The Three Rules of Trust – Using SwipeAuctions/Bids as an Example

Introduction

There’s a well-known adage that says,

Don’t believe everything you read in the papers (Point 1)

Another, (which is derived from the mantra of the old UK stock market) goes like,

An Englishman’s word is his bond (Point 2)

Make what you want of them, but many people still go by this, replacing “An Englishman’s” with the word “MY”.

The Need for New Rules of Trust

The internet has made the job of snake oil salesmen, gangsters and other assorted conmen so much easier that the adages need to be re-thought and rules written.  It’s a bit like Isaac Asimov’s Rules of Robotics.   Here are mine, but please note the notes just below….

Note 1: All on-line businesses are required to reveal their correct identity through the WHOIS process.  The only exclusions are for private non-trading individuals in certain countries.  (Some people have a bit of a debate about this, but when you sign up for a domain, you’ll see!)

Note 2: The internet, (or world wide web), by its very nature is like the newspaper business – see Point 1 above!

Note 3: There is a consensus among decent people and a certain legality regarding tax etc., that most legitimate businesses would like to be known and contactable, or else they appear like spiv barrow boys on the make.

Note 4: There is no note 4… yet.

The New Rules of Trust

Rule 1:

Do not believe anything on-line without double or treble checking as a minimum.

Rule 2:

For any business that hides its WHOIS entry, do not believe anything that they say!!

Rule 2 and a half:

For any business that previously hid their WHOIS entry and later chooses to reveal it – same as Rule 2!

Example: Jesse Willms and his “businesses”

n.b. This is one example.  This whole web area is currently ballooning and Willms is not alone!

  • A business that is anonymous, is on the edge of trust. (Willms’ businesses have previously been cloaked in the main.  Only recently have they had publicly exposed WHOIS records.)
  • A business that uses false or misleading advertising, is on the edge of trust. (This very website is plagued by dodgy adverts, for which I apologise – it takes some time for the Google adwords filters to kick into play.)

The infamous Jesse Willms got his internet start by selling counterfeit software from Microsoft and Symantech (at least), and for which he had to pay oodles of dollars in damages.

Note: Willms translates this information on his website fluffs like so:

Before becoming a philanthropist, Willms was known for starting his first business – buying and selling computers and software when he was 16 – and launching several Internet companies by the time he was 22.  see http://jessewillms.com/ & link & link (two links WHOIS hidden)

His current activities are in the business of skirting the lotteries and gambling laws with On-line “Bid” “Auctions”.   These (and Willms is only one of many) are so far removed from the normal concept of an auction that they are more like Bingo.

In tandem with this he’s promoting himself as an internet good guy while still hypocritically continuing along the same vein of his previous activities. Like so…

His previous businesses included flogging green tea and acai fruits to either clean your bowels or make you thin with rippling muscles, and nicking the idea of and ruining the rotten business of a teeth whitening company, for which there have been sues and counter-sues which were resolved “with prejudice” as the wigs say (see link courtesy of @Justin Asking).

Like many fly-by-night websites, these were all promoted and run:

  • via email spam from a plethora of hidden marketing businesses, some of which he may or may not have had direct control although he admits to having close contact….(see info from @Justin Asking again)
  • via fake websites in the form of informational blogs or news websites designed to appear as such, although minutely disclaimered as otherwise – good link with screenshots here and another hereThese first two are run under the concept of “affiliate marketing” which harbours a whole realm of fly-by-night operations with virtually no scruples or accountability.  Someone once remarked that managing affiliates was like herding cats….
  • via a plethora of drop-point contact addresses, widely dispersed around the globe having no relevance to site visitors’ locations.
  • via a plethora of dubious phone number contacts of highly variable functionality.
  • with an early predilection for multiple un-called for monetary withdrawals from customer credit accounts
  • with a penchant for rapidly changing website names that came and went faster than the seasons although much of the modus operandi and contact points would remain unaltered – a good test for these is that the registration period is generally only a year.

Swipe Offerings

SwipeBids.com which kicked off at the end of 2009 soon morphed into SwipeAuctions.com  (see final point above!)  How long this lasts is anyone’s guess… (p.s. swipebids domain expires soon).

Willms' Latest Fib

Currently, you’ll find that SwipeBids.com now redirects back to SwipeAuctions.com at a “prelogin” page.  There, sit a heap of hysterically hypocritical statements right on this front page – see screenshot on the left and dissection below!

This website is Jesse Willms’ latest saucy effort at world domination! Tied in with this has been a massive internet hype of “Jesse Willms, the caring philantropist”.

The plethora of websites for which he’s been loathed continues in the myriad of hype sites and linkage referrals containing the vomit inducing self-promotional bilge, plus a continuing swathe of fake news websites.

Uncharacteristically, he sticks with only one “bid auction” website…?  Hmm?  (p.s. since this was written, the site has been pulled although rumours are rife about a new startup…!)

Meanwhile, like snake oil, the Swipe-Bid-Auction scam has proved very enticing to all the scum of the earth and has turned into a veritable plague…  (p.s. since this was written, the plague of copycat sites is now a deluge)

Bid Auction Scum Fight it Out – it’s Getting Dirty

Dirty?

Yep! There’s a veritable bidding war going on to get to the top of the Google search results and the Facebook sidebar.  As noted elsewhere, BidSauce.com has joined the affray and Willms’ lawyers have been issuing writs a-plenty.

Amongst others…..  How so?

A. Well do a Google search for BidSauce.com, SwipeAuctions.com & SwipeBids.com (click links to see results – my results today are below), and you’ll see what I mean.

BidSauce.com

SwipeAuctions.com

SwipeBids.com

Bid Auction Scum New Kids on the Block

My results show the following paid for ads on Google and their WHOIS hidden status.

BidSauce.com

Bidhere.com – Hidden

Biddi.com – disclosed UK company, KSB Trading Ltd

SwipeAuctions.com

SwipeAuctions-Register.com – Hidden!  It also redirects to SwipeAuctions.com which is registered in California.  Check out this info from @Not Kevin for an earlier version of the listings.

MadBid.com – disclosed as Marcandi Ltd in the UK

Bidhere.com – Hidden (again!)

SwipeBids.com

No paid for ads at the top but some of the above appear in the right-side advert box of paid for ads.  Interestingly, swipeauctions.com is top!

What Does it Mean and What Should I Do?

puZZleMean? It means that many people have seen this “bid-auction” as a good bandwagon to join, while it lasts!

Do? What I do is click on the paid for ads as much as possible! These ads are costing well over a pound to place and it costs those businesses for every click!!!   (n.b. if you think I’m being hypocritical in allowing similar ads onto this website, then read my privacy policy.)

If it’s Facebook where I see the ad, I also click on it so that it fires up in a new window so the geezers have to pay again, then I click the cross next to the advert and report the adverts as “Misleading” – because, from all my research as seen on this website and others, plus the example searches shown above, they are all misleading.

Penny/Bid Auctions Mislead?

They mislead as it’s gambling, not an auction.

They mislead as you pay to enter the auction at each step, it’s not a bid.

They take money in advance – no auction does this, even one for a Van Gogh or an old wardrobe, because anyone can bid!

Swipe Auctions Duff Photo Evidence

Willms' Latest Fib (at the bottom)

Yep! At the bottom of his new landing page of swipeauctions.com, under “picture testimonials” Jesse states, today:

Each and every testimonial on the site should have a picture of the customer who sent it in. You can only use someone’s picture with his or her permission, so if there is a photo you can be sure the testimonial is legitimate. If there is no photo, the site’s management could have written a false testimonial.

Compare and contrast with my screen-shots of his website here where I explicitly show the fake photos from a testimonial: http://strangelyperfect.tv/7955/facebook-msnbc-jesse-willms-swipe-auctions-and-doctored-photos/ –   these photos are from an affiliate’s website about which there is some conflict of ownership evidence.

And compare Jesse’s fine words with the fantastic investigative ScamRaiders revelation that the picture of an “auctioned” Honda as used on his website was taken and then Photo-shopped even before the website was set up!!!

Don’t you just love it when the creeps are so blatantly bad? !!

Suggested Further Reading

http://www.webcops.net/just_think_media_spam_scams_8001.html – Best expose on early Willms’ scams.  How he threatened legal action as his whereabouts were exposed.

http://strangelyperfect.tv/7955/facebook-msnbc-jesse-willms-swipe-auctions-and-doctored-photos/#comments-2834 – info on the incarnations and IP addresses of Willms’ Swipe**** sites  (I am currently taking legal advice on this article so it’s withdrawn pending notice.  Contact me for its contents which most right-minded folk would consider fair and accurate reporting.)

http://www.jimlillig.com/internet-marketing/abcs-news-2020-features-jesse-willms-among-others-in-alleged-deceptive-practices-story/ – smiling Jesse is exposed by “the CPA Guy”  n.b. currently offline but transcribed here courtesy of this link.

http://www.bbbroundup.com/ – discredits much of the BBB rating system and how entries flip and change due to possible business collusion.

http://www.walletpop.com/blog/2010/09/14/better-business-bureau-risks-losing-credibility-over-ratings-co/ – more info on BBB ratings not being what they seem…

http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showpost.html?p=36648669&postcount=22 – comment detailing the above BBB conflict of interests and how Jesse Willms’ businesses generated 2612 complaints at the BBB before they revised his status with his newer websites!  n.b.  This is one of the top UK websites!

http://onlinescamwebsites.com/how-do-penny-auctions-work/ – clearly explains how these “auctions” work

Suggested Reverse IP Checks

Reverse IP checking is a very good indicator that many websites are related in some businesses, commercial or personal sense.  Using this website, this website strangelyperfect.tv shows as follows:

Found 4 domains hosted on the same web server as strangelyperfect.tv (174.120.2.125).

ceinonline.org

crawlingchaos.co.uk

strangelyperfect.tv

www.foetusproducts.com

This is hardly surprising and I make no secret of the fact…

Using this website again, enter these three domains into the box. What you find are a host of probably related dodgy websites, fake blogs and news sites, and other stuff. Look and see!

SWIPEAUCTIONS-REVIEW.COM :2 domains

live9news.com, swipeauctions-review.com

SWIPEAUCTIONS-REGISTER.COM: 101 domains including such gems as:

1r2chat.com 24-7keybank.com  AcaiBerryBurnTrial.com  ColonCleanse4FreeTrial.com  Resveratrol-Resveratrol.com  acaiforceformen.com buy-wii-in-stock.com  buyipodnow.net  buyps4console.com  buyps4now.com  consumerhealthreporter.com  consumernewsreporter.com dazzlesmilefreetrial.com findluxurywatches.com   goboff.com hairexpert.org myhairexpert.org natural-hair-transplant.com  naturalhairtransplant.org swipeauctions-register.com thumoney.com  top3-coloncleanse.com top3-whiteteeth.com  www.buywiinow.net www.findluxurywatches.com www.natural-hair-transplant.com www.thumedia.net  www.thumoney.com  www.top3-resveratrol.com  www.tradeblogger.net

I’ve omitted most of the “foreign” domains.  Make of that what you will but it is noticable that many snake oil websites are to be found grouped under a single IP address.

SWIPEAUCTIONS.COM: has just the canonical and www domains.

Disclaimer

Many things are said above that rope all “bid” “auctions” into the same boat.  While some may have differing operational procedures with perfectly legal transactional and customer services, and may differ in their Terms & Conditions to Jesse Willms’ offerings, I accept those facts.

However, I consider all web-operations in this field of “bid” “auction” to be nothing more than gambling, and they should all be governed by those gambling laws applicable to their country of viewing and business location.


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30 responses .

  1. Bill Bennett says:

    A nice report on Jesse Willms. The one thing you forgot to mention is he has a full video on him. This video is a great watch and really outlines what you have said here.

    Have a look and enjoy! I want to put it on Youtube, but it is copyrighted.
    http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/WFive/20100319/w5_dietm

    By the way, this video is the one thing Jesse Willms does not want you to see!

    The picture of Jesse Willms below is courtesy of W5.

    • Strangely says:

      Thanks Bill.
      We've linked to the video (and others!) several times. Unfortunately, as you've discovered, they won't let it out on YouTube so that blogs etc can show the whole shebang instead of just a link. This is a huge boost to Willms advantage, so I've written to CTV explaining the position, but still had no reply. Perhaps if you'd do the same (and others!), then CTV would put the video in the public domain for all to use, especially given the kudos that they'd get from the exercise .

  2. tsanko says:

    Wonderful ..thanks a lot for posting a good informitive blog

  3. Strangely says:

    Following Willms' illegal use of Oprah Winfrey's trademark, it appeared that he'd got Scott free…

    However, I've just read the final court documents, here in this PDF,

    [file ]http://strangelyperfect.tv/wp-content/uploads/jdw_media_so_ordered[1].pdf[/file],

    and it turns out that there are quite onerous undertakings on Willms to keep within the agreement.

    Essentially, EACH breakage of the terms will cost him $25k and he has to employ someone for 14 hours a week trawling the internet looking for dodgy affiliate links. Ha Ha. This is something we've been doing for months now!

    The terms last for years and any material change to his business has to be notified to Oprah, as well as a complete list of all websites currently running under the sad philanthropist's banner…

    It makes good reading, and I've only pulled out a few items, but isn't the outright prosecution from the state that'd put the mail in his coffin.

    Personal whinge alert!……

    Why is it always always private prosecutions that get stuff done…. :-( I mean, we employ people to make and enforce laws for us to protect us from the scum in all walks of life, from international terrorists to uninsured car drivers, don't we? Moses kicked it off with one law being the "do not steal" one, eh?

    So where IS the state in all of this? If we can get men to walk on the moon surely we can rid the world of smiling creeps like Willms?

  4. Strangely says:

    Q. Remember what I said about Jesse's lies?

    Remember his statement on the Swipe Auctions front page? It went:

    Each and every testimonial on the site should have a picture of the customer who sent it in. You can only use someone’s picture with his or her permission, so if there is a photo you can be sure the testimonial is legitimate. If there is no photo, the site’s management could have written a false testimonial.

    Well here's today's Swipe Auctions web search.

    http://strangelyperfect.tv/wp-content/uploads/swipeauctions-GoogleSearch_1287410354116.jpeg

    I clicked on the paid for advert for 'merchandisenews.net, an "expose" on Swipe Auctions, ha ha; ownership hidden, of course.

    And of course it's an news-lookalike "advertorial", but to the uninitiated in scammers, it looks real enough and all the links go to 'SwipeAuctions.com!

    fibby

    Check out the pictures in this part screenshot of the website. On the left is the phoney Honda buyer from Florida again, and opposite on the right is a guy holding up a little black something.

    Well using TinEye, we find that the little black something is a phone from 2004!
    And the guy is Jason Kottkye, not Chris from Virginia!!
    Here's the TinEye comparison,

    http://strangelyperfect.tv/wp-content/uploads/1result-TinEye_1287410272157.jpeg

    , and here's Jason Kottkye on his website being pleased with his 6-year old phone!

    This is the page, so scroll down half-way to find it: http://www.kottke.org/04/03/

    http://strangelyperfect.tv/wp-content/uploads/March2004weblogentries(kottke.org)_1287410310354.jpeg

    <hr/>Now the ad sites are probably not Jesse's, but the judgement between Willms and Oprah Winfrey makes plain that SHE considers Jesse Willms to be responsible for the behaviour of HIS advertising affiliates and networks – the pdf judgement in my comment above makes this very plain!

    Jesse's weasel words about testimonials are very precise in their exclusions, but the first of his lines reads,

    Each and every testimonial on the site should have a picture of the customer who sent it in.

    And since at least one photo is plainly a forgery in the advert, and since Jesse should be responsible for his advertisers, then his advertising is plainly very suspect in the same way, and most products that are advertised and sold on his main selling website belong in the realms of fiction – Do NOT TRUST ONE WORD OF ANYTHING THAT JESSE SAYS.

    This is because it goes down right through the line:
    Fake photos -> fake news sites -> fake whatever.

  5. Not Kevin says:

    Swipebids actually used that phone photo in the testimonials on Swipebids.com when they first launched so it's not just dodgy affiliates and their fake photos that are using stolen photos. I have a screenshot somewhere…

  6. Strangely says:

    As the saying goes,

    ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS

    Jesse is trying to get his words louder than his crummy lying actions, but there they are, for all to see.

    Pop up your screenshot when you find it, @Not Kevin.

  7. Not Kevin says:

    A reverse ip lookup on merchandisenews.net reveals amongst others on the same server:

    ryangetsripped.net hustleadvertisinginc.com healthnews3.net ch7news.net choyung-tea.org choyungscam.net 7newsdaily.com choyung-tea.org ellashotsecret.com thezimbabwedailynews.com and station7news.com

    The Hustle Advertising one expired yesterday and is no longer active but some googling suggests a Serhiy Rudak in Canada as the possible owner:
    http://www.enom.com/whois/acaiencyclopedia-com.ht

    If you look at the source code of merchandisenews.net you will also find that some of the images are hosted on a few other sites including timesinside.com and dietsindex.com for which the name Craig Alinder crops up as a possible owner…

    Anyway, here is that Swipebids screenshot – it's not mine but someone else posted it somewhere (cannot remember where though) and I saved a copy:

    http://strangelyperfect.tv/wp-content/uploads/swipebidspage1.jpg

    • Strangely says:

      Well done on that. I haven't got round to reverse IP-ing yet but it's good sleuthing. There seem to be a few doors being left open now in Mr Willms'

      Terror-marketing With Actually Typed Swiping (it's an acronym)

      …empire now. As the web of deceit gets bigger, then we see it's harder to make sure it all stays knitted together. And obviously, Willms is now getting sloppy. I think he's spent too much time waffling about his two mates, Phil and Throppy.

  8. Not Kevin says:

    There seems to have been a sharp plunge in the traffic to Swipeauctions.com according to Alexa:
    http://traffic.alexa.com/graph?&w=400&h=2

    Perhaps they are preparing Swipe V3? After swipebids.com and swipeauctions.com… swipe?

  9. Strangely says:

    Yes indeed, swipe-what?

    They're definitely on the way out though – I got a smashing spam today for ol' Jesse.

    It went drearily like this below. It was from candyic.info and ended up at SwipeAuctions, 'http://www.swipeauctions.com/landing.php?catid=11

    candic has a WHOIS created 6 days ago, in Las Vegas!! A good solid business, eh? It's the sole domain on the IP address currently, but I remember the actual address of Sahara Ave from some time back…. Hmm?

    Domain ID:D35035160-LRMS

    Domain Name:CANDYIC.INFO

    Created On:14-Oct-2010 22:29:19 UTC

    Last Updated On:20-Oct-2010 12:58:48 UTC

    Expiration Date:14-Oct-2011 22:29:19 UTC

    Sponsoring Registrar:GoDaddy.com Inc. (R171-LRMS)

    Status:CLIENT DELETE PROHIBITED

    Status:CLIENT RENEW PROHIBITED

    Status:CLIENT TRANSFER PROHIBITED

    Status:CLIENT UPDATE PROHIBITED

    Status:TRANSFER PROHIBITED

    Registrant ID:CR64945497

    Registrant Name:Jenny Stevens

    Registrant Organization:

    Registrant Street1:7735 Sahara Ave.

    Registrant Street2:

    Registrant Street3:

    Registrant City:Las Vegas

    Registrant State/Province:NV

    Registrant Postal Code:89117

    Registrant Country:US

    Registrant Phone:+1.7027924746

    Registrant Phone Ext.:

    Registrant FAX:

    Registrant FAX Ext.:

    Registrant Email:

    This is the email

    Subject: -NEWS ALERT: Apple iPad auctions for up to 95% off retail!-

    Date: Wed, 20 Oct 2010 07:31:05 -0700

    From: "-Closeout Auction House-" [email protected]

    If you can't read or see this email, Click Here [links to kau134.candyic.info/3548bbbb34839c86361411cc76ea95584b9aba]

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  10. Strangely says:

    Oh! …and I've had a phenomenal amount of spam today – nearly all with Pfizer in the subject!

  11. Strangely says:

    You're not going to like these cringe-worthy photos from Picasa….

    http://picasaweb.google.com/jesse.willms

    The Devil Wears Prada! (And for so long wanted to be unknown and unseen)

    It's such a pity that the continuing dance of deception and the shifting sands of his cynical advertising didn't match the smiling rhetoric, eh? He'll be on Rolf Harris's Animal Hospital next…

    http://strangelyperfect.tv/wp-content/uploads/JesseWillms-GoogleProfile_1287658764578.jpeg

  12. Strangely says:

    I've upset someone at Sherwood Park, Alberta with these posts about Jesse Willms and his creepy businesses!

    Q. How so?

    Well, I thought I'd have a play with the GD Star Rating system created by my blog theme's creator (see footer on this page).
    It makes a log.

    Guess who's marked down all the Willms related posts and comments?

    This is the WHOIS on the IP address: http://whois.domaintools.com/206.75.117.93

    IP Information for 206.75.117.93
    IP Location: Canada Sherwood Park Telus Communications Inc

    I wonder how votes would go on Jesse's ever-morphing sites? Hmmm.

    Anyway, the IP address is registered to "Consumer Applications" with 'Markmonitor.com as the name.

    'Markmonitor.com have an interesting post on their blog here 'http://www.markmonitor.com/mmblog/affiliate-buying-of-keywords-in-paid-search/ where they have the interesting (in light of the actions and pronouncements from Jesse Willms) as it says;

    Not surprisingly, a popular tactic used by affiliates to drive traffic is paid search, with 55% of affiliates leveraging pay-per-click advertising via search engines to promote their sites, according to a 2009 survey of over 450 affiliates by AffStat.

    Brands today have mixed feelings about affiliates buying keywords containing their trademarks in paid search (such as when an affiliate bids on the “Marriott hotels” keyword rather than the more generic “hotels” keyword.)

    Concluding with;

    Unfortunately, there are no hard and fast rules on how to best manage affiliate behavior in paid search.

    Between these points is a broad discussion of the various pros and cons. So while some businesses are suing others for nicking their clicks, others just get on with it, as it's all within the T&Cs of Google et al……

    • Not Kevin says:

      I cut and pasted the ip address: 206.75.117.93 into Google search and this popped up – On 5th August someone from that ip address searched Google.ca using the term "Offshore shell corporations" and visited a site called just-offshore.com which belongs to a company called OFFSHORE BUSINESS SOLUTIONS at 35 Bushey Court London SW20 0JF

      http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=ca

      Perhaps Jesse is expanding is ever growing number of Cypriot, UK etc shell companies or perhaps that is how Ironi Ltd came into being..?

  13. Not Kevin says:

    At last – an 'honest' penny auction – albeit only honest after they have ceased trading:

    "If you are going to play on a Penny Auction site you must treat is as gambling. You can't win every auction you bid on, for the Penny Auction business to work there must be 3X the number of losers as there are winners (3 out 4 people will walk away with losing money)."
    http://www.pennyslam.com/

    Still not uprfront about who they are though and how to contact them (contact us button on their site returns to default home page message):
    http://whois.domaintools.com/pennyslam.com

    Now if only all currently running pay to bid/penny auction sites were honest enough to make it clear to people that they will be gambling and the odds are against them. Never going to happen though.

    It's not that it's gambling that's the problem – it's that most people do not understand how these auctions work and what the odds and this is never explained to them. So even without any shill bidders/bots, hidden monthly or one off sign-up/membership fees or any other shenanigans, all penny auctions are on shaky ground, morally and ethically.

    • Strangely says:

      They mention Penny Auction Software to expand on the ubiquity of this gambling scam. And they're right! See

      http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=Penny+Auction+so… for a list.

      It was nice to see them take the cat out of the bag, but unsurprising that they still wish to remain incognito, since, as we both agree, this Bid Auction lark is nothing more than a pair of sharks playing loaded dice with marks down a back alley, ready to run and scarper when the centurions arrive.

      And that's the problem. There's nothing wrong with gambling if it's regulated to protect people from themselves and the underworld, but to say that this "Bid Auction" gambling is something else, is just deception.

      Benitez, the former Liverpool manager, recently and cryptically calls this behaviour "a glass of milk" which got the UK press all confused. I say it simpler,

      If it looks like a pig,

      If it smells like a pig,

      If it sounds like a pig,

      Well y'know, it's almost certainly a pig.

      Same with "BidAuctions".

      It's gambling.

      But worse than that, most:

      – are set up anonymously,

      – use a web of foreign contacts and cash processing facilities that rise and fall faster than the tides

      – have almost non-existent contact points

      – have website designs made to deceive and conceal their true intent with cloaked, ambiguous, threatening and even untrue terms and conditions therein

      – are promoted via email spam and fake websites, again, designed to appear as something they're not.

      On top of this, THEY control the software that manipulates and manages the "bidding" process. There is no way that any visitor can verify the veracity of any statement about the absence of shill bids or automated price ramping processes.

      The websites really are like loaded dice.

      People should "play" the game as if the dice are loaded, whether they are or not.

      Q. So why would anyone in their right mind play a game of dice with someone who brings along loaded dice?

      A. That's why gambling is regulated.

  14. Strangely says:

    Latest results:

    SwipeBids 0, Rest of the Honest World 1

    See here: <a href="http://industrypace.com/frontpage/2010/11/01/jesse-willms-swipeauctions-shutting-down-stealing-deposits-and-refusing-to-issue-refunds-scumbag-willms-strikes-again.html

    “>http://industrypace.com/frontpage/2010/11/01/jesse-willms-swipeauctions-shutting-down-stealing-deposits-and-refusing-to-issue-refunds-scumbag-willms-strikes-again.html

    Yep.

    SwipeBids are folding. Jesse Willms' business is refusing to honour refunds according to the latest news above and elsewhere, as quoted by their own consumer representative!

    So despite the assurances of their Californian lawyers that a proper customer service department is in place and that everyone would have all their problems solved with no questions asked, all those "bids" are just what they started out as…………..

    WORTHLESS.

    I wonder what the BBB rating will be now for this one! If it doesn't hit F, we know that something's up!

  15. Strangely says:

    The continuing and amazing thing about Willms and his businesses, is that any failure of them he considers to be "not his fault" and that "everyone else is to blame" – hence the constant pressure on small websites that tell the truth by his legal team.

    This is only to twist the search engine relevancies.

    The real truth, a Buddhist truth, is that his current position is derived from his past actions, and that his future is derived from his current actions.

    It is called the law of cause and effect, and no-one, myself, Willms and yourself the reader, are immune from this.

    What this means is that Willms' troubles are directly derived from his own actions – and nobody else's!

  16. Strangely says:

    The never ending dirge of sloppy self-valedictory promotions continue – but this time it's from Bidsauce.com, or is that BidCactus.com?

    Yep.

    The double-dealing within email spam linkages continues. One this morning was headed "BIDSAUCE.COM", (yes capitals) but the redirection said it wasn't available from my location.

    Well not to be put off, I viewed it from the US and lo and behold, bidsauce had morphed into a bidcactus! (These names are really crap, doncha think?)

    And it was here where I was greeted by yet another bid auction website. complete with honourable phrases and intentions.

    A green ribbon logo called "BidCactus Gives Back" takes you to this page, 'http://www.bidcactus.com/charity.php which strives to exonerate the gambling element of this business with charitable elements.

    Furthermore, on this page, 'http://www.bidcactus.com/about.php they claim that BidCactus is:

    "a new type of web-based auction experience that combines the thrill of real world entertainment with the efficiency and value of online shopping"

    I'm so sorry folks. It isn't. It's just gambling, that's all it is.

    On top of that, to get to this webspage like I did, someone in the US or Canada would receive unsolicited email (spam) purporting to be from a competitor company, and then get sent to this company.

    That's a mighty odd way to run a business.

  17. Strangely says:

    Masking your WHOIS is Harmful!

    In this post, http://www.circleid.com/posts/20081120_whois_mask… the writer suggests that WHOIS masking (which is one of my criteria for "trust" in the above post) could actually be detrimental to bona-fide businesses or persons.

    Quote:

    There is nothing in the ICANN Registrar Accreditation Agreement that provisions for Whois masking or privacy protection that puts an onus on the Registrar to preserve the underlying registrant data anywhere and maintain a verifiable link between the "real" record and "masked" record. There is nothing in the Registrar data escrow requirements that says a registrar has to provide the underlying "real" record to the escrow provider.

    What this means is that legally, as far as the domain registry is concerned, Domain By Proxy etc actually "own" the domains that they are "protecting" and if they choose so, whether by accident or design, anyone who loses their domain name to them has very little legal redress to the situation!

    Of course, for all the crooks who intend to ditch their domains anyway within a few months this doesn't matter. But many well known outfits choose to hide their WHOIS entry and had better be careful…. Hard drives and backups are not infallible and a business whose whole purpose is subterfuge I wouldn't trust with my family jewels, would I?

    later in the article it is suggested that some "Domain Privacy" services will even flog your so-called "private" details on for 10 dollars!

    I mean, WTF?

  18. Strangely says:

    Class Action News!

    We've seen how the various web templates and email spams flip and flop between which online gambling-auction site they choose to promote, yes?

    We've also see the battle between the various bid-gambling-auction businesses progress with the paid-for adverts on Facebook (for a while) and their fight to get top spot on Google, yes?

    Well for me, they're all wrong (as you should know by now) as I consider them all unregulated gambling. As such, customers have experiencced very bad things and lost a lot of money precisely because of this lack of regulation.

    Willms' outfits were just a couple in a veritable deluge of similar websites and the following does not relate to his (now defunct) sites. And now news from my feed shows that QuiBids are the first in the genre (to my knowledge) to have a class action thrown at them. See:

    http://classactionlawsuitsinthenews.com/class-action-lawsuit-complaints/quibids-class-action-lawsuit-complaint/

    The details are EXACTLY what you'd expect and can be read here:
    http://www.courthousenews.com/2010/12/02/QuiBids….

    And this is the full caboodle which includes eBay references exactly like those on SwipeAuctions etc and even the Honda Civic! It'll be interesting to see how it pans out and BTW, the plaintiffs are ANYONE IN THE USA who has paid more than market value for an item, or got nothing at all for their money:

    IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

    FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF OKLAHOMA

    (1) LAWRENCE A. LOCKE,

    individually and on behalf of all others

    similarly situated,

    Plaintiffs,

    v.

    (1) QUIBIDS, LLC,

    Defendant.

    )))))))))))))

    CIVIL NO:____________________

    JURY TRIAL DEMANDED

    CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT

    CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT PAGE 1

    Case 5:10-cv-01277-W Document 1 Filed 11/30/10 Page 1 of 23

    TO THE HONORABLE COURT:

    Plaintiff Lawrence A. Locke, on behalf of himself and all other persons similarly

    situated, by the undersigned attorneys, alleges the following against Defendant QuiBids,

    LLC (“QuiBids”), based on his personal knowledge as to himself and his own acts and on

    information and belief as to all other matters.

    NATURE OF ACTION

    1. Plaintiff brings a class action arising from QuiBids’ operation of

    QuiBids.com, an interactive website on which consumers are enticed to buy ‘bids” for

    use in on-line auctions of consumer products with the promise of obtaining those

    consumer products at significant discounts from retail prices. QuiBids.com offers

    consumers the chance to bid on a variety of consumer products, including high ticket

    items such as high-definition televisions, laptop computers, other electronic equipment,

    and even automobiles. At any given time, QuiBids.com is conducting auctions of dozens

    of these high-ticket items. Each QuiBids.com auction lasts many hours, and each item

    typically draws numerous bids, with high ticket items drawing hundreds or even

    thousands of bids. Each bid purchased from QuiBids costs $0.60. In each QuiBids.com

    auction, each $0.60 bid placed by a consumer raises the purchase price of the item by

    either $.01 or $.02, depending on the format of the auction.

    2. QuiBids promotes itself (on its website, through widespread internet

    advertising and emails) as providing an opportunity for consumers to win luxury items at

    CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT PAGE 2

    Case 5:10-cv-01277-W Document 1 Filed 11/30/10 Page 2 of 23

    significant discounts compared to retail stores and E-Bay, and it claims that winning

    bidders on QuiBids.com typically save 80%-95% compared to retail prices. In one email

    promotion, QuiBids cites a customer winning a $20,000 Honda Civic automobile for

    $1,740.78 in a two-cent QuiBids auction. That price means QuiBids sold 87,039 bids

    which were used in that auction. At $0.60 per bid, QuiBids grossed $52,233.40 from the

    bids alone, an amount that dwarfs not only any savings realized by the winning bidder

    individually, but the retail cost of the car. This illustrates the critical difference between

    QuiBids and E-Bay – losing bidders on E-Bay do not pay anything.

    3. Under the auction system set up by QuiBids, most consumers using the site

    will not win the majority of auctions for low ticket items on which they bid and will

    rarely, if ever, win auctions of high ticket items. Given this, and given that each losing

    attempt to win an action costs the consumer money (because each bid costs $.60),

    QuiBids.com functionally constitutes something more like a gambling website than an

    auction website. Consumers spend money to place bets in the hopes of winning a prize –

    a consumer product at a significant discount. As is true with traditional gambling, the

    overwhelming majority of customers who use QuiBids.com will lose money doing so;

    that is, the total amount they spend between purchasing bids, paying for items in auctions

    they win and paying for any items they purchase using the “Buy It Now” feature

    (explained below) will exceed the retail value as stated on QuiBids.com of the items they

    receive, if any.

    4. Unlike a gambling website or a casino, however, QuiBids.com does not

    disclose its true nature. It does not disclose the very low probability of a customer

    CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT PAGE 3

    Case 5:10-cv-01277-W Document 1 Filed 11/30/10 Page 3 of 23

    receiving a financially positive outcome from using the website. In contrast, the odds of

    winning a lottery are calculable and publicized. Likewise, the payback percentages of

    various casino games are calculable and widely available. Indeed, slot machines are

    regulated as to the percentage of money put into them that they will pay back. Nowhere

    on QuiBids’ site, however, does it provide information on what percentage of the money

    spent by its customers is returned to the customers as merchandise, nor does QuiBids

    provide any basis for calculating same.

    5. QuiBids’ failure to disclose the fact that the overwhelming majority of

    customers will lose money by using the site and the percentage of money returned

    constitutes violations of the Oklahoma Consumer Protection Act and common law fraud

    by omission under Oklahoma law. Plaintiff seeks to represent a class of all persons who

    lost money using QuiBids.com; that is, a class of all customers for whom the total

    amount spent between purchasing bids, paying for any auction items won and paying for

    items purchased using the “Buy It Now” feature exceeded the retail values as stated on

    QuiBids.com of the items they received, if any.

    6. QuiBids additionally fails to disclose material facts about bidding on high

    ticket items (items with a retail value of $100 or more). In the bidding on any high ticket

    item, multiple bids will always be made during the last 20 seconds of the time originally

    set for bidding by QuiBids. This is true for two reasons: (1) because it is a wise bidding

    strategy adopted by many bidders, and (2) because QuiBids.com has a “Bid-O-Matic”

    feature whereby customers can have the site automatically bid for them on virtually all

    auctions of high ticket items, and the Bid-O-Matic feature only bids when there are 20

    CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT PAGE 4

    Case 5:10-cv-01277-W Document 1 Filed 11/30/10 Page 4 of 23

    seconds or less left in the auction. As a consequence, on a high ticket item, any bid

    placed before the last 20 seconds originally set for bidding by QuiBids will never succeed

    in winning the auction and is a complete and utter waste of money. Notably,

    QuiBids.com does not disclose that any bid placed on a high ticket item prior to the last

    20 seconds originally set for bidding by QuiBids is inevitably a waste of money.

    7. QuiBids’ failure to disclose on the website that placing bids on high ticket

    items before the last 20 seconds it originally set for bidding is a complete waste of money

    is a violation of the Oklahoma Consumer Protection Act and constitutes common law

    fraud by omission under Oklahoma law. On behalf of the proposed class, Plaintiff asserts

    this additional claim.

    JURISDICTION AND VENUE

    8. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d)(2), this Court has jurisdiction over this

    action because it is filed as a class action, the amount in controversy exceeds the sum of

    $5,000,000, exclusive of interest and costs, and members of the class are citizens of states

    other than QuiBids’ state of citizenship.

    9. QuiBids provides in the “Terms & Conditions” posted on QuiBids.com that

    any legal action or proceeding related to the QuiBids.com website shall be brought

    exclusively in a federal or state court sitting in Oklahoma and that a consumer’s use of

    QuiBids.com shall be governed by the laws of the United States of America and the State

    of Oklahoma without regard to Oklahoma’s conflicts of law principles. Venue also lies

    in this District pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391, because QuiBids resides in this Judicial

    CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT PAGE 5

    Case 5:10-cv-01277-W Document 1 Filed 11/30/10 Page 5 of 23

    District and a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred

    in this Judicial District.

    PARTIES

    10. Plaintiff Lawrence A. Locke (“Locke” or “Plaintiff”) is a resident of

    Tigard, Oregon.

    11. Defendant QuiBids, LLC (“QuiBids”) is an Oklahoma limited liability

    company which has its principal place of business in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

    QuiBids may be served with process through its registered agent for service of process,

    Matt Beckham, at 1601 N.W. Expressway, Suite 1500, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73118

    or at 2200 N. Classen, Apt. 2002, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73106.

    FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS.

    12. QuiBids purports to be an online auction company. At QuiBids’ website,

    QuiBids.com (the “Site”), QuiBids offers an interactive service through which customers

    purchase bids and attempt to win various consumer goods, including items such as iPods,

    Macbooks, PS3s, and other high-ticket items. QuiBids has operated the Site since at least

    July 2009.

    13. Before a customer can place bids on the Site, he or she must first register an

    account on the Site. Only one account per customer is permitted. Upon information and

    belief, QuiBids keeps electronic records of all activity within each account, including all

    purchases of bids, all auctions in which bids were placed, all auction items won and

    purchased and all items purchased using the “Buy It Now” feature. Once the account has

    been confirmed, the next step for the customer is to buy bids, which are sold in “packs”

    CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT PAGE 6

    Case 5:10-cv-01277-W Document 1 Filed 11/30/10 Page 6 of 23

    of varying number. There are five different sizes of bid packs to buy from QuiBids, and

    for all of them, the cost per bid is $.60.1 What the customer is purchasing is the right to

    place bids on particular auction items. The purchase of bids is not a guarantee that the

    customer will win any auction.

    14. The Site’s home page provides an “Ending Auctions” section that lists the

    auctions purportedly closest to ending. Each of these auctions has a time, a price, a

    bidder name, a picture of the product, and a colored banner with a cent number displayed

    in the upper right corner.

    15. Whenever a customer bids during the last 20 seconds of an auction,

    additional time is added to the auction by QuiBids. Initially, another 20 seconds is added.

    At some point, QuiBids may decide to reduce the amount of time added by an additional

    bid to 15 seconds. After that, QuiBids may decide to add only an additional 10 seconds

    for each additional bid. Ten seconds will be added for every additional bid made until,

    finally, no more bids are made in the last 10 seconds. The last bidder “wins” the auction

    and the right to purchase the item.

    16. Each auction has a specific amount by which the purchase price of the item

    increases when a bid is placed. On a one-cent auction, the final sale price will increase

    by $0.01 each time a bid is placed. On a two-cent auction, the final sale price will

    increase by $0.02 each time a bid is placed. The price represents what the consumer who

    wins the auction will have to pay to obtain the product if the auction were to end at that

    1 Customers may also obtain bids by participating in auctions of bid packs called “Vouchers” and the price per

    “Voucher” bid for customers winning such auctions may be less than $.60 per bid.

    CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT PAGE 7

    Case 5:10-cv-01277-W Document 1 Filed 11/30/10 Page 7 of 23

    point. An auction winner ends up paying the cost of all the bids he or she placed on the

    item, the purchase price of the item and shipping costs.

    17. For a losing bidder, QuiBids offers a “Buy It Now” feature pursuant to

    which the product can be purchased at the full retail price stated on the Site for up to two

    hours after the end of the auction. The losing bidder gets a credit towards the purchase

    price for the cost of the losing bids he or she expended.2 The “Buy It Now” purchase

    price is typically higher than the best price for which the item could be purchased on the

    internet or in retail stores.

    18. Unlike traditional auctions, when a QuiBids consumer bids on an item, the

    consumer pays $0.60 for each bid, regardless of whether or not the consumer actually

    wins the item. For example, in a traditional auction, a consumer who bids $1.00 on an

    item but loses the auction does not pay the $1.00 losing bid. Under QuiBids’ scheme,

    however, a consumer may bid multiple times on an item and ultimately lose the auction

    but will have lost the price of the losing bids. For example, QuiBids may be in the

    process of conducting a one-cent auction for an item which stands at $10.00 with 60

    seconds left on the timer. If a customer A places one $0.60 bid on the item, the price will

    be raised to $10.01, and customer A will have paid $0.60. A dozen subsequent bids

    could be made on the item by customers B-M, which will raise the price to $10.13 and

    eliminate customers A-L as high bidders, but customers A-L will each have paid the

    amount of their bids, and QuiBids will have collected an additional $7.80.

    2 Credit is not given for “Voucher” bids won in auctions.

    CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT PAGE 8

    Case 5:10-cv-01277-W Document 1 Filed 11/30/10 Page 8 of 23

    19. The most savvy QuiBids customers wait until the final 20 seconds

    originally set for bidding by QuiBids to bid on high ticket items (items with a retail value

    of $100 or more). Auctions of high-ticket items open with many hours to bid, and many

    customers purchase and place bids in the hours before the final 20 seconds originally set

    for bidding by QuiBids, completely unaware that these bids have no chance of winning

    and that the money spent on those bids is an utter waste. The Site offers consumers the

    option on virtually all high ticket items to have the Site bid automatically for them

    pursuant to pre-set parameters by using the Bid-O-Matic feature. Recognizing that bids

    made in the final 20 seconds it originally set for bidding of an auction of a high ticket

    item are the only bids with any chance of winning, QuiBids has designed this feature so

    that it will only place bids within that time frame. Thus, the Site itself, through the Bid-

    O-Matic feature, is designed so as to make bidding on high ticket items before the final

    20 seconds originally set for bidding by QuiBids a complete waste of time and money.

    Yet, this fact is nowhere disclosed on the Site. The failure to disclose this fact is unfair,

    deceptive and fraudulent.

    20. Unfortunately, the unfairness, deception and fraudulent nature of the Site

    goes far beyond wasted bids placed on auctions of high ticket items before the last 20

    seconds originally set for bidding by QuiBids. The true nature of the Site is not

    disclosed, much to the detriment of the overwhelming majority of its users. QuiBids

    offers nothing more to its customers than a very low probability of purchasing

    merchandise at a discount. Those customers will not win the majority of the auctions in

    which they participate and will win very few, if any, auctions on high ticket items (items

    CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT PAGE 9

    Case 5:10-cv-01277-W Document 1 Filed 11/30/10 Page 9 of 23

    with a retail value of $100 or greater). Consequently, for the overwhelming majority of

    customers who play QuiBids’ game, the money they will spend to purchase bids and pay

    for any items which they are lucky enough to win will greatly exceed the retail value of

    any items they win and purchase.

    21. The existence of the “Buy It Now” feature does not change this fact. Even

    customers who regularly use the feature will end up paying more between the cost of the

    bids, the purchase prices and shipping costs of any items won in auctions and the

    purchase prices and shipping costs of any items purchased using the “Buy It Now”

    feature than the retail values as stated on QuiBids.com of the merchandise they receive.

    Crucially, unlike games of chance played in a casino, which may only be operated under

    specific statutory authority, QuiBids provides no information to its customer of his odds

    of winning or what percentage the “house” keeps. In truth, QuiBids is offering

    something akin to a raffle or some other type of gambling, despite purporting to operate

    an “auction.” Nowhere on the Site does QuiBids disclose the very low probability of

    benefitting financially from using the Site. Its failure to do so is unfair, deceptive and

    fraudulent.

    FACTS SPECIFIC TO NAMED PLAINTIFF

    22. Plaintiff is an Oregon resident who learned about QuiBids.com by reading

    publicly-available news and magazine features in early-to-mid 2010. These sources

    emphasized that consumers could save an average of 80%, and up to 95%, on consumer

    products on QuiBids.com compared to the fair retail prices of those consumer products.

    CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT PAGE

    10

    Case 5:10-cv-01277-W Document 1 Filed 11/30/10 Page 10 of 23

    23. Plaintiff first visited QuiBids.com on July 18, 2010. What stood out to

    Plaintiff while on the Site was its statements emphasizing that all items would be sold at

    extremely low prices, with huge savings compared to retail prices.

    24. On the same day, Plaintiff purchased the “Beginner Bid Pack” for $45.00.

    In return, he received 75 bids. Plaintiff also bid on three bid packs called “25-bid

    Vouchers.” Plaintiff won two of the three Vouchers he bid on, and he paid a total of

    $6.11 for them. All told, Plaintiff spent $51.11 to purchase 125 bids or $.41 per bid.

    25. Plaintiff bid for several consumer products advertised on the Site on July

    18, 2010, and July 19, 2010, but he won none of them despite using all his bids.

    Plaintiff’s $51.11 was spent on nothing more than a chance to win—he received nothing

    of value in return. That is more like gambling than a traditional auction in which the

    losing bidders pay nothing.

    26. More specifically, on July 18, 2010, Plaintiff placed losing bids for

    consumer products on the Site as follows:

    9 bids on a Nikon camera (high ticket item), and

    6 bids on an external hard drive.

    27. On July 19, 2010, Plaintiff placed losing bids for consumer products on the

    Site as follows:

    1 bid on an HDMI cable;

    10 bids on an HP Printer (high ticket item);

    64 bids on an LG 55" HDTV (high ticket item); and

    1 bid on a Nikon camera (high ticket item).

    CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT PAGE

    11

    Case 5:10-cv-01277-W Document 1 Filed 11/30/10 Page 11 of 23

    28. Plaintiff made a number of bids on the high ticket items before the final 20

    seconds originally set for bidding by QuiBids.

    29. In the one-cent LG 55" HDTV auction, the TV sold for $228.99, which

    means ultimately 22,859 bids were placed, 64 by Plaintiff personally. For the winning

    bidder, this price likely represented a significant discount from the retail price, which was

    probably at least $1,500.00. However, the amount paid to QuiBids for the bids placed on

    the Site is staggering in comparison — 22,859 bids at $0.60 each amounts to $13,715.40.

    If QuiBids in fact paid the retail cost to acquire the television, QuiBids grossed over

    $12,000.00 on that one auction. Even so, since one consumer purchased the television at

    $228.59, QuiBids brags that the consumer saved 85% compared to the retail price, never

    mentioning that the rest of its customers spent as much as $14,000 on that auction and

    received nothing in return.

    CLASS ACTION ALLEGATIONS

    30. Plaintiff seeks to represent the following class:

    All persons in the United States (the 50 states, Washington,

    D.C., Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico) who

    spent more money on QuiBids.com than the value of the

    goods they received, if any – persons for whom the total

    amount spent on purchasing bids, on paying for any auction

    items they won (including shipping costs) and paying for

    items using the “Buy It Now” feature (including shipping

    costs) exceeded the retail values as listed on QuiBids.com of

    the goods they received (the “Class”).

    31. This action has been brought and may properly be maintained as a class

    action pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(a) and (b)(3).

    CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT PAGE

    12

    Case 5:10-cv-01277-W Document 1 Filed 11/30/10 Page 12 of 23

    32. The members of the Class are so numerous that joinder of all members is

    impracticable. The exact number of members in the Class is unknown to Plaintiff at this

    time and can only be ascertained through appropriate discovery. However, QuiBids

    claims on the Site that it has in excess of 1,600,000 “registered users.” Because

    customers of the Site have to provide email addresses in order to register and have to

    provide mailing addresses in order to purchase bids and merchandise using credit cards,

    Plaintiff believes that QuiBids has the information necessary to allow notice to be sent

    individually to each member of the Class.

    33. Common questions of law and fact exist as to all members of the Class.

    Among others, these common questions include, but are not limited to:

    a. whether QuiBids’ conduct constituted violations of the Oklahoma

    Consumer Protection Act;

    b. whether QuiBids’ conduct constituted common law fraud by

    omission under Oklahoma law;

    c. whether QuiBids should, in equity and good conscience, refund to

    the members of the Class their losses pursuant to Oklahoma’s cause

    of action for money had and received;

    d. whether QuiBids should refund the losses of the members of the

    Class pursuant to the Oklahoma cause of action for unjust

    enrichment; and

    e. whether, as a result of violations of the Oklahoma Consumer

    Protection Act herein, Plaintiff and the members of the Class are

    CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT PAGE

    13

    Case 5:10-cv-01277-W Document 1 Filed 11/30/10 Page 13 of 23

    entitled to injunctive relief or other remedies, in addition to

    damages, and, if so, the nature of such relief.

    34. These common questions predominate over any questions affecting only

    individual members of the Class.

    35. Plaintiff’s claims are typical of the claims of the members of the Class, as

    he and all the members of the Class were similarly affected by QuiBids’ wrongful

    uniform conduct and assert the same legal theories. Plaintiff has no interests antagonistic

    to the interests of the other members of the Class. Plaintiff and all members of the Class

    have sustained similar economic injuries arising out of QuiBids’ violations of common

    and statutory law as alleged herein.

    36. Plaintiff is an adequate representative of the Class because his interests and

    those of his counsel do not conflict with the interests of the members of the Class he

    seeks to represent; he has retained counsel competent and experienced in complex class

    action litigation; and Plaintiff intends to prosecute this action vigorously. Plaintiff and

    his counsel will fairly and adequately protect the interests of all of the members of the

    Class.

    37. A class action is superior to all other available methods for the fair and

    efficient adjudication of these controversies since joinder of all members is impracticable.

    Furthermore, as the damages suffered by individual Class members will be relatively

    small, the expense and burden of individual litigation make it impossible for Class

    members to individually redress the wrongs done to them. There will be no difficulty in

    the management of this class action, whereas individualized litigation presents the

    CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT PAGE

    14

    Case 5:10-cv-01277-W Document 1 Filed 11/30/10 Page 14 of 23

    potential for inconsistent or contradictory judgments. A class action presents far fewer

    management difficulties and provides the benefits of a single adjudication, economy of

    scale, comprehensive supervision by a single court and the conservation of scarce judicial

    resources.

    COUNT I

    VIOLATION OF OKLAHOMA CONSUMER PROTECTION

    ACT BY DECEPTIVE TRADE PRACTICES

    38. Plaintiff incorporates all of the allegations of Paragraphs 1 through 37 into

    Count I as if they were fully set forth here verbatim.

    39. QuiBids is a “person” within the meaning of the Oklahoma Consumer

    Protection Act. 15 O.S. ANN. § 752(1). Plaintiff and all the members of the Class are

    “consumers” as that term is used in 15 O.S. ANN. § 761.1(A). Plaintiff and the other

    members of the Class and QuiBids were engaged in “consumer transactions” within the

    meaning of the Act. Id. at § 752(2).

    40. QuiBids failed to inform its customers: (a) that the overwhelming majority

    of customers using the Site would lose money by doing so, (b) of the percentage of the

    money spent by customers on the Site that is returned to customers in the form of

    merchandise; and (c) that with respect to auctions of high-ticket items (items with a retail

    value of $100 or more), bids placed on QuiBids.com for those items before the last 20

    seconds originally set for bidding by QuiBids will inevitably be unsuccessful and, thus, a

    waste of money. These failures to disclose constituted the commission of an act or

    practice declared to be a violation of the Act pursuant to Section 753(20), in that they

    CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT PAGE

    15

    Case 5:10-cv-01277-W Document 1 Filed 11/30/10 Page 15 of 23

    constituted deceptive trade practices as defined in Section 752 of the Act. Id. at §§

    753(20) & 752(13). Specifically, QuiBids’ omissions constituted omissions that deceived

    Plaintiff and the members of the Class or that could reasonably be expected to deceive or

    mislead a person to the detriment of that person.

    41. As a result of QuiBids’ violations, Plaintiff and the other members of the

    Class have sustained actual damages equal to the amounts they have lost using

    QuiBids.com – the amount by which the total dollars they paid for bids, plus the total

    dollars they paid to purchase items won during auctions (including shipping costs), plus

    the total dollars they paid to purchase items using the “Buy It Now” feature (including

    shipping costs) exceeded the total retail values as stated on QuiBids.com of the

    merchandise they received. Alternatively, as a result of QuiBids’ violations, Plaintiff and

    the other members of the Class have sustained actual damages equal to the amounts they

    paid for the losing bids they made on high-ticket items on QuiBids.com before the last 20

    seconds originally set for bidding by QuiBids.

    42. QuiBids is liable to Plaintiff and the other members of the Class for those

    actual damages caused by QuiBids’ violation of Act and for their reasonable costs and

    attorneys’ fees. Id. at § 761.1(A). In addition, pursuant to Section 761.1(C) of the Act,

    Plaintiff seeks an injunction requiring QuiBids to disclose the omitted information on the

    Site.

    CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT PAGE

    16

    Case 5:10-cv-01277-W Document 1 Filed 11/30/10 Page 16 of 23

    COUNT II

    VIOLATION OF OKLAHOMA CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT

    BY UNFAIR TRADE PRACTICES

    43. Plaintiff incorporates all of the allegations of Paragraphs 1 through 42 into

    Count II as if they were fully set forth here verbatim.

    44. QuiBids is a “person” within the meaning of the Oklahoma Consumer

    Protection Act. 15 O.S. ANN. § 752(1). Plaintiff and all the members of the Class are

    “consumers” as that term is used in 15 O.S. ANN. § 761.1(A). Plaintiff and the other

    members of the Class and QuiBids were engaged in “consumer transactions” within the

    meaning of the Act. Id. at § 752(2).

    45. QuiBids failed to inform its customers: (a) that the overwhelming majority

    of customers using the Site would lose money by doing so, (b) of the percentage of the

    money spent by customers on the Site that is returned to customers in the form of

    merchandise; and (c) that with respect to auctions of high-ticket items (items with a retail

    value of $100 or more), bids placed on QuiBids.com for those items before the last 20

    seconds originally set for bidding by QuiBids will inevitably be unsuccessful and, thus, a

    waste of money. These failures to disclose constituted the commission of an act or

    practice declared to be a violation of the Act pursuant to Section 753(20), in that they

    constituted unfair trade practices as defined in Section 752 of the Act. Id. at §§ 753(20)

    & 752(4). Specifically, QuiBids’ omissions constituted practices which offend public

    policy and are immoral, unethical, oppressive, unscrupulous and substantially injurious to

    CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT PAGE

    17

    Case 5:10-cv-01277-W Document 1 Filed 11/30/10 Page 17 of 23

    consumers, because they caused Plaintiff and the members of the Class to waste their

    money.

    46. As a result of QuiBids’ violations, Plaintiff and the other members of the

    Class have sustained actual damages equal to the amounts they have lost using

    QuiBids.com – the amount by which the total dollars they paid for bids, plus the total

    dollars they paid to purchase items won during auctions (including shipping costs), plus

    the total dollars they paid to purchase items using the “Buy It Now” feature (including

    shipping costs) exceeded the total retail values as stated on QuiBids.com of the

    merchandise they received. Alternatively, as a result of QuiBids’ violations, Plaintiff and

    the other members of the Class have sustained actual damages equal to the amounts they

    paid for the losing bids they made on high-ticket items on QuiBids.com before the last 20

    seconds originally set for bidding by QuiBids.

    47. QuiBids is liable to Plaintiff and the other members of the Class for those

    actual damages caused by QuiBids’ violation of Act and for their reasonable costs and

    attorneys’ fees. Id. at § 761.1(A). In addition, pursuant to Section 761.1(C) of the Act,

    Plaintiff seeks an injunction requiring QuiBids to disclose the omitted information on the

    Site.

    COUNT III

    COMMON LAW FRAUD BY OMISSION

    48. Plaintiff incorporates all of the allegations of Paragraphs 1 through 47 into

    Count III as if they were fully set forth here verbatim.

    CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT PAGE

    18

    Case 5:10-cv-01277-W Document 1 Filed 11/30/10 Page 18 of 23

    49. QuiBids omitted to disclose material facts to its customers: (1) that the

    overwhelming majority of customers using the Site would lose money doing so, (2) the

    percentage of the money spent by customers that is returned to customers in the form of

    merchandise, and (3) that with respect to auctions of high-ticket items (items with a retail

    value of $100 or more), bids placed on QuiBids.com for those items before the last 20

    seconds originally set for bidding by QuiBids will inevitably be unsuccessful and, thus, a

    waste of money. Such facts are material in that a reasonable consumer would have

    considered them important in deciding whether and when to spend the money to use the

    QuiBids website. QuiBids omitted to disclose these facts with the intent that its

    customers would use the website. Because QuiBids’ omissions to disclose are material, it

    is presumed that Plaintiff and all the other members of the Class reasonably relied upon

    the omissions.

    50. QuiBids’ omissions proximately caused actual damages to Plaintiff and the

    other members of the Class in the amount they lost using the Site – the amount by which

    the money they paid for the bids, plus the money they paid to purchase the items won in

    auctions (including shipping costs), plus the money they paid to purchase items using the

    “Buy It Now” feature (including shipping costs) exceeded the total retail values as stated

    on QuiBids.com of the merchandise received. Alternatively, QuiBids’ omissions

    proximately caused actual damages to Plaintiff and the other members of the Class in the

    amount they paid for the losing bids they made on high-ticket items on QuiBids.com

    before the last 20 seconds originally set for bidding by QuiBids.

    CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT PAGE

    19

    Case 5:10-cv-01277-W Document 1 Filed 11/30/10 Page 19 of 23

    COUNT IV

    MONEY HAD AND RECEIVED

    51. Plaintiff incorporates all of the allegations of Paragraphs 1 through 50 into

    Count IV as if they were fully set forth here verbatim.

    52. The money lost by Plaintiff and the members of the Class using the Site –

    the amount by which the money they paid for the bids, plus the money they paid to

    purchase the items won in auctions (including shipping), plus the money they paid to

    purchase items using the “Buy-It-Now” feature (including shipping costs) exceeded the

    total retail values as stated on QuiBids.com of the merchandise they received –

    constitutes money which, in equity and good conscience, should be returned by QuiBids

    to Plaintiff and the members of the Class.

    53. Alternatively, the money spent by Plaintiff and the members of the Class on

    losing bids placed before the last 20 seconds originally set for bidding by QuiBids in

    auctions of high-ticket items (items with a retail value of $100 or more) constitutes

    money in QuiBids’ possession which, in equity and good conscience, should be returned

    to Plaintiff and the members of the Class.

    COUNT V

    UNJUST ENRICHMENT

    54. Plaintiff incorporates all of the allegations of Paragraphs 1 through 53 into

    Count V as if they were fully set forth here verbatim.

    55. The money lost by the Plaintiff and members of the Class using the Site –

    the amount by which the money they paid for the bids, plus the money they paid to

    CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT PAGE

    20

    Case 5:10-cv-01277-W Document 1 Filed 11/30/10 Page 20 of 23

    purchase the items won in auctions (including shipping costs), plus the money they paid

    to purchase items using the “Buy-It-Now” feature (including shipping costs) exceeded

    the total retail values as stated on QuiBids.com of the merchandise received – constitutes

    a benefit conferred upon QuiBids by Plaintiff and the Class. Under the circumstances,

    and as a matter of equity, QuiBids was unjustly enriched by its receipt of that money and

    it should return that money to Plaintiff and the members of the Class.

    56. Alternatively, the money spent by Plaintiff and the members of the Class on

    losing bids placed before the last 20 seconds originally set for bidding by QuiBids in

    auctions of high-ticket items (items with a retail value of $100 or more) constitutes a

    benefit conferred by members of the Class on QuiBids. Under the circumstances, and as

    a matter of equity, QuiBids was unjustly enriched by its receipt of that money, and it

    should return that money to Plaintiff and the members of the Class.

    REQUEST FOR RELIEF

    Individually, and on behalf of the Class, Plaintiff respectfully requests the Court to

    award the following relief:

    a. An order certifying the proposed Class under FED. R. CIV. P. 23(b)(3) and

    appointing Plaintiff and Plaintiff’s counsel to represent the Class;

    b. A judgment finding that QuiBids is liable under all legal claims asserted

    herein;

    c. A judgment awarding actual damages to Class members as set forth above;

    d. A judgment awarding a permanent injunction as set forth above;

    e. A judgment awarding attorneys’ fees and litigation costs;

    CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT PAGE

    21

    Case 5:10-cv-01277-W Document 1 Filed 11/30/10 Page 21 of 23

    f. A judgment awarding pre-judgment and post-judgment interest at the

    maximum rates allowable at law or in equity; and

    g. A judgment awarding all such other legal or equitable relief as justice

    requires.

    JURY DEMAND

    Plaintiff hereby demands a trial by jury.

    DATED: November 30, 2010

    /s/ Edward L. White

    Edward L. White, OBA #16549

    EDWARD L.WHITE, P.C.

    9301 Cedar Lake Ave., Suite 200

    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73114

    Telephone: (405) 810-8188

    Facsimile: (405) 608-0971

    Email: [email protected]

    -and-

    Roger L. Mandel

    [email protected]

    Blake L. Beckham

    [email protected]

    Jose M. Portela

    [email protected]

    Sarita A. Smithee

    [email protected]

    BECKHAM&MANDEL

    3400 Carlisle Street, Suite 550

    Dallas, Texas 75204

    Telephone: (214) 965-9300

    Facsimile: (214) 965-9301

    CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT PAGE

    22

    Case 5:10-cv-01277-W Document 1 Filed 11/30/10 Page 22 of 23

    CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT PAGE

    23

    Andrew Kierstead

    [email protected]

    LAW OFFICE OF ANDREW S. KIERSTEAD

    1001 SW Fifth Ave., Suite 1100

    Portland, OR 97204

    Telephone: (508) 224-6246

    Facsimile: (508) 224-4356

    Attorneys for Plaintiff and the Class

    Case 5:10-cv-01277-W Document 1 Filed 11/30/10 Page 23 of 23

  19. Strangely says:

    I wonder what spin Ms Dana Wong has been ordered to throw over these events?

  20. Strangely says:

    This post from Penny http://www.pennyauctionwatch.com/2011/06/the-stat… I think is not wholly unrelated to my post and the comments here, combined with an earlier post of hers from back in March, http://www.pennyauctionwatch.com/2011/03/lawsuit-

    Combine these events to my words and feelings above plus the FTC charge against smiling Willms et al (http://www.pennyauctionwatch.com/2011/05/ftc-charges-online-marketers-with-scamming-consumers-out-of-hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars-with-free-trial-offers/ and elsewhere) and we see that the tide is turning, the vast weight of public opinion is forcing the pace on these charlatans.

    Let's hope the FTC have a glorious win and show the shits where to go.

  21. Justin says:

    Is it just my impatience, or is it that updates about these charges against Jesse Willms alleged activities, long overdue? Further word as to the disposition of this “Preliminary Injunction” was indicated to come out in June of 2011. It is now September 2011 without a peep about this landmark action initiated by the fine lawyers at the FTC???

    https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2011/05/ftc-charges-online-marketers-scamming-consumers-out-hundreds

    For Release: 05/17/2011 FTC Charges Online Marketers with Scamming Consumers out of Hundreds of Millions of Dollars with ‘Free’ Trial Offers

    Motion for Preliminary Injunction and Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support

    https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/cases-proceedings/102-3012/willms-jesse-et-al

    BTW: There was a class action lawsuit filed against SwipeBids.com in California court system in August 2010. Interestingly, it was dismissed without going to trial in that same month of May 2011 of this FTC action, citing no jurisdiction over Mr. Willms as cause.

    Justin

  22. Strangely says:

    @Justin

    The frustration is mutual, I can tell you!  Saying this, and from my experience, anything legal takes ages, unless someone needs to invade Libya or something, when mysteriously, legal matters are agreed on in minutes….

    For the Pacific WebWorks (PWW) scam system, it took years.  They had their thing going since 2007, I stumbled upon it in April 2009, (see Google Treasure Chest, It’s a Scam and a Half!), then Jonathon Eborn et al got sued by the Texas AG, then PWW got sued by Google for breach of trademark, then finally PWW got the FTC on their backs and had to cave in entirely.  This all finished in January this year!!!!!!

    So things take time.  PWW is still trading but they’re being very careful about what they do now.  There’ve been several board changes (rats deserting sinking ship?) and their whole operation is now watched by the feds.

    For Willms et al……  He’s being sued for nigh on $500m, which implies that there’s good evidence that he’s made much more money than this in the FTC’s investigation log.  However, two things come inmmediately to mind:

    1. He has a huge war chest of cash because of this
    2. He has hired a huge army of lawyers to fight his corner, including a prominent former FTC lawyer who worked for the FTC for about a decade and thus has a lot of inside knowledge of their workings and tactics.

    On top of this is the normal legal time drag which always seems to happen.

    On top of this is the massive personal blagging & bragging from the golden boy himself with his “amazing” philanthropic hat on….. we see him “generously” donate a few thou to hurricane victims or [insert latest disaster or good cause here].  Since he’s pulled out over $400m from ordinary folks (according top the FTC charge), this really is the most sickening display of duplicity that I’ve seen for a many a long year.

    His behaviour in this manner serves to manipulate the Google search rankings in his “goody two shoes” favour while lowering the revelations about his dodgy past (let’s not kid ourselves here, shall we?  Google is search, the others are also rans).

    His dodgy past includes but is not limited to:

    • Flogging counterfeit Microsoft software
    • Flogging counterfeit Symantech software
    • Illegal use of trademarks and product promotion for celebs like Oprah Winfrey for which he has a multi-year obligation to inform Oprah of ALL his websites and ensure that ALL his websites conform to her lawsuit win against him.
    • Ripping off a teeth whitening company through domain naming sleights of eye designed to confuse potential customers.

    Also noteworthy is that Willms has avoided all admissions of guilt in the above and other cases but has always endeavoured (and succeeded) in reaching out-of-court settlements so that no criminal charges can be brought.  This seems to be very important to him, and in my opinion, the reason is obvious – because it means he can keep trading regardless and only has to ensure that he doesn’t stray on a particular complainant’s territory.  It means he can use virtually the same modus operandi time after time after time – just don’t tread on Microsoft or Oprah’s toes, that’s all.  Geddit?

    My guess (and that’s all it is until shown otherwise) is that’s what’s going on now –  a kind of plea-bargaining or something twix his and the FTC lawyers.

    Pay up a whack of dosh, and carry on is what he’ll want.

    If this is what happens, you can be sure lots of folks will be watching his every move.

    WEIRD LINKS

    I’m currently trawling my website checking for duff links.  I’ve come across something very, very weird…….

    Aside from what I’d expect in the usual form of link-rot, I’ve spotted that virtually every backlink by myself or fellow commentators which points to articles on Willms, PWW etc …..

    …IS BROKEN!

    It’s as if a real concerted effort has gone in to removing all bad articles and comment about Willms, PWW etc from somebody….?

    Sometimes, whole websites have changed their direction!  Websites devoted to CPA and affiliate chit-chat now have gone serious and are devoid of Willms’ business mentions at all.   I’m only quarter of the way through currently – maybe I’ll spot some other oddnesses?    Some (and I’m not including the expected ones like the fake news and affiliate sites obviously) have disappeared forever and have even turned Chinese!  Weird.

    It’s amazing the co-incidences one finds when investigating the pits of the web.

    Remember the words of Auric Goldfinger.

  23. Justin says:

    This is a case on topic that further leads to my impatience with this action brought forth by the FTC Northwest Region Branch of Seattle, WA. This was the action taken by the FTC  Midwest Branch, Chicago with News release of April 04,2011 followed by a stipulated preliminary injunction of April 13,2011.

    For Release: 04/19/2011 FTC Seeks to Halt 10 Operators of Fake News Sites from Making Deceptive Claims About Acai Berry Weight Loss Products Internet Marketers Falsely Claim Endorsement from ABC, Fox News, CBS, CNN, USA Today, and Consumer Reports, FTC Alleges

    April 19, 2011

    • Complaint for Permanent Injunction and Other Equitable Relief
    • Plaintiff’s Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order with Other Equitable Relief and Order to Show Cause Why a Preliminary Injunction Should Not Issue
      In Support of Its Motion For A Temporary Restraining Order With Other Equitable Relief and Order To Show Cause Why A Preliminary Injunction Should Not Issue
    • Stipulated Preliminary Injunction Order
    • News Release

    Why is it that this action has proceeded to Preliminary Injunction in the same month of April, 2011, were as the Willms case has not made similar progress after what amounts to four months now? Is there something “hinky” at the Northwest Region Branch of Seattle, WA.?

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