay approximately $7 million in redress to consumers from 60 countries. 
Sound familiar? Payment of $250, $10000 within a month, banking internationally across multiple countries (Cyprus, England, India, and more), multiple websites on the Internet, thousands of victims across the world...

So, Lynette, tell us why TVI Express is NOT a pyramid scheme...
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Our TVI booster is back... with more vitriol than ever!

Our resident TVI booster Lynette, who apparently has nothing better to do than busting my chops (or trying to, any way), has posted a couple more feedbacks, in which she has accused me of various things! Here's some select quotes so you can marvel at her mastery of baseless insults:

I laugh at people like you who jump on something and run with it with no proof of your own.
So explain why TVI Express can't pass the FTC test, please? That's the simplest thing. So let's start there.

If you look your information is inaccurate as well. I am sorry for you, but the proof is in the pudding and I've seen the money made, or I wouldn't be in this one either.
Yet she cannot cite a single instance just WHAT information I have was "inaccurate". Then she explains it away by the typical scam excuse: it made money. She ignored my multiple references to Bernie Madoff, who made plenty of money, BILLIONS of dollars, and is very illegitimate.

Friday, February 5, 2010

TVI Express fails FTC test

pyramid schemeImage by Idiolector via Flickr
So far no TVI Express member can actually provide ANY PROOF that their little opportunity is NOT a scam. As they don't seem to have anything legitimate to say, I'll give them a nail in the coffin...
Avoid any plan where the reward for recruiting new distributors is more than it is for selling products to the public. That’s a time tested tip-off to a pyramid scheme
When TVI Express's own FAQ states that you do NOT sell anything, but you *do* need to recruit 2 more members, and all of the reward comes from cycling out of the boards, which is by recruiting more members, you don't really need any other proof that TVI Express is a pyramid scam.

Another "desperate" TVI member's non-rebuttal

Wow, I seem to be a magnet for all the various TVI Express member and teams and whatever that wants to "refute" my research into TVI Express. Instead of actually providing me with any facts to refute what I presented, they instead went on some personal attack. I'll quote another recent comment (click here to see original)
Why is it that people feel they have the right to critique a company without being a part of it?
Oh, the classic "if you're not us you can't understand us" argument, except it is bogus. A scam is a scam, no matter if you're in it or not in it. By this argument, police and justice system cannot exist because they have to be criminals to judge criminals, or even to criticize criminals.

Besides, what about movies critics? Or book critics? Or even political critics? They aren't in the stuff they are critiquing (except peripherally). 
How can a person give reliable and factual information just by doing “research” on the internet?
Instead of refuting the EVIDENCE I gave, she instead attack me personally. Perhaps you need to wake up, dear. Wikipedia is now the most often cited research source in the world. Every single reference book from Encyclopedia Britannica to Merriam-Webster dictionary is online. And on the Internet, I can pull up company records in England, comments about TVI Express in India, official investigation of TVI Express in China, and more. YOU are posting this comment on the Internet. And you criticize the use of Internet for research?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Yet another TVIGAT rebuttal that's not a rebuttal

Apparently some TVIGAT boosters didn't like what I said about their "opportunity", upon further review and their initial un-rebuttal. Their comment are as follows:

first lets get some facts straight.
The entry fee is 37$ one time
if you can market to get your 2 referrals then do so.If you can't then you can pay 20$ per referral and that is all you need. If you market then tvi-gat will pay you a referral fee of 15$ for every referral you bring in. Along with this you get 1000 leads which you can market to. The 37$ is much better than 250-275 for tviexpress depending where in the world you are. before spouting off get your facts straight ok.
Well, can any one spot anything that directly contradicts what I posted so far? Me neither. Another un-rebuttal.

Are all TVIGAT members/boosters this absent-minded?