Monday, 12 June 2017

World Life Experience: Scam-project in a Portuguese mask

World NGOs said they don`t work with the project.



Yep, sadly but true. The project World Life Experience is a scam with illegal using of world NGOs name to attract you. I really hope that you haven`t transfer your money to their fake accounts yet.

From the start of the promo of the project I had no doubts that World Life Experience is just one more global cheating project for freebie-lovers.

The website looked very suspicious - weird sponsors, any physical address and mentioning of "some NGOs" without any names of it.


But surely these doubts were not enough to state that project is fake. It have been tonnes of publications in international media, the team have posted a lot of content at Facebook, make some communications and answered to questions comments at their Facebook-page.

So, after all there is nothing strange in the fact that a lot of people were hoping that they have real possibility to have this "dream job" - to travel a year for free, and visit 40 countries having 2500 EUR monthly. Nowadays media, especially social media, have  incredible influence on audience. 

The strangest thing as for me was the fact that any media haven`t checked the project before publish the news.

In a week Facebook page of World Life Experience had assembled over 280 000 of subscribers and the website have over unique 30 000 visitors daily.


Taking in mind all the suspicious aspects of the project I decided to investigate the nature of the project by myself. But preliminary I had left the request for application at the website.

Firstly I checked the country where the website had been registered. Using the whois-service I had detached that it is France (not Portugal, as it pointed at the website). Today due to the high traffic at the worldlifeexperience.com this data is not opened anymore.

First cheating was detached. But, still not enough to say that it is a scam. May be their juridical adress is different from the physical. 



The most suspicious thing for me was mentioning NGOs and the importance of a social component of the project. Why they do not called the names of these NGOs? 

As an human rights activist I know that serious organisations never join projects without official informing at their official websites and social networks pages. I had checked all largest NGOs resources and haven't find any word about the World Life Experience initiative.

I e-mailed the team of the project via info@worldlifeexperience.com and asked them which charity organisations will they support. It passed away near 2 weeks and I still not received any answer. 

But a few day ago I finally received the cheerful letter from the project. It said: "your pre-registration meets all the requirements! Now it’s time to validate your application." I think most of people who are now reading this text received the same e-mails.

 

After I had finished the survey the system proposed to me to choose one of 6 NGOs to support within the application process. 



Most people in the world know each of these organisations: MSF, Human Rights Watch, Action Against Hunger,WWF, Refugees International and Save the Children. It is the final step before you will charge your money for scammers.




It was the crucial mistake of scam-creators. I had already e-mailed them and they already had know that I am a blogger and I wouldn't be satisfied with their silence.  Correction: they should know. If they would check mailbox. So they just sent to me general mailing thinking that I will give my money to them.



Then I sent request to each of these NGOs and ask to confirm their cooperation with World Life Experience. Today I have reply from to of them - WWF and Medicines Sans Frontieres.

Both organisations do not no anything about the project for now and do not have any partnership with scammers. They will check it more deeply but I think you all know understand the point.))


After receiving this information I had wrote this post and tried to spread it. But people who wishing to travel for free and have a good salary were (surprise to me) more likely to transfer money then to believe that its a scam.

I had posted the link to this post below the one of World Life Experience`s posts at the Facebook, but they've not reacted. Then I posted it at their Instagram, and the team had tried to come true with such explanation:



And after I mentioned the court, they just banned me! I am now exploring WLE Instagram from a different account.

I want to underline again: any of NGOs mentioned above never cooperate with any project without preliminary agreement and providing the permission for using their names and logos. 

In a few hours at the FB-page of the project the so called "explanation post " had appeared. It was any answers to direct questions. Just general calming down phrases. 

And it was a photo of two guys presented as a founders of the project: Antonio Dias and Pedro Tinoco. And the name of the company - TOP EXPERIENCE. You will not find any information about these guys and the company with that name in Internet. And you will not find their accounts in any social network. Also, even Google photo search service  haven't find any other picture of them.


  


But it is one thing which may lead further researchers to something new. The post was edited, and a first appeared name was not Antonio Dias. It was Antonio Coelho Dias. You may check it by clicking little globe icon at the right upper corner of the post.


Fragment of the edited post.

If you'll Google this name you will find a few FB-accounts with different pictures and the website  http://www.antoniocoelhodias.pt which had been updated in 2010 for a last time. There are some information online about some graphic artist with this name.

When the post had appeared I asked them a few questions to clarify. For example, how the project going to employ non-EU residents for such job. Especially taking in mind the the procedure of hiring is pretty hard and it may needs more then 2500 EUR monthly to hire a person officially.

I had received also a general answer: we cooperate with a team of accountants and lawyers so don't worry. And when I asked to call a name of companies who are accompanying them they've ... just deleted my comments with questions and their answer.

In a few days I had received one more answer from Doctors Without Borders and Action Against Hunger where these NGOs have confirmed that they are not having any partnerships with World Life Experience and that using of their logo are made without permissions which means it illegal.



Thus, there are at least 3 of 6 NGOs who don`t know anything about World Life Experience and do not provided the permission for using their names and logos  to so called initiative. 

For me the crucial aspect was the fact that the usage of NGOs name was not agreed with organisations. So independently of the fact what they are going to do with money in future it was clear that at the start they are breaking the law.

And the used scheme was perfect to make it works: the names of the NGOs have not been published previously, and the logos had not displayed anywhere except closed page with survey. 

So it is almost impossible to proof such illegal usage of intellectual property. But totally enough to make people believe that the project is socially responsible and trustworthy. The NGOs was from the list of biggest worldwide organisations.

Now the cheater`s project keeping to answer question regarding technical problems with payments but still haven't answer any direct questions. The application procedure will finish 30th June and, looking on audience reaction, till that date the project will raise millions and millions euros by breaking the law...

Finalising I want to say that if you still have some doubts and hope that the project is working and legal, and you have a chance to get the trip of your dreams for free I advice you to look to few more details:

  • when you choosing which NGO you want to support you can choose multiple. I choose all 6 and the proposed sum remained the same. Think about how this 2,5 EUR will be separated with 6 NGOs

  • If you will try to log in within the link from your e-mail at second time the system will just say that your e-mail do not exist in the database.


Sorry again, but if you're already transferred money to the World Life Experience you've made a big mistake.

Share this post to aware your friends and people over the world of the scam!

28 comments:

  1. Hello Olga,

    Thank you for going deep into this subject. Like you, I was also intriguing by the possibility of this project being a scam. With your help, I've made my mind. It's pretty clear that this is a false endeavour to steal peoples money.

    With good intention,
    Luiz Brasil

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad to help you and other people!

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  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWBtKFhl5EQ

    Well, I found one of those guys:

    https://www.comprarfranchising.com/sites/default/files/users/user17/master_pedrotinoco.png

    But I'm also trying to find if this opportunity is true or not.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://gofranchising.pt/2014/01/school-house-comeca-2014-com-5-novos-centros/

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    2. At least one exist... lol
      But I can't find anything about António.
      I contacted the School House agency and I'm waiting their answer

      https://www.facebook.com/SchoolHouseMaster/photos/a.157423280936679.37721.155557024456638/784042181608116/?type=3&theater

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    3. What is this video about? I do t understand Portuguese)

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    4. The video is just a radio cast with one of the said "founders" of that initiative, Pedro Tinoco. He is just saying what needs to be done to be an entepreneur. Nothing big, just showing that the guy exists.

      Guessing he doesn't know they are using his name to show some credit to this scheme.

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    5. I also guess he doesn't know about the project W.L.E...

      I think that if it was real should have an interview with them a live or something... and should be easy to know more about it.


      But anyway, he really worked at this agency School House but he is not there anymore, since 2014 to be exactly.




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    6. In his Linkedin profile says he is co-founder at world life experience lol
      https://www.linkedin.com/in/pedrolepierretinoco/

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  3. Hi Olga,

    I got my senses tingling when I heard that there's a 9€ fee for application. All the companies I ever applied to a job paid any expenses in the selection process.

    I'm planning to call their office building in Portugal tomorrow. If there's no office like this there, then it might be another proof that this is a total scam.

    Thanks for your work in documenting this. Taking money out of people who, in some or even most cases, are unemployed and already have so little to spend is just cruel.

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    Replies
    1. As for me most cruel thing is to use the names of known social initiatives for make it... I think that calling would not proof anything as it's very simple to pretend anybody by phone. Anyway, please, let us know what will be the result of your call!

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  4. Hello Olga,

    I had those doubts when I thought this is way too good to be true, and when I found about the. 9€ donations..

    I just hope if the guy calling them can add something to this, and I shall write some clarification in Arabic about this using your post and refer to you of course. I just hope we can find the truth.

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  5. hi olga, they are way to scam...

    i could even cheat them [who cheats the cheater is forgiven?] and i could confirm my payment without spend one single cent
    and it just took me 5 minutes of trying... so they were so in a rush to deliver the scam that they even built a website could be hacked in 5 minutes

    if you want to see just create a new account [with a new email] or tell me the password of yours and i can confirm the payment for you in seconds

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Guess they are not using Paypal API properly. Did you find out the callback URL?

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    2. Bolds: I've paid:(. Can they do something with my data of creditcard?

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    3. Mel, It depends on the method they're using to charge you. If it's Paypal, no, and you can even try to get your money back because of Buyers Protection.

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    4. Hi Olga (and everybody),

      after a post i've wrote in my blog
      http://www.tomatechines.com.br/2017/06/world-life-experience-o-golpe-da-volta-ao-mundo/ (portuguese only)

      the director of wle contacted me asking for a skype meeting...
      we just finished it now and i'm going to write about it tomorrow but i wanted to come here and say: THEY EXIST

      the whole conversation was in portuguese (i'm brazillian he is portuguese) so doesn't make sense to me publish parts of the video as nobody is going to understand.

      we talked about: financing, logistics, visas, viability and timing of the project

      my opinion about this talk: they exists! they are going to bring some people to travel! but i dont believe me, you or any other person who applied throught the website has chance to be selected, the "winners" are going to be choosen (and by his speech i think they alread were chosen) according to the company interests what means that people indicated by sponsors, friends of the owners of the company are more probably to be there.

      that is it, i'm going to put my facebook down here and if anyone want to get in contact to know more just text me

      https://www.facebook.com/ragpl

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    5. Hello! Thank you for your comment. I had thought about some similar option. But, have you asked him about illegal using of NGOs name? That it is a breaking a laws? As I mentioned in one of discussions, yes, may be they will choose somebody and they will travel. But: 1. The method of collecting money is illegal 2. There is any possibility to people outside the EU 3. They took tonnes of money for themselves using reputation of other companies.

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    6. Hi Olga,

      NGO thing is not my concern, i think 90% of the people who applied are just caring about find a "too good to be true job" they don't really care about the 30% donation the company is supose to make to a NGO.

      They are a company, they arent forbidden to aim profit and is too inocent to think this whole project is not aiming that, if someone wanted just to donate to a NGO he should go straint to theirs website

      i contacted 3 of their sponsors and they all agreed that they are working with WLE in someway

      My only concern now is they are not going to do a fair selection and the public is too blind to realise it, due to the tight schedule is totally impossible to do a worldwide selection doing: enterviews, health check, past criminal search, contracts signature, visas... so as you told probably all the participants are now in EU (even if they weren't born there, they may have double citzenship or just living permit there) and dealing with the whole process while the other "branch" of the company is raising the founds with a made up selection.

      all my thoughts after the talk with Pedro are wroten in my blog

      https://translate.google.com.br/translate?sl=pt&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=pt-BR&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.tomatechines.com.br%2F2017%2F06%2Fworld-life-experience-o-golpe-da-volta-ao-mundo%2F&edit-text=

      (this is the english translated version)

      according to him in the next 15 days one of the biggest air companies in the world is going to formalize the sponsroship of the project

      Delete
  6. Hi little-sincetta
    Thank you so much for this article. I almost fall in their trap. you saved me at the last moment. the 9€ fee made me think more and recheck. again thank you so much

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  7. hi olga.
    this kind of things are always too good to be true right?..
    anyway, i made a search of "top experience" company, and in fact it appears to be a legit company registered in portugal ( it has fiscal number and designation of activity).
    not that is impossible that this is a "fake" company...created just as a front or something shaddy..
    don't know about the rest, scam or not...

    https://www.racius.com/top-experience-lda/
    http://empresite.jornaldenegocios.pt/TOP-EXPERIENCE.html
    http://www.infoempresas.com.pt/Empresa_TOP-EXPERIENCE.html

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  8. hi olga.
    I found this video belongs to a community blogs, here she shows her response by NGOs. It is the same as ls images you showed. The NGOs do not know anything about the project.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SlTuiQFJO4

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  9. For any person familiar with doing business in Portugal it is clear that this company has very non-zero probability of being scam.
    1) name of the company is TOP EXPERIENCE lda. Being 99,9% sure I can say that this name (two random English words) comes from Portuguese procedure called Empresa na Hora, which means "company in an hour", and yes, this company can be opened in just one hour with all fees totaling 300EUR or slightly more.
    2)Social capital of the company is 5000EUR, lower limits for company social capital were cancelled couple of years ago, but it used to be 5000 before, so for experienced business founder it is still the 'minimum minimorum' of how much money you can put in the company
    3)Legal address of the company is a 'virtual office', you can check it out easily

    To sum it up, you can run a business this way in Portugal, but if you are a public and transparent company ready for massive investment/NGO operations - no way!

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  10. I hope they go to the jail and return us our money!

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  11. Hey! I just paid the 9€ fee. I didnt know about all this. Any idea of what can I do? If I just lost 9€ im angry but its ok. What I dont want is to lose more money.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I see two options:
      - PayPal has buyer protection, you get your money back fast and easy;
      - Contact your credit card issuer, tell them you were a victim of a fraud and want your money back. Not 100% guaranteed tho.

      Delete
    2. The best thing you can do is inform yourself first, before making a hurried decision. Many scammers seek the pressure of the moment to defraud people. While others deceive you into believing that your dreams come true. I hope that helps you identify a scammer

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