Towards the end of 2010, there was a program that launched called PayBox.me, which offered you $50 to sign up and up to $20 per day paid to you, with a $5 referral fee payment per person you signed up.
On the surface they were trying to emulate PayPal. They offered services such as person-to-person transactions, currency exchanges, online store and small and mid-size business integration with payment processing. To receive the $20 per day required you to log into PayBox.me and complete tasks such as subscribing to their newsletter or completing surveys. All sounds good so far, right?
As with all scams, not all is as it seems or what you see is not what you get. Here’s why I say that: You were thinking you were going to be paid in US Dollars, as that is the impression they gave you. But in reality they were paying you PayBox currency. Which by the way PayBox says is “autonomous and independent of all nations and governments.”
PayBox.me is not the first program which offers credits/vouchers/units making their currency exchangeable with other currencies. The only problem is you have no guarantee their currency will ever be interchangeable with other currencies.
They also like to have their cake and eat it too. For in their TOS (Terms of Service) they say, and I quote:
“PayBox.me reserves the right to update and change the Terms of Service from time to time and without notice. Continued use of the Service after changes to the Terms of Service shall constitute your consent to such changes.
PayBox.me, in its sole discretion, has the right to terminate your account and refuse any and all current or future use of the Service, or any other PayBox.me Service, for any reason at any time. Such account termination would include the deactivation and deletion of your Account and your forfeiture of any account balance shown in your Account.
PayBox.me reserves the right to modify or discontinue, temporarily or permanently, the Service (or any part there of) with or without notice at any time. We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason at any time. We reserve the right to terminate any account for any reason at any time.”
They went on to explain what is PayBox.me currency:
“All account balances are held in PayBox currency. PayBox maintains a currency that is autonomous and independent of all nations and governments. The PayBox currency is denominated in dollars and cents (similar to the currency of the United States and over 20 other countries. The value of our currency is estimated to be close to that of the U.S. Dollar. As in the case with any currency, once the PayBox currency becomes openly exchangeable, its value as weighted against all other would currencies can and will fluctuate due to forces beyond our control.”
This should have scared the pants off you. Their claim is their currency is “similar” to U.S. Dollars, not the same as. There is no similar to it. It is not even close to U.S. Dollars or any other currency for that matter. They also told you that their currency is worthless with their last sentence.
If after reading what they said about “their PayBox” currency did not scare you, their Terms of Service should have scared you.
Now while they can say in their TOS “without notice” does not mean that it is legal, which it is not. In short if you are acting as a payment processor, you cannot change the TOS without proper notification, nor can you just close a person’s account and not return their money. But since they are not paying you in US Dollars, technically there is nothing to pay you back. The only exchange of real currency was you paying them in signing up to be a part of PayBox.me.
What happened in this case was most people never bothered reading the TOS, nor understood they were not being paid in US Dollars, but in PayBox.me currency, whatever that means as it is not currency.
To add even more incredulity to this program, you could not find out who was the person behind it or where they were located. It wasn’t until towards the end of 2011 that it was discovered who was behind this program. And when that information was revealed, PayBox.me went offline and it was re-invented as VirtaPay. So who was behind PayBox.me, and why is it important to know if the program no longer exists?
Thanks to Boris the Investigator, he learned the identity of the person who was behind PayBox.me. This person is Nilo Bezerra, a Brazilian National. Here is the information obtained by Boris the Investigator:
“Ok. finally got to the bottom of it……
Ok folks. Here is the answer to the long answered question!!!
Who is behind paybox.me ???
The answer….. Nilo Bezerra, a Brazilian National who mostly promote dubious MLM schemes.
I am envious of the database on gullible folk he has to now market to. His techniques to pull people into the paybox.me scam have been awesomely successful. He has your email if nothing else.
He can sell that database (or portions of it) or keep it to himself to market to. If you want to sign up to his affiliate army or whatever he calls it & part with some $$$ then all the best to you. Its probably info that can be found freely on the net anyway.
As for the fairy dust sprinkled for the buzz of Paybox, that will come to nothing.
Promoter of :
And well almost a year on I see that Paybox has disappeared (well almost)
After releasing who was the person behind Paybox it went into damage control big time. That damage control was a massive downward spiral, but they were smart enough to rebrand.
Yep same ole sh!t, just a different site. virtapay.com is the old paybox.
All the best
Boris the Investigator”
The answer to my second question as to why it is important is that while PayBox.me has almost disappeared, it has been re-incarnated into VirtaPay. And he will scam even more people than he did with PayBox.me since people will think it is a brand new program. If Boris the Investigator had not been able to find out who was behind PayBox.me, or what the new program is people would not have been able to find out they were joining a scam. For a Google search would not have brought up the PayBox.me connection. Now it will since the connection has been made public.
So STAY AWAY FROM VIRTAPAY.COM.
A special thanks to Boris the Investigator for allowing me to reprint his comments for this article.