When I heard about it a week ago for the first time, the first question which I had in mind was: what is this, is SmashFund a scam? But I am not going to make strong statements or any claims here.
Frankly speaking, it would not be fair: nobody knows how SmashFund will actually work, it is yet to be launched, somewhere in July as I understand. But they have started their campaign already, and many of those who have signed up already, are now recruiting new members. So, just see a few facts below and then decide yourself.
Things to know as a start
When you go to SmashFund site and sign up, you will realize that:
- There is no a real profile page for you.
- There is no exchange of knowledge there, there is no training for new skills for the money you are going to pay.
- They say this is a social platform. But this is all about exchanging money. You pay your own monthly membership. You then promote SmashFund somewhere hoping that people will sign up by using your membership number. They become your referrals and you get a part of the amount ($50) which they pay into the system. Everybody pays! And everybody pays the same amount. But will everybody earn?
- Apparently, you also get $4 from the payments of referrals of your referrals. See more below.
- They claim that signing up is free until some day in July. Formally this is so, but this statement is meaningless. In a way, they admit that this is a pyramid scheme: they say the sooner you sign up the better starting position you are going to have. You realize what this means.
- I have seen some claiming that they have already earned money, in other words they have referrals. But there is no money unless you pay yourself, and more importantly, you do not know if your referrals who have already signed up will really pay after the scheme is officially launched in July.
What I do not know, and would like to know…
…is the following: once I am in, how do I get out? You know, it is about giving your credit card number, and the monthly membership is not negligible, it is $149. I have not seen any statements about this.
A good place to start with is this video by Rob Towles, CEO of this company:
In the video he says ‘it does not have to be perfect‘. The question is: what? There is noting you can do when you go to the site. You can’t do it neither perfect nor imperfect. It is all about signing up (and paying), and hoping that others will sign up (and pay) through your member-number.
Further, he says this is a social network. Frankly speaking I do not know what makes it a social network. You do not have any interaction with anybody. This is all about signing up by using somebody’s member number.
There is a video on Vimeo (there are restrictions so I cannot embed it here), where the owner of the site Rob Towles speaks about 80% of shares that go to members. This looks to me like an arbitrary statement. He could have easily said 99% instead. There is no way to check this what he claims. In fact this is not possible and the reasons are obvious due to the following:
When you sign up, you share your member number and people will eventually sign up by using it. They become your referrals, but then they share their own numbers as well, that is the name of the game. So others will sign up using their numbers, and in theory this goes endlessly. So how Rob Towles can possibly make such a claim of 80%? He will never know how many members he has. In the moment when he thinks that he has established the number of members, this number has already changed countless times, and he cannot have a clue about real figures.
What I have done
If you go to SmashFund site, you will realize that you cannot sign up directly. This is because you need to add an ‘invite code‘ (in other words, somebody’s member number). So somebody, somewhere must have started it as a first person, and this person is on the top of the pyramid. You understand that this was the owner of the business himself.
For you, it does not matter whose number you fill in when you sign up. Take just any, you will see my own number below, you can use it, but you do not have to. Frankly I do not care. Does this sound strange to you? Am I not collecting referrals myself? Indeed, I do not care if you use my number or not. The reason is simple: I am not going to pay for this, therefore collecting referrals for me is pointless. If I do not pay myself, I shall not earn anything regardless how many people sign up by using my invite-number.
So, I myself have found somebody’s number and signed up by using a fake identity. Yes you are reading correctly:
- I took the name of a famous guy born in 19th century.
- Did not bother to check his birth year, I just invented one.
- I filled in a fake credit card number, and gave a fake phone number.
- Then I started a new email, just for this purpose. So the email is the only thing that is not fake. It is necessary to be real one because I have received my member number by email.
- So I filled in everything, and I was in. I had my member number in email. See below my member’s page:
What you can do
You can do the same, take my number if you wish and register, put what you want for your data, this is up to you. But remember, there may be no money to you unless you pay it yourself first. The same holds for all your referrals. But if you pay, and they do not pay, you will have no money streaming to your account. In theory you need at least 3 referrals/monthly to compensate for losses, but there is more to that, see below.
So you can start by playing safe and give some fake card number, just to see the system from inside. But I can tell you, there is nothing to be seen, just have a look again into my page above.
Assuming that everybody might play safe, there will be no money in the system. So nobody can earn anything. Somebody must start paying first. The money comes from the members.
So here is my link, see and try this yourself (note, you will be connecting directly through Albert Einstein, that is me, have a look):
Can you really earn money with SmashFund
For some it could work, in particular for the guy on the top. But this is a pyramid, so when the scheme dies out, the majority on the lower levels of the structure will lose money. We have seen such cases in the past didn’t we?
If you start reading articles about SmashFund you will notice the number 64000 per month. It is funny to see how they came to such a number.
Officially, you can have 16000 referrals per account (yes, you can have many accounts, they do not care as long as you are ready to pay for each separately). So imagine an ideal situation, you have this number of people, each of them paid $149, and from this amount you get $50 (per referral). So the total amount should be 800000, but notice this is not per month, this is in total. So this can be in 3 days, 30 days, 300 days.
There is also $4 you get per referral of your referral (it is not cleat if this propagates somehow: for referrals-of-referrals-of-referrals, etc.). So ideally, 16000 of your referrals may have 16000 referrals each. The total number of your second-level referrals is 256 million. So this should be multiplied by $4, and this is your income in an ideal case, i.e., $1024 million! Yes, you are reading correctly, it is over a billion.
But there is no time limit, you can get it weakly, yearly, or in any time interval. So how on Earth have they arrived to $64000? This will remain a mystery to me. Perhaps this number just looked good enough, but why not $79501, or any other?
Well, it appears they multiplied the maximum number of your direct referrals (per account), i.e., 16000 with the number $4 which you get for one of your indirect (second-level) referral. So this is the first logical inconsistency. Then they added ‘per month’, which is the second inconsistency, because there is no time frame here.
So what do you think, is SmashFund a scam? One thing is certain – I am not going to pay anything to this fund. In other words, regardless if you use my member-number given above or not, this has no meaning to me. But be my guest and use it, this number is as good as any other. Its only purpose is to let you in, and you will be there in seconds. If you enter with a fake identity, then real-you can become referral of the fake-you. Sounds like a great social connection with yourself. Well, enough from me, it is up to you, do as you wish.
If you are as skeptical as I am, perhaps you might want to try something else, the place where I have been building my sites and developing my online business in the past 18 months. Have a look, it may change your life. It changed mine.
Thank you for reading. I shall be happy to see some comment from you.