Return of the Zurker – Scam status confirmed(?)

Hello there folks. This may be a bit of an odd one to have on our fine and fair gaming site but I’d like to address a topic that was migrated here from our previous project, ICNerd.

Zurker

Zurker was said to be the social network made by and for the users. A user would get “vShares” if they either got people to sign up through a referral system or bought these vShares with real and actual money. vShares are fake shares in the company, with the idea that they’d be turned into real shares if the site ever got big enough to get an IPO (Initial Public Offering, basically the shares become available to trade on stock markets)

A whole bunch of people signed up and referred all over the place, including myself (Although my account appears to have been mysteriously deleted last time I tried to log in a few weeks back!)

A large amount of these people actually gave Zurker money to buy these vShares, most likely in the hopes that eventually they’d become rich. Recently there was a huge backlash for a day or so when Zurker went offline. The people who had bought the most turned on it almost immediately, worried that their hard earned stake in the company was gone for good. They flipped face once again when the site came back online. It was all a very popcorn and watch situation!

In a previous post, migrated here from ICNerdZurker is pretty angry at me. On that note, is Zurker a scam? Currently 8th result if you search “Zurker” and number one for “Zurker Scam” I went into a little bit of detail on Zurker’s potentially shady practices of threatening people that they’d lose their investment if they didn’t actually use the site. It got a bit of backlash from the extremely cult-like Zurker users, to say the least! It’s hard to even describe what they are like, check out the comments on that article for a sample! One guy even insulted the site because it didn’t have a good Alexa ranking, like that matters to anyone ya silly bugger!

Is Zurker a scam?

I’m not sure about scam just yet – I mean it definitely looks like it right now, but it definitely feels like a cult if nothing else. Even moreso than when I wrote the initial article back in July last year! The really hard core members are practically foaming at the mouth if they see anything negative said about their beloved social site!

Zurker now?

Now, the site appears to be suspended

Zurker is suspended until a serious legal problem is resolved. The problem is an investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission. I do not know how long it will take to get this issue resolved but I ask for your understanding and patience. It may be necessary to shut Zurker down and reboot Zurker with an emphasis on regulatory compliance, or to reboot Zurker in a different and more welcoming jurisdiction.

Well that doesn’t look too good does it? Investigated by a federal agency in the US? I hate to say it guys but I told you so! (I love to say it.)


 

Excerpts from the subpeona

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This isn’t the sort of thing that happens to legit companies all too often! At least not those this small!

Did I just get scammed? What about ZurkerScam.com saying it’s legit?!

Hate to say it but.. probably! The guy that started the site, Nick Oba has previously been in hot water for Qassia back in 2008, which lost a lot of people a lot of money apparently. Already that’s a red flag right there but fair enough lets just assume it was a bad venture that turned sour too fast to save it.

The site ZurkerScam.com is run by one of Zurker’s admins. I emailed the owner of the zurkerscam.com site (Through their whois record details, using an alias) and got a reply back from Shavkat Karimov, at the time the only other “custodian” (admin) of Zurker

Screenshot from 2014-03-27 13:28:36

 

I was tempted to register ZurkerScamScam.com to point this one out!

Can I do anything about this?

Hate to say it friend but the answer’s most likely a big “Nope”. If you bought vShares or Zen very recently (The Zen site is also down) you can probably issue chargebacks through Paypal and your bank in the case of cards. I’d highly recommend doing so before it becomes impossible to do so.

The only other thing you can do really is share the word. Chuck a link to this article to your Zurker friends and loved ones encouraging them to share what they know in the comment section below. Aside from that, if you gave Zurker your cash you’re out of pocket right now.

Any final thoughts?

In closing I’d like to address some of the wording of the now shut down site (Screenshot at the end, in case it changes)

 As far as I know, we are fully compliant with all crowdfunding law.

Fraid not mate, you’re not allowed to crowd fund investments in the USA. Equity based crowdfunding is currently illegal in the US as far as I am aware if you’re not a licensed broker-dealer or via a Funding Portal registered with the SEC, which is why you don’t get such rewards with sites like Kickstarter.

At this point I offered to suspend Zurker’s operations but Cineman said he is confident Zurker will be vindicated and the project must go on. He has always been an individual of high moral character and courage.

So why are all of the sites relating to Zurker offline if you only offered sillybuns?

Numerous members have said that instead of calling for elections, I should have appointed one or more members to run Zurker, and so many others agreed with them. For me, this has been devastating. As far as I am concerned, Zurker has failed as a concept: if the majority of its active members do not consider it democratic or do not believe in democracy, there is no point in keeping this project operational.

If it ever was, his heart’s no longer in it anyway. Get out while you still can, if you can. The site’s peaked and it’s coming back down

I am very sorry but I have young children and I am not willing to sacrifice my personal liberty or put those dear to me at risk for a project that is maligned by the majority of its own active members.

To those who believe in democracy and who believe that Zurker was a noble and democratic intiative, I offer my sincere apologies. Your voices were drowned out by others vociferous in their derision for Zurker as a democracy and/or for democracy itself.

This settles it. This is clearly saying that Zurker is dead. It’s gone. All of the cult-like followers are out of pocket (Chalk up 2 to Nick Oba on losing people their hard earned). Say goodbye to your money, the site is dead. Please re-read that as many times as you need to let it sink in. It’s clearly worded as a “Welp, we failed”. There’s false hope in the next paragraph but this thing is dead.

To sum up

  • Oba has a history of losing people money
  • My own account was deleted when I called Zurker on its pyramid scheme looking tactics
  • Zurker is being investigated, highly likely due to equity-based crowd funding being illegal in the USA
  • All of Zurkers sites are currently suspended
  • You’re out of pocket
  • If you can, chargebacks are all you have if your payments were recent
  • You probably got scammed.

 

Notice - Zurker

5 Comments

  1. Nick kidnapped his ex-wife’s sons after he found out she was leaving him after continued physical, emotional and mental abuse. It’s been almost 5years now she hasn’t seen the kids and has no idea where Nick is other than he’s in the Philippines -hiding. Please help us find him. God knows how he’s been raising these boys with his sadistic ways.

    Reply

  2. We launched a site based on the same concept, they however did a much better job with public execution. I was impressed and saddened.

    We also strongly suspect that Zurker stole their concept from us as they launched months after we started going public with our concept, while hiring copywriters and designers.

    We also launched with features that provided every service available, from file storage, live chat, to online TV to blogs, etc.

    We of course are also still continuing to address the legal issues around the security exchange restrictions, but for now our members are all required to sign an agreement that ensures they perfectly understand what they getting themselves into.

    Our legal structure is also different and makes more sound business sense.

    Our intentions are very real and honest and is not done out of anger, but out of the need and a belief that we should change the way we do things.

    If only we raised enough funds via our execution, we might have been doing better than we are.

    However, as usual the thief get’s something and messes it up for the rest of us. Now we are throwing all our personal funds into the site, just to keep our site alive for our hand full of investors, users and large number of spammers that we try to keep off.

    Would be lovely to be able to actually complete our site and hopefully turn it into what the goal was. Not a project to turn everyone into a millionaire, but at least into something that gives all our investors a satisfactory return.

    Zurker as a concept works, the people behind it is the problem and running it like a Hitler is not the way it should be done.

    As for the cult mentality, what you say is true, I noticed that. However, remember that most people have cult mentalities about something or someone (like a film star, or singer), product, religion, company, their government, loved one, country, etc.

    Unless they do harm, is that so bad?

    Reply

  3. I would have no trouble believing Zurker was a scam, but until the “public servants” of the US SEC (or whatever state and federal agencies are investigation) can be public about this investigation, the they are As Suspect as Zurker.

    Then I try to search on search engine what is going on with Zurker, and most of the stuff I read says nothing about this very stunning occurrence. I searched the US SEC website for “zurker” and Nothing!

    Reply

  4. Zurker.com was not a scam, it was however becoming successful and as a result, it came under investigation by the SEC for the way it was funded. Too many people are very quick to assume that Nick Oba set out to scam people out of money. That’s clearly not the case. All money that went into Zurker was clearly documented and every member had an itemised account of all transactions. I believe I was not scammed and I was one of the longest standing members of Zurker.com

    I don’t deny that I felt more could have been done to support the project by it’s members, despite the somewhat negative attitudes about the site floating around the internet.

    I enjoyed my two years with Zurker.com and in my time there had the pleasure to meet many new people from all over the world. That alone was worth every penny that I spent/invested.

    Comments like that made above by (anonymous) serve only to fuel a dislike for what many thousands thought was a good site.

    Most of the small amount of money earned by Zurker was reinvested into the site and paid a wage to Nick Oba. It’s a shame that the site had to be close, but the closure was not Nick Oba’s doing, he was actually advised to cease business for the duration of the SEC investigation. His hands were tied.

    My conclusion is this. In my opinion as a long standing member of Zurker.com I enjoyed my time while it was in service. TWO YEARS!

    I of all people know just how hard it is to produce a successful site single-handedly on a shoestring budget and keep up the level of development under those conditions with as much criticism and negativity toward Nick Oba’s efforts.

    Reply

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