ZeekRewards – USA Secret Service and SEC investigate Zeek



The situation is escalating around ZeekRewards. Not only is Zeek's Management not available for comments but as the local newspaper The Dispatch reports the USA Secret Service and the SEC are involved:

The U.S. Secret Service has confirmed it is investigating Zeek Rewards as well as the company's chief executive officer, Paul Burks. Special Agent Glen Kessler said the Secret Service, in coordination with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, is working a joint case on Zeek Rewards, the company's affiliate program and an entity of Rex Venture Group LLC, which is based in Lexington.

The Secret Service does not comment on ongoing investigations, Kessler said. Secret Service agents were taking statements from Zeek Rewards affiliates Friday afternoon at the company headquarters at 803 W. Center St.

The North Carolina Attorney General's office confirmed Friday morning that it requested records from Rex Venture Group, which also operates the penny auction site Zeekler.com. The Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division issued a Civil Investigative Demand on July 6, requesting that Zeek provide specific documents to the state, said Noelle Talley, the Attorney General's public information officer.

Rex Venture Group, known to most as Zeek, unexpectedly closed its headquarters in Lexington on Thursday afternoon, sending hundreds of thousands of its online users spinning in speculation and confusion. Zeek also announced online it was cancelling an upcoming “Red Carpet” event scheduled for Wednesday, in addition to training, recruitment and leadership calls for its users in the “next few days.” Zeekler.com and zeekrewards.com both remained offline Friday.

Dr. Clifton Jolley, Zeek's media representative, confirmed the company was served a CID, but he would not disclose why Zeek shut its doors voluntarily.

Both Zeekler.com and Zeek Rewards have recently come under the scrutiny of the Attorney General's office, after dozens of users filed complaints and inquiries in the past six months. The company, which is rooted in its penny auction website, has expanded in the past year to let users buy in through an “affiliates program.” Some say the company is a good way to make a little more cash while others condemn it as the makings of a pyramid or Ponzi scheme.

After Zeek shut its doors Thursday, thousands of people went to Internet forums and comment fields, expressing concern about the company's fate. Dozens of users also visited the business Thursday, only to find locked doors and speculation of why, and how long, it will be closed.

Supporters started an online petition backing Zeek at www.change.org/petitions/north-carolina-attorney-general-roy-a-cooper-keep-zeek-rewards-open-for-business#. At 11:20 a.m., 17,233 people had signed the petition.

Hundreds of Zeek users throughout the world have contacted The Dispatch, expressing concern about the situation and looking for more clarity from the company. Some of the users, who claim they are Zeek Rewards affiliates from countries like Australia, Iraq, Ecuador, Malaysia and Brazil, also say they have invested anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 in the company.

ZeekRewards Closed down



Source: https://www.the-dispatch.com/article/20120817/NEWS/308179988/1005?p=1&tc=pg

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Comments (41)

  1. WE DON’T INVEST IN ZEEK REWARDS!!!!! We purchase sample Bids that are used for marketing. For every bid we purchase we recieve a point in in the profit sharing pool. LOTS OF COMPANIES PARTICIPATE IN PROFIT SHARING! The misuse of terminology is exactly what is causing problems for us! Purchasing bids is no different, and not criminal like a Nu Skin or other MLM distributor buying $500-2000 worth of product monthly to save their Executive status!

  2. I feel so bad for so many people. Some of my friends got involved and my prays go out to them and all the others in Zeek.

    Network marketing is a great business and I do hope and pray that Zeek will get back to what it was doing.

    I do hope that people will continue believing in NWM. It truly is a great business.

    Take care everyone and I shall pray that Zeek will be back better than before

  3. To Whom It May Concern,
    People say “WAIT and SEE”; I say to all of you who are effected by ZeekRewards: DO NOT LOSE HEART. PRAY and SEE …
    There are many things we don’t know, so Pray and See what will come next.
    You all are in my PRAYERS!
    God bless you and yours.
    Rev. Phu Pham

  4. I’m am laughing at how many phone calls, e-mails and FB post I am getting from other Network Marketers saying negative things about Zeek Rewards and asking me to join their opportunity, Really?! Even if I were interested, you won’t recruit me like that.

  5. There are so many small and not so small entities having no concern for legality that remain afloat, lapping up money from unwary depositors , only to fly even while the night is dark. ZEEK is a platform that has stood by its members all the while, helping them every step of the way , guiding , coaxing and when required chastising them in order that they comply with the rules of the State . It has brought about changes much too often, all in conformity with legal opinion. But well, inspite all the action taken in accordance with the counsel of the best of Attorneys in town, it is being ‘investigated’ into. I am a proud member of this awesome company and unless someone somewhere is hell bent to cause damage, ZEEK will come out fresh and envigored from this exercise. It is good that SEC is involved, and I have no doubt Zeek will welcome this initaitive. I am sure ZEEK had taken all premptive action required to stay in compliance and SEC will be impressed. ZEEK , by NO STRETCH OF THE IMAGINATION IS A PONZI OR A PYRAMID and that is already well-settled from the opinion of the authorities as published in media.. It is an income-giver no doubt, but not from money flowing from new members. I for one, have only a single referral affiliate with negligible bid purchase. There are hundreds and thousands of similar ‘small’ affiliates who are being paid by ZEEK on the dot without reference to their financial involvement. Yes, it’s true that I need to get new ‘customers’, but the requirement ends there. It is only a method the company takes (and many others do ) to keep its web presence alive. And then, members have worked for months and now more than a year to get to a position to start earning with some intial funds they used to purchase sample bids. ZEEK must be given the fair treatment it has itself lent to its innumerable trusting and now practically dependent members. YOU DESERVE IT, ZEEK !! Best of luck !

  6. Amazing that everyone is still in such denial.This is truly unfortunate to hear, however anything to good to be true usually isn?t. I couldn?t resist that.
    The direct selling industry is a wonderful industry when done with the right company. Dont let this put a sour taste in your mouth. When you go to vegas and gamble and lose its not the end of the world! Darrin Hardy posted this a few days ago on his blog:
    Don?t buy into the genie in a lamp, sit on your couch & wait to attract the checks in your mailbox, rub crystals, channel a 2000-year-old guru, chant affirmations, ad nauseam ?secret? to success. That is hocus-pocus commercialism appealing to your weaknesses, particularly laziness, entitlement, something-for-nothing & the lottery mentality. That?s not the way it works. Here is what it takes to be successful: HARD WORK. There are Billion dollar legitimately ran companies with ?products? If you apply yourself the rewards will be huge. Consistently is key and never stop enrolling??

    Imagine if???Everyone all at once started the cash out process . Im talking 200,000 people pushing the ?pay me button all at once? The math is ugly assuming everyone put in $10,000 That would be $20,000,000,000.00 I don?t think they have that kind of money laying around!!!! Even if there was 20,000 people $10,000 each =$200 million if my math is correct and even 2000 people $10,000 =$20million
    Really???.Come on

  7. Zeek is a genuine,fantastic home based business that is POSITIVELY LIFE CHANGING for thousands of people around the world.. Paul Burks should be congratulated for developing Zeek Rewards and Zeekler. The world needs more “Paul Burks” if it is to climb out of the financial abyss that it is currently in.

  8. Oh Dear…you guys are delusional. And I’m not really sure why anyone would be trying to recruit anyone from Zeek. You guys got a taste of that easy ponzi money…you’ll never work a bonafide network marketing business ever! I’m sure you’ll all be in Lyoness within 2 weeks.

  9. This will all pass. Zeek closed as a legal pre-emptive move to show their compliance to the law. They have one of the best legal teams in the country. Don’t worry all will be back on line early next week.

  10. Well All I Can Say Is “Do Not Put The Cart Before The Horse” lets just wait and see what this investigation reveals, I personally needed Zeek to work for my family. The Industry We Are In We Have All Experienced Hard Knocks accept it! Move On. If Zeek is found to be any way illegal which I do not believe it to be I would not like to be in Paul Burks or any of his managements team as they will go to Jail.
    Now think about this….. If I or you where in there shoes, would you risk your reputation or your families, and operate a business that was so open and in the public eye (please do not say well look at Enron) knowing the consequences of the law. I don’t think so!


  11. Yes it’s not nice to see a possible business opportunity like ZEEK being investigated but lets not forget this is just a penny auction ? So yes it’s a GAMBLE so let’s not jump to conclusions and wait for the investigation to be completed ? This maybe the best thing ever happened to ZEEK going forward, so anybody like I who put money into this MLM OPPORTUNITY wait and see the outcome then publish your comments truthfully !!!!!!!

  12. I agree. People complain when they don’t understand something instead of first asking for clarification. It will be lazy affiliates that won’t take the time to learn about what they are involved in that will bury the company. I wish they all would just go away and stop causing trouble for those of us that care about our business

  13. Well, I can’t believe all the stuff here. It just shows when something happens, everyone knows everything!

    I have no idea what will transpire here. Zeek has two parts. One is you give them money you never get back and then you share in the profits generated by comp[ny operations. They are very clear you won’t get your money back. If you can’t afford to lose the up to $10k, you shouldn’t give them the money!

    The enrollment of distributors is so complicated for legal reasons, I still don’t understand it. Unfortunately, authorities apply the same rules of a bricks and mortar company to MLM. They work very differently. with MLM usually you pay a moderate amount for a starter kit (never invest) then a monthly fee. For that you help others do the same and get a piece of the action of your team. If you build a big enough team it pays handsomely. Nothing wrong with that. Problem is there is no guarantee. You may lose a few thousand in the process. This is not the company’s fault. You could “invest” $100k opening a traditional business, or up to $1m or more and lose the lot, but that’s OK! With low overheads, we threaten these businesses! That’s why we draw attention to ourselves.

    Let’s hope Zeek survives this, though I doubt anyone will want to put their money in now. The risk just escalated exponentially.

  14. True colors appear so suddenly when Network Marketing Professionals act like our 2 current political parties. You know what I mean – so quick to attack their adversaries only to try to point out their weaknesses and maybe even capitalize off a company recently that has made vulnerable to the public.

    Neither side really showing that they care about the big picture anymore – only HOW MUCH negativity can we dig up and spread

    AND OF COURSE since our “NEWS MEDIA” is only entertainment magazines anymore, they must rush to the wounded and pick away at it.

    They are even known to send out a completely fact-less and incorrect report just to be the first to get it on air (even if their normal demographics are at their J.O.B. during the afternoon when any of these rapid reports are broadcast.

    Why have OPINIONS become more popular to spread and believe than just TRUE hard facts that eventually do surface and paint the REAL Picture.
    It appears Easy and the path of least resistance.

    Doing Due diligence is too time consuming a task to do in our microwave society where 45 seconds is too long to wait for warming up our coffee.

    Network Marketers should be above that behavior and not scan FB for the next news item or Start making your new FB ADS to include the Zeek name just to promote your program which is nothing more than glorified spam, if you look at it.

    When will some government agency look at your business dealings when you are so quick to exploit some mostly non-compliant nonsense?

    Do you really have to gather handfuls of morsels and then blog your warranted opinions? Isn?t your time and energy best spent by offering YOUR WONDERFUL Networking Organization to new people starving for your help? Don?t you see better success when you coach your team members on focusing on growth and expansion of your own program.

    Do you think that your ads placed with any form of the name Zeek in the title might just be showing some desperation on your part?

    Is your current method of prospecting and recruiting so fruitless that you have to go into NEGATIVE Campaign Mode?

    Do your own Leads suck that Bad?

    Or Don?t you learn and train on lead conversion through PROPER and successful methods of operation?

    Don’t be a hypocrite.

    Look at this as a way to be a STELLAR Leader and educate your circles of influence about how we really all have a common goal and are supposed to be like-minded individual Entrepreneurs

    Here is a good reminder for you.

  15. This is the correct information about what has happened from gov source. Im a Zeek Affiliate with a good few thousand $ owed 🙁

    Friday, August 17, 2012

    Based on complaints filed by consumers, last month we issued a civil investigative demand to Zeekler, a penny auction website based in Lexington, NC, seeking records so we could examine its business practices. We have started receiving those documents and are continuing to investigate the company.

    Zeekler apparently shut down its website and closed its doors overnight, leaving many consumers with questions.

    Today, Rex Venture Group, the parent company of Zeekler and Zeek Rewards, entered into a settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC alleged that Rex Venture Group was engaged in the unregistered sale of securities. Our office had expressed concerns about Zeekler publicly as well as to federal law enforcement. A receiver has been appointed to take over the business.

    Consumers who are part of Zeekler should contact the receiver appointed by the court to handle the company?s assets. We will share the receiver?s contact information as soon as it is available.

    Consumers who wish to contact the Attorney General?s Office about Zeekler/Zeek Rewards can send an email to [email protected].

    If someone offers you the opportunity to buy into a business, remember:
    ?Be skeptical of high earnings claims.
    ?Be especially cautious if the focus is on recruiting new members and selling products or services to them as they join.
    ?Check out the company with our office and the Better Business Bureau. You can contact our Consumer Protection Division at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or ncdoj.gov.
    ?And if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is

  16. Hey all, I’m sorry to hear about this situation. I’m not with Zeek but the word has spread and I just can’t imagine how you all feel with the unknown. I’m not here to recruit, but as a fellow MLMer I thought how this news made me feel and hope that everything turns out well for all of you.

  17. You folks need to get a grip on reality. This game is over… it’s not coming back. You will not overcome.

    The company is now in the hands of a court appointed receiver. All assets have
    been forfeited and the scam artist who sucked you all in will be paying a $4 million

    Good luck with whatever you choose next… just choose wisely this time.

  18. It looks like the party’s over for Zeek Rewards. So many people got hurt so badly. I have a friend who put all her savings in there for her retirement 2 years away. Now she has nothing left. I put in a measly $500 and saw it grow over the last month to an astounding $1,670.
    Of course all of my money has now gone up in smoke. With Rex Venture Group being a “rock solid” 15 year old company, I thought I was joining a viable healthy business. It’s really a pity because it seems there isn’t much left that is legitimate especially on the internet.

  19. I am sure 100 thousands ppl will be hurt by this political motivated decision of the Attorney general of NC. including myself
    at this moment i am asking everyone to identify the Attorney general political affiliation party and decide who to vote for on the next presidential election .
    zeek was great for me and zillion others around the globe
    sadddddddddddddd days ,months and years ahead for all zeek affiliates …

    1. Exactly how was this a politically motivated decision by the NC attorney general? This scam was shut down by the SEC… that’s a federal agency who couldn’t care less about politics.

  20. ????????????.
    ???? ?? ?????? ?? ?????????? ??????? ? ?????? ?????, ??????? ??? ? ?????: alex080477 ? ?????? ??? ????? ?? ?????????? ???????? ??? ?????? ????????? ????????.
    ??? ????? ???? ??? ????????? ? Zeek
    If you are tired of the financial pyramids and losing money, call me in skype: alex080477 I will help you out of a financial abyss, or simply to equalize the situation.
    I’m sorry that happened to Zeek

  21. It’s sad news for the MLM industry if Zeekrewards will not get thrum this, so we must cross fingers and hope the will be up and running ASAP!
    Zeekrewards have changes so many financial life, but I was one of them who missed out on that opportunity. There are only two companies in the world that I know of, that offer such opportunities, I am involved in the other company called http://www.Bidify.com/island. The Bidify management team sent out this message (see below) to all its members TODAY 17 August 2012 to inform about the situation

    Bidify statement
    Published 17/08/2012
    Dear Bidify Affiliates,

    We have recently been informed that ZeekRewards has been temporarily shut down in the USA pending further investigation.

    It?s an unfortunate event for Zeek and its countless affiliates. We consider them to be pioneers in the penny auction / network marketing arena. As with all pioneers, they?re usually the people that get shot with arrows as they?re settling new territory. We certainly think we?ve improved upon some of Zeek?s numerous shortcomings that led to these problems.

    Before Bidify opened its doors, we made numerous improvements and enhancements to reduce risk for our affiliates and bring our model into compliance. When we made these policy changes, we were met with much criticism from people in the field. But despite the challenges, we made the tough decisions. Based on these decisions, Bidify was rendered a horrible investment opportunity, to say the least. The bottom line: our focus is on moving bids to customers, period. We have approximately 273,272 registered, verified customers with Bidsson. These are not dummy accounts. These are legitimate customers looking to redeem bids on our amazing platform. Contrast that number with our 13,467 bidify affiliates and you get a clearer picture. We?re moving a legitimate product in a safe fashion.

    Bidify is completely built on a meritocracy: no work, no reward. Affiliates only earn commissions based on their own efforts.

    All affiliates need to have personal customers
    All Customers need to be verified. These customers must verify their identity by way of clicking a unique link sent to their email accounts and creating their own login credentials once online.
    Customers need to spend their bids at Bidsson to generate commissions for their sponsors. When affiliates buy sample bids, they ARE NOT PAID until those bids are actually used.
    Everything related to the leadership bonuses are related to activities in Bidsson.

    We are sad to learn of the news about ZeekRewards because we understand this will have huge impact on the industry in general.

    As a direct consequence of today?s actions in the US, our legal counsel has advised us to lower the annual sample bid purchase limit to ?5000 for US citizens. This is effective immediately. We?re certainly sensitive to the events with Zeek and we want to go above and beyond to ensure the longevity of your businesses. We certainly believe that people should be free to purchase as many sample bids as they want in an effort to build their own businesses, much like distributors do in other product-based companies; however, we understand that there?s a lack of understanding regarding the penny auction arena, so we want to play it safe. The annual max is now more consistent with the typical costs associated with most other MLM Companies in the industry.

    We will be tightening our compliance, and it?s very important that all of our affiliates are aware of the distinct differences between Bidify and ZeekRewards.

    There are affiliates that seem to believe that their Bonus Points have a par value. They look at their bonus points thinking the amount of points equals a similar amount of cash. This is simply not the case. Bonus points can NEVER be withdrawn as cash.

    Bonus Points are actually earned when bids are used by retail customers. The points have no economic value. It?s just a number that tells our system how much you?ve earned today based on your performance.

    If you have no active verified retail customers, you are not getting paid any bonuses at all.
    More importantly, for every 1000 Bonus Point you have accrued, you need one ACTIVE, VERIFIED Retail customer. This creates a major distinction with Zeek?s model, which basically allocates rewards immediately upon buying bids regardless if they?re ever used.

    Our business model is not about building Bidify, but rather about utilizing Bidify to build Bidsson, our Penny Auction, to become the biggest Penny Auction in the world.

    Best Regards
    Bidify Management

  22. I don’t know a lot about network marketing. After knowing this, I think the affiliates are exposed to great risks when they join as an affiliate.
    I have also registered as free member in Zeek. Fortunately, I haven’t bought any bids. I wish zeek to come up again and to be hope for their affiliates.

  23. I have nothing but good things to say about my Zeek experience – I bought bids – I won at the auction twice! Two beautiful new cameras that I paid $20.00 and $11.00 for. I have just paid for an overseas trip and bought a new car for all the effort I put in to promote the auction. We see this type of marketing every day here in Vegas – Casinos give away “Free Play” to encourage us to visit their Casino – just like Zeek points encourage you to take part in their auctions! And if Paul Burk made some real money – why shouldn’t he – Look at Mit Romney! If I read the report correctly – the company has not ‘short changed’ anyone! $162 million in and $160 million out? Where’s the problem? $375 million paid out and $225 million in the bank? This was Paul’s business and if he wanted to give $1million to his family – that’s his business as long as I get what I was promised – and I DID! (I would like to think I had the opportunity to do the same for MY family!)
    I’ll keep you informed as we move forward.
    Stay positive my friends.

  24. Although a big defender of Zeek, it eludes me as to why it had to close down voluntarily. It is not as abrupt as it is made out to be. THE END NOW LOOKS PREPLANNED. Were these hundreds and thousands of trusting members taken for a well orchestrated ride by Burks and his super-affiliates ?

  25. I cannot see that Zeek is a Pyramid Scheme as there is an actual product being sold and the company is making its money from the products. The affiliate programme, to a great many people, was their only source of income and hope. Like me, a great many people feel devestated as they now have no way of obtaining an income and will therefore land up on the streets as they cannot pay their rent, electricity etc or support their families. Zeek gave these people their dignity and self esteem back and I really do not think that the investigations being made are warrented. If Zeek was a Pyrimid Scheme, why does it belong to the Direct Selling Association? They would not have the company.

    Just something to think about.

  26. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Listen all you people who lost money in Zeek. This may or may not help you get your lost money. Your credit card company most definitely will stand behind on the monthly charges so call them first. Then call the person who called you about the Z opportunity. Tell them to give you a cashiers check back and to keep a copy. Later when the sec indicts them and Levi?s there bank account for the profits they received this copy will come in handy. If they refuse to do the right thing then go to your local court house and file a Small claims civil suit against them. They are legally liable for the money they influence you to invest. Small claims you don?t need an attorney and it cost less then $50 to file. Have a friend serve them the court paper work. You will win and even if thy refuse to pay you will have a judgement against them and can Levi there pay chck or bank accounts though the district attorney. Also this will help with the criminal case against your friend. trust me they will pay you and you?ll not have to file anything. If they refuse the IRS has a hotline I?m sure the bragged about how much money they made from from Zeek. The IRS will live to know that they should see the extra money on there tax returns this year. The IRS has a whistle blower reward program to and will pay you up to $50% of taxes collected From your call. I?m not an attorney but did lose money in this. I have even Sussex ful having my friend pay me. let?s just say he finally came to his sinces.


  27. The faster way is to ask your friend or his friend in your Zeek upline to pay you back from there profits. The receiver has a list of all those who received the $300million plus paid out I assure you they will all be paying the money back, cars, houses, and other stuff the money was spent on. Its a simple call. If they refuse you take action and file a small claims suit. really easy to do. Most small claims suits will also lead to criminal charges since sec won the Ponzi charges here against Zeek. The IRS would love a courtesy call to for those who been bragging how much money they made in Zeek. IRS has a rewards program for whistle blowing too. Call the credit card company explain to them the deal with sec and you will win back the monthly charges.


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