It is the opinion of the owner of this website based on circumstantial evidence, conjecture and common sense that the website PayBox.me is a scam. For those of you that are unfamiliar with it, PayBox.me is a new site that popped up around the beginning of September. PayBox.me claims to be a start up payment processing company similar to Paypal or Alertpay. They also offer generous bonuses for signing up and referring people during their “early bird” pre-launch phase like $50 to sign up, $20 per day and $5 per referral. Seems too good to be true right? I’m 99% sure it is, and I’ll tell you why.

PayBox’s Magic Beans

First, the most important information is buried back in the terms and conditions section and that is PayBox.me is paying those cash bonuses in their own currency. This PayBox currency at the present time, has no value and is not exchangeable for anything. Given the resources it would take to make Pay Box currency exchangeable with other established world currencies and/or the time and resources needed to establish strategic business partnerships with retailers to trade Pay Box currency for goods, it is my opinion that Pay Box currency will never have value.

Can You Say GreenZap?

Next, this is eerily similar to a program called Greenzap which some of you may remember. While Greenzap had some differences like ‘webcash’ was used instead of dollars and you only received $25 for signing up instead of $50 if you look at the discussion on this several year old forum (http://www.scam.com/showthread.php?t=2190) you’ll notice you could replace the word ‘Greenzap’ with ‘PayBox’ and have it fit seamlessly. The Greenzap scam came to fruition when people began to realize that the webcash was not accepted at online retailers and thus had no value. The fact that it is difficult to determine who exactly is behind PayBox.me is troublesome, since it makes it difficult to connect it to other scams or even legitimate companies.

What’s In A Name?

That brings us to discussing the domain name. As a webmaster of a free site, I live from search engine traffic, specifically Google. One of the most important factors in Google’s determination in a websites position in search engine results is the length of the registration of the domain name. Google views domains registered for less than a year as spam and puts significantly lower in search engine results. PayBox.me at the time of this post was only registered till August of next year. That means that the domain will expire before (according to the PayBox.me roadmap) the Pay Box currency will be assigned a value.

While we’re talking about the domain name, I have been ask many times why they chose the .me extension and I can tell you exactly why. Pay Box is already an established German company that has been doing cellular phone payment processing for 10+ years. This company was bought out recently by Sybase, a publicly traded company with 5.8 billion dollar market cap. Both Sybase and their Pay Box company are completely unrelated to PayBox.me. So Paybox.com, paybox.net, paybox.org and others are all owned by Sybase, in fact Sybase owns the trademark to Pay Box (seen here – http://www.sybase.com/files/Legal_Docs/Sybase-Trademark-Listing_071409.pdf). So even if PayBox.me was successful in its business plan, they would probably get sued.

It’s Free To Sign Up, Why Should You Care Whether Paybox.me’s A Scam?

I keep hearing this argument saying that you have nothing to lose from signing up for free to PayBox.me. You may be right, PayBox.me may be nothing more than an email harvester. In which case they may sell their list and you will start to get spammed by people you never heard of. While that’s easy enough to block or ignore that email address, that is not the main concern with a scam like this.

Another type of scam is to charge a fee to ‘upgrade’ your account in order to access your balance. Sometimes a scammer will charge $15, $25, $99, something affordable, and then give you access to your play money or add more fake money in your account. At the time this article was written PayBox.me was the 1257th most trafficked website on the internet according to Alexa.com. While Alexa rankings are higher for sites that cater to marketers and SEOs because Alexa estimates traffic based on surfers who have the Alexa toolbar installed, they’re still probably getting hundreds of thousands of visitors per day. That’s a lot of uninformed people that could turn over their money to this scam.

If your reading this, you were probably savvy enough to search for PayBox Scam on a search engine, but many other people may blindly upgrade without doing their due diligence. Including people that you have directly referred. Now I’ve heard the argument that $15, $25 dollars isn’t that much to risk or lose, however in both multi-level marketing (mlm) and affiliate marketing the people who are successful are those who brand themselves as leaders and gurus. If I followed a so called leader who I trusted and they referred me to a scam, even if I didn’t lose a penny, how could I ever trust them again? Why would I buy a product from them in the future?

Just The Half Of It

Unfortunately, I have more unsettling information about the validity of the PayBox.me program but due to space concerns I will have to split this article into another part. Until part 2 is released later this week, whether you agree or disagree with anything I’ve said or if you have more information regarding PayBox.me please leave your comments here. This is an open forum and all opinions are welcome.